Sunday, April 4, 2010

Harry's Spring Run Off 5K Race Recap

I could NOT have asked for a better day to have my First Race. The Sun was out  and they were calling for a high of 25C!! 
Harry's Spring Run Off took place at Hight Park, which is situated in the west end of our beautiful city that is Toronto. It is a beautiful oasis in the city and VERY HILLY, just ask my my Quadriceps today!! They are not loving me.

I actually managed to get a good 7hrs of sleep, the trick was not to think about it... after all it was just another 5k run, no big deal. 

I decided that I was going to keep breakfast simple ; Oatmeal with 1/2 Banana and a handful of frozen Mango pieces and a Cup of Green tea. I passed on my regular cup of Coffee, simply because it sometimes tends to give me an upset tummy and as much as I LOVE it I think it was going to do more good the harm.  Breakfast was at 8am and the race was only at 11:15am, the Oatmeal held me up way past the race and no tummy issues. I think that this was a great combo and will certainly carry this forward to my next race day breakfast.

I was fairly relax and trying no to stress about the race.  
As we were leaving the house, my sister called to inform me that she was at the Park and totally forgot to bring me her fuel belt but was willing to run home and get it.  No Fuel Belt, it's not the end of the world... Looking back I didn't need it at all, there were water stations along the way and I managed just fine without it. I also drank some Coconut water in the morning before the race which kept me hydrated.

Me and my lovely sister and her bunny ears!!

At 9:45am we finally arrive at the Park and I made my way to the ChampionChip Booth to pick up my Chip. The Time Chip was on a lovely Velcro band which you had to wear on your Ankle, this little device gets you an official race result.

Lovely... I was worried that it was going to bother me while running, but I'm happy to say I didn't even notice it was there. 

We did get there 1 1/2 before the race, which I didn't mind. It gave me a chance to get used to the atmosphere and check out the competition (just kidding). We also got to see the 8k runners, which the race had started at 10am... the winner of that race came in @ 23:58:9 min, CRAZY TIME!! 

At around 10:30am I decided it was time to hit the Port-a-Potty ....

This look says it all ... 

After this ... it was time to warm up and do some stretches and make my way to the Corals. On the way to the corals I ran into some more Pot-a-potty's and decided to hit it up one more time... just to make sure I got it all out. 
Said goodbye to the family, told then to look out for me at around the 40-45min mark and headed out on my own... 

When I signed up for the race back in February I ended up picking the last coral with the finishing time of 36min+ which also includes walkers and people with jogging strollers. 
I felt comfortable with this time, since I was expecting to finish around 45minutes.  But I didn't take inconsideration that I would have to run around walkers and strollers. 
I decided to position myself at the front of the coral so I could be with mostly runners. This worked out great, however I still had to run around people.

Standing there by myself was when I started to 'freak out'. There were runners all around me, mostly with their friends, not many lonely runners like me. I almost had tears in my eyes... tears of fear/happiness... it's hard to explain. A year ago I would have NEVER pictured me here in this place. I've never been one to take risks, to go out and do something by myself, to challenge myself like this. It was a strange place to be, strange but good. 

