The below events weren’t necessarily the big events of the month for me but they were interesting and I learnt little things about myself here and there which contributed towards my pretty happy race season.
St. Patrick’s Day 10K (March 16): this run was the first ‘event’ of the season. Even though most of my mates and perhaps, even myself, see 10k as a nice distance for a casual run with little thought or planning, I was actually pretty intimidated coming into this race. If it wasn’t for my friend Jenn, I may not have signed up for it lol. I had been fighting a nasty cold a couple weeks leading up to the run and thus did not get a lot of running in beforehand. Also, running isn’t exactly my strong suit. However, this race is where I saw the unpressured, short distances I ran for commuting during the winter really come through. That those short runs in the snow where I didn’t have much objective except to make it home through a storm paid off to keep a base foundation for the upcoming season. I borrowed a hipbelt from my friend to carry water since my throat was still feeling a bit raw. I also stuffed in a ton of kleenex…cold or not, I get pretty snotty on rides/runs…oh yeah, feeling sexy. My last preparation was to paint my nail green! Part of it was because it was for St. Patty’s but the other part was that I didn’t want to put undue pressure on myself by painting them the blue I reserve for races. It sounds silly I know but every athlete has their own rituals to prep themselves and I felt that if I had gone with my racing blue, I would be racing and thus pressure! Yes, I just spent a couple sentences explaining my nail colour choice…:) The run course was fairly flat and all on pavement (to my old body’s chagrin). There were a quite a few places where it was incredible icy – cue penguin dance. I felt like I got my negative split in and came in a couple minutes after an hour. Most definitely not my best time but at that point, I was alright with that. I had finished in a decent time with pretty much no preparation. This race was important though because it gave me confidence for the upcoming season. It told me that at my base, this is what I had and that the only way was up from here. Also, it didn’t hurt that they fed us after 😉
Coronation Triathlon (May 25): the first triathlon of the season…dundundun. It was also a distance between sprint and Olympic thus my longest distant to date. Was I intimidated? Oh yeah. I had somewhat stagnated with my swimming at this point and I had also recently returned from Hawaii sooo the amount of time I had swam leading up to this race was minimal. Not so shockingly enough, I struggled in the swim. The upside? It was at my favourite pool in the city and it was a 50m pool. During my swim, I had lost count of my laps and was off by one. Thankfully I just followed one of the ladies who was swimming ahead of me…yeah I suck at counting anything lol. That sort of thing really stresses me out and probably contributed towards the general anxiety I felt in the pool. As soon as I got out, I was like oh thank God! The bike and the run were both up and down Groad Road; for those unfamiliar with Edmonton, Groat Road is a pretty long hill. Leading up to the race, I was pretty worried; I drove up/down the hill before the race though…didn’t seem too bad. Random side note: super thankful that my friend lent me her car that day so I could transport myself easily 🙂 The ride was bomber and I really enjoyed it – inkling that I like hills…The beginning of the run I could really feel the fatigue and was pretty worried but as I made my way towards the end of the first half, I eased into the run and maybe even ran the second half aka the uphill a wee bit faster than the downhill first half…if not, I felt pretty good at least which counts for something. All in all, it was a pretty stellar first race. The rain came in soon after the race finished and the kids race was nearing completions. Thankfully, our club had a tent for all of us to huddle under.
Kids in Action 5k Run w/ Hope Mission (May 31): probably one of my favourite events to be part of as a volunteer. Last year I did this run and it was awesome. This year, it was even bigger! Kids with the Hope Mission (a Christian nonprofit organization that is pretty big into supporting the general Edmonton community especially families and children) train and prepare for this race. Each kid requires an adult to run the entire race with them. Some of these kids are incredible runners, let me tell you. This year, we had more adults than kids on the route which meant that if your child was faster than you, there would be adults available to keep an eye on them. A huge group of police officers and a bunch of people from Andrew Ference’s (Oiler’s captain) came out for this race. It was quite a bit bigger than the one last year. I rode in on my bike and it was gloriously beautiful morning. I had an awesome little man and was super proud of him for pacing himself and getting up some of those crazy hills in Goldbar park. He also dragged me up for the pre-race Zumba warm up…yeah that’s right lol.
Wheels for Wells (June 7): this wasn’t an event I was planning on doing but I receive monthly newsletters from Multisport Canada and this happen to be on there. A great event for many reasons: great cause, well organized and supported and hey, training ride? Up to this point, I hadn’t ridden more than 40 km straight on my bike before and I knew that I was registered and good to go for the Ride to Conquer Cancer in August…a 200+km ride. Time to get some mileage in? Yep. What was awesome though was this 13 or 14 year old kid had organized this event for the past couple of years in partnership with World Vision to fund raise money for clean water/access to water. He was doing a series of rides including one that was done in Dubai (whatttt). Shows what amazing things happen when one follows their faith and pursues those inklings God sends us. I love that he was so candid about the reason(s) as to why he was doing this and that he rode in the ride. I opted to ride in the 60km length though there were 10km, 30km, 90km and 120km options available as well. I tried to get my dad out for 10km…but no dice lol. My mum came with me and chatted with the folks at the start/finish point; I came to know this when people were like ohhh your mum has told us all about you! Awesome lol. I was a bit worried going into this ride especially when I saw the rolling hills. Whoever said Alberta was flat clearly hasn’t been here; it is not flat. I almost didn’t stop at the pit stop set up at the turnaround point but thankfully I did (was nearly a fool!). The hard leg was the second half; there was quite a bit of climbing and we had quite a strong head wind. Another girl and I worked together to give each other but after a few hills, she had dropped back. I realized that when I climbed, I couldn’t go half-assed. The ride took give or take 2 hours so not shabs at all. They fed us some delicious smoothies and sandwiches and even gave my mum, who had been waiting patiently for me to return, a lunch box of her own. Afterwards, my legs felt a bit tired but surprisingly not burnt out. Huzzah! Lesson learnt on this one? A bit on what I need in terms of nutrition and what sort of mental ebbs/flows I’d feel on a longer ride. So note, I like fruit 🙂