Can you hear that folks? That's the sound of me sighing in relief.
After a handful of bad, no good races, I was graced with a good one!
Except for the fact that I JUST decided to look up the race results online. Now I feel like shite again. meh. I'm not a fast runner though I wish I was. It always pisses me off when I check my results and I'm in the bottom quarter for my age group, gender and overall placement. I'm always in the bottom quarter. It doesn't seem to matter if I run a good race (in my mind) or a bad one. I always end up in the same place. I really do wish I was faster. I FEEL like a faster better runner, does that count?!
Back to the good parts. The weather was PERFECT! It was chilly to start which was good. I used my 99cents mens socks with the toes cut out as ghetto arm warmers. It was blue skies the entire time. The temperature never really got that hot and although I did sweat, I wasn't totally drenched like I usually am. It was fresh and bright and crisp. The route took us through the country roads and vineyards of the Niagara area and back into town. There were a few bastard hills at the start and subsequently the finish but thanks to my close relationship with this hill, I barely had any problems getting up it. That and the fact that it was just past the 2k mark. ha.
I was really happy when Celine said she'd find me on the route after her bike ride. And she did, multiple times. Actually, I was coming down this nice long straight road and at the end of this road I spotted her green jacket. I also spotted the tippy top of a port-a-potty behind the grape vines. Us runners recognize that white plastic top. So I really felt blessed because it was getting on about 10km in and I was just starting to cramp. Cramp in the pants lol. Then I saw Celine. I was following the group because we were all turning right, I waved at Celine and said something. Next thing I know, the glorious blue port-a-potty was vanishing in the distance behind me. But this was a small portion where the route backtracks on itself. I'll pass it again! Oh but I didn't realize this out'n back was about 3km. I made it - just barely!
I used a Port-a-potty!! and not the bush!! It was the only port-a-potty on the entire 21km route. I felt like a superstar! Maybe because I was suddenly lighter? I was a little annoyed though - I was feeling really good and just did NOT want to stop and waste time. In retrospect, I was going to "GO" somewhere whether a port-a-potty or a bush or my shorts. I was hurtin' (in my pants). Ah.. and Celine was there as I rushed up all antsy asking "Can we use that!?" (I can never tell if the port-a-potties are for us or not)
She stayed with me for the next few km. Then her fearless leader running coach came and pedalled along with her and we had a good long conversation. Man, what a difference it makes knowing someone during a race, and being able to have a conversation! It's entertaining and fun! Mr.Fearless holds nothing back and was quick to point out my running form problems. It was quite refreshing because as a runner, how do we ever really know if we're doing something wrong that we can change? He immediately pointed at the bottle in my hand and said it's throwing my whole balance and gait off. I guess I already knew that but I was glad to hear a professional tell me so. Sigh. I hate fuel belts though.
They left to get on with their day and I was so grateful for the company for a change. It didn't feel like a half marathon at that point. I had 5km left to go. The rest was rather uneventful.
Blood sugars continue to be a royal stick in my side. They were quite high going into the race, stayed high during the race, crashed hard an hour after the race and then skyrocketted later in the day. I can't say I have a handle AT ALL on my numbers and I feel totally out of control. I'm all over the place. I'm glad they didn't wreck the race by going super high or super low but I used to have this whole system and it worked really fucking well. Now.. it feels like I'm playing the guessing game every day, all day again.
So, overall I had a really good time. Don't get mad at me for saying this but at this point in my marathon training, 21km is peanuts. Weekend long runs have averaged 30km over the past month and now THAT is my new comfort level. In a way, I feel like I should have pushed myself more. I feel like I didn't demand enough out of my body knowing that 21km would not feel like much to me at this point.
Then again, I had a good time. I had fun, and I smiled. That's worth it to me.
The best part?
Free grape flavoured ice cream after "the grapes" run. It was SO bolus worthy as a post-race treat!
I'm going to run this race every year from now on. LOVED it!