Sunday, April 29, 2018

Cornwall Marathon Race Report

I’m writing this race report because I found zero online from the two previous years so wanted to put one up for people who were interested in this race and because a few friends have asked me to. Luckily I know a girl who’s run Cornwall and met another one on Instagram and between them they answered all of my questions.

Info: this is a point to point course that runs along the St Lawrence river. You want NW wind. Lucky for us on my race day we got SE. 😵 It’s a fairly flat course, there’s a bit of a long incline around 16k and then quite a few rollers on the back half that on a normal day would be nothing but when your legs are exhausted they’re not the greatest. We were bussed to the start and there was no shelter at the starting area. Thankfully because it was pouring rain the busses stayed and allowed us to remain on them until it was time to line up. The first couple of km is on gravel which was unfun but after that it’s all paved, some road some trail path. There were a lot of aid stations but not many of them had porta potties. Four of these stations gave out gels. I also saw a lot of ambulances on course so they have your safety in mind. I was worried with it being a smaller race that it would be pretty lonely out there but there were always people on course around me and a fair number of spectators even in the garbage weather. There was no race expo but considering there were only 250 spots for the marathon what vendors would bother coming out? Around 31k the half marathon merges with the marathon and the 10kers joined in shortly thereafter. I didn’t have any issues with it being overcrowded which was nice. I found at the Ottawa marathon once the half marathoners join in it’s insane with the number of runners. There are showers at the finish which is amazing but please remember to bring your towel. I saw way too much of women in there! Over all I thought the race was great and would recommend it 100%. Two running shoes up. LOL

Now onto my story......

Cornwall is a 4+ hour drive from where we live so hotels were required. Fab drove Ivanka and me and we left on Friday around noon. The drive to the Ottawa area is pretty boring but Fab kept us entertained with his playlist and random musical trivia. Fab and Ivanka soon found out that I like to belt out random lines from songs even though I’m an awful singer. I’m pretty sure they were happy to get out of the car after 4+ hours of that. 🤪 
Road trip!

We met Robin at the kit pickup and then went to East Side Mario’s for dinner where everyone had water and pasta for dinner. No beers. Lame. Everyone went back to their hotels after that to get ready for bed. Robin and I shared so we chatted about random stuff while we got our gear together and tried to figure out the weather. It kept changing so everyone brought a ton of clothing choices. Around 930 we turned the lights out and tried to get some sleep. 

Fast forward to 430am and Robin trying to turn the alarm off on my phone. I slept fairly well, woke up a few times in the night but was able to get right back to sleep. I got up, had my microwaved oatmeal breakfast and checked the weather. Rain. Of course. This would be my third marathon in a row in the rain. Thankfully the wind was fairly calm because it was blowing in the direction that we were running. If it was strong I probably would have said Eff this and gone home and tried to run GoodLife or Mississauga next weekend. I went over my clothing choices and decided on shorts and a tee with arm sleeves. Obviously compression socks too. I was feeling pretty constipated which was a worry and hoped I’d be able to go at the race start. We left to pick up Ivanka around 530 and headed to the race finish where we would be bussed to the start. 

The bus ride was pretty uneventful but we did find our friend Heather on the same bus so that was nice. 
Not sure what filter my phone used to make me look like Voldemort
Who knew Voldemort was also running this race?!
We got to the start and put on our rain ponchos to go get into the porta potty lines. I was freezing after a few minutes and started shivering when all of a sudden this strange pair of arms comes from behind me and started rubbing and hugging me saying “oh you’re so cold”. What the hell?! I’m not a hugger at the best of times so this was downright obscene for me. Thank God it was my turn to use the potty quickly so I was able to get away from the random rubber. I was able to “go” here but knew I’d have to go again at some point in the near future and prayed that things worked out. We made our way to the start in the pouring rain and Ivanka and i decided to keep our ponchos on for a little while longer. The gun sounded and we were off. When I was packing my things to come to Cornwall I tightened up the straps of my hydration vest but didn’t double check the fit. Well guess what. I had actually loosened them and this thing was bouncing around like a muthafugga and I could instantly feel the chafing begin. Perfect. Running in a rain poncho made out of shower curtain material is a noisy endeavour so I ditched it around 2k. Fab was still running near me at this point and I wondered if maybe I should just say forget it and run for a 4 hour finish with him because I felt slow. I checked my watch and realized that I was running my proper pace so decided to just keep going for it, I was doing better than I thought. In the weeks leading up to the race Zindine and I thought that I do better in races with a workout so he suggested I do 3 14k sets, 5:20km 5:35/km 5:20/km. I knew the last 14k was not happening at 5:20/km so set up 6 intervals of 7k and decided to assess myself after each one. Hopefully I could run the first 4 sets at the faster pace and let myself slow down at the end. The first 7k went by pretty quickly with an average pace of 5:16/km. Go me. The next 7k also went by in the blink of an eye with an average pace of 5:14/km. Nothing very eventful happened in this first 14k except rain. I was soaking wet and my fingers were pretty cold. They were giving out gels at the 8k aid station so naturally I grabbed one. I don’t use gels but they’re free so I’ll take it. Now you know I’m also cheap. LOL I stuffed it into the side pocket of my vest and it loosened the friggin thing even more. Great. Thankfully I was able to tighten the chest strap and that helped a little bit. 
It's fine. This is fine. 

