Monday, August 15, 2011

Race Report: Ottawa Race Weekend 5k

(As I build up this new site, I am moving some select posts over from a couple other blogs I used to maintain.  I want to have all these posts in one place and have something for people to ready while I get started.  Sorry for the deluge of posts, most of which are out dated by now but still relevant.)

On Saturday, May 28, 2011 I ran my first 5k race along with 9,000 of my closest friends.  It was a surreal experience.

It’s hard to believe that at around the same time only a year ago, I was just thinking about starting to run and was still making excuses!  Now I’m a runner who has conquered my first 5k!

Here’s my race report from that day:

Kilometre 1 – No problem, I can do this!  I was treating it just like any other run.  I got going when I hit the starting line (about 8 minutes after the gun went off) and we did a jaunt around a big block before hitting the canal.  A bridal party (groom and groomsmen) was taking pictures and trying to get across the road to their hotel, then gave up and ran with us for some pictures.  Hilarious.  I laughed out loud.  There was a little downhill towards the road along the canal and I hit a great stride for a bit.
Kilometre 2 - Still no problem.  We passed under a couple bridges and they were packed with people, including DH who took some pictures and had a sign for me.  The road was packed with people cheering.  I had to duck around a few people but hit a nice rhythm during this stretch.
Kilometre 3 – The halfway point was a bit tough – I was starting to get tired and the sun came out and pounded down on us for a bit.  I was wondering where the water station was.  Then Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” came on my brilliantly built and timed play list and I actually mouthed along and fist pumped a little bit.  It got me going again.  After the halfway point I was feeling pretty great for the 3rd kilometre and into the 4th.
Kilometre 4 - A woman near me started to walk and I said “Keep running!  You can do this!”  She started running again and asked if I knew how far we were and I said at least three kilometres.  (It was great to have my Nike+ telling me all the way along.)  I encouraged her a bit more and we ran together for a bit until we hit the water  station around 3.75km when I went to the side for a drink.  (I didn’t stop though, so I didn’t really get to drink so much as take a sip and dump the rest on my sweaty self.)  Shortly after the water station there was a man with a garden hose spraying us – hilarious and nice feeling.
Kilometre 5 - I started to get tired, but I think it was mostly in my head.  I knew that a) it was almost over and b) I had never run farther than 4.70 km at a time before.  I saw two friends cheering and gave them both high fives.  Their cheers really helped me keeping going.  One had made me a sign that was hilarious which helped too.  I just kept thinking “run run run, you can walk when it’s over… keep running, keep running!”  At the finish, the clock had my “gun time” which was closer to 45 minutes, which crushed me for a minute until I remembered that my chip time was way lower (I was pretty far back from the starting line) and I hadn’t heard my Nike+ say 40 minutes yet.
In the end, I finished in just under 37 minutes, which was three minutes under my goal time of 40 minutes.  I also ran the entire thing – no walking!  I didn’t really think about walking until the race was almost over – only in the final few minutes.  The rest of the race I was all about the running.
It’s a good thing I met my goal too, since I bought my reward shirt from Lululemon (the Run Swiftly Short Sleeve in “surge” aka teal).  I love love love my new top and ran the race in it on Saturday.  It was perfect.  There was a period of time during the first half that the sun was pounding down and I was pretty sweaty and hot, but then the clouds came back and I cooled down.  And even when I was warm it was still pretty comfy.
I loved the atmosphere of racing and was addicted immediately!  The crowd of runners kept me going even when I was tired – I just went with the flow.  And there were people cheering everywhere!  It seemed crazy since to me it was just a 5k – not the 10k or the 1/2 marathon or the full marathon.  But then again – it was a 5k!  I took one of my headphones out of my ear during the last 750 metres or so when I was getting tired so I could hear the crowd cheering.  It was incredible.
I also had a chance to watch the 10k, half marathon and marathon over the course of the weekend and it was really inspiring.  I couldn’t believe how fast some of those people ran!  Especially the male winners of the marathon, who finished in just over 2 hours!

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