Sunday, May 27, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Jugo Juice 10K

It's taken me a few hours to process this race.   I am hoping that writing the race recap will help me put it into better perspective.

My day started at freaking early.  I got up and had myself a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and quince jelly and a big bottle of Nuun.

I was parking at JS's house so I had to get there early so we could walk to the grounds.  I left the house at 5am and arrived there by a quarter to 6.  At 6:01, we were out the door...

We got there with plenty of time to hit the potties and get JS to the start for the Half Marathon.  By then, S (my Tuesday night running buddy) and her daughter had met up with me too.  We headed off in search of another potty stop AND my other running buddies.

Found them:

Mayor Nenshi had been at the event to give a pep talk to the half and full marathoners and our little group accosted him after he left the stage for a photo op.  He was impressed by our teams dedication to Team in Training and told us about a friend of his in Toronto who had run 5 events for TNT.   I may not live in Calgary, but I do really like Nenshi.  He is a great and engaged Mayor.  He lends a certain youthful energy to the city and he makes a point of being EVERYWHERE!  I love that.  In my 16 years in the Calgary area - he is the first to actually make the effort.

Then we all headed to the start line.  Funny story - it was only 5 mins or so to star and we were amongst the only people lined up...then the announcer said "Oops - I was wrong...the lineup needs to be on the other side of the arch for the 10k"

So everyone flooded over to our side.   It wrought havoc with the order of the pace bunnies and everyone was crowded right together.

I had intended to track my run using the mywhereabouts app, so I started it as the gun went off and put it into my hydration belt pouch.  I didn't realize it until after the race, but I'd paused it at some point - so my run didn't track at all.  Guess I'd better practice before I use it again...

 So, my intention was to line up with the 55 min pace bunny.   Since the bunnies were all clustered together - I was right with the 45 min, 55 min and 1 hr bunnies.   Worst case scenario - I wanted to stay between the 55 min and 1hr bunny.  It was a solid plan and some internet research told me I should be able to do that kind of pace.

I couldn't have been more wrong...or rather - those bunny ears couldn't have been more wrongly labelled.  The 55min bunny was actually "Matching the speed of light" bunny and the 1hr was "Energizer" bunny.

As we left the start line - I was feeling it was a bit speedy with the 55 min bunny.   I was running just over a 5 min pace and he was losing me. Then the 1hr bunny blew past me.   My plan was out the window and I was on my own. 

The race course ran out of the south entrance of the Stampede Grounds and then to the left.  Through Ramsey.   At around 3k, the 1hr pace bunny had decided he was going the wrong pace and had backed off a bit.  I sidled up to him and said "Hello there, new friend" and he asked if I was going to stay with him for a bit.  Then we passed a water station and I lost him.  Then he blew past me again a few mins later.  Did he not get the memo that he was a PACE BUNNY?!?!?!   I was so disappointed in the pace bunnies and I heard so many horrible stories from other people after the race.   

So - I was back on my own.  and, despite the cold morning, I was burning up.  and cramping.  BUT this race, my research paid off.  I was able to manage the cramping by breathing out HARD when the foot on the opposite side hit the ground.  Seemed to work.  Still there but not debilitating.  I also had another oddity I was battling.  My fingers were falling asleep.  Toes too.  I felt like I had no circulation in my hands.  It was freaking me out and I was constantly shaking my hands to try to wake them up.

I ran across the overpass over Memorial and down St. Georges into Bridgeland.   I looked down at my watch as I passed the 5k point and saw I had finally broken 30 mins in the 5k...28 mins and change.  FINALLY..though not in a 5k race...I just wish I'd felt good.

As I ran along First Ave, I was tired and seriously in need of a pick-me-up.  That was when I saw Mr. JS!  He was out to cheer on his wife and was holding a sign to cheer everyone on.  When he saw me - he flipped the sign around - it said "Free High Fives!"   I sped up and lept up to slap his hand and yelled my thanks and let the inspiration of my cheerleader carry me for a ways.