Around 14k the route turns onto a main road and we run on that for about 10k. It was fairly quiet of traffic thankfully. Around 16k I could feel things going on in my tummy and knew that I was going to have to use the bathroom at some point sooner rather than later. There were not a lot of porta potties out here but there were a lot of forestry spots so if worse came to worse I had options. Always find your options when dignity is involved. You never want to be this guy. 

I soon came upon the 21km timing mat and noticed that they didn’t have a clock so I had no idea how I was doing. The way my watch was set up I could only see my 7k pace and how much I had left to go of that 7k. Now I could always press a button but my fingers were cold and I’m lazy. This 7k was an average 5:23/km. I was slowing down but nothing too bad. There had been a bigger incline in there so I’ll blame that. There had been another gel station in there so obviously I grabbed one (because I use gels so often) and I stuffed that one into my shorts pocket. It took a few tries to get it in there because of my numb fingers. Eventually we turned off this main road and were onto a paved trail. The rain had finally stopped and I was getting a bit warm, except for my numb fingers, so I pulled my arm sleeves down a bit. My gloves were soaked so I took them off and ditched them at a garbage can hoping that if I could dry my fingers out a bit they’d warm up. The rollers soon started after this but they weren’t too awful and I was still holding a sub 5:30 pace so I wasn’t too worried. My watch beeped the fourth 7k with an average of 5:27/km. 28k and i was still feeling pretty good. Was I actually going to do this?! It was around the 28k mark where my race at R2H started to fall apart so I was feeling pretty positive. 

The next 2k I was still holding a sub 5:30 pace and my fingers had finally warmed up a bit where I was able to push the button to see where I was. 30k in 2:40. Another hour and a bit to go.....if I didn’t let myself walk at all I would get my BQ. Ok, fuck this, no breaks! You’re feeling good. You can do this! Cue Ice Cube « you can do it out your back into it ». And then it happened. Right as I started to think this was going to be MY race my tummy had other ideas. Cue Ministry « IT’S TIME! » Frig. I don’t want to shit my pants in the middle of a race but I’m so close. I can almost touch my BQ. Well if Shalane can take an 8 second poo at Boston I can too and veered off to go to the washroom. Probably I was more like 40 seconds because my soaking wet shorts were sticking to my skin but I eventually got them up and took off. At least I felt better knowing that I wasn’t about to be made into an internet meme and I’d be able to look my friends in the eyes again. Obviously my pace here slipped and I clocked this 7k with an average 5:38. It’s ok, you’re still ok. It’s fine. You can do it (put your back into it). I passed the final gel station where I must have looked a bit rougher than I thought because a man was telling me I was so close now and I should take a gel while stuffing it into my hand. My fingers didn’t want to work again and I couldn’t get it into my pocket so I finised the last 10k holding this gel. It was an Endurance Tap and they’re expensive, of course I’m keeping this one! I had caught up to a lady in a white tank after this right as her kids came out to cheer her on. Even though they were girls voices I pretended that the "Go mom’s"  were for me. That’s not creepy is it? 

