Uxbridge Run for the Diamond 5K

I suppose this is a few days late but I’m sure no one expects on time posts from me by now!

I have to say that this race was THE MOST fun I’ve had at a race yet – and I’m not just saying that because it’s my first race post runner’s knee.  When I went to bed on Saturday  night (late!) the weather was calling for low of 2C to a high of 8C – great running weather.  However, upon waking on Sunday morning, it definitely felt a lot colder than that, and the skies were threatening rain.  I dressed in my new bad ass knee socks, shorts, and a tank but I wore a hoodie and brought my Running Room jacket as well, just in case.

We left at 7:45 for the 45 min drive north west, for the 9:20am race start.  The instructions for parking were easy to follow, and there were many volunteers (as well as police directing traffic) to help us find our way.  Everyone was super helpful and pleasant.  Found the chip pick up area fairly easily, and then kinda just stood around waiting for the start.  There was a half marathon, a 10km, the 5km as well as a 300m kids dash (and the kids got to look for Easter eggs after their race!).  Once the walkers had set off, they had a fun warm up for the runners, and everything started on time, which was good because it had started to SNOW while we were waiting! Definitely went with the running jacket instead of just the tank.

I was super nervous as I always am before a race, but I turned on the music and just decided to have fun.  It started off with 300m on the road, and then headed into the woods and onto the trail for the next 3km.  As usual, I started out too fast, and my first km was around the 6min/km mark.

Let me tell you, I was not fully prepared for how much trail running can hurt! There were a lot of uphills and running in loose dirt.  I walked most of the uphills as did just about everyone else.  A woman passed me on one of them and tapped me on the shoulder to tell me she loved my socks.

I walked more than I wanted to, but my endurance still isn’t back to where it was pre-injury.  Once out of the woods, there were 2km on the paved golf cart paths of the golf course – I managed to pick up my pace there and started passing people (big ego boost for me).  I crossed the finish line in 35:09, which is 20 seconds slower than my previous 5km time, but not bad for my first race back and my first ever trail run.  I was 20/45 in my age group, and 75/164 in my gender.  The finisher medals were nice, and they had water, Clif bars, and all natural sports drinks at the finish.  I grabbed a water and a Clif bar, and then we were outta there.

The little expo in the parking lot was cute, and had a lot to offer like pizza, popcorn, massage, etc, and if it hadn’t been snowing I would have stuck around to check it out.  Over all, it was a great experience and I will definitely attend this race next year – hopefully in the 10km or the half marathon.

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Tri training started this week, too – but I’ll leave that for another post!

Whitby Waterfront Races Review

Apparently it is PR weekend!! Finished the race today in 1:06:12, which is the fastest I have ever done a 10k, although this was my first 10k race.

The race was held at the Whitby Waterfront, with the start/finish and registration area located at the Whitby Yacht Club.  There was a 1k for kids at 10:45, then the 5k, 10k and 10 miler started at 11. There was a fair amount of free parking along one of the roads leading to the yacht club but by the time we got there (around 9:30) the line of cars had already stretched pretty far from the entrance.  In a race email last week the director had said there would be parking for $4 at a local hospital that was within walking distance.  I’m not really sure where this $4 parking was, because for the 3 hours we planned on being there, we had to pay $9. Slightly ridiculous.

The weather was overcast and the wind was cool bordering on cold, and the walk from the car to the bib pick up was freezing.  Since we had arrived early there was no line for bib pick up and it went quickly.  After braving the wind again we dropped our stuff back at my car, since there was no official bag check (although, again, in the aforementioned email they said there would be a bag check).

At 10:45 we headed out to watch the kids start their run.  On the way out a fellow runner mentioned that the 1k was delayed, which meant our race was delayed as well.  There was no announcement to the people waiting inside the yacht club.

The kids’ run was probably the cutest thing I had seen in a long time.  It was awesome to see how excited they were, and the winner did the 1k in 4:00! Speedy kid!

They had us start lining up before the 1k was officially over so we had to keep moving backwards to let the kids cross the finish line.  There were no pace categories so we lined towards the back of the middle section.

At 11:15 they sounded the horn and we were off! I started my Nike Plus app on my iPhone and started grooving.  Jenni and I had decided to start out at a 6:45 pace for the first few km’s, then edge up to 6:30, then see how it went from there. The mistake we made at the 8k Toronto Women’s Run was that we started out WAY too fast and could not sustain that pace at all.  I’m happy to say that we kept our pace pretty consistent and even with walk breaks I managed to end with a 6:45/km pace.

The route was mostly flat, with a few mild rolling hills thrown in.  It wound through the parks along the waterfront, and the prettiest part was running along the boardwalk right on the beach by the lake. There was one water station at 2.5km.  Everyone ran the first 2.5km together, and after that it started to thin out as it was just us 10k’ers and the 10 milers.

We kept our pace pretty well where we wanted it, took walk breaks when we needed too, and made it to the 5k turn around faster than I have ever done a 5k before.  Around 7.5k I started to struggle a little (mostly mentally although my foot was really started to bother me by this point).  As I started to go a bit slower Jenni went on ahead, which we had discussed would be an option if I decided to be an idiot and not push myself.  At this point we were also running straight into the wind which was driving me crazy.

I pushed it through the last 2 km and crossed the finish line at 1:06:12!  Jenni finished with an awesome 1:04:05. We got our medals and headed inside – I had seen some people walking around with chocolate milk and wanted some desperately.  The race included free chili and beer but I just wanted chocolate milk – which I couldn’t find anywhere! After we had found our official times, we decided to skip out on the chili and beer and go find some cupcakes.  Perfect post race fuel (and yes, I got my chocolate milk).

All in all the race was a lot of fun, and I am super proud of my medal and my finishing time.  Means that my 2:10 half marathon might be in reach in March!

Scout was proud of the medal, too

Regardless, I’m super stoked for the Chilly Half in Burlington in March now!! That’s my next race and I cannot wait :)