Turning onto Edmonton Trail and then back over the river.   My next pick me up was in the East Village where the Lululemon cheer squad was out in full a cheer leader robot!  I can't even make this shit up.   I passed it pretty fast, but it looked like a robot from SAIT and it was waving pom poms.  Awesomesauce!

Then it was into the home stretch.   A couple of hills later I was really exhausted.  It made the finish line seem so far away.  Onto 9th ave then toward Inglewood and back toward the Stampede Grounds again.  When I saw the 9K sign, I was really drooping.  But I could make or break my goal of sub-1hr.  It was going to be close.

It was time for a pep talk.  "Self," I said "It's time to do this thing.   Your feet know the way.  Stop looking at your watch and just get it done"

My Garmin said "54:00" at that time.  It was the last time I looked at it until I crossed the finish line.

As I ran behind the Saddledome and then across the grounds, all I could think was how hard this was.  I was tapped out.  Likely the result of having breakfast too early and not topping up with a gel before the race.   The wall was pushing me back with every step.   But I pushed back.  As I entered the grandstand - I was coming around the corner when I heard my coaches voice.  REALLY.  Sheena was there and was yelling with all her might (whatta way to spend your birthday).  Then I realized she was screaming at me:


Because I trust that coach of mine - I did it.  My arms started to pump like crazy int he finish chute.  I was picking people off one by one.  Then I crossed the finish line and hit stop on the Garmin.   and felt like I was going to throw up. I was so nauseous.

My Garmin said this:

25 seconds slower than last year.  I was crushed...but was still going to hold out until the official results were in before I let myself be too disappointed.

I collected my medal and then carried on through the chute...which was too narrow for the number of people coming in.  Congestion city!   But I made it through and climbed into the grandstand.

I had a finish line angel to find. 

Shenna's words had helped me finish ALOT stronger than I would have.  I had to say my thanks.

And while I was with her - I got to also see Anna and April and Mary and Fay cross the line!!!  So awesome to cheer friends in!

Best. Coach. Ever.  Two years later, she's still cheering me on!

After many hugs and happy birthdays (her birthday goal was to lose her voice cheering - I wonder if she succeeded) - I headed into the stands to wait for JS to cross the line.   It didn't take me long to find Mr. L (JS's dad) so I chatted with him while we waited for our girl to come in.

JS was running her first solo half and was aiming to beat her PB of 2:07 that she'd set years ago.  Beating this had eluded her since then and she was determined to do it this day.  When we finally saw her, I looked at my watch and was so elated for her!  I figured 2:01.  Her Garmin said 2:03.  So proud of my runner girl.

So proud of all of  my runner buddies today!  Watching peoples updates on twitter has been awesome!  And knowing so many people in real life who finished today - it was just awesome!

 Once JS was in - we HAD to go pancake hunting.  I was still feeling a bit queasy and I was really cold.  REALLY COLD!  Made me mad at myself that I had made a last minute decision to not check a bag.

Luckily - the pancakes were in vast quantities and were pretty easy to catch.

Showing off our bling. I swear - these style of medals always make me feel like I won the olympics. 

And the Garmin Geekery:

Official Chip Time: 1:00:27 same as the Garmin. Boo.

The Good:
  • Sub 30 min 5K - even if it wasn't in a 5k race.  I know I am capable.
  • JS's MAJOR PB!  So fun to live vicariously.  I am just so happy she got it!   
  • Meeting Mayor Nenshi
  • Still having a really decent time
  • Controlling my cramping
  • High fives and screaming
  • No knee pain at all...not even a whisper of it
  • Finishing in front of the Stampede Grandstand - very cool
  • GIGANTIC medals

The Bad:
  • No PB for me :(  25 seconds shy sucks worse than 4 minutes shy
  • Cramping and nausea and sleeping fingers
  • Really bad pace bunnies.  I went across the start line at the same time as the 1 hour pace bunny - yet he finished long before me.  I think maybe he didn't know his job.  AT ALL.  It appears few of them did.
  •  The cold.   So, so cold.
I've been beating myself up for a few hours - despite half of the twitterverse telling me that it was still a speedy time.  I just really wanted to PB at one of my May races and this was my last chance.   Now I need to rethink my race plans for the rest of the year so I can try to reach some time goals this year.