Finally my watch beeped for that final 7k segment and my legs were starting to feel like lead. I quickly checked my time again and figured if I could keep my pace under 6mins I’d be ok. I knew that this was going to be the longest 7k of my life and I buckled myself in for the suck. As each km clicked by my brain shouted louder for me to just walk while my legs got heavier, but I never let it win. Just keep running. You can walk in 40 minutes. You can walk in half an hour. You can walk in 20 minutes. You can do it! (put your back into it) The 10k had joined us at this point and every time someone would zip past me I’d want to shout at them “hey just take my bib with you!”. I saw some old dude with a walker on wheels flying by the other way and I thought “frig man, I need that worse than you!” I’m such a good Christian. During the last 5k I kept hearing what I thought was a business with a loud speaker outside. Beep beep beep and muffled talking. I never thought anything of it until I realized that the sound was coming from my pocket. OMG I’m pocket dialing people but I’m way too tired to give a shit (turns out I made like 20 pocket video calls LOL) All of a sudden Nicole’s voice came out of my pocket “Sam you video called us!!! Go go you can do it!!” “ I’m fucking dying” I gasped and the call ended. I looked up and saw a photographer and gave zero shits. I don’t care, I don’t even have the energy to fake it for him. Then I saw the big bridge that I had seen in the course video and knew that I was close to the finish and was so happy. OMG I’m almost at the end. “Just walk for 10seconds then” my brain said but I didn’t let it win. My BQ cushion was slowly slipping away and I knew that I didn’t have a second to spare because my cement legs couldn’t go any faster so I was just going to have to suck it up and hope for the best. My vision started to blur but I kept going. Then two little bridges came into sight and I knew the finish was right over those. And then I could see it in the distance. I said aloud just in case there was anyone on a call in my pocket that I could see the finish and shuffled my way as fast as I could until I was finally over the line and my friends were calling my name and telling me that I did it! 
Just make it stop
I’m pretty sure the first words out of my mouth were “I had to take a poo break at 30k” because obviously they all needed to know this. And now I wait until September to see if 3:19 is a good enough cushion or if I literally shit myself out of Boston, but at least I’m not this person! 

Photo cred to Heather's mom. This is literally 30 seconds after I crossed the finish line. I'm not 100% sure I have a pulse 
Chip time 3:51:41. My BQ is 3:55 because I'm old 

Overall I'm really happy with how my race went and I'm super proud that I didn't ever stop or walk other than the bathroom break. I really hope that I make the Boston cutoff because I honestly do not want to try and feel that crappy again. That last 7k was SO hard. Kudos to people who can negative split a marathon because that's messed up. LMAO Congrats to Ivanka who also got a PB and BQ, and to Fab who got a massive PB all while training for an Ironman, and to Robin who finished her 19th marathon in super fast time. And also Heather who finished in 3:30. That's nuts.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Guelph Lake 1 Olympic

To say that I was unenthusiastic about doing this race would be an understatement. I've barely ridden my bike all year and Lululemon was the title sponsor at the Waterfront 10k on the same day. But I'd told Emma and Ivanka that I was going to do it with them so I begrudgingly signed up. Just because I almost died my first outdoor ride of the season, how bad could it be?

Ivanka picked me up bright and early race morning and we made our way out to Guelph Lake to meet Emma. This is my 3rd time doing an event here so I was fairly familiar with everything. I'm not quite sure how I forgot how crappy the first/last 5k of the bike course is but, details.
This is gonna be way better than the Waterfront 10K!

We got ourselves all set up and then I made my way down to the lake while Ivanka went to the start of the du. In hindsight maybe I should have done the du as well. But again, details. I got in the water and got out the open water heebeejeebes and chatted with a guy I know from the pool at the Y and Emma. I also saw him at Chilly where I yelled out "Hey, swimming guy!" to him. This time I remembered his name was Chris. We waited for the waves the start and finally it was ours. It was a run in from the beach which was weird but fairly uneventful. I just got in the water and swam as you do at a triathlon. After a short while my goggles started to fog up and soon after I was not really noticing anyone swimming around me but I didn't question it. I also didn't question why the buoys that I was sighting off all of a sudden seemed so far apart. I just swam and did my thing. As I was coming up to the 'turn buoy' a boat with two guys came up really close to me. I did question that a little. What the heck guys?! I've been having earaches in the cold open water lately so I had my swim cap pulled over my ears to keep the water out so I thought they might have been talking to me but I wasn't sure. After a few seconds they came up really close and were pointing to the left. Weird. I thought. I've never been to a race where they point at the buoys for you. I kept swimming and they seemed to be steering their boat right into my path. Eventually I realized that they were telling me that the buoy that I needed to go around was way the hell to the left of me (you're supposed to keep the buoys on your right). I stopped, cleared out my foggy goggles and realized I was in the middle of the swim zone!! "WHERE THE HELL AM I?!?!" I yelled to them. "It's ok, you're not THAT far off" one of the guys said to me in a voice that told me I was indeed THAT far off but he felt sorry for me. I sighed a heavy sigh and started towards the buoy that they were pointing at. Soon enough though a girl on a kayak came paddling up to me and said "No! You have to go around that one back there first!". "F*CK ME!" I yelled, so absolutely frustrated with how this whole swim was unfolding. I started to swim towards the buoy that she was pointing at and thought about just going straight rather than back but considering it was all green caps in the area I'd be pretty easy to pick out in my blue cap. So I went back and swam around the buoy that the girl pointed at, then the buoy that they guys pointed at, then the buoy that I was heading for and then eventually was making my way back to the shore.
This is Emma's swim. Perfect.

This is mine. Perfectly f*cked.

