A big one. The last test of honor before my full marathon and the longest race I have ever ran!
I have been dreading this distance ever since I signed up for the race. A 30K that starts at 5:30 at night and runs into the dark sounds like fun. Until you remember that 30K is 18.6 miles not your average race. Of course I signed up not realizing 30K was almost 19 miles. I love half marathons and everything below that. They energize me and leave me with enough energy for the after party. 30Ks aren’t like that…but as usual, my training partner tempted me with a pretty medal and the promise of a fun run with costumes.
Saturday morning: 10AM – Mike and Deb arrive at my house for the carpool. We are all driving up together to Toronto because it makes more sense. We get up there about 3 hours later and Bryan, Deb’s boyfriend is making us a pasta lunch. Well, here we hit the first snag. We ended up eating about 3-3:30…..that leaves less than 2 hours to digest this very heavy meal. We all had issues. So anyway, we get all dressed up shakespearian style, I think….
And of course we screwed around taking pictures in front of the cool banner…..
So we started the race, way in the back with the slow people. Although I have to say, those pace fairies were fun looking! We were trucking along and making good time when suddenly Mike started cramping up. I hung back with him and we let Deb go on ahead. Eventually we ended up with the sour knowledge that we might not make the checkpoint cut off. There were 2 check points that if you didn’t cross by a certain time they pulled you from the course. We ended up a little worried because we were dropping behind. Eventually around Mile 4 Mike told me to run with Deb and he would be fine. We didn’t want to leave him but he was really worried about us making it. So up to Deb I ran and onward we continued. Bryan was way faster than all of us so he was way way way ahead.
Over the next mile I started feeling the pasta party in my stomach too. Eventually around the 10K point I dropped off from Deb too. Now we were all single racers out in the big bad Toronto waterfront. Somewhere along mile 8 I started seriously worrying about making the checkpoint but had zero motivation. I devised to use what I refer to as a Juicer. I picked a woman who wouldn’t let me pass her and resolved to keep pace. She would get ahead and walk and when I reached her she would start running again. So I started running with her making sure not to drop her pace. I have a feeling she started getting really pissed off but I didn’t care. I needed the push and she was part of the 15K course anyway, so we weren’t even in the same race. Eventually she tried to kick it to 8mm pace and I held firm. She dropped off after that and I kept going. She helped me pump out an extra 2 miles pretty fast.
Until the water stop. That was OUT OF WATER. Worst thing you can hear on a racecourse. Shortly after I luckily caught up with Deb and she gave me some Nuun. Then I lost her again. I just wasn’t have a fun time. I was so preoccupied with making the cut off. Eventually the words of my boss came back to haunt me…..”Just don’t hurt yourself.” He was right. I had a marathon in my future. I missed the last one due to injury and this wasn’t my goal race. I relaxed and realized that it wouldn’t be the end of the world to get caught in the sag wagon. This knowledge kept me strong through mile 15 when I felt like I got shot in the leg. My shin splints were so bad I wanted to die. I was already through the checkpoint so I relaxed and enjoyed the dark stroll through the park and beach. The rest of the race was a blur of walking and shuffling on leaded legs. I jogged through the finish line with what has to be the most epic finisher photo ever. I’ll post it when they put them up. Arms up, head back, and ready to pass out.
And here it is:
We hung around and waited for Mike who had a bike cop in tow. He was the last person they let through the checkpoint. But he made it! He was a serious inspiration to me because I know how horrible he felt so early on in the race. It’s hard to do 15 more miles when the first 3 felt so bad.
But we could still stand (or lean!) afterwards. The 3 hour drive back however was not easy. I rolled into bed about 3AM. Thank goodness Mike talked me into staying awake otherwise I would be in a Toronto ditch somewhere.
My hero for sure lol.
And for all the mayhem and trouble….the finisher’s medal was indeed pretty:
So that was my first 30K… and possibly my last. I have this thought that if I am going to put in that many miles and that much work for a race, I should just put in the extra 7 or so and call it a marathon!
- The Twenty Valley Challenge – The Double Race Recap (10K/HM) (breathlessrunner.wordpress.com)
- Tromptown Half Marathon – Race Recap (nickisnook.net)
- Marathon Training Week 11 (crazyrunninglegs.com)
- Update on Half Marathon #3 (myfirst5k.wordpress.com)
- San Francisco 1st Half Marathon (xavierism.typepad.com)
- Inaugural Turning Stone Races This Weekend (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Training for half marathon and dealing with Altitude change (ask.metafilter.com)