Happy Monday! Or rather ZzzzzMonday since I’m pretty tired from the weekend. Who schedules track practices early in the morning on a Monday? This person does!
Yesterday I ran in the 2015 Around the Bay 5K Race in Hamilton Ontario. The 30K race is the big draw for the morning, but the 5K race is just as fun, and still popular, with over 2700 people participating. I ran the same 5K last year and enjoyed it, so I signed up again. It was kind of strange to not be running in the 30K, as it seemed like everyone else was, but there were a few runners that I knew in the race.
The race expo was on Friday/Saturday with no race kit pickup on the Sunday. The expo is in the hall that surrounds the hockey arena that also serves as the finish line for the race. It gets rather crowded, but no more crowded than other race expos. I talked to people from the Canada Run Series and from Run Ottawa/Ottawa Marathon. I did get a sneak peek at this year’s TORW 2015 Marathon shirt and let me say, its a beauty! My race tshirt is the same as last year, a men’s small. So, it will go in the pile of shirts I will never wear outside pile that is sadly growing. I also received 3 cans of sunscreen, nice! The only thing that really bugged me on Saturday was my hip. I broke my own rule of “no hurdle drill demos on race week” and therefore my hip was very tight. I did all the stretches and rolling that I could do to try and make it better. I hoped that it wasn’t the same hip issue that I had in December when I couldn’t run more than 10 minutes before pain came.
On race morning, I left Mississauga really early to beat traffic. It definitely worked as I found parking really easily and was able to get into a washroom without any lines. I did see lots of runners on the way to Hamilton. I wanted to honk at all of them! I had my usual bagel and banana for breakfast. My stomach was off in the morning and I visited the bathroom a couple of times before the race. It happened last year too. I also got to finally meet Crystal and Cathy! I missed a few other Twitter friends, next time! Soon the 30K runners were off to their corrals.
The 5K race started 15 minutes after, but the 30K runners had to leave early, so we had 30 minutes of free time before having to head downstairs. The start was just outside the doors, so I went to the washroom, and did my dynamic stretches. I also left my bag with David from Run Ottawa who was watching all the Run Ottawa bags and offered to watch mine too. With 5 minutes to go, I went outside and lined up in the front of the pack. I did some strides to warm up/test the hip – everything was good to go. It was lots of fun to line up right in the front. I was about 3 lines of people deep in the line, and noticed I was behind Michelle, who is an amazing runner.
Soon enough the countdown was on and we were off. I ran at a good clip towards our turn onto the main street. I knew I was running fairly fast, at my 800’s speed, so as soon as I turned the corner and broke away from the main group of people, I slowed it down. I wasn’t crowded at all, but that fast group of runners were just off in the distance. I ran my first KM in 4:01, which is way too fast for me to keep up with, so I backed off and just stayed steady. I noticed when I looked at my watch that steady was around 5:00/km which is exactly where I wanted to be – so I stayed there.
The 2nd KM to the halfway point is slightly uphill and I struggled a bit here. I ran KM 2 in 5:04. But noticed the 2K sign was way in front of me, even though I hit the 1KM sign bang on (I think?).Every time I saw a time hover above 5:10 I would try and pick it up. Finally, I reached the halfway point and turned around. Once I started downhill again, it seemed a bit easier. To my disappointment, I noticed that the Grim Reaper had not shown up yet. As I was heading back to the finish, I noticed that he had just arrived in his “street clothes” with his Mini-Grim Reaper aka his son. Darn! He said that he would be there for the 5K next year, I guess he had other reaping business to attend to?
I kept trucking along and ran KM 3 in 5:05 and KM 4 in 5:08. Considering that I usually positive split bad (like from 5:00 to 5:30), this is definitely an improvement. I had a bit of a runny nose and it kept trickling into my throat. I almost gagged a couple of times. Luckily, I didn’t vomit. Once I hit the 1K to go point, I started to pick it up. Whenever I run a 5K, I forget how short a KM is and don’t pick it up til 400m to go. This time I kept going faster. Soon it was 800m to go, and then 600m to go. At this point, I noticed that my Garmin was WAY off. There were not many turns on the course, but I think (looking at my Garmin Connect map), that my watch picked up the GPS signal from a bit farther down the back end of the start. Therefore I actually hit 5K outside the arena. I did pause the Garmin at this point at 24:18 with my 5th KM in 4:57.
I went and turned into the arena and tried super hard to not trip down the steep driveway into the arena. Soon enough, I was on the finishing chute and running towards the clock that was getting super close to 25:00 minutes. I ran under the clock in 24:54, with a chip time of 24:52. A new PB! I finished in 201st place (out of 2700 runners), 45th Female and 7th in my category. Not bad!
After the race, the runners were given a bottle of water and some food. The food was exactly the same as last year: Rice Krispie Square, Apple Juice a random bread-object, a green(!!) banana and those awful Harvest Valley granola bars. We were also given a medal and our pictures were taken by Marathonfoto. I stretched out around the recovery area and the cutest kid asked if I was ok and if I needed an ice pack. Soon enough, I was off the floor and went upstairs to talk to David and then went to Starbucks for some much needed latte-action.
Around the Bay is a fun race! I’m very tempted to run the 30K next year. BUT, part of me is really liking the 5K and wanted to work more on that. I definitely recommend this race for anyone to travel to. ATB is a big destination race for sure! I am still very unsure what happened with my Garmin, but I know they can be random sometime with their distances. Even running at home, I will notice that my distances will be off from time to time. I know exactly where all the KM markings are for 1-8K on the river path, so sometimes I just ignore the beeps and look at my watch whenever I hit my KM landmarks. However I then have to run circles at my house to make sure the KM is even at the end (don’t say you don’t do this too). BUT I swear I hit the 1K sign right on the button, but we know I have issues with not paying attention during a race 😉 regardless, 24:52 is my first recorded sub-25 time and since I had Garmin troubles during Resolution Run and the course wasn’t certified, we never really knew what my exact time was. I think what I’m most proud of about the race is that my 5K splits were fairly consistent. Usually I go out way too fast and fade. Although I still went out crazy (for me) fast, the next 4K were all within 10 seconds of each other. Now it’s time to work on going sub-5:00 for each KM. Next up – Manotick Miler! I need to get those long runs in, stat!
Have a Great Monday!