I was so disheartened at this point I really thought about calling it a day right then and there. If it wasn't for the fact that the girls would be another two hours before they finished I might have. Instead I made my way to shore, all the way up to the transition area where the timing mat is (which is so stupid) and into T1 where I only noticed one bike other than mine on the rack.
I felt like I got out of transition fairly quickly for me and made my way out onto the bike course. My heart rate was crazy like usual and I still had the feelings of wanting to quit the race in the back of my mind. Then I thought about Kerry who's visitation I had been to the day before and got my head out of the dark zone. What wouldn't Kerry give to be racing this day?! Just be happy to be here and that was the end of that. I rode my bike and was happy to be there. I passed a lot of people on the bike which was weird because 1) my bike fitness is garbage and 2) at my best I rarely pass people on the bike LOL. I got to the turnaround and was happy to be making my way back. Around 27k there's a fair hill and I noticed that the girl who was riding ahead of me was swerving all over the place. I was wondering what the heck she was doing! All of a sudden she just tipped over and rolled into the ditch with her bike on top of her. "Are you ok?!" I yelled to her as I hopped off my bike fearing she had collapsed. What else could explain the way she was riding?! "Yes, I'm ok" she said as I pulled her bike off of her. "I just didn't want to change the gears" she said. I couldn't help but laugh "ALWAYS change your gears!" I said to her.  (Since she was riding a tri bike I'd have to guess that she borrowed it from someone and wasn't comfortable changing the gears on the aero bars). I got her dusted off and made sure everything was ok and then we walked up the hill. I'd say about 10 people had rode past us this whole time and only 1 asked if she was ok. I couldn't believe it and made a mental note to catch each one of them on the run. She thanked me for stopping to help her and told me I didn't have to stay with her. I told her that I wasn't winning this thing so I may as well try to be a decent human being. Also, I'm not killing myself starting from zero on the middle of a hill. At the top of the hill I got on my bike, wished her well and told her to remember to change her gears!! A short time later I passed another girl trying to fix her bike. I asked what was wrong and she said she didn't know how to get her chain back on. Thankfully I saw a race vehicle up ahead so they would help her. I just wanted to get back and get on the run to finish this race!

After another trip to transition I made my way out onto the run and was feeling pretty good. Finally! Unfortunately my first few steps running made me realize that the top to my handheld was broken and my drink was splashing everywhere so I had to run back and put it on my transition mat and hope that I could get away with just water on the run. I'd had two scoops of Infinit in my bottle on the bike so that should hopefully be ok. It was pretty hot out so at each aid station I grabbed a water, drank half and poured the rest on my head. It was a decent system and thankfully there was no bonking to be had. Phew! I passed a couple of downed runners, but thankfully they were being attended to so I didn't need to stop for anyone. I was feeling really strong and passing people at a good pace. I offered words of encouragement to everyone I passed and most told me how strong I was running which was a nice confidence booster. There was one sketchy spot where they had us run down into this foresty area and my main thought were ticks and having to go back up that hill. I gave myself permission to walk up it seeing as everyone else seemed to be doing the same thing. The comments from other athletes down there were pretty funny so it made for some entertainment at least. With 2k to go I passed a girl and told her 'good job' and she told me she hated me for how easy I was making it look. I told her I just wanted to get finished, eye on the prize. Up ahead I saw a photographer and spun my bib belt around so he could catch my number and told him that I was ready for him as I threw my hands in the air. Obviously he has never been to a race with Nicole because he looked at me like I was totally weird. LOL
Free photo courtesy of Emma as opposed to $50 download

Down the home stretch was the IronCanuks cheer squad, I got some high fives and made my way to the blow up Subaru arch only to find that it wasn't the finish line as I'd assumed. What the hell guys?! Don't put something finish liney out if it isn't the finish line!! Eventually I got to the actual finish line and they called me name and I was happy to be done. And after everything I was happy that I had come out and participated! Go figure. Mind you, I then found out that the Lululemon race gave out donuts at the end and all I got here was a bag of ketchup chips and a sub with pickles and hot peppers on it.
I won't bore you with times and placements seeing as I swam over 1600m and stopped to help that girl so none of that counts. What does count is I'm excited to race again on Saturday in Welland and hope that it is uneventful! And probably I should ride my bike a few more times before Irongirl in August. And maybe swim more than twice a month. But, details.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Barrelman 2016

Wasn't it just one short year ago where I swore I would never do another 70.3? And here I am now, my TFL's still angry at me for completing another one. I'm either stupid or a glutton for punishment. Probably a bit of both. A lot of both.

