At some point this week I will sit down and write a full race report . But for now I am still revelling in the feeling of accomplishment. That and I am so sleepy it is a bit challenging to string together coherent sentences. So for now, a list of random memories from Around the Bay
- the feeling of being in a zone and a sense of cautious confidence that I felt throughout the race
- realizing in the first 10k that I felt strong and there was a good chance I would be able to maintain a steady pace and possibly even do the race with minimal or no walk breaks
- taking my one and only walk break around 26km – I admit Heartbreak hill got me and I took a walk break part way up (I like to think though that I didn’t just walk, but instead strode purposefully up the middle section of the hill)
- high fiving the Grim Reaper with a smile on my face at 28km
- high fiving the man who annually plays “We Will Rock You” over and over before the big hill (legend has it a high five from him gives you good luck, I made sure to cross over to him to get that lucky high five)
- struggling at km 29 and really wanting to walk but telling myself it would not let that happen; picking up the pace so that my last km was run at a 6:04 min/km pace, almost the same as my first km pace
- feeling good on the rolling hills found in the last third of the race, in fact even enjoying them!
- running down the steep ramp (not easy to do after 29.9 km) and entering the finishing chute in Copps Coliseum (or First Ontario as it is now called)
- getting to hang out with fellow bloggers Rod from RunRodRun and Rebecca from RunningFoodBaby
- knowing at the 20k mark that there was a very real possibility I would beat my goal of 3:10
- realizing I had come in under 3:05 – I had actually printed out a 3:05 pace band but didn’t bother to take it with me to Hamilton, deciding that it was too fast of a pace for me – what a great way to be proven wrong!
But here is what I remember most, and perhaps it will sound corny or silly, but for me was very powerful. Somewhere around 3km I distinctly remember thinking how lucky I was to not only be running, but running on a beautiful, sunny spring-like morning. It made me smile as I thought about it and at that point I told myself to hold on to the feeling no matter what happened in the race. So at 22km, when I felt like I was getting a little tired, I remembered that feeling and the smile returned. It just felt so damned good to be out there and having my body not only survive the test, but welcome it. How lucky am I to be almost 45 year old (in fact that was my last race as a 44 year old) and be healthy and fit enough to tackle a 30 km, challenging course? No matter what else happened that day, that feeling of happiness and gratitude was priceless. I am realistic enough to know that won’t happen at every race, but I will hold on to that feeling for a very long time and hope to one day feel it again.