  1. You did do great! Funny you say that about your hands and feet falling asleep. My hands were asleep for what felt like 10 minutes!

    1. So odd. It must have been the cold that did it. Glad to know I wasn't the only one with this phenomenon! It was seriously freaking me out.

  2. I'm so sorry you didn't meet your goal today-i've been there and it's often hard to cheer up even though you did get a rockin' time. We were quite surprised when they told us the 10km would start from the other direction-neither Don or i had seen that before!

    Very unfortunate about the pace bunnies-i suspect they are hit and miss in most races.

    Great job today!

    1. The only reason I knew to line up on the other side was because of the drawing in the course guide. There was definitely no signage out there for it. At least you guys got everyone moved before the gun went off.

      This was the first time I ever decided to use a pace bunny and I was extremely disappointed. I've watched the pace groups in other races and they are always so professional and look like they are having fun. These guys seemed like they were really just volunteering for the free entry fee. They both were running their own races. And I was keeping an eye on my garmin for the walk breaks and they didn't seem to be taking them. It was really bad.

  3. Sorry that you didn't make your goal, but you still had a great time!

    1. I'm coming to realize that. At least I still have the better part of the year to hit some goals. I probably expected too much to try to do it all in one month :)

  4. Hooray for no knee pain!

    And those medals?!?!? That is like a dinner plate! It's an accomplishment to even make it to the finish line. Way to go!

    1. Thanks! and I am a total medal whore so that medal made my day! It is almost as big as my daughters heads!

      PS - I LOVE your blog! Thanks for commenting so I could discover you :)

    2. (Just saw it'd been a while since you UPDATED that should do that so I can keep following your adventures! - nudge nudge)

  5. I think you had a great time even if you didn't meet the goal that you had set!! :)


    1. Thanks. A good night's sleep has given me some perspective on the missed goal. Last year, I never would have thought myself capable of faster than 1:04 so I know in my head that I should be really proud.

  6. Cori, you did great!! And it was cold - my fingers were freezing and I even had gloves on for the first half of it. I was watching for some friends finishing the half marathon and I saw pace bunnies coming in earlier then their time was supposed to in that race as well.

    1. I so wish I'd known you were running this - I would have loved to connect with you there!

  7. Cori,

    Just a thought - did you stay with any of the pace bunnies for 10 minutes? Because almost all pace bunnies used in Canada are from Running Room, so they do 10 mins running, 1 min walking, and therefore their running pace will be faster than your running pace (if you are running the whole thing & not doing the walk breaks). Either way, bunnies seem like a great idea in theory, but I don't know many people who've had great experiences with them. You still got a great time, and there's plenty of 10 km races, I'm sure you can squeeze one in and get that damned PR!


    PS - I'll be trying for my sub 50 min 10 km time that has been eluding me on June 9 - wish me luck!

    1. I tried to stay with them...but they were going MUCH faster than the paces they should have been going for 10:1 and in the distance - I didn't see either the 55 min bunny or 1 hr one take a break at 10 mins. Since the website didn't list them as being continuous - they were just being inconsiderate. I've never followed a bunny but I have shadowed plenty of them and have always been impressed by their consistency and engagement with the runners. It was the reason I was looking forward to running with a group this time. I knew I was capable fo the paces...but the bunnies needed to stay with the pace to be effective. The bunnies at this race were obviously just there for the free entry and had no intention of actually doing the "job" they volunteered for.

      Good luck on your 10k! My fingers are crossed for you!

  8. Great job on your race! Bummer on the pace bunnies being so fast, I havenever done a race with pacers before but hope to someday.


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