My main goal going into Barrelman this year was to do better on the bike. I've not swum too much this summer and my running is my running, those are what they are. The bike I really wanted to improve on, but how much better could I do? I was quite frankly sick of training by August and skipped a lot of workouts. Only race day would tell.....

After sleeping like garbage all week I finally had a solid sleep on Saturday night. This had to be a good sign right?! I picked Ivanka up at 6am and headed out to Niagara Falls where a shuttle bus would take us to the start in Welland. Been there, done that. There's something to be said about familiarity and at least I had that going for me in this race. I had done the Welland long course in June which is the same swim and 56k of the Barrelman bike course so that really helped me a lot.

We milled around saying hello to people (thanks for coming and introducing yourself Barry!) and I made a quick bathroom break before heading to get body marked by the body marker extroardinaire Nicole. Not many people realize that there is a washroom on the main floor at the Flatwater Centre so even though I was in line behind 2 guys (why do guys take forever in the bathroom any way?! Don't take your #1 poop at the race. Do that at home!) it was still shorter than the long line downstairs. I made a joke to the guy in line behind me that buddy must be taking a shower in there, he's taking so long. "There's a shower in there?!" he asked?

After giving everyone hugs and high fives and taking pics it was time to get my wetsuit on and make my way down to the swim start. I hung out with the birthday girl Irina in the water until the gun sounded, as well as Natalie and Emma. Today I was in the second last wave so expected things to be just as uneventful as they were. I love swimming at this venue. It's just so calm and civilized. Unfortunately they took out the guide wire though so I actually had to pay attention to where I was swimming this time. Boo Flatwater Centre! Swimming is still my happy place at these events believe it or not, and I'm perfectly happy to take my time and enjoy myself out there. Much of my youth was spent hurting in the pool, I'm just not down with that as an adult. Just don't tell my dad. He'd be mortified to see my swim times now. LOL With about 250m to go (I love the distance markers here!) I passed Irina which was a bit of a surprise to actually recognize a friend out there. In no time I was climbing out of the water and trying unsuccessfully to take my wetsuit off (it was stuck on my Garmin) as Nicole snapped my picture. Up into my first transition smoke break of the day and Irina was running past me giving me shit for passing her. Ha. I was surprised to still see so many bikes on the rack because I was pretty slow out there but whatever, I'll take it. I got changed into my bike stuff and strolled out onto the bike course, not a care in the world. I waved at Zindine and started out on my 89km ride.

2k swim + run up to transition 47:21
21/30 AG 138/200 Ladies

Once out on the ride course I ate two dates because I was friggin' starving. I really wish that I'd brought more than a banana to eat because I was pretty hungry before the gun even went off. I was in a fairly large pack for the first little bit but it's hard to spread out that early with that many people around. Not even 3k in and my day was almost ended when I turned to look behind me and somehow during that few seconds the guy I was riding behind had gone around a local cyclist and I almost went crashing into him. Thankfully I was able to get up onto my handlebars and veer out of the way just in time. Buddy sure would have been surprised had I not. And not a nice surprise either. After that things calmed down. People rode past me and commented on the smiley face that Nicole had drawn on the back of my calf and made comments about the wind. I watched the scenery which include lily pads, a magnitude of roadkill frogs and turtles, some water bottles and an asthma inhaler. I wondered if I should pick that up and hand it in but it was too late by the time I thought about it. Once down by the lake I found the crosswind to be really strong so I had to come up onto my handle bars for fear that the wind would pick all 120lbs of me and my bike and send us sailing across the road. At the first aid station I pulled over and had a quick pee in the porta potty (this would be the last pee I had until 8pm that night. Considering I use liquid nutrition that's pretty scary) and was back on my merry way, wondering how bad the crosswind would be once I made the next turn. Turns out it was pretty bad here too. I passed a man who was finishing up fixing a flat and asked if he needed anything. He did not but made sure to tell me on his way by that we'd probably never be rid of this headwind/crosswind all day. Greeeeeeeeat. After this I pretty much sent out a silent prayer at every turn to please please please not be headwind.

When things got boring I would play a game of trying to read peoples names on their bibs. This was actually something I did on the run too. What I would think I saw and what it actually said were very rarely the same. Basil? ....... Nope! Daniel! Pisa?!?! What the heck kind of name is that?! ....Oh! Lise! I got to the spot where Mari had passed me last year and  strangely enough Kim passed me there this year. At least she was in the same swim wave as me! LOL The entire ride was fairly uneventful as far as my triathlon rides go and I was soon chasing Tri Granny #1 down the final stretch along the Niagara River. Into the headwind. Flashbacks of last years Niagara Falls half came rushing in and I may have dropped a few F Bombs down around here. Finally I was cruising over the bridge and making the turn into the park. I thanked Tri Granny #1 for giving me something to chase down that final stretch just as Zindine was yelling out to me to have a quick transition. Ha. I made my way up to where I knew my bike rack would be (thanks Zin for pointing out that transition map to me!) and lit my T2 smoke.

