Well the last race (for me) of 2013 is done and over with. As you read with my last post – I did in fact PB. I just missed my sub-26 A goal by two seconds, but that is ok by me. Rattle me Bones is quickly becoming one of my favorite Ottawa-area races for a number of reasons. This was my third year racing this event, having previously run the race in 2010 and 2012. As usual, the weather was cold and grey – but that is a Rattle me Bones tradition.
I picked up my race kit at the hospital on the Saturday. I was given a purple cotton shirt (YAY PURPLE) and a black tech long sleeved shirt with bones on it for my fundraising contribution. In the emails, it said free parking was available to pick up the kits, but when I arrived, the lot was closed for “maintenance”. So everyone illegally parked instead.
Because of the weather, I left P and Max at home because they were battling colds. I was pretty fine with that because I kind of wanted to just be on my own before the race and get into the running mood with some music. I changed up my music the night before. Some of the songs on my last were more for pre-race purposes though, like One by Metallica for example. Great music to get pumped up, but too slow for racing.
Since it was going to be a cold morning, I had to pull out my fall/winter gear. I have limited amounts of winter running gear – and it is evident that I need to go shopping because my leggings were very baggy and kind of falling down. Not good! I wore my black MEC tights, a black Old Navy Tech shirt, my running room jacket and my banana costume. I really did not want to wear the jacket, but I needed a place for my car keys. I did not wear my banana costume until just before the event. Many other people around the Ottawa Hospital had costumes on, but very little showed up at the 5K line in costume. I think everyone in costume was running the Zombie run!
I ate some oatmeal and had a tea before the race. The oatmeal really hit the spot. The Ottawa Hospital generously provides free parking for runners that is right next to the start lines, so I ate my breakfast in the car when I got there. At 30 minutes to go, I popped out of my car and went to the start area. Just like last year, there were only four portapotties available. It took me about 25 minutes to use the bathroom. Last year I was late for the race because of this issue – and many people in line were late for their 10K races. There are over 3000 runners in all the events, so 4 washrooms are really not enough. That is really the only criticism I have for the entire event!
After the washroom business was done, I went to the start line. This is when I realized that everyone was kind of staring at me because of my banana costume. The little kids around me kept looking at me and laughing (but in a good way). I’m glad I brought some giggles to everyone’s faces. At 9:10 we were off! As usual, it was super crowded at the beginning, so I took off to get out of the crowd as quickly as possible. Within about 300m or so, I was able to move around. I quickly found some people to chase. I set off at a good pace, feeling a bit cold in the feet, but otherwise ok.
KM 1 – 4:56
The original person I was running behind slowed down a bit, so I found someone else to run behind. Eventually I found one girl who was running at my pace and trailed her for the remainder of the race. I hit a couple of downhill portions in the 2nd KM and tried to keep the pace below 5:10. The race route was very well marked, and easy to follow, so no confusing turns or short course this time. The course was lined with pylons the entire way and every turn was manned by marshall’s and police officers.
KM 2 – 5:03
After the 2nd KM, it was time to do some turns. At this point we were going through another road system in the hospital grounds – and that meant speed bumps. Every speed bump felt like a hurdle in a 400m race. I give all credit to the Steeple Chase runners out there – no idea how you can run 2000/3000m and jump those crazy steeples! At this point I was starting to feel the legs give out a bit, but I continued on. Once we turned off of Valour, it was time for Alta Vista which is a bit of a hill, followed by a water station. I wish they would move the water station off this portion because it is very crowded, on a main raod and therefore does not much room to manoeuvre. By this time, I had broke away from the main pack and was with the faster runners, so it wasn’t too bad. I can only imagine what it was like when the 30:00 minute group came charging through.
KM 3 – 5:03 (This is the second time in a row my KM 2 and 3 have been the same)
After we went up Alta Vista, it was time to go up Smyth Road. There is more room here, so at this point I had all the room I needed. I looked up and realized that my bangs were all over the place. I seemed to have lost my headband in my banana costume! About 200m later, I felt the headband drop to the ground. I stopped and quickly turned around to pick it up. Maybe I should have left it there? Rather than putting it back on, I just wrapped it around my wrist and kept going. Smyth is also on a bit of an incline and I felt it. This is when I started to slow down significantly. I thought I was going to throw up at one point. Hills are definitely my downfall, as evident by my pace chart – this is something I have to work on next year!
KM 4 – 5:32 (meh)
The last KM has us running back onto hospital grounds. I felt pretty awful at this point, but knew I could PB if I just held the pace I was on. For the last 3 minutes or so, I dipped back into the 5:10ish pace as I ran towards the finish. I made sure to smile at the photographers this time too! For most of my 5K races, I “sprint” towards the finish – but this time, it wasn’t happening. I was so done. I hobbled over the finish lines and promptly found a nice curb to sit on.
KM 5 – 5:28
Time (Garmin) – 26:02
Time (Chip) – 26:14
Two seconds away from goal A! I shall call a ‘Goal A-‘ achieved! The chip time knocked off 25 seconds off my previous chip time PB of 26:39 from the MEC race. If you go by Gamin time, my previous PB was 26:22 set in the Ottawa Race Weekend 5K. I never know which one to use though – I usually like my official race ones to be the official PB time.
Overall – 277/1000
Female – 90/665
Age (30-39) – 14/110
Not bad, I say!
The food at the end of the race was so good! Chili, cookies, bagels, bananas, coffee, hot chocolate, tea and popcorn! The chili I had was so delicious. I sat on the ground eating my chili and then had a nice hot cup of coffee. The bagels looked like the good kind too. I really appreciate races with good food at the end! After I ate, I went back to the car and went home to join P, Max and some friends for victory breakfast.
In terms of the banana suit – it didn’t bother me too much. There were a number of times that the wind picked it up and I had to move it back – but since it was lightweight, I did not feel like I was carrying extra. At the end of the race, it started to get hot and as soon as I finished the race, I took the head part off my head. Maybe there was a bit of drag/parachute action happening, but I didn’t really notice anything different.
Needless to say, I am stoked that I PB’d my last race of the year. I had a good feeling that I would as long as something stupid did not happen on the course again. In the course of seven months, I have gone from 30:00 and over 5K times to almost sub 26 times. Next year, it is all about the sub-25. I have some work to do! Mainly hills, lots and lots of hills……
Thanks again for all the support for this race, both in donations and overall well-wishes. I received so many comments, text messages, and twitter mentions wishing me good luck. Even if some of those comments were “make sure you run the right way this time!” (Rich and Sasha, that means you can stop teasing me now, right?), it means quite a bit.
Thanks for reading!