Sunday, 18 September 2016

Maritime Race Weekend - 2016 Edition

I LOVE fall running...the mornings are crisp and just perfect for running.  Maritime Race Weekend seems to really kick off the fall running season around here.  The sunset 5k is breathtaking, with the sunrise 5, 10, half or full marathon the next morning.

Jill picked me up at 5:15pm to head to the race...about 30 minutes away.  I told her in advance to have a good playlist ready...and she met the challenge...Katy Perry, Megan Trainor, Will Smith....we were jamming!  I must say that I'm a REALLY bad backseat driver, and Jill had really good patience with all of my hand and foot gestures!!!
Image result for backseat drivers memes
We arrived in plenty of time and walked to the starting area (about 1km away).  The Friday night 5k always sees people dress up as pirates....it's so much fun.  We met up with other runners we knew and mingled before being called to the start line.  There were a lot of runners (2,163 according to the timing company)!!!


It's so hard to get a good start with this many people.  You tend to spend so much time weaving around people at the start.  I started out quite fast to get around folks and this did me in.  5.29;5:17;5.09;5:41 and 5:58.  You can tell that at 4km, I started with a REALLY bad side stitch...like the kind that brings you to a halt.  I'd slide to the side of the road and walk...and watched numerous runners pass me.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other though and crossed in 27.39....with a 5:31 average pace.  When you are done running, and look at this....how can you be upset?
Friday night also saw the harvest moon rising...so beautiful and bright.  The group of us grabbed a few pictures and then headed home as we were all running again at 8am.

 

Saturday morning came sooooo early...like 5:30 early.  (You know you're a runner when you get up earlier on the weekend than on a weekday just so you can go run).  Jill picked me up at 6:15am (better known as dark o'clock) and we once again headed to the start line.  I have never worn a race day shirt during the actual race...but I did for this one.  It was along sleeve and with a slight nip in the air, it was the perfect running attire...add mini gloves to it and I was all set.
Such perfect running weather and running friends.
 

One of these things doesn't look like the others. :-)
After a quick porta potty stop, we were once again called to the start line.  Side note:  a friend was directing people at the porta potties to ensure all of them were getting used (cause there was a LONG line up)...it was sort of funny as she directed us all to the empty ones....great job Sherry!  All of the runs started together, so you can imagine the number of people at the start line.  I kind of wish that they started us at different times as the bottleneck is so big at the beginning...especially because there is a sharp S shaped turn that slows every one down...or maybe we could somehow run on both sides of the road for the first kilometer or so.  Every thing about this race is so great....just need to find a solution to the bottleneck.  The plan for the 5k was that I was going to pace Jillian (in the purple) to her PB which was about 31 minutes.  We talked about what pace we would run and when we would walk.  The starting gun sounded and we were off and Jillian was ahead of me before we even hit the starting line.  Does she not understand that a pace bunny sets the pace...LOL.  I quickly caught up with her and ran beside her...she was already 15-20 seconds quicker than our plan.  I told her to slow it down so not to die later in the race...apparently she ignored me.  When we got to the turn around point (our planned walk break) she looked at me and said "Nope...I'm good."  I chatted to her about how well she was doing but that we had built a cushion and could slow down if she needed to.  She had laser eye focus.  We did walk through the water station at about 3.5km...I remember looking at her and saying "We have 1 mile left...just 1 mile".  She then walked at about 4km and I could tell she was mentally hitting the wall...so after 1 minute I said..."enough walking...let's go". 
This is at the 4km mark
And then at about 400m...we could see the finish...and she looked at her watch and just took off....I mean really took off.  I couldn't catch her...despite running a 5:00/km pace.  That girl be-lined it for the finish line and crossed in 29.22.  I crossed right behind her and hugged her at the end...not only had she CRUSHED her PB but she had hit a goal that we had been working towards for 2017!  My eyes welled with tears as we both grabbed our medals!!!  It turns out that she had her music on and heard NOTHING I was saying...all those encouraging words fell on deaf ears.  I kid....she did amazing...and we all know what it feels like when a run just feels so perfect and it all comes together!!!  I am pacing another 5km in a couple of weeks and I hope that I can help some others reach or crush their goals!!
 
We watched a few more friends cross before grabbing some food and heading home.  This race has amazing post race food including bagels and cream cheese, bananas, oranges, chips, chocolate milk, and FREEZIES...you read right....FREEZIES...they were the best!
This race also has the best swag...I mean a long sleeve shirt, a hat, a buff, and 3 finisher medals!!!
 
If you can't tell from my photos, the 5k runs beside the beautiful Atlantic ocean, and hearing the waves beat up on the shoreline has got to be one of the best sounds.  The community comes out and supports the runners as they take over the streets for a couple hours!  This little community literally doubles in size for Friday night and Saturday morning but the race director gives the community plenty of notice with flyers and signage to prepare them for the influx of pirates and runners!!!  The slogan of the race "Good Times in the Maritimes" says it all!!!
 
If you've never had the chance to run Maritime Race Weekend, or are considering a destination run...this is it!  From fiddlers, to beer, to quaint little seaside stores...Maritime Race Weekend really does scream 'NOVA SCOTIA'!!
 


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cobequid 5k Trail Run Review

Before I go into the review of the run...let me tell you what I do the night before a race.

1.  I eat a Tim Horton's Donut - don't judge
2.  I lay out flat Courteney

3.  I eat a chicken pasta dinner with a light olive oil dressing
4.  I paint my nails a fun color.
Last night I did not eat my chicken pasta...in fact...I didn't fuel properly at all last night...my bad.  I didn't sleep well either so getting up at 6:20am was tough!  I was scheduled to pick Jillian up at 7:10am...I was on my way to get her when I looked at my wrist and realized I had forgotten my garmin...NOOOOOOO...turn around and back I went.

Jillian and I before the race
We lined up at the start for 9:00am...I moved closer to the front so I wouldn't get caught in the bottleneck that happens on the trail.  There were some FAST people at this race! 

Found this on some random person's facebook post
I knew as I was running that I was going out too fast....way too fast...but I couldn't slow myself down...so my first 3km looked like this:  5:10; 5:02; 5:07....and then it caught up with me and it was a mental game for the last 2km.  You know the story..."Oh I want to walk...no...don't walk...it's only 2km....but my lungs hurt....just slow down...okay...now it's only 1 mile...then 1 kilometer."  Then you see the finish line!
The time on the clock is for the half
And as you cross, you push stop on your garmin!

Gotta love a perfectly measured course!
I then waited for Jillian to cross.  She was doing her first 10k in over 5 years.  I walked back out to meet her...and cheer in other runners. They always say...If you want to be inspired, stand at a finish line....they sure are correct!!!  Jill came in strong...running a 6 minute kilometer the last bit...so proud!!!  My final stats looked like this.....
Not a PB, but I am happy with it given the lack of running that I've been doing.
The 5k course is entirely on a flat crusher dust trail.  Well organized with a medal, tshirt, and breakfast, I highly recommend this run to anyone...beginners to well seasoned runners.  The last time I ran this race, it was a hot morning.  Today was different...it was actually chilly at the start and at points I actually saw my breath as I ran...perfect running weather!!!