89k ride 3:16
22/30 AG 153/200 Ladies

I knew that my ride was 20 minutes faster than last year so I planned to just try to stick to an easy 6:00/km pace for the run so that I could get a great PB. Haha no I didn't. My plan was a 5:30/km for the first loop and a 5:45/km for the second with a death march contingency plan of 6:00/km. Too bad for me the temp with humidity was 32* so that plan went up in smoke pretty much 200m in. There were walk breaks galore and my TFLs were not very happy with me. And there was something going on with my sock! It felt like it was all bunched up around my heel so I kept trying to stop and straighten it out. Down into the park I saw Emma. Then I saw Mellen. "Are you on your second loop?!?! I yelled to her. Bitch! Then I saw Graeme. Then I went and introduced myself to Amber by creepily grabbing hold of her race bib so that I could read the name on it.
She says it wasn't but this was probably Ambers face LOL

Then it was just me again. Me and my bunched up sock and this awful heat. Finally down along the falls it got so annoying that once I got out of anywhere I thought a photographer might be I sat down in the grass and pulled my shoe off to see what was going on. Turns out the extra hair elastic that I had thrown into my transition bag had found it's way into my shoe. Idiot! Well at least that was one less thing bothering me any way. On a list of 1000. I then made my way back through the park to the start of the second loop where I saw some of Emma's teammates cheering me on and Prasheel! What a nice surprise that was. Hopefully I didn't look as awful as I felt. I stopped at the 10.5k aid station while I heard them call Graeme's name over at the finish area, and put more infinit into my water bottle and filled it back up from their big jug. Now on top of everything else I was super sticky. Perfect. I checked my watch and saw that this first loop had taken me 1:06. I had one hour to match my time from last year. No biggie. I could do this. I made my way back down to the park where I saw Emma again. Dammit. She was almost finished and I still had another hour of suckage to go. Once I got into the park the familiar feel of my stomach cramping up hit me and I knew that things were about to hit rock bottom. I walked a little bit with the rest of the 70.3 zombies and Tri Granny #2 went running past us. You go girl. I got to the turn around down there and commented to a guy that I wished we could just run straight up to the road where we'd only have 2k left to go. "You'll only be cheating yourself" he told me. Thanks, tips. I walked with him for a few minutes where he told me that he found this course harder than Muskoka. I wonder if we did the same Muskoka?! Once I realized he had zero interest in running again I said goodbye and took off. Well, probably taking off is leaving you with a bit of the wrong mental image, but I left him nonetheless. I walked the shitty hill and chatted with another guy there while he ate pretzels. "It's too hot for this shit" I said to him. "At least you can go home after this and not feel guilty about binge watching Narcos" he said to me. "Although you'll only make it through half an episode before you fall asleep". That made me laugh. I may have started going a little crazy at this point. We got to the top of the hill where I told him I did not want to run another step. He wished me well and started to run. And then he walked. And then I ran. And then I walked. And then he ran. And then he walked. We back and forthed like this for a while until I finally passed him and never saw him again. I was running out of steam as I came to the second hill and thought I really need to eat something. I knew that a gel would not be a good idea so I opted for the pretzels. They actually helped my although they were dry as frick in my already dry mouth.

I got to the top of the hill and looked at the falls and thought I may as well take my phone out and take a picture. I didn't though. There was a nice downhill waiting for me so off I went to catch it, even though the pounding killed my TFLs. At the next aid station I grabbed some more pretzels and thankfully my tummy was not feeling any worse from them. I spied Emma and Irina's friend Kyra here and walk/ran my way to catch her to introduce myself. I then steeled myself for that final push to the finish line. I could see Tri Granny #2 in the distance and slowly made my way to catch her. I gave myself permission to walk whenever she walked and eventually passed her. As I was taking another walk break she ran past me and I gave her crap because she was running and I was only allowed to walk when she walked. Hope she knew it was a joke. Unfortch my jokes weren't killing it out here like they were in Muskoka. I think we were all just feeling a little too awful for my comedic gold. Finally there was only 1km left in this God forsaken race and I refused to walk any more. Just get this over and done with.
As I made my way to the finish line I could hear the Iron Canucks cheering for me and as I got closer to the finish I could hear Nicole cheering for me. Finally I made it over the finishing mat, turned my Garmin off and dropped the final F Bomb of the day.

21.1k Run 2:25 loop 1 1:06 loop 2 1:18
15/30 AG 132/200 Ladies

Oh hey, Tin Man!

