Last year I ran the half marathon at the Run Ajax event and I really loved the race. The route was gorgeous and I immediately decided that I was going to do it again the next year! The fact that it’s so close to my house and easy to get to makes it a win all around! (This recap is a little different but I wholeheartedly recommend the Run Ajax events. Even if Ajax isn’t local for you–it’s worth the drive for the fantastic races they put on!)
When registration appeared this year it was announced that the half marathon was no more, but was instead replaced by a 15k race. I was definitely disappointed but also understand why they made the switch. The route would keep the best parts of the half route from the year before, yet I still didn’t sign up!
It wasn’t until last week that I had a moment of regret and wishing that I had signed up for one of the races. As I logged onto the website I saw that the 5k was sold out and that there was only 1 spot remaining for the 15k. I signed up as quickly as possible and then contacted my friend, Lisa, who I knew had a bib she wasn’t using! I asked her if I could buy her bib and then I asked both my girls if they wanted to run the race with me. Aimee and Chloe BOTH said they wanted to so I told them to fight it out and let me know who was going to run …. apparently, Chloe won that fight!
The day before the race I picked up our bibs and awesome long sleeve New Balance half zips. I loosely decided what to wear and Chloe set out her outfit. The race didn’t start until 10AM so we slept in and got ready. I had some water and coffee at home and gave Chloe some water. We left at 8:40 and stopped at Tim Hortons for some breakfast.
We drove to the Ajax waterfront, found a prime parking spot and sat in the car to eat and finish our bottles of water. For some reason, I couldn’t eat much. I had developed a cold last week and was coughing like crazy. The half a bagel I managed felt like a brick going down and I just kind of gave up on eating much.
We pinned our bibs on, grabbed our stuff and walked over to the race start where I ran into Maria! Maria’s mom was walking the 5k and it was so nice to see them there! The race start was much more crowded since it wasn’t right on Harwood anymore. The tents were a little squished and, honestly, I didn’t really look at what they were because there were just too many people everywhere!
It wasn’t long before we were lined up getting ready to run! Chloe was getting nervous and asked me many times if I thought she could do it! I told her that we were going to do it together and that the time didn’t matter. We crossed the start line and headed along the waterfront. It was a gorgeous day and the lake is my favourite place to run because of how beautiful the waterfront is!
We weren’t even to the 2km mark when Chloe started saying that she was really thirsty. (Throughout the race I learned that she hadn’t actually drunk any of the water I gave her that morning. Not one drop to drink on race morning. Lesson learned.) We walked through the first water station and drank some water, but shortly after I could tell that Chloe was dehydrated. She mentioned that she was feeling a little dizzy and she wasn’t really sweating even though it was definitely hot out there. We started taking longer walk breaks and when we got to the next water station I made her drink a cup of Nuun and a cup of water. I also poured water over her head.
I asked her if she was okay and she kept saying that she wanted to finish. She also asked if it was okay if we were really slow. “OF COURSE, IT IS!” I insisted.
We ran and walked our way past each kilometre sign. We cheered on other runners and thanked those who cheered for us. I forced Chloe to drink tons of Nuun and water and kept pouring water on her head which made her laugh every time! I told her how proud I was of her and asked her how many other kids she had seen out on the course (hint–I know there were only 4 people under age 19 in the 15k). She was doing something really tough and she was going to finish!
We finally passed the 14k sign and headed into the finish. We held hands and raised our arms as we crossed the finish line before giving each other a giant hug and collecting our medals!
I remarked to Anson later that I really have no idea how I felt during that race. I’m sure my legs felt something. I don’t know if I was tired or how fast I could’ve gone or even what my breathing was like. I ended up with a giant blister on my foot that I didn’t even notice forming during the run! It is really amazing to me how my focus shifted to how Chloe was feeling and making sure that she was okay in such a way that I had no idea what my own body was feeling like. As a mom, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I knew she wanted to finish but I also knew she wasn’t feeling that great. I paid very close attention to how she was and definitely would’ve quit the run if I felt like it was necessary. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and Chloe got to finish her longest race ever! (We also learned some valuable lessons…. Chloe learned the value of hydrating and I learned the importance of not assuming my kids are doing what I said! lol!)
I am so glad that I got to do this with Chloe. She thanked me later for running with her and it was the sweetest thing! Before the race, she talked about maybe training for a half marathon. After the race, she said, “I think I’m good, actually!” I’m betting that she’s going to change her mind and I hope that I get to be there when she crosses that finish line, too!