Sleeping fitfully all night, waking up at 6 am, standing around in 4 degree Celsius weather for 45 minutes, using portapotties, pounding the pavement for 10k from Yonge and Eglinton all the way to Fort York…to normal people, this does not sound fun. However, to me, and I am assuming to the other 6,000 people that ran the Yonge St. 10k with me today, it was the perfect way to start a Sunday morning.
Race prep for me started a week ago. It meant being strict with my diet so that I ate no gluten or dairy AT ALL with the goal of having no stomach upset during the race. I am pleased to say that this goal was met – absolutely no stomach issues during the race. This is a big deal for me, as I have struggled with IBS for most of my life.
The day before the race, I ate a lot of carbs, and tried to minimize the amount of fibre I ate. And of course, no dairy and no gluten. I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible most of the day so that my legs would be fresh, and I drank lots of water so that I would be optimally hydrated. I attempted to go to bed early, but had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Pre-race jitters contributed to this, as did the fact that a friend was in labour and I couldn’t stop thinking about her! I ended up falling asleep around midnight, was up from 2:30-3:30am, and then was up for good at 6am. Despite my crappy sleep, I woke up feeling good and ready to go!
Pre-race breakfast was eaten at around 6:45 am. It consisted of overnight oats, courtesy of Oh She Glow’s Recipe. It is my go-to breakfast before running. If I eat it about an hour or two before running, it sits well in my stomach and provides me with lots of energy. I kept hydrated by drinking Vega’s Electrolyte Hydrator about an hour before the race.
The starting line was a 5 minute drive from our house, and we arrived there about 45 minutes before race time. Jake and the boys joined me and it was great to have them there for moral support, and also because I could bundle up before the race started, and then hand off my jacket to them. It was COLD this morning – about 4 degrees Celsius at the start of the race, and maybe went up to 5 by the end. I think I actually overhydrated because I had to visit the portapotties a couple of times before the race started to empty my bladder – but there were plenty and lines were short. That was a relief!
I wasn’t sure what to wear…I didn’t want to be cold, but I also didn’t want to be hot. In the end, I decided on a pair of Lululemon Inspire Crops, a Swiftly T-shirt, and and thin jacket on top. I also wore a throwaway sweatshirt for the first mile, and dropped it on the side of the road when I warmed up (clothes were collected and donated to a shelter). I wore gloves, and two hats – a running hat and a baseball hat. I got hot about half way through and took off the gloves and hat, but I am glad I had them for the first part of the race.
I lined up in my corral about 15 minutes prior to race time. The corrals were well organized and didn’t feel too crowded. I felt happy and excited when it was time to run and it was so amazing to see Yonge Street full of runners. It was a treat to have the whole street closed off for us!
I wanted to start off conservatively but got caught up in the excitement and my first mile was run at a pace of 9:50 minutes/mile. I had expected to run the race at approximately 10-11 minutes per mile, so 9:50 felt fast. Well, believe it or not, I kept getting faster! Here are my splits:
Mile 1 – 9:50
Mile 2 – 9:42
Mile 3 – 9:48
Mile 4 – 9:18
Mile 5 – 9:22
Mile 6 – 9:13
Mile 6.88 – 10:44
I’m not quite sure why my GPS told me that I ran 6.88 miles, when 10k is actually 6.2 miles. I think I didn’t turn off the GPS right at the finish line, which explains my slow last 0.88 of the race. Also, I spent a lot of time in the last mile passing people and weaving around them. That could potentially add to the distance.
My chip time was 1:03:15. I am absolutely thrilled with that result! I had expected to finish at around 1:10-1:15 or so. I felt strong throughout the race, and at no time felt like I had to stop and walk. I did stop in the first few km briefly to take a few pictures, but that was it. During the last km, I dug deep and ran as fast as I could. A friendly stranger said to me during the last km – we can do this together – and we both gave it all we could until the finish line. She was so motivating!
There were aid stations at 4km and 7km with water, gatorade and portapotties – I didn’t drink anything during the race (or visit the portapotties, thankfully!).
Jake and the boys met me at the end of the race. There was a fun party with music and lots of good food. I enjoyed the apples and bananas, and there was also Chiobani Yogurt, bagels and cookies, which the boys happily ate. And of course plenty of water and gatorade. I didn’t use the baggage check, but heard that it was well organized. I quickly felt chilled after the race and was thankful to have Jake there waiting with my jacket. We stayed for about 30mins at the party and then went out for lunch. Then we came home, and everyone napped but me…not quite sure how that makes sense since I was the one that ran 10k!
I am so pleased with my first 10k experience. A year ago I couldn’t run for more than a couple minutes at a time, and now I easily ran 10k in just over an hour. I feel like all of my training paid off and I’m thrilled that the weather co-operated, and that my stomach did too. I felt a true sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line, and it goes far beyond running. Running gives me the energy to make it through my day. It lifts my spirits and makes me a happier mom and wife. I was proud of myself today and it felt great to set an example for my kids. I hope they grow up valuing exercise and what it can do for your mind and body. Before bed today, I asked Dylan what his favorite part of the day was, and he said the race! He also said he was proud of me.
Running is an amazing sport because everyday people can compete alongside Olympic athletes. I ran today’s race, and so did Canada’s Olympic marathon contender, Reid Coolsaet. How cool is that? He won the race in 28 minutes – twice as fast as me! His talent, determination and speed are truly inspirational.
My first 10k was a phenomenal experience. Can’t wait for my half-marathon in two weeks!