Worlds best coach who isn't a coach 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ironman 70.3 Muskoka

After doing Barrelman last year and seeing that I could actually cover the 70.3 distance and live to tell the tale I wanted to tackle an Ironman™ branded race because, Ironman™!! I was unable to register for Mont Tremblant 70.3 in time with Mari (which in hindsight was probably for the best, the weather was awful) I decided to sign up for Muskoka. I knew it was hard but how hard could it be? *insert pompus laughter here*

My family came up to Huntsville for the weekend with me and apart from being trapped inside the hotel for most of Saturday because of the rain we had a really great time. It's always fun to get away. We arrived Friday afternoon and after checking into the hotel we went to registration (where they still had me in the first wave with the 30-34 year olds!) and got my kit and hit the Ironman store. I'm cheap and only bought a water bottle. I knew I would be getting a finishers shirt & hat and had just gotten a backpack so what was the point in buying more? We quickly met up with Emma and her family to say hello and then made our way to downtown Hunstville. We ate dinner on the lakeside patio at Boston Pizza (beautiful!) and then drove around checking out the sights (and locals) and even found the town crack house. 

We're here!!

Best patio ever! Seats right on the water.

Saturday I met up with Irina and Zin and went to the athlete briefing. It was still pouring rain so I left my bike at the hotel room and figured I'd bring it back later in the afternoon. After the meeting I texted Derek to come and get me and he suggested that it had stopped raining so why don't they bring my bike over. Ok, good plan I thought and went up to the road to meet them. Once they arrived I found my bike IN the trunk rather than on the bike rack that Emma had lent me for the weekend and was a little worried. I quickly rode it around the parking lot and things seemed ok so I took it to transition, covered it in a garbage bag and said goodbye to go do a little geocaching. 
Geocaching on the Trans Canada Trail

Race morning finally came and I was tired. I didn't sleep well Friday night and the power went out Saturday night and the noise of the microwave losing power in our room had woken me out of a deep sleep. Then of course when the power came back on that woke me up too. Add in Derek's snoring and it's a recipe for a restless night. I met Irina and Zin in the lobby at 5:25 and we made our way to the shuttle bus where Irina secured my timing chip with a safety pin. To be honest I wasn't 100% sure why she did this. I did figure it out later though. I was feeling pretty nervous now, I was really scared about the bike course. You can do it everyone assured me, but could I? I got myself set up in transition, hit the porta potty and made my way down to the swim start with Mellen who I found in the transition area. Once again she gave me assurance that I could do this bike. I wondered did she know that I'm not a strong cyclist and only really had 8 weeks training under my belt after my marathon training? 
Obvs I didn't get the memo that we were supposed to "vogue"

Oh well, too late for second thoughts now. I saw instagrammer @piperb123 in the swim wave corral (I had just introduced myself to her in transition) and we chatted until it was time to get into the water. It was nice to have something to take my mind off of things. The water was nice and warm but it took me a little more time than usual to get my breathing controlled. I was so scared so I wasn't surprised. I lined myself up at the back of the pack just so that I wouldn't need to worry about people swimming over me for a while. I knew the relay wave was 5 minutes behind mine and that the fast ones would catch me by the halfway point but for now I could just swim and be happy. So the horn sounded the start and that's what I did. The swim was beautiful. I caught some people in the wave ahead of mine pretty early, I hoped that they made the swim cut off time. My sighting wasn't too bad. At first we were swimming into the sun so I just followed the crowd and hoped for the best because I couldn't see a single buoy for a while. After the turnaround the fast relay swimmers had caught up but they didn't bother me too much. I was in a sea of baby blue caps, green caps, dark blue caps and a couple of pink caps (two waves ahead of mine!!) just all trying to make it out of the water. I had a hard time after the final turn figuring out where the swim exit was so my line was not straight. Mental note to self, look and see where the swim exit is next time before the start. With about 200m left to go I felt someone grab my foot so I started kicking. Then I felt them grab at my timing chip and the velcro go lose! WTF?! I thought to myself. This idiot is trying to rip off my timing chip. Thank God Irina had put that safety pin on there! As buddy went to swim past me I grabbed his leg and squeezed just to let him know I was not impressed. Who the hell did this dick weed think he was trying to ruin my race like that?! I can ruin my race all on my own, thank you very much!! I made it to the exit where a man helped me out of the water and then a girl helped me off with my wetsuit and I started my way up the long hill back to transition. I think that maybe you were supposed to run this but nah. I got back to transition, fixed my timing chip and got my bike and left.

Where's that guy that tried to rip off my chip?! Lemme at him! 

