Saturday, 29 October 2016

Trick or Treat Trot 5k Review

It's Saturday....and what do runners do on Saturdays?  Well we get up at dark o'clock to run a 5k run an hour away.  Why you ask?  Well if you are a runner...you already know the answer.  But in this case, because it is in my and Jill's home town. 
Image result for race day
Yesterday we had some really nasty weather but luckily it cleared in time for the run this morning.  Our plans were to hit the road at 7:15...giving us an hour to get there and an hour to get ready.  We arrived and drove what we thought was the course, cursing the two hills that we saw.  Back at the YMCA, we go to gather our bibs, only to find a couple of errors...my t-shirt was marked as an XLARGE...mmmmm...no;  Jill's last name was down as Flinn....mmmmm...no.  We got things sorted out and someone looks at us and says...."go help yourself to some food before your race."  Mmmmm...."Thanks" we reply as we turn and look at each other.  No way we are eating 45 minutes out from our run!   We go back to the car to get ready.  Of course, costumes were decided upon and Jill dressed as Captain Awesome and I chose a Candy Corn.
 
We went back into the Y to use the washroom with 10 minutes to spare, did our dynamic kicks and hip movements, and then stood around...constantly resetting our garmins.  9am came and went and the race didn't start.  The race director was just kind of standing around, chatting it up.  When she finally decided to gather the runners, I could her a guy behind me saying "Cut the chitter chatter, we are already 10 minutes late."  I had to giggle.  We runners sure do like to be punctual.  My mom and Jill's dad were out on the course to cheer us on so I was a bit antsy to get moving as well.
 
The first 0.5km of the course was a downhill on sidewalk.  Now because we had such a rain/wind storm last night, the sidewalk looked like this:
Image result for wet leaves on sidewalk
Not actual picture..but close!
If you have ever run, or driven, on wet leaves, you know how slippery then can be.  I was really scared that I might slip and fall....and a bit surprised that the race director didn't mention it at the start (or the slight construction we had to run through).

We continued onto the rails to trails part of the run.  The trail in Bridgewater is not maintained as well as the trail in my home town, and it required a bit more attention as there were bigger rocks and divots to navigate.

Image result for bridgewater rails to trails
The trail was a slight incline that made my lungs hate me!!
We hit the paved road for about 200m and then back onto the trail which means we totally bypassed the hills that Jill and I thought we'd have to run.  By this time, my body was saying "What the heck were you thinking?"  See, I haven't put my sneakers on for 3 weeks in the hope of healing my right tibia.  Taking 3 weeks off with zero running, and then trying to run a 5k at your normal pace just doesn't work.  Jillian actually saw me walk (she was keeping me in her sights) for about 20 seconds.  I saw mom with 1km to go and she yelled "How's your leg?"  I said it was doing okay but that I was dying.  Jillian was next and mom kindly told her I was dying and to try and catch me!  Next up I saw Jillian's dad and he said "Keep going...it's all downhill from here."  THANK GOD!  Oh....I should mention that I had a guy hang out the passenger window of a car and say "Nice outfit!"...only in Bridgewater.

What the race director forgot to mention was that the sidewalk we were running on ended due to construction about 100m from the finish line.  I said screw it and ran on the dug up road before hopping back on the sidewalk.

I crossed 7th in 28.58 and Jillian came in 8th in 30.00.  There were home made wooden medals placed around our neck as we crossed.  There wasn't any water at the finish line...we had to walk to the water stop for the 10k which was about 50m away.  I know...not a big deal.
The race goes towards a good cause.  Having said that, I probably wouldn't run it again...or REALLY lower my expectations.  It just had the feeling of a race put on by someone who had never run in their life...or had any input from someone who had.  I get it...it's a small town race....but it was their 4th year and it just felt a bit unorganized. 
 
And that officially ends my 2016 running season.  It wasn't what I had hoped given that I've been fighting this injury for months.  I'm waiting to hear about a bone scan appointment which will hopefully lead to answers and not more questions!  Stay tuned as I use the winter months to build more strength and get ready for 2017!!


Sunday, 16 October 2016

2016 Valley Harvest Marathon Recap

If there is one run that I love doing each year, it is the Valley Harvest.  Last year I was injured (my arm....not my leg) and couldn't run.  This year, I am injured again and had to ask the race director to drop me down to the 5k.

The day started super early!  The day before, there had been huge traffic issues so Jill and I decided to leave super early...like 5:30am early.  Luckily we didn't run into any traffic, but we were 1.5 hours early....cue nap in the car.

The finish line

Jill was running her 2nd 10k and lined up at 8am to run.  The 5ks lined up shortly after at 8:05 and took off.  I haven't run the 5k in a few years (this was my first half marathon 2 years ago) and was surprised when we didn't run the same way we used to.  We basically followed the 10k runners for the first 2km, and then ran through a small residential area before hitting up the dirt trail on the way back. 

I really watched my pace and forced myself not to go out to hard the first 2km...staying around 5:25.  I could feel my shin/right calf issue but nothing that I couldn't run through.  I had put icy/hot on it before running and that was actually starting to burn...LOL.  I knew that the 5k would not be a PB, but I still wanted to run as best I could.  I find no matter what distance I am running, the last 25% of the run is purely mental....knowing the finish line is so close!
A candid shot taken by a fellow TTPer


I love the medal this year.
 I stretched a bit before walking towards the finish line and waiting for Jillian to cross.
Classy one sock up and one down.  I had to wash
off the icy/hot!
 Jillian managed a PB on her 10k as she crossed shortly after 1:03.  I wasn't sure of my official time, but upon checking the chip times, I see that I came in 4th in my age....20s off 3rd place.  So darn close...One of these days I will hit my age class!
 There were some very yummy after race food including bagels, apples, and cookies.  I touched two cookies and said "Well I touched 2...guess I have to take 2."  Another runner heard me say this and he said "I saw you touch the whole box...I guess you need to take the whole box."  LOL
The run was perfect...the weather, the organization, the route...A-OK by me!!  Driving home is always beautiful with the fall colors...I love it!!  I'll be back again next year...distance to be determined!