This was the first time that I ran any part of the Around the Bay (ATB) course. As mentioned previously, I was doing the first part of the relay with Eric. We each ran 15km. I got the first and flat part... (the 'easy' part...) he got the hills...the Grim Reaper... and the glory of running across the FINISH line...
I had FUN! I can honestly say that the first 12km flew by as I trundled along, casually glancing at my heart rate every now and then to make sure I was within my race plan for effort and also adhering very strictly to the nutrition plan I had set out for the event. This has never happened before! I wasn't hungry, or dehydrated, or weak or shaky... and had no headache during or afterwards! WOO HOO!!! Hmm... note to self: PLAN AHEAD (race plan and nutrition plan) - IT REALLY WORKS!
Not to mention, at NO point in my 15km run did any part of me feel 'broken' or in agonizing pain... my lungs did not threaten to explode... and I did not once utter my former mantra, 'This is stupid...this is stupid...'. Hmm... note to self: CONSISTENCY IN TRAINING PAYS OFF!
At one point somewhere between the 12km potty break and the finish of my 15km leg, I looked down, freaking out that I was 'late' to meet Eric at the exchange point and all because I 'had' to stop for a potty break... (I was positive it was past 2 hours at that point...) and saw 1:41 on my watch...I was actually EARLIER than I thought! Me? Run faster than I thought I could?? Oh yeah!! What a nice surprise!
The crowd support was really great! People came out onto their front porches (some still in bathrobes) with bells, clappers, pots and spoons (the little ones got into it too!), so I continued on, waving at children... singing along with my playlist...and oh joy of joys - there were dogs to hug and pet!
For once, I did not stop for EVERY single dog that I saw on course but I still managed to call out to them and only stop when I had to reign in my run pace a couple of times. The rest of the time, I managed to time my walk breaks perfectly so that I could cuddle the dogs of Hamilton :)
Following that, I waited for Eric to cross and then we went out for brunch. I think I ate everything in sight! There was nothing left of my 'snack bag' after the race and although I was positive I could not eat all of my omelette, hash browns and toast I managed to finish that too! LOL!
My final finish time (depending on source...) was likely somewhere between the GUN time: 1:53 (7:19/km pace) and GARMIN time: 1:48 (6:59/km pace). Either way, it was a solid effort, consistent and right on track. I could not be happier! This should set me up for a comfortable finish at the Mississauga Half Marathon on May 16th.
Next year I plan on training to finish the entire 30k distance of the race. I mean, how hard could it be, right??? (stop laughing... I know it will be HARD)...
Tonight, I will welcome new and returning yoga students to my Spring Session - Yoga for Athletes program - more than a couple of us ran yesterday - some did the entire 30k... I think we will enjoy a Long, Slow and Deep stretch tonight ;)