For the first time I can remember, I didn't get all my gear organized the night before. Race near home, doesn't start until 8:30, I'm sure I will be fine. (Foreshadowing!). Got up around 6, got myself fed and watered and dressed, and headed to downtown Burlington to pick up my race kit. As I was driving I realized I'd forgotten to grab my race number toggles - no problem I will just pin the number to my Spibelt. (INSERT OMINOUS MUSIC HERE)
Found parking, went to grab the Spibelt to stash my phone.... No belt. Prep your shit the night before, people!! I sent a curse laden email to my husband, hoping he might offer to bring it to me, which would also involve bringing the kids down with him (eeep, they were barely out of bed when I left). Stood in line for my number and such, trying to figure out if I could stash my phone in my bra or just carry it. Neither option appealed so I decided I'd leave it in the car and run without music (not my favourite thing, especially for a 5k. I have a specific motivational playlist for 5ks). Got my ugly t shirt that will get put to good use next time I'm painting or gardening or want to look supremely dorky.
Saw Nicole parking her car, bitched about my Spibelt, then went to meet Patty to warm up. Eventually got an email that my husband was bringing my belt and would stay to watch the race. Crisis averted!!
Did a short 1k with Patty then met up with Sam and Amy and checked my phone every 12 seconds for updates on the location of my Spibelt. I really like my Spibelt, OK? Everyone else did their warmups and I debated whether I could get away with tripping Nicole and Amy at the start - both are in my age group and I knew Nicole would for sure be faster than me and I had suspicions about Amy (more foreshadowing!!), who hadn't raced a 5k in a zillion years and was downplaying her possible goal.
My husband and the kids eventually appeared and they helped me warm up by running a few hundred metres (then the four old decided that was enough). We watched the 1k kid race (including Patty running with her son! Cute overload!) and then we headed to the start. One last chance to cripple them before the race! I let it go because I'm nice like that.
Off we went, swearing a bit at the crowd. Or maybe that was just me. Sam took off with Nicole close behind. I high fived my kids as I went past and then settled into 5k mode, aka this is going to suck so hard but at least it will be over fast. Amy and I played leapfrog a few times, until just before halfway she shot around me at warp speed. I knew I was right to be suspicious of her with her "I'll be happy to be under 26 minutes"!
I was ignoring my watch, which I had set to show time only anyway, but at the turnaround I wasn't too far behind Nicole so I knew I was having a good race. From 2.5k to 3k I could feel someone just behind me, and eventually he came up to my shoulder and said he was drafting me. I nodded, hopefully in a friendly fashion, but didn't talk because it's a 5k and I think I was in the process of dying.
Eventually he moved up beside me, which was awesome, because every part of my body was telling me to just stop and lie down for a few minutes but as long as he was there no way was I stopping. I'm not sure he realized that, or if he was just using me to block the wind that was coming from the side off the lake.
At 4k I realized I was gaining on Amy. I focused on following her along the never ending final stretch of the race next to the lake, hoping to catch her and cross the finish together, but realized I had absolutely nothing left at the end and ran out of room (she finished 2 seconds ahead) (also she doesn't know this yet but I've already recruited her to run the Mississauga full with me next year. I should probably tell her that instead of just making the plan inside my head).
Me and my new best friend Geoffrey (from the race results - I swear someone yelled "go Stuart" at him, so who knows) crossed the finish line, where I could see I was under 25 minutes but I forgot to stop my watch right away. I knew I had crossed the finish faster than my Moon in June time, but wasn't sure if it was by a few seconds or more than that. Geoff/Stuart offered me a fist bump while I simultaneously tried to shake his hand, both of us gasping for air, which was about as silly looking as you can possibly imagine. Then we awkwardly hugged while I told him I'd just set a new PB and thanked him several times. Sweaty post-race runner hugs between complete strangers, that's good stuff.
Grabbed photos with the girls and my family, then my four year old was rapidly disintegrating (I'm not sure she'd had breakfast yet, considering how quickly she wolfed down the stale half-bagel I grabbed from the food table). Checked the results on the way back to the car - Sam and Nicole both age group placed (note to self- Nicole will always be in my age group, avoid races she is running), and my chip time turned out to be a stunning 24:32.2! I was not expecting that. 6th/28 for age group, not too shabby at all. Considering my time at this race last year was 27:45, all the training hours I've put in over the last year are definitely paying off.
|Me, speedy Sam, Nicole, Amy (who finished 5th for our age group. *shakes fist*). The much maligned Burlington pier in the background. Was the ground sloped or is Amy really that much taller than everyone else??|
All in all, a great race, although damn 5ks are painful like whoa. No desire to do another one anytime soon, which is unfortunate because I'm signed up for one in August. I am such a dumbass.