On November 4, Jodi and I reached a milestone in our “Race to the Castle”. We completed our final race together before the Princess Half-Marathon. It is so hard to believe that 9 months have passed and I have 9 races under my “fuel belt”. It is even harder to fathom that our seemingly impossible goal of running a half-marathon at Disney is now just over 3 months away!!!
Just like all of our other races, we took away some lessons from this one: most importantly, don’t let your BRF sign you up for a race that you haven’t fully researched. Our usual back and forth goes something like this: Jodi will call or text me saying “sign up for this AMAZING race on (insert date)”, and I do. In my dear BRF’s defense, we registered for this many moons ago and have since become much more selective. Admittedly, running a 10K in November seemed like a good idea – surely, we’d be at our fastest by then, right? – and we didn’t have tons of race options. However, we now know that a great race includes a kid friendly forum, a fun venue, chip timed results (can you believe that I AM saying this?), stylish race swag, and most importantly – BLING! Of course, we both love any race that involves dressing fabulously.
Well, this race had none of the above. It was the Kingston Road Runners 10K Anniversary Run and, while we loved that the benefitting charity was the Humane Society, we didn’t see any evidence that we were running for this important cause. I even brought my dog BJ to help cheer us on; however, he wasn’t allowed in the registration building where our families waited during the race. What?!?
As well, we seemed to be the only people with families on hand, let alone 4 children running wild. It is so important to both Jodi and I that we are positive role models for our girls. We want them to love their bodies and, more importantly, we want them to develop a love for physical activity. They too absolutely love cheering their mommies on!
We were aghast at the start and finish line which was comprised of a chalk drawn line and 4 pylons. Even though we are newbies (although surely we can lose that title soon?), we have come to love the thrill of the START and FINISH LINE. You know, the big inflatable thing you can see from a mile away that beckons all runners like a shining beacon. We also love having our names on the race bibs and hearing the announcer cheer us on across the finish line. After racing in so many larger events, including our faves the Toronto Women’s Race and the Oasis 10K at the Toronto Zoo, we are used to the excitement and the comraderie of bigger races. Nothing feels better then racing the clock for a PR! (Spoiler alert: although both of us did in fact PR, we needed to be watching our Garmins closely to figure this out! Official results were posted after the race but they were based on gun time, not chip time.) It is so anti-climactic coming across the finish line without a big digital clock! And plain race bibs? No personal name? No medal? What were we even doing here?!?
Fortunately, fate intervened on one account and our sparkle skirts failed to arrive in time. Having seen the type of crowd this race attracted, all we can say is thank you for being so slow, Canada Post. Otherwise, we would have looked TOTALLY out of place among these very serious, elite runners – not that we really care! We’re having fun and are totally ok with that! Jodi and I even got questioned about our matching Glass Slipper shirts. Yep, we are our very own club! We actually caused a little stir among this crowd simply because we were new blood, I think. One runner asked if we had ever heard of a “sparkly running skirt”. Little did she know that, between us, we have almost every colour! The lesson learned is that when a race is put on by a Road Runners Association, you should do some research before you sign up! This was a running club of SERIOUS runners who are ALL really FAST.
Speaking of fast, I was so slow compared to these runners that I felt like I was in first place, leading the way, blazing ahead on an open road (ie couldn’t see anyone in front of me…like, at all). Let me explain. I was obeying the beeps of my run/walk intervals and thought I was doing very well. It was just me and the road. You see, I NEVER look back when I run. I concentrate on running my own race. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard the siren of a police car following closely on my tail. It wasn’t until the 5K mark that I realized this hovering police car meant that I was the last person out on the course – my greatest fear is those darn “balloon ladies” at Disney who sweep the runners who aren’t quick enough to finish. I was baffled. I KNOW that I am not the fastest, but my times have been pretty average at all the big races and I was currently on pace to PR. To date, we had never been in a race where the last person was running a 1:20 10K. (Just a side note: after the race, we figured out that 2 people were in fact behind me, left alone on the race course without markers because the pace car thought I was the last one! So I guess I was safe from those balloons after all!) The great thing about starting to run in my thirties is that I have an abundance of self confidence and I really didn’t care. I was racing to PR for myself. I was pounding the pavement in memory of my best friend, Molson, who I miss desperately every minute of the day and especially during the night.
While I may seem critical of this race, we found all of the above quite amusing – and there were some wonderful moments. This race was special to us because it was our last one together before the Castle. We really thought about the months of work we have done together…and what’s next! We had our amazing support team who made the event so much better, especially Jodi’s daughters doing cartwheels and running along side us to the finish line. I was able to reconnect with a high school friend who started running after reading our blog. And, at about the 8K mark, a race volunteer named Jack appeared. Out of the blue, he asked to run with me. So picture this: me and Jack along with a police car tailing us, a course marshall on a bike and some random guy on a unicycle. It was like the circus was coming to town! I have never felt so important or ridiculous in my life – I had to laugh. An added bonus was seeing my BRF waiting for me at the 9K mark. Together we ran the last leg. And Jodi lovingly yelled at me the entire way! Despite everything, or maybe because of it, we both accomplished a PR!!! And, although that finish line did not stand out and could have easily been missed – crossing that chalk drawn line has never felt so good.
We did it! Next stop: Disney World.
~OUR FIRST EVER GIVE-AWAY!~
I love Alana’s recap of this race…it was particularly entertaining to join “the circus” at the 9K mark and run her in to the finish. No princess shall be left behind! I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach, and I want to share some pink love with a lucky winner. Sweating Pink is all about kicking ass in pink shoes, working hard, playing hard and embracing the inner athlete in every woman – we don’t need to choose between being strong and being feminine! The trademark of the Sweat Pink movement is pink shoelaces which are said to have PR power in them…want some?
Please tell us below who has made the biggest difference to your active lifestyle – who inspires you to sweat regularly and push yourself! The winner will receive a magical pair of Sweat Pink laces AND a Sweat Pink button you can wear with pride. We will be posting our winner by Monday, November 19. Don’t be shy – share your story! And while you’re at it, head on over to our Facebook page and “like” us there too. We may have future give-aways for our Facebook friends!