Saturday, August 10, 2013

Colleen Lantz Memorial 5k Race Report

I spent an inordinate amount of time checking that I had packed everything I needed for this race. After my Spibelt fail on Canada Day I wasn't taking chances! Add in the complication of spending the night before at my parent's house and I was super paranoid about forgetting something important. Like shoes. Or one of the kids.

Didn't forget a thing. Whew. Kind of wish I had a pink Hello Kitty bag, though.
On top of getting my stuff together, I had to make sure the kids were prepared for their race, too! Freaking exhausting, especially when I checked their bags and they'd both packed approximately 75 stuffed animals and skipped packing minor things like toothbrushes and socks.

Fortunately it was a beautiful day to enjoy the long drive, reminding me that rural Southern Ontario isn't half bad. 

Pretty clouds and endless fields. And Bruster the Rooster. Can't forget Bruster, my favourite oversized fiberglass chicken. (Bruce County = Bruce-ter = Bruster? Oh nevermind)
Had a lovely dinner with my parents, and saw that my old public school is being torn down (waaaaaah) because there just aren't enough kids in town anymore. Probably because so many of us go away to school and then never come back. Small town Ontario: nice to visit, but not really where I want to live long term.

After a terrible night's sleep (just couldn't get comfortable and my husband was tossing and turning all night too, so sleep fail all around), I was up at 6 for tea and toast and to start my pre-race prep. Everyone got out the door in good time to drive to Neustadt to pick up our race kits.

The kit featured a massive pile of pamphlets from local organizations, the t-shirt (cotton - you could pay extra for a tech shirt but I chose not to), and a cooling bandana that will come in handy next time I need to look like I'm in a Kung Fu movie.
This race features a bunch of activities for kids, and of course all mine wanted to do was play in the bouncy house, so that helped pass the time before their race, a 1k fun run. After a short warmup, they were off. I ran with my 4 year old, which was pretty much her all out sprinting for 30 seconds and then stopping and asking for water. Later, rinse, repeat. They both enjoyed themselves and loved getting their medals.

Then I did a proper warmup, jogging about a km with a couple of strides thrown in, and got my first inkling that it maybe wasn't going to be my day. My ankle was twinging kind of funny and I just felt sluggish overall.

I waited around while the 10k race got started, and made a last minute washroom visit - you know you are at a small race when there are no bathroom line ups! Score! Gave myself a last minute pep talk and we were off.

I'm in the purple. Photo courtesy my parents (thanks mom and dad!).  At least I looked good 10m in.
The first km ticked by quickly. For a tiny race, there were a ton of big-race style amenities, like a lady calling out the time at the 1k mark! First km in 4:39. Considering that included a small hill, an excellent start.

And then came the second km. And things got ugly real fast. We turned onto the local rail trail, which turned out to be grass and gravel, and it seriously slowed my pace. I made a massive tactical mistake with this race, which was that I left my watch running in its usual mode, showing my pace. So when we turned onto the trail and my pace dropped, I could see it on my watch and it totally got into my head. The section of the race on the trail lasted about a km, but the effects lingered for the rest of the race. Mentally I was done and I just couldn't hold a fast pace. 5ks are all about running through the pain of going just that little bit too fast, and I couldn't do it.

Not the actual trail, just a similar one. The actual trail had significantly more grass on it and was not a great running surface.
In retrospect, if I hadn't been able to see my paces, I think I would have been able to pick things back up after the rail trail section ended. Note to self: leave the watch at home for 5ks!

2nd km - 5:18

The 3rd and 4th km felt like an eternity. I kept trying to speed up and was not able to do it. My legs were dead and I couldn't make them move faster. Plus, the sun had come out from behind the clouds and it was getting uncomfortably hot.
3rd km - 5:20
4th km - 5:20 (at least I was consistent? bright side!)

Finally, the last km. Entering the homestretch. A bit of a downhill and I took advantage to finally pass a girl in a pink tanktop I'd been trailing forever. I was feeling OK and seeing sub 5 km paces!

And then, with about 500m to go, the inevitable uphill to the finish line (WTF RACE DIRECTORS WHY DO YOU ALWAYS DO THAT???). And I started cramping up. Really badly. Pink tanktop went blasting back past me (DAMN IT) and I struggled my way to the finish. I did (sort of ) manage a smile when I saw my mom taking a picture!

I see the finish! A few more feet and I can stop! YAY!!!!!!

5th km - 4:52
extra bit - :24

Final results:
Chip time: 25:52
Gun time: 25:55.9
Overall place: 37/181
Gender place: 13/???
Age group place: 2/15

So placing second for my age group certainly takes the sting out of having an overall not that great run! Woo hoo! Go me!

Did I mention the medals were all cowbells? Those got confiscated from the kids SO FAST before the drive home.
Overall, it was a good day. The kids had a fantastic time: bouncy house, face painting, crafts, puppet show, and the post race food included popsicles, jello, and pudding - what's not to love? For a tiny race, the organization of this event is absolutely top notch, and I won't hesitate to sign up for it again next year, rail trail and all. While my race didn't go the way I hoped, we had a really fun time as a family, and that was my main goal going in. Success! And hey, sub 26 is still nothing to be ashamed of.

For those who enjoy knowing these things, the skirt is my absolute favourite skirt, a Running Skirts athletic skirt in one of the variations of the Mums pattern, and the tank is from Old Navy (no longer on the website, or I'd link it). If it hadn't been hot out I would have also worn my purple pro compression socks, just to complete the look. But it was warm enough out that I stuck with my Wright socks.


  1. Great job Emma! I've never checked out Old Navy's athletic stuff, maybe I should because your tank is cute. Looks like a fun day for you guys! :o)

    1. The Old Navy athletic stuff is hit and miss. You have to watch the fabric, they use a lot of cotton. But the compression stuff is usually decent, and sometimes pretty awesome, like that tank, which I kind of wish I'd bought in more colours!

    2. My neon yellow tank for my pace fairy outfit next week is old navy.

  2. Excellent race Emma! I totally agree about the watch. I will never show pace on my watch for a 5k again.