I had run a 10km race back in May and then soon switched to boot camp classes for the month of June, so I gave myself only about 6 weeks to work up to a 15km distance. I basically added 1km a week to my weekend long run. I got injured by doing too many hills a couple weeks before the race so I gave myself 10 full days off of running and just squeezed in a short 5km run the week before my race! Thankfully the leg healed up in time!
As the weekend rolled closer, the forecast grew dimmer and dimmer for Saturday. It was supposed to be cold and rainy, with the heavier rains forecasted for right when I would be running. Gross. at 4:30pm on Saturday I hopped on my bike and rode over in the pouring rain to the race. It was about 5km away by the Leslie Spit in the east end of Toronto, so not far and much faster than taking transit! I locked up my bike and met up with a friend from high school who was running the 15km too.
|The race location|
At this point the rain had let up, but it was still really cold and threatening to rain some more. I had fully made up my mind to run in my rain coat (which is breathable), when at the very last second I decided to ditch it at bag check. It ended up being a GREAT decision because I got HOT out on the course very quickly!
At 6pm we were off! I started off between the 1:30 and 1:35 pace fairies (they run at a specific pace to finish at a specific time so you can use them to gauge your own pace).
Somehow within a couple kilometres I ended up in front of the 1:30 pace fairy and then I determined to stay in front of her for the rest of the race. I knew I could maintain that pace for 10km, but I was a little unsure about my endurance for 15km.
I started off the race with a mesh hat I had bought that day at the dollar store. A hat is great for keeping the rain off your face! But by some miracle, the rain totally stayed away for the entire race! I lost the hat in the wind around km 5 or 6 but didn't bother going back for it. I think it might have hit someone... :S
Oh also, those darn capris kept falling down in the first couple kilometres! I really regretted choosing them over my usual shorts, but I was worried about being cold. Thankfully I think my legs swelled up a bit once I got going so then they mostly stayed in place!
I found around 6:30-7:00pm that I was getting really hungry. I had tried to properly fuel by eating a late lunch and having a high calorie protein bar an hour before the race, but nope. My body likes to EAT at dinner time regardless! Thankfully I soon passed a Gatorade station and got some calories and delicious sugar from that. FYI- I never liked Gatorade before, but that stuff was delicious.
The course is long, flat, and pretty open to the elements one you are on the spit, and I could see it being brutal if it were a normal summers day, so I was really thankfull for this freakishly cool and overcast day!! I decided to run 20/1 for this race, which is run 20 minutes, walk 1 minute and so forth. I often run 10/1s, so this was still challenging for me, but races seem to give me extra energy I don't have on my normal races! And by taking those 1 minute walking breaks I was able to keep up my crazy pace!
Around kilometre 12 or 13 I caught up with the 1:25 pace fairy, which was pretty exciting! I challenged myself to see if I could get ahead of her and finish in under 1:25. My goal for this race was to do under 1:35, so I was pretty excited to realize I might beat that by 10 whole minutes! I got ahead of her for a bit, but I found she was running really inconsistently and would keep speeding up and passing me! After kilometre 14 I started to run out of steam so I gave up trying to keep up with her and just gave it all I had to finish strong.
In the end, I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:25:18, and I was 51st/165 in females aged 20-29, 198th/729 in all females, and 415th/1093 in total participant placing! I really could not be more happy with that time!!
After the race I got my medal (which is seriously huge and awesome) and then met up with Cam for dinner. The race had a BBQ and beer tent, but I really wasn't feeling great so Cam ended up eating most of my dinner. Then we walked home with my bike and it took FOREVER and I was simply BEAT by the time I hit my pillow at 10pm! But the next day I was feeling pretty good- a little stiff and some ugly toenails, but otherwise unscathed! I actually woke up early to make cookies too. I am hardcore.
Overall I really liked this race and I hope to run it again next year! Who knows, maybe I will be brave enough to try the 30km!