When I first heard about this race, I had every intention of signing up for the half marathon distance as a way to keep myself motivated for Scotiabank in October. As race day got closer, Michelle told me to just sign up for the 5k and I happily obeyed! The weather just kept getting hotter and more humid, so I was pretty excited to NOT be running 21km!
My sister in law, Hannah, was going to be in town and is trying to get back in to running so I convinced her to sign up as well! The cost was also really affordable compared to a lot of races out there!
On Friday, Cathy offered to pick up our race kits for us and I was more than happy to let her. Everything I heard about pickup was positive, but I was still glad to avoid Greektown traffic!
Michelle wrote me on Saturday with a race plan of starting around 5:35/km and speeding up to about 5:20/km by the turnaround (half way). She asked me to PLEASE not go out too fast. I agreed. I have really only paid attention to pacing recently. I did pretty good at Oakville 10k and Mississauga Half at holding back at the start and staying steady, so I really thought I would have no problem for a 5k. The goal was to get as close to 27 minutes which I thought was doable because I’ve run a little over 27 minutes on my own for 5k. (I held a secret goal of getting a time with 26 in front of it….)
I spent Tuesday-Thursday night in Montreal walking, biking, running and not eating anything healthy at all! I spent Saturday with an annoyed stomach, but I had some Pepto-Bismal and went to bed hoping that in the morning it would be okay.
Sunday morning I woke up relieved that my stomach felt better! Hannah and I got dressed, had some oatmeal and coffee and hit the road. We made it quickly thanks to the awesome lack of Sunday morning traffic and got the last parking spot in the closest Green P lot. I was pretty proud of myself for using the app to pay for parking while watching the line to pay get longer and longer. I even bragged to all of the runners in line when I left by holding my phone up and saying, “you gotta get the app, Guys!” (Later I realized that I had parked MY car in the lot–the app uses license plate numbers– instead of Hannah’s which we had driven. Thankfully we didn’t get a ticket, but next time I’ll be a little more cautious with my arrogance!! lol)
We walked to the waterfront and immediately saw Cathy & Erik with a whole lot of race bags! Cathy seriously gets a prize for all the kits she picked up! We chatted for awhile, got our bibs on, took mine off because I realized I had my shirt on inside out (had to do this twice cuz I put in on wrong again….it’s really hard to tell, I promise!), and then got in line for the porta potties!
The half marathon runners took off at 7:30, the 10k at 8:00 and then we lined up to start at 8:15. There were about 260 people doing the 5k so lining up at the start was easy! I walked right to about the third row of people and jumped in with Hannah! We snapped a pic & then hit the line!
I started my app before we hit the timing mat to make sure it was going and then we took off on the boardwalk! I knew I was going too fast when I saw a 4 in front of my pace. I don’t run paces that begin with a 4! I tried to slow down but couldn’t seem to figure out what I was doing. My legs felt good so I just kept going. I looked at my elapsed time when we hit the 1km sign on course and it said 4:52. I knew that that was ridiculously too fast for me, but actually had a moment where I wondered if I could hold that pace for the whole race (as if!!!).
My second km was slower but still faster than I usually run and then I started slowing down before the turn around. I hate turn arounds. Something about trying to go around orange cones makes me slow down majorly as I try to make the sharp turn. After the turn around I saw some friends as we ran by each other so I tried to wave and smile although I may have grimaced and scowled instead (sorry, guys!)!
Around 3km it suddenly felt really hard to run. We were running into the wind and although the breeze felt nice, I felt like I was working really hard but getting nowhere.
I also noticed that my app was showing a much longer distance that it should’ve. I do not know how to run the tangents properly ever and always seem to add at least an extra 300 metres to my races. (Mississauga was the only race I’ve done where I managed to run properly and I didn’t even try so I really don’t know how it’s done!!)
We hit the sign that said we had one km to go and I breathed a sigh of relief. I had planned to go all out for the last km cuz usually I can, but I guess since I went all out for my FIRST km my legs were done! Instead I just kept chugging along feeling like I was going fast but knowing I wasn’t!!
Once I hit the boardwalk it wasn’t long before I saw Anson & the kids up ahead! I was so excited to see them cheering for me and it was really cute to see J’s face light up when he realized it was me running by!
I told myself to sprint the whole boardwalk but that wasn’t happening! I think I sprinted the last 100m only instead! I got my medal and walked over to meet Anson & the kids. We waited by the side to cheer in Hannah and then went to get some water and snacks.
As we were walking over to the food tables I noticed they had already printed the results so I went to check mine. Final time was 28:12 (5:38 pace–really held onto that 4:52 pace for long eh?!!).
The food/drink tables were amazing. It is always a complaint of mine how hard it is to carry stuff after a race and this time there were bags with handles for us to use! We got Larabars, granola, Muscle Milk, juice boxes, water bottles, bananas, and morning rounds. I was really impressed!
We made our way to where Dave was doing the awards and I was surprised to realize that I had placed 4th in my age group. In case you wondered–4th place does not get an award!! Obviously I need to find more smaller races to do so I can someday get an award!! They then did some draws for different prizes & Hannah got a prize pack! We didn’t stick around for the other race awards because brunch was calling our names!
This race was one of my favourites. It isn’t during a month with the most ideal weather (it was hot!), but the organization, care behind it and course make up for that! I have nothing bad to say at all about how this race. Every volunteer was kind; the race director high fived me when I crossed the finish; and the water stations were on the ball! I hope this race grows even more next year because it’s a good one!
As far as my own race goes, I’ve had time to reflect on it now and I’m not too disappointed. I know I have a faster time in me, but I ran the worst way possible! Everyone knows that starting way too fast is less than ideal and I knew after I saw my time at the first km sign that I was in trouble. I still did better than I have before in a 5k (last year’s B&O 5k was my first ever in 29:07) and I gained some insight into how to improve. Now I just need to put my newfound wisdom into practice and get my pacing down!
Thanks to the Beaches Jazz Run for an amazing experience and to everyone who commented on my Instagram posts the day before and day of. Your comments and words are always so encouraging!