My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Canada Day 5k recap (2015)

on July 2, 2015

Yesterday, I ran in my local Canada Day 5k race. I did this race for the first time last year and I really liked it, so I decided to do it again.  

A few things I like about this race are: 

1) it’s a route I’m familiar with.  It takes place at a park not too far from my house.

2) it’s cheap. Entry fee is $10 on race day.

3) because it’s a local race, I know several people who run in it.

Last year for the race, it was hot and humid.  I ended up walking more of the course than I would have liked.  And I came close to throwing up in the last kilometre of the race.  I didn’t want a repeat of that.

I’d been watching the weather rather closely.  We were expecting cooler temps, which was great.  But there was also a possibility of rain/thunderstorms, which was not great.  The forecast changed a few times in the week before the race.  I was still going to run, but I really didn’t want to run in the rain.  The night before, the forecast said there was still a possibility, but it was low.  I kept my fingers crossed for no rain.

I was particularly excited for this race because I had just started my training plan for my half marathon.  I had been running quite a bit lately and was feeling pretty good.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling excited.  I showered, dressed, and had breakfast and coffee.  I made sure I had everything I needed for the race.  I did some light stretching to warm up my muscles.  Normally, I get pretty nervous before a race, but I didn’t really this time.  I was feeling good.

My husband dropped me off at the park and I got myself registered.  I often wait until race day to register for local races.  It’s usually not a problem since they are just small races.  It was cool and overcast.  It was also a bit windy since we were down by the water.  I chatted with volunteers and other runners who showed up early.  The park around us was preparing for Canada Day celebrations, so there was a lot of hustle and bustle going on.  Other runners began to trickle in, and I was hoping I’d see several I knew.  I saw Ulana, Stephanie, and Marie.  And then Meggan and Karen.  Karen didn’t think she was going to make it, but I was glad she did.  She said she was going to be slow, she just wasn’t feeling very fast.  Karen’s nickname is “Legs”, I don’t think she knows what slow is LOL.  More runners showed up. It looked like it was going to be a good race.  I saw several more I know by sight, but not by name. 

Finally it was time to line up.  Because I’m slow, I try to position myself near or at the back so I don’t get in the way of the faster runners.  Somehow this time, I ended up near the middle.  Not quite sure how, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.  I moved to the side so that it would be easier for others to get around me.  The race director gives a few last minute instructions and then we were off!

As I rounded the first corner, I could feel tightness in my calves, particularly the right one.  I guess I didn’t warm them up enough.  But I don’t let it stop me, I just pushed through it.  The majority of the crowd was far ahead of me, but I could still see most of them.  And there were a few that weren’t too far ahead.  I said hi to the volunteers that were directing the runners in the right direction and just kept moving.  The tightness in my calves was still there, but I was doing my best to ignore it.  I was hoping to not take walking breaks, if possible.

The course is fairly flat, with only a few small hills.  But it winds around the park so it has lots of twists and turns.  It makes for a nice run actually.  I saw a few birds and squirrels, as I usually do when running in that area.  Other people were walking and running in the park, so I said hi to them as they passed me going in the opposite direction.  

The park is divided by a road, so part of the route is on that road.  As I was rounded one corner, a shuttle bus was coming around the corner going the opposite way, so I had to pause for about 15-20 seconds to let it pass me.  Not a big deal.  As the bus went by, my friend Karen spotted me.  She had long finished the race and came to pace me the rest of the way.  She walked as I ran and we chatted.  It’s always nice to have company while running.  She did really well, breaking her own record by almost a minute.  I knew she would do well.  She always does.  

We had to go through a small area of the parking lot.  It had rained the day before, so there were mud puddles.  I did my best to avoid them without slowing down too much.  As I was the last runner, one of the volunteers on a bike followed me the rest of the race, eventually being joined by another.

There is one area where we go down a side path, turn around, and head back to the main path.  As I was heading down the path, a few runners were heading back to the main part.  We gave each other cheers as we passed.  Last year when I went down to path, I saw a turtle.  I didn’t see one this year.  After turning around, Karen and I headed back to the main path. But I quickly stopped and told Karen to stop.  Up ahead of us, in the middle of the path, was a snake!!  He had not been there previously!  I HATE snakes!  I don’t even go into the reptile area at the zoo! Thankfully, he moved quickly off the path and we continued.  As we rounded another corner, we saw Meggan walking to her car.  She said she was going to grab her phone and would join us in a minute.  She eventually caught up with us and walked as I continued to run towards the finish.  So I had Karen on one side and Meggan on the other pacing me to the finish.  And two volunteers on bikes following us.  It was pretty cool. 

As I neared the finish, I could see lots of people standing around.  When they saw me, they all started cheering.  I turned to Meggan and said, “that never gets old.”

I crossed the finish line with everyone cheering and shouting words of encouragement and congratulations.  That truly is one of my favourite parts about racing.

And with the exception of pausing for the bus and the snake, I ran the whole race.  I felt really good.  It was the best run AND best race I’d had recently.  I was so proud of myself!

According to my Nike running app, the race was 5.23k and I finished in 1:02:46. I’m more than happy with that!

What a great way to start out the day, a new month, and my training plan!!

And the rain held off until Karen and I were walking to her car.

How did you celebrate Canada Day? 

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