Swim time 44:48 (40/51 AG)
T1 including the long run  walk up the hill 8:18

The first part of the bike course after the mount line was downhill and I was all "weeeeee" this is going to be fun. Then the uphills came and I found my bike harder and harder to ride. My heart rate was through the roof and as my watch beeped the first 5k split I seriously wondered if I would be able to ride another 89k of this. It felt SO hard. Around 8k I cursed myself for not bringing my phone because I might need to call Derek to come and pick me up. Sure that would mean that I would never be able to do another race like this again because it would always get brought up ("You're not signing up for that, remember I had to come and get you last time?") but at this point I didn't care. People were whizzing by me and I was barely pushing 15km/hr! As I climbed a hill just before 10k I realized that I could hear my back brakes rubbing so once I got to the top of the hill I hopped off of my bike and opened them up. A woman rode by and asked if I had everything that I needed and I thanked her. Things felt a lot easier after that but I was still never able to get my speed up. I made it to the first aid station but declined anything that they were offering with a thank you. People were still passing me and I wondered to myself if I would eventually be the only one out here. I played leap frog with a man for a while out here. I would pass him on the hills and say something funny and he would pass me on the straight aways and say something encouraging. I guess humour wasn't his strong suit. "Come on. push push push" he'd say. Eventually I dropped him so at least I knew I wouldn't be DFL out there. Silver linings. At the second aid station I took a bottle of water and like a pro filled up the aero bottle that Emma had given me (I'm everyone's little sister with the hand me downs, which I am not above taking). I saw Tracy (@piperb123) here and played leap frog with her and another girl until the third and last water station when I didn't see either of them again. There was an annoying headwind during this stretch that I wasn't too keen on. When my watch beeped 50k I realized that I would be out here for 4.5 hours and it was seriously the most defeated that I would feel all day. I had figured I would be about 3:45 and knew that my family would be worrying about me back at Deerhurst. Ok, maybe not my whole family because I had bought the boys passes to use the lake facilities for the day but Derek would be. I tried my hardest to speed up to get back as quick as possible but it just was not happening so I tried to push it all out of my mind and just enjoy the scenery and not focus on the rest. With the exception of that first 10k the ride was honestly not that bad the first 75k so I do not know what happened to me out there. I was stronger than what was showing but some days you're the dog and some days you're the hydrant. Today I was the hydrant. At 75k I came to the first of a string of challenging hills. As I was climbing it I passed a couple on the phone looking for something in the woods and could hear the man saying that people had flagged him down and told him someone was in trouble. I saw a water bottle on the road but that was it. Hopefully whoever it was would be ok. I made it to the top of this hill completely winded and saw 2 people getting on their bikes. "That sucked" I said. "Just think about the beer at the finish" the guy said to me. While that hill was hard I knew that the biggest challenge was going to be around 80k thanks to Emma's recon ride a few weeks ago. No walking your bike up the hills I reminded myself. As I came up to the dreaded hill I saw three people walking their bikes up it. "NOPE!" I yelled to myself and passed them. My reward for pushing up that hill was an amazing downhill. Finally something fun out here! And so went the rest of that uphill ride. Me pushing myself up those hills while I passed others walking their bikes. "This sucks, eh?" I'd grunt at all of them while they'd look at me wondering what I had to prove. Just get off and walk I could read their thought bubbles. I'd be damned if I was walking up a single hill. I needed something to be proud of myself for out here. At 88k I knew that I was going to make it but I was so not down with running after all this. I just wanted to go home. Just get it done I thought to myself. You won't get your medal if you don't run. I'm never doing this race again I thought to myself. Well maybe the relay but I'm not doing the bike! Finally I made it to the final hill and I'll be honest. I really really really wanted to join the man walking his bike but I pushed through and made it to the top. Buddy passed me after that but we ended up at the dismount line together. As I was riding down that final stretch I could see people walking by with their medals and that made me feel really down. I still had another 21k to run and they were done? Boo. I walked my bike into transition because my legs were fried, got my running stuff on and hit the porta potty. I texted Derek that I was finally done the bike and it would probably take me about 2.5 hours to finish the run. I found out later that Derek had no service on his phone and never got my text. He had somehow missed me riding in and running out and was seriously wondering if I was laying on the road somewhere. It didn't help that Noah told him that he had heard someone had died out there. Apparently at this point in the conversation Kyle asked if anyone else was hungry and if they'd be going to eat soon. LMAO 

"I'm fuckin' dying!" I yelled to the photographer

Bike time 4:29:16 (45/51 AG) 
T2 including porta potty and getting lost 5:20

As I left the porta potty I got totally disorientated in the transition area and couldn't remember where the run out was. I finally saw it but there was a volunteer standing in the way. "Am I supposed to be going this way?" