Well, where do I even begin?
We did it!!
And best of all, we both set a personal record!! Our main goal was to just finish this race, but deep down, both Chris and I really wanted to beat our last 10K time of 1:04:05.
I still can’t believe that we actually managed to finish under the 1hr mark. So awesome!! 🙂
Now let’s rewind and see how we got there shall we?
The alarm went off at 5:00 am Sunday morning. With the race not starting until about 8:30, I had decided ahead of time that I would eat my normal breakfast to make sure I was fueled enough. So upon crawling out of bed, I had a protein shake, a bowl of All Bran flakes and about 1/2 C of blueberries. After eating breakfast, the nerves started to kick in just a tad, but then again there was a lot of excitement built up in there as well. We left our house at 6:10 am and made our way to my parents’ place, as they offered to drive us in to Toronto for the big race. Despite the fact that the news had been boasting about how nice the weekend was going to be, we made the drive in the pouring rain… But our spirits were still up!
Thankfully by the time we got into downtown Toronto (at about 7:40 am), the rain had stopped. It was a bit cool out still, but I knew that we’d warm up pretty quickly.
One of the things I looked forward the most for this race was the people. When we ran this race last in 2010, we were alongside 13,000 other runners. This year, there were 22,000 registered!
It’s already pretty crazy that the race takes place down Yonge St. – pretty much the biggest, most popular road in the country – but the amount of people just takes everything up one more level. To give a bit of an idea, here’s a shot from my iPod as we were making the walk towards the starting line:
We made our way to our corral just in time. And hey! Look who we found there!
Everyone, meet my big brother! Who also goes by the name Chris. 😉
My brother lives in downtown Toronto and the post-race plan was to go to his house for a mother’s day brunch. (the brunch was fantastic btw)
Surprisingly enough, the wait in the corral wasn’t very long this time (maybe because we didn’t go super early?). It wasn’t long until the starting line was actually in sight over the sea of people.
And around 8:30 am, we were off!! Look! You can even see the CN tower in the distance!
The original plan was to keep taking shots with the iPod as we progressed along the course, but it was too tight a fit to have my cell phone and the iPod in my Spibelt making it really difficult to run and try to take the iPod in and out. Thankfully there were some ok shots of us from the pro photographers on course which I’ll share with you below. I’m not sure if we’ll buy any yet. But here you go — action shots!
So, my overall thoughts of the race…
We went in with the plan of continuing my system of running for 5 minutes, walking for 1 min, running for 5, etc…. At the beginning of the race, the 7 minute mark seemed to come SO fast! Adrenaline was running and we were feeling GREAT, so we decided go wait until the 10 minute mark before our first 1 minute of walking. After that point, we continued on with our 5:1:5 ratio for the remainder of the race and it really worked for us! I really couldn’t believe how much fuel I actually had in me when we began the approach to the finish line. When we last did this race in 2010, I pretty much was DONE at around the 8km mark and really struggled to finish. This time, I literally kicked it up like 5 notches on the approach to the finish line. I felt like I was FLYING and I felt GREAT!!! I honestly felt so good that I could have kept going!! I felt so good that I’m considering another race – an 8K in 3 weeks!
Want to know the best part?
Aside from feeling overall achy yesterday, I feel really good today and am looking forward to hitting the pavement again!! I think I took almost a month off of running on my last Sporting Life 10K attempt. 😉
Looking back, it’s pretty crazy to think that I started from scratch back in early December.. I was completely out of shape and unhappy. After a few months of intense training and a lot of hard work, I have now been able to complete this 10K with a smile on my face feeling stronger than ever!! And for that I say – HELL YA!!