Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Midsummer Night's 30K Run -- The Mind Rules the Body

This day started off with my second day of being at the CanFit Pro conference.  I started early on Friday morning and went until 3:00 Sunday.  I purposely registered myself for mostly lectures so that I would be ready to run 30K on Saturday night.  I couldn't help myself, but I did register for a TRX session on Friday night.  My arms were sore for days.

So Saturday morning on the train I sat like this the whole way:

I got to meet Brendan Brazier, the creator of the Vega Line.  Really great speaker and I loved both of his sessions that I took, but he was a little awkward in person.  He was offering one of his books for free but they were limited so I made sure I got back to the Expo quick.  Snagged the book and a photo op.

He's really tall and skinny, but, yes, I know I'm short.
Getting prepared for this race while being at a fitness conference all weekend was a bit of a challenge, given that I'd be there from early morning. I needed to make sure I had enough proper hydration and nutrition so  I made extra food for dinner Friday night so that I could put it in a container to take with me for lunch.  I also made plain quinoa as a pre-race fuel because I knew I would be hungry for something solid to eat before the race.

I hightailed it out of my last session of the day and got changed into my run gear.   It was going to be a hot night for a run.  I just can't catch a break with this weather!  I'm really, really hoping Erie will be cooler.  I was meeting my group at the ferry dock for 3:15.  I walked over from the convention centre and was met with lines and lines of people waiting to either buy tickets for the ferry or waiting to get on the ferry.  Luckily we had our tickets included with our race kit.

It was a bit of a gong show meeting up with everyone and getting on the ferry, but once there we made our way over to the Franklin fountain to try to meet up with SamEmma, Nicole and other Daily Milers who were running this race.  There was no one that I recognized there so we headed over to the race site and found a shaded area to hang out till it was time to run.

On one of our many pit stops to the loo, I got to meet Marlene.  Super sweet and super fast lady!

After returning from one of my port-a-potty trips I find out that more than half the group went to get hotdogs because they were hungry.  Ugh!  Some were smart (??) and only ate half a hotdog.   A couple, like my husband, ate a whole one and paid for it during the run.  Hello, Mr. Firefighter?  Can I borrow the fire station toilet?  Just ignore the noises, please.  Yeah, nice one, honey!  We're not allowed on Centre Island anymore.

So, after a hideously long line up to check our bags, I went to another long line up -- the one to start the race.  Why, oh why, did I sign up for the 30K?  Everybody else was doing the 15.  Damn  me and doing an early marathon!

I did get a chance to see Sam and Emma while I was waiting for the race to start and chatted with them for a bit before the gun went off.  I wished them both a great race and lined up.   Since the race this year was on the island because of construction issues in Toronto, it was a pretty narrow start on the path.  Pace Fairies were all pretty close to each other and it took a while before there was any semblance of control.

I've been injured lately (there, I've finally admitted it) so I decided that this was going to be a run to get it done.  I knew I needed to keep my hamstring/glute/hip flexor relatively happy if I had any chance of finishing up this whole training session.  I placed myself between the 3:15 and 3:30 pacers because I wasn't sure how this was going to go.  The first few kilometres were too fast.  I was running sub 6:00s and I knew that it would probably come back to bite me in the ass if I kept up that pace.  So I did a lot of running by feel, but also needed to look down at my Garmin every once in a while to make sure I wasn't going too fast.  I had to keep forcing myself to slow down.  I knew I felt okay, but I could begin to feel the hamstring pulling and I didn't want to aggravate it.

The worst part of this race was having to battle all the bikes, quad bikes, walkers (not those in the race) and generally oblivious people that there was a race going on.   I think the race director should have made up a bunch of signs and placed them around the islands letting people know that there would be a race in progress.  I actually saw a runner collide with a cyclist in front of me.  Luckily they were both okay, but they were both shaken up over the collision.

So the leg was pretty good for about 10K and then I could feel it starting to get really tight.  I knew this would be a bit of a battle and would be a mind over matter situation.  And it was conveniently the theme of their race shirts so I had lots of reminders.   Speaking of, it was 90 degrees out there.  Who wears long sleeve shirts to race in that kind of weather?

Anyway, I'm making a short story very long.  I didn't actually mind the boardwalk area, unlike many others.  It just felt like a long stretch and their 28K marker along the boardwalk was actually at 27.5 so that played with my head for the last kilometre which seemed like a freaking marathon away.  This was when my race mantra of "the mind rules the body" went into overdrive.

I wasn't thrilled with the grassy areas, especially when the last kilometre was all grass.  Thank goodness that it wasn't completely pitch black when I was coming into the finish because the neon shirts the volunteers were wearing helped me sight to the end.

I think this is the only race I've ever done where my Garmin was bang on with the distance.  As soon as I hit the mat, my Garmin registered 30K.  I'll give the race directors an A+ for that, but I know a couple people took some short detours because of all the loops.  I'm glad I didn't.  I don't think my leg wanted to do more than what was required of it.  I was grateful for the cheering of the hubs with 200m to go and my friends cheering me on at the finish.

(The only decent photo and my results):


But all I wanted to do when I got my aluminum water bottle (they're getting smaller and smaller every year) and medal (still awesome) at the finish line was throw up.  I'm not sure why but it was pretty overwhelming.  I managed to keep it down and walked over to where the gang were sitting in the beer tent.  No one saved me any, the bastards!  I'm not sure I would have been able to keep it down anyway.

This is where I found Kenny and I finally got my Boston band that I won in his giveaway.  Yay!!  Thank you so much, I love it!

Skinny wrists means it goes on the ankle
After I managed to get changed we all wanted to head home.  That's when we found out the delay for the ferry back to Toronto was 1.5 to 2 hours.  No way.  I was getting wave after wave of nausea and I knew I wouldn't make it.  We heard about the water taxi and that it was $10 per person so we all decided we were willing to pay the price.  Twenty minutes later we were on a boat back to the mainland.  Best money spent.  Oddly, the boat ride back settled my stomach.  No idea why, but once again I'm grateful.

So, will I do this race next year if it's on the island?  Not likely.  Getting on and off the island was inconvenient, especially since we're a 45 minute drive away.  Dodging bikes, walkers, children and dogs was bordering on dangerous, and the route became tedious for those doing the 30K when you had to cover the same area three times.  I love this race, especially when you get sweet medals and shirts like this:

But I may reconsider if they bring it back to its original location.  Will I do the 30K again?  Again, not likely because I don't plan on doing another early marathon.  I like the 15K distance, especially when it's a late afternoon/early evening race start.

Plus, I may be doing a very different kind of race the same weekend as this next year, but I haven't decided just quite yet.  I'll need to make a decision very, very soon because it WILL sell out.

Please stay tuned........

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