When it comes to race day, you can prepare and do everything “right” leading up to the morning of, but there is nothing you can do about your circumstances when your alarm clock goes off.
Such was the case for me on Saturday morning.
Let me preface by saying, I had an excellent race. I set a PR by 3:37 and I was full of gratitude as I ran my 21.1km (13.1 miles). Yes, I struggled (more on that in a moment) and yes my morning was not as perfect as it could have been, but it was what it was and I worked with it.
Up and out of bed, tongue scrape done, (the TMI just gets better from here on out) drinking my lemon water before starting on my smoothie and orange slices. Usually within the first 30 minutes of waking, I go to the bathroom. Not so this morning.
Family comes downstairs around 6:30 and I finally go. For the first time. It’s not pretty and I know immediately that my race day is about to change. I’ve got what my friends and I refer to as “dying rear”. The worst has happened, people.
My mom arrives from Squamish to look after the girls, I go to the bathroom again after heading upstairs to get dressed. And again before we walk out the door to leave for the village. I’m now drinking major water at this point for fear of being dehydrated. I also suck bag a cup of coconut water for electrolytes.
Arrive at the village, JD (husband) goes running off to the Start line for the 10km race. Get the girls organised with my mom, do my run warm up…and find a bathroom to go again. The fears of possibly having to go mid-run are now at the forefront of my mind and I start to wonder if I’m actually going to even be able to START the race.
Race is about to start. Dying rear seems to have quieted. I say goodbye to my mom and my girls, arrange my headphones and Nano around my neck, make sure my watch is set and head into the crowd. I park myself just ahead of the 2:00 hour pacer sign, but well-back of the 1:30 sign.
GO! And we’re off. From this point on I’ll share my splits, thoughts, feelings, fuelling, etc as it applies. My Garmin is set up to track in miles (yes, I’m Canadian), so the numbering is per mile.
1. 8:10 – feeling a touch clammy, almost like I have a fever. Wonder for a moment if I have the flu
2. 9:03 – Blueberry Hill, thankful to have Coach Christine by my side and giving me that boost that I so needed (already)
3. 7:56 – Wheeeeeeeee!!! Down into Alta Vista, still feeling kind of off but loving the free speed. Hit the aid station at Lakeside Park for some water.
4. 8:52 – Back up Alta Vista, toward the golf course. Know that I only have one last hill climb before the nice flat run out to Rainbow starts.
5. 9:00 – Up and down the backside of Whistler Valley Golf Course along the Valley Trail, heading out to Rainbow Park. “Here comes Aimee. There goes Aimee” cheers Grace Blok as I run past where she stands as a spectator. Water at the aid station.
6. 8:25 – Woohoo, see lots of faces and friends from our training clinic, high fives along the way (this out and back section is lovely)
7. 8:35 – turned around, heading back toward Whistler Cay. More high fives and cheering on friends. Start taking my one Gu of the entire race, Chocolate Outrage. Water from the aid station.
8. 8:50 – Tapley’s loop. It’s growing on me.
9. 8:59 – At this point I actually, for the first time, know that I’m going to finish the race and be okay.
10. 8:59 – Up through the village, get wonderful cheers from my friend Kathryn and our friend Kim’s husband and children. Water at the aid station. Get lots of “We love your shorts!” from the lululemon cheering section up near their store (I’m wearing the exclusive SeaWheeze shorts for this year’s half). Turn on my music, and the first song that comes on is Bangarang by Skrillex.
11. 8:17 – Feeling really good, happy that I had my Gu so early. Major morale boost seeing my friend Liane on the corner of Ambassador Crescent. I Don’t Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw comes on, this is my song. Super pumped.
12. 8:47 – Water station at Spruce Grove Field house, see my friend Julie as I turn into the parking lot. Another boost. Supergirl comes on my headphones, this is one of my daughter Annabelle’s favourite songs so it makes me smile.
13. 9:05 – I know I’m slowing down at this point. Digging deep and pushing myself up Fitzsimmons Rd South because I know this is my last mile and I’m truly almost done.
0.24 2:24 (10:27 pace) – Coming into the Day Lots the man beside me says,”I think the hills are over”. I don’t have the heart to tell him there’s one tiny surge up the berm before we run across Blackcomb Way into Whistler Olympic Plaza. See my daughters Annabelle and Emmeline waiting on the sidelines, Annabelle runs out and grabs my hand and we continue our tradition of running into the Finish line together.
TOTAL: 1:55:30 (260 overall, 25/82 in AG)
And that’s a wrap on this year’s training and racing posts! I’ve had a great time sharing a piece of my running brain, and I plan to carry on posting throughout the coming months so that this blog stays fresh and fun.
Is there anything you’d like to see us post about here on the blog?
See you soon!