We were up bright and early to head into the city. Hubby was running the 5K and I was in the 10K. We'd dropped the twinners at their Uncle's house last night and it was a relief to not be frittering around with getting toddlers ready to go. By 6:15am, we were parked in Bridgeland and walking to the Starbucks, where we had arranged to meet up with my Saturday Runner Girls. They were all in the half so would be starting at 7, while my start time wasn't until 7:30. As we were waiting for everyone to arrive at the meeting place, that half an hour started to vanish and JS, C, and I knew we'd better hit the porta-potties for one last pre-race pitstop...with 20 mins to go - we found ourselves in a GIGANTIC lineup. OY! Suddenly this was starting to feel like last year all over again. By the time we got back to the rest of our group, J had shown up and went to line up. We quickly raced over to find her and snap a quick pre-race pic:
I headed to just past the start line to try to snap a pic of them as they headed out, but my camera was too pokey and completely missed them!
Then is was my turn to lineup. I peeled off my long sleeve shirt and opted to go in just armwarmers and a tank, since it was already feeling pretty warm in the sun. Ducking under the tape to seed myself, I made the decision to line up somewhere between the 1hr and 1:05 pace bunnies. My last 10K, I finished in 1:04 on icy paths after running 6K beforehand, so I figured I could probably come in comfortably around there again. Little could I predict how far I'd blow that time out of the water...
The horn went off and we were on our way. It was a crawling start and seemed to take eons before I crossed the mat and could actually get my run on.
We headed east and then turned north and then west almost immediately. Running along 1st ave, the course took us to Edmonton Trail and then westbound onto Memorial. After all of the times I have run out of downtown, it was kind of exciting to be running in such a large pack down a major road like Memorial! The route itself was nothing special - just a nice, flat out and back that I could kick some major butt on!
Just before Centre Street bridge, I took my first walk break (I was running 15:1). I was feeling good and feeling super fast at this point - I was almost at 3K already! I was just finding my stride again when I suddenly realized that I probably should have made one last potty stop before I lined up. DAMMIT! I just kept telling myself "when you see a porta-potty - just stop. If you don't PR, it's not the end of the world." Well, i saw those porta-potties just past the 3K mark...but they were on the other side of the course. I just had to hope there would be some on the side I was on when I reached the first water station. There weren't.
The turn around was at 14th street and then I was on my way back...still feeling fast. I knew I was in line for a PR...and it looked like it could be in the sub-1hr range. Something I NEVER thought I would ever achieve!
As I reached the 6.5K point, I saw Mr. L (JS's dad - he was running his first 10K) coming up in the opposite directon. I shouted out a cheer, but I don't think he heard me. He looked happy, though. Then I could see the porta-potties at the 7K mark. I HAD to stop or I was going to pee my pants. Not something I wanted to do. Fastest. Pitstop. Ever. In and out in under a minute and back on my way. My garmin was reading 41 mins at this point and I thought I still had a shot at sub-1hr.
Feeling much lighter, I barely felt the ground under my feet (though funnily enough, i felt every bit of weight my shoes had in them...likely a result of all that talk about racing flats at the clinic last week). I was zooming and I was so happy.
Around the corner onto Edmonton Trail and then it was suddenly the last kilometre...I was flying and I just wanted to kick it to the finish. Two more turns and I could see the finish line and I headed straight for it! Hubby was there to snap a pic of me quickly hamming for the camera
When I hit the mat and stopped my Garmin, the time read 59:29! SUB ONE HOUR!!! WOOOT! The Garmin had paused for a few seconds during my mid-race pitstop so I was tinking it was likely right on the hour mark! Gun time on the Winning Time website had me at 1:01:44.44, but I knew it had taken me well over a minute to cross the start line. Can't wait to see my chip time! Really, though, this is a PR by around 4 mins!
I carried on through the chute to claim my medal (and, bonus, didn't drool on this volunteer like I normally would)
The went to find hubby and relieve him of our stuff so he could line up for his 5K. While he waited for his race to start, I found a nice patch of grass to stretch on (yay me - being smart for once) and then I took photos of him starting out.
Then it was off to find my runner girls and run them in! I wandered back to first ave and waited. JS was aiming for 2:15 so I knew I would be close if they were going to make that time. At 2:20 post gun, I started to worry that something had gone wrong when I still hadn't seen them. Then, thinking of my own major PR - I began to wonder if they had already passed. It was right then that I saw JS and C coming up the road! But where was J? I snapped a pic of the two of them and joined them for a block.
J's hubby had had problems (he was running his first half) and she had fallen back to stay with him so we still had one more Runner girl to cheer in! when we reached the point where the 5K runners were joining back with the crowd, I broke off to wait for Cam and cheer him into the homestretch.
Within a minute of waiting, Mr. JS was coming in on the 5K so I started my cheering and snapped his pic!
|I was a bit early with the pic...he's the fourth one back...|
And a minute later, I saw Hubby on the killer hill at the end of the 5K and was ready to get my cheer on!!
|and early again...|
Then it was off to the finish line to try to meet up with everyone there. J had still not gotten in so we started to head out to meet her and run them in. We were just coming up to the start of the homestretch and suddenly they were there! I'm sure we distracted a couple seconds off of their finish time with our loud eruption of cheers! But J's grin was worth it :)
Now came the fun part of trying to keep our rather large group all together. In a crowd of well over 10,000 people (there were 9500 runners so I have to assume their families came out too), it was no easy feat to keep track of the 9 of us. But finally we were all together and snapping medal pics with our big sunny smiles:
Overall - such a fun morning. I am really happy I only did the 10K. I think I'll keep with this distance in future years. It felt great to be able to celebrate with everyone as they came in! :)
and then hubby and I went for a breakfast of champions :P