At 11:15am the race gun went off and slowly we started walking towards the starting line, I hit play on my ipod Shuffle ... I would say it took me about 2minutes to finally get to the starting line.  Once at the starting line I hit the start button my Garmin and off I went. I tried to remember what my pace I usually run at on the treadmill, I didn't want to run too fast and then end up struggling at the end. Listening to the music certainly helped me find my pace, I did find that I was running a little fast but was comfortable with it. 
The 1st km when by really fast and I was SUPER Parched, all I could think about was water... my mouth was SOOOOOO dry. Thinking back now I don't think I was thirsty, it was more my nerves getting the best of me. At the 1km mark the first water station, I quickly figured out where to position myself, the fist table was Gatorade (pass) and the second water. Funny the things you learn from blogs ... Pinch the Cup and Drink!! Worked like a charm!! 
I checked Garmin and realized that I was running way too quick (for me), but I was feeling good and pain free.  Down the Hill and around the Pond and back into the Park where they had another water station which I took advantage of. My legs were feeling great, still pain free!! 
The next km's went by really quick and when I checked the Garmin I could not believe how close the finish line was and HOW quick my pace was compared to what I usually run at.
I had told myself that I would need to run for at least 30minutes before taking a 1min walking break... which happened shortly after the 4k mark and before the BIG HILL to the finish line! Let me thank the organizers of this event for placing a finish line at the Top of a hill, THANKS that was really great!! 
At this point there were a lot of runners taking walking breaks, which made me feel better about taking one. I probably walked up half the hill. Once I saw the people cheering and knew that the finish line was right there I started to run again and quickly picked up my pace and started to sprint. 
I was worried that my Family would not be at the finish line, I told them I would be about 40-45mintues and I was 5minutes early... what if they missed it??
When I hit the top of the hill I started to look around for them and then I saw them just before the finish line... I honestly wanted to cry!! BUT then I saw the timer and I really wanted to cry. WOW, are you serious?? Amazing!! I was so Happy and in disbelieve with my time and how well the race went.  

I threw my hands up in the air as I ran across the finish line, really hope I get a good Race photo!! 

Me and my First Medal 
Chip time: 34:17.8
Overall: 1100/1633
Females: 485/853
F35-39: 64/110

I'm extremely happy with my result, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first Race experience!! 

Everyone got medals, Caps and a nice Long-sleved Tech Shirt. Overall it was an Amazing experience and I can't wait to do it all again next year, perhaps the 8k. 
I absolutely recommend this race. 

I did treat myself to an amazing celebration lunch...

I wore my medal the rest of the day ... yes even grocery shopping!! I'm even thinking that I might wear it to work tomorrow, along with the Tech Shirt... mmm maybe not, they already think I'm a bit crazy. 

Sorry this post got REALLY LONG... But it's my first Race Recap. 
What's the moral of this story, well If I can run a 5k Race ANYONE can run a 5k, trust me!!
I highly recommend it!! 

What's next you ask? I'll have to finish my 10k walk/run program and I have a 10k Race on May 2nd!! 
Thanks for all your support and hope you had a great Easter!!  


ajh said...

Great race report. I love the cap and the shirt. How cute that they match. Was it an expensive race? You look so happy it is great!

Claudia said...

Thanks ajh!!
I registered late so the cost was $57 Canadian Dollar, I think if you registered before a certain date it was only $47Canadian Dollar.
The Cap and shirt are both of good quality and totally worth it.

Lex said...

AWESOME work, girl!! For real, this was such a great recap!
I will be doing my first 5k RACE this May (walked/shuffled 2 before) so I'm super thrilled to read your experience! I'm sure I'll read it again next month!

And can I just say how CUTE you are in your outfit!

Way to rock it!!

Anonymous said...

Aww, what a wonderful race recap. Congrats girly, you did amazing!! I loved hearing all about your morning and the course, made me feel like I was there. You must be incrediably proud of yourself!!! :)

Erica Sara said...

Awesome! I'm so happy for you!!!

marie said...

:) Way to go!

Marlene said...

Hi Claudia! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Always great to find another local runner/blogger! I just became a followr.

Congrats on your first race!! Wasn't it great? The hills were brutal and the heat killed me, but still a fun event with excellent swag!

Anonymous said...

YAY!!!! Congrats on your first race and you rocked it! Something about an actual race that always gets me going, I always run faster than normal. Your recap was great to read and I am so excited for you!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Sis on your fist race! As I saw you line up at the start and cross that starting gate, I welled up with tears of joy. I'm so very proud and excited for you.

You go! I'll be there again in a month for your next one... hopefully I'll take better pictures this time.


Hi! I just found your blog. Congrats on your first race! Love the outfit!