My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Canada Day 5k recap

on July 1, 2014

So it’s July 1st – Canada Day.

And what’s the best way to celebrate the birth of the nation?

By doing a 5k race, of course!

Or at least that’s how I decided to spend the morning.

A couple of issues came up though.

First of all, I’ve only run twice in the last 2 months.  Twice.  So I knew that today’s run was gonna hurt a little more than usual.

Second, it’s July, which means it’s hot and humid.  I wasn’t worried about the heat.  I grew up in the heat.  It was the humidity that was going to give me issues.

And third, the race wasn’t starting until 10am.  They really should start summer races much earlier in the morning.

A few months ago, I bought a new water bottle for running.  It’s small, and has a strap that fits over my hand.  I bought it specifically for running in the summer.  I’ve tried running with a regular water bottle, and I sometimes find it awkward.  Not sure why.  Anyway, I thought this might be the solution.  I’ve run with it once, and I noticed the water got warm quickly.  So for today’s race, I decided to freeze it.  I was hoping that it would stay cold at least most of the race.  It didn’t.  It was so hot out that it melted quicker than I had hoped.  The water wasn’t hot, but wasn’t as cool as I would have liked.  Maybe I took it out of the freezer too soon this morning.

My friend Karen was racing today too, so she picked me up.  She’s done that several times. I really owe her for helping me all the time.  Anyway, we got to the park where the race was being held and got signed in.  She was preregistered.  I wasn’t, so I had to take care of that.  I also decided at the last minute to buy a t-shirt of the race.

One thing I’ve noticed is I get very nervous right before a race.  I get jittery and jumpy, sometimes I’m shaky.  I kind of hate pre-race jitters.  I pace around and second-guess myself.  I try doing things like stretching to get my mind off the jitters, but it doesn’t always work.

Finally it was time for the race to start.  There was a lot of people.  I mean a lot!  I think most signed up that morning, like me.

So we start running.  Now I’m a turtle-runner, which means I’m slow.  And with the heat and humidity, I felt like I was even slower.  But then I noticed, most everyone else seemed the same way.  It seemed to take longer for everyone to run way ahead of me.

The race was at a big park, along the water.  You’d think that would make it cooler, but today it didn’t.  There was a nice breeze, but it didn’t really help.  For a good part of the race, I was running into the wind.  Not fun.

I hadn’t run at this park since last summer.  I’d forgotten that the trail is not exactly flat.  It has a lot of little hills.  On a regular day, probably not a big deal.  Today they were a big deal.

I’m glad I had my running music.  It really helped keep me going when I wanted to stop.  And I wanted to stop a few times.  I felt slower than normal, but I kept going.  My only goal for the day was to cross the finish line.

Because we looped around the park, I occasionally caught sight of other runners.  I tried not to focus on them.

One bad part about today’s race is they didn’t have the route marked very well.  There was 2 spots where I wasn’t sure which way to go.  In the end, I made the right choice, but it would have been better if it was properly marked.

There’s a part of the route where we have to go down this path, turn around at the end, and come back.  As I neared that start of that path, I saw some of the runners and they were walking! I was still running, oh so slow.

As I got closer to the turn around point, I saw a big turtle on the path! I thought it was funny since I call myself a turtle-runner.  As I got closer to it, I looked down and said to the turtle “come on, turtle, let’s go, you and me!”  He just went into his shell until I passed him.

I got to the turn around point and stopped a minute to breathe.  I was feeling a little light headed and thought I might throw up.  I started out again, but after a minute or two, had to stop again, so I decided to walk a bit.  I was well past the halfway point of the race.  I only had a little more than 1km left to go.

As I was nearing the main path again, my friend Karen was heading back to me.  She’s done this before.  She finishes the race and then comes back to help me finish.   And she brought me water!  She was telling me how just about everyone else walked part of the race too, even her!  I didn’t feel bad about having to walk some after that.

We talked and walked.  I could feel a blister forming on the bottom of my left foot.  Damn it, I hate blisters!  I wish I knew a way to run without getting them.

Anyway, as we got closer to the end, we decided to run again so I could cross the finish line running.

Just before the finish line, some ladies I had talked to before the race started saw me coming and lined the path to cheer me on.  I always love that.  I love getting encourage from others.

And as I planned, I crossed the finish line listening to the theme from Rocky.  Best way to end a race 🙂

Then I walked over to a shady spot in the grass under a big tree, and sort of collapsed there for a bit.  Karen brought me over a small chocolate milk and some cookies.  She asked if I was okay, I said I was.  After laying there a bit, I got up and we headed home.  The walk to the car seemed so much longer than it did when we arrived.

I went home, took a cold shower and basked in the glory of my air conditioner.

My goal for today was to cross the finish line, no matter how long it took.

And I did it.

It was hard.

It hurt. A lot.

But I did it.

And I’m extremely proud of myself for that.

Today was a great day.


Next race is July 27th.

Oh boy.


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