So this week’s new thing was running an evening race – which in the winter means a race in the dark! (oooo scary!). The race I decided to run was the Running Room-Brita Resolution Run, the Port Credit (Mississauga) edition. The Resolution Run happens from Dec. 30-31st (date and time varies) in several different cities across North America. I learned about the run from my co-workers and tried to sign up for the Ottawa edition. Alas, it sold out way in advance. So after hammering out our Christmas plans, I signed up to run with the Port Credit Running Room crew on Dec. 31st, at 5pm. 5pm pretty much means darkness around here at this time of year.
The race varies in size, some are smaller than others. The Ottawa race had a 5K and 10K option so therefore was a tad bit bigger than the Port Credit edition only had a 5K option. The Ottawa race started at 6:45pm, while the Port Credit one was 5pm. One super cool part – in lieu of a medal or t-shirt: everyone gets the uber special, Resolution Run Jacket! The jacket is worth more than the price of the race, so I was a bit excited to get the jacket! It is a proper running jacket, with fleece, breathable material, and reflectors.
So – back to the running in the dark. I never, NEVER run in the dark. It makes me feel uneasy so therefore I end my runs before it gets too dark out. If I was to run in the dark, I would get P to run with me or bike beside me. But I never bike by myself in the dark. So running a race in the dark would be a totally new experience! Another consideration about the dark was my eye sight. I normally wear my contacts racing, and my eyes are really not accustomed to contacts, so I find that when I do wear contacts my night vision sucks. However, having snowflakes wet your glasses sucks a lot more, so contacts were worn!
So here is the official race re-cap:
Race kit pick-up
Race kit pick-up was at the Port Credit Running Room. I literally ran in, and by the time P and Max had the car turned around in the parking lot, I was out. The kit had a bib, the Resolution Run jacket, and some flyers. Nothing too special. I neglected to look around at the Running Room for running products, which was probably a good thing – but I forgot that I needed some running gloves (more on this later).
The race started at the Port Credit Lighthouse. For those who don’t know me in real life – I went to high school in Port Credit! So it was nice to do a race in my former ‘hood. The race started in the parking lot. Speaking of parking lot – another great thing was that there was plenty of free parking, what a change from my Ottawa races!!) There were only about 150-200 of us, so it was very intimate and not as hectic as the big running events where you need to line up 15 minutes before. We all just hung around and chatted while we waited for 5pm. Nothing too special about this race in terms of the venue – no banners, loud music or dancing mascots: just people ready for a little evening run!
The race started at the lighthouse and was a standard out and back route. The route took us up a small pedestrian bridge, on paths and on small side streets. There were no police people or barricades or anything like that. On points that we needed to make a turn, there was someone there to guide us. There was no water stop on this race either. However, I didn’t really feel the need for water for this race as it was (obviously) not hot out.
So I sat and chatted with my parents and P – took a couple of pictures and entertained Max. At first we were just at the Running Room parking lotWe talked to a few people at the start – everyone was super nice (which I am finding a common trend with Running Room runners). I had a massive Garmin Fail and was sans GPS watch for this race. I am pretty sure that when I get home, my Garmin dashboard will say that I ran a world-record race from Ottawa-wherever the Garmin died (stupid me). Note to self – put a damn lock on the Garmin! I didn’t really know the time, but I guess we started on time? When we were about to start, everyone started doing a 10,9,8 countdown and we were off!
We ran through the parking lot and all of a sudden: BOTTLE NECK. We all crowded the bridge and soon everyone was walking. I walked the entire bridge and part of the path as I just couldn’t break out of the crowd. It wasn’t until I got on the first side street that I finally started running (about 300m or so). Even though this was an out and back course, there were lots of turns! With every turn there was slush and ice, so I had to be very careful when taking a turn. As I ran up the street, I passed quite a few people. The nice thing about running a small race is that you usually have a single file line of runners and no one is cutting you off and you don’t have to randomly run around people who are walking in a giant group.
As I stepped on to the next set of paths, my feet felt really cold. I wore my warm socks, but I guess with all the mesh in my running shoes – my feetsies got a little chilly. In terms of running wear, I wore a pair of long johns, skin tight racing pants, my reebok tech long-sleeved shirt, a fleece MEC sweater (breathable), my Resolution Run jacket and a hat and gloves. I felt toasty warm everywhere else, but my feet. After the path, we headed into a residential area. Again – because this was a smaller race, there were cars driving beside us – a bit different!
I turned down the last street before the turn-around and finally my feet were warmer. However, I could definitely feel the lack of recent running in my legs. They felt super heavy! Since I was Garmin-less, I had zero clue on how fast I was going. I knew that I had 34 minutes of music on my 5K running playlist and that was about it. I turned at the turn around point and headed back to the start.
The second half seemed faster, but I felt more slow, if that makes any sense at all. Although I was passing people for the first part, a few people passed by me on the way back – oh well! The second half was more lonely too. I was in my own little bubble. For many of my Ottawa races, I am either with P, friends or I recognize people who are common at the Ottawa races. At this race, I knew no one. By the time I got to the turn around, we had all spread out. Judging by the size of the crowd that I passed, I believed that I was in the top half though!
As I go to the path by Lake Ontario, the wind hit me. Oh my, did that wind suck! It slowed me right down. Major Kudos to the Toronto Running Room runners who battled the wind in much cooler temps the day before. I turned up my music and kept going. I went up the side street, and around the Snug Harbour restaurant and headed to the finish. As I got to the finish, I saw my Dad and the dog, but no P, Max or my Mom. I crossed the line at 30:32, which is a very respectable time considering the crappy start, and the fact that I barely ran at all this month. After I got back to my Dad, I saw P and my Mom walking back from the Starbucks…….To be fair, I did say “I will be 30 minutes” 🙂
Overall this race felt ok. I wasn’t super prepared to go fast, but I did an average pace. I wasn’t really winded or tired after the race. I also never really got fully ‘into the zone’. I wasn’t taking it easy (when I can run and talk), but I wasn’t huffing and puffing either. I probably did do a sub-30, but with a lack of chip-time, and that I was kind of in the middle-back of the pack at the start, I have no idea. I also think that I could be a 30 minute pace bunny one of these days! Also – considering that I wasn’t ‘in the zone’, I feel that a PB is definitely in the works for this season!
So – if you are the running type – check out the 2013 Resolution Run next winter. There are many different races all across the US and Canada – and you get a jacket! This isn’t a ‘big race’ but in some terms it is!