Tag Archives: personal best

Chocolate Race Recap

13 May

The day of the Chocolate Race started early. Mark hopped on his bike to ride to St Catherines and left shortly after six. His ride was supposed to take him just over two hours. I resolved to leave shortly after seven which would put me in St Catherines around the same time Mark was expected to arrive. The morning was exceptionally windy. I was praying that the wind would die down at the start line. The race started at 10 which meant I had to carefully plan out my eating schedule. I ate half of a banana around 6:30 and prepared a bagel with peanut butter and jam which I would eat around 8.

I packed all my stuff and jumped in the car. This was my first drive by myself down the 403. Thankfully, it was Sunday morning and there wasn’t too much traffic. I arrived at the expo shortly after eight and picked mine and Mark’s race kits and waited. And waited. And waited. The time was now 9:15 and Mark was still nowhere to be found. He hadn’t called or texted which meant he was still on the road. I was starting to get anxious. I really did not want him to miss the race. I waited as long as I could. At 9:43 I started to walk towards the start line. I left his race kit in the car and texted him the directions to find the car. Hopefully he would get there in time. As fate would have it, as I walked towards the start line, I decided to take one last look behind me. There he was. A cyclist all in black with a white helmet. I dashed towards him and pointed to turn around. I directed him to the car. Mark quickly got changed while I placed his bike in the car. It was a made dash. When he was all ready we ran back to the start. With four minutes to spare, we made it! Mark made his way to the front while I stayed behind him a few rows. I was expecting to do well but I didn’t want to be at the front.

The gun went off and I started passing people like it was nobody’s business. The terrain was half trail and half road with minor inclinations. We ran along the Lake Ontario with a head wind.  This was no minor head wind. They were wind gusts of over 30km/hr. I was not expecting stellar results at that point. But, I stayed positive. No one was passing me and I was gaining on the person ahead of me. Thankfully at the turn around, the wind was now at my back. I gained speed and I felt like I was flying. I definitely flew through the finish line. I did not have a personal best but I finished 2nd in my age category and 15th overall! My time was 50min and 44seconds.

DSC01006Pink champagne at the finish line. I really could have had a few more glasses to keep me warm (it was freezing!)

As we waited for the award ceremony, we had chocolate croissants and truffles. Everything was so rich and delicious. I was surprised to find out that I finished 2nd. I wasn’t expecting to top my age group. Especially in this race as the age group was between 20 and 29. But we also had to wait for medals because Mark won his first race. He left everyone behind him in his dust. We both could not believe his incredible race.

DSC01011Here we are with our finisher’s medals and our winner’s medals.

Thankfully Mark did not want to ride his bike back home so he drove and I was able to relax in the passenger’s seat. Of course, training really paid off. But I think for my next race I’m going for another pedicure and will definitely stick to homemade pizza for supper. This might be the beginning of a great tradition.

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Half marathon and weekend recap

7 Mar

Well, who knew that I could pull off a sub 2-hour half marathon? Not me, that’s for sure! But that’s what I managed to pull of on Sunday at the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington. Really, my day did not start off with much confidence or high hopes. I was hoping for somewhere between 2 hours and 2hr 5min. The weather was also a factor. I’ve never waited in the cold at a start line. There was also the worry factors of wearing too many layers and getting too hot. Lastly, what would I do for hydration? I always race with a fuel belt but, in my vanity, decided not to wear one this time because it looks rather dorky with my coat. So I was hoping that there would be enough water stations along the route.

The race got started and I did not struggle to settle my heart rate to something steady (thanks to the warm up dance/jumping at the start line). I came to the first kilometer at 5:59. I knew I would have to cut off some seconds to get my two hour goal. I picked up my pace and met up with two girls who were sitting behind us on the bus to the start line. I asked if I could join them and they warmly welcomed me. We talked most of the way, distracting us from the many kilometers still ahead of us. The course was an out and back. At the turn around, one of the girls advised me that our pace was now 5:40km/hr – holy cow! Neither of us was hurting and we all felt good. However, I had to leave them at km 17. One of the girls was slowing and I did not want to sacrifice a personal best (and potential sub 2hour). I said my goodbyes and proceeded to sprint, sort of. At this point I was passing loads of people and kept an eye on my watch. I had 19 minutes to run 3km. Pfff, no big deal – that’s loads of time! As I came running in the final stretch, made a last turn towards the finish line this is the face that describes what I was feeling when I saw that finish clock and my surprised cheering team:

IMG_1491

“Look at the clock! Can you believe it?!” What I was thinking or yelling, I can’t remember.

My finish time was 1hr 58mins, a personal best and 13 minute gain on my previous time in 2011.

Mark and I spent Monday relaxing and cooking. We both had excellent times and wanted the day to do things at our own pace, which was slow compared to Sunday. Mark’s mom, who had come to spend the weekend with us, spent the day in Kitchener which gave us all afternoon to prepare a lovely meal.

DSC00936A three course meal was served with guacamole and tortillas for appetizers, mini spinach pies and Moroccan stew for main course and biscotti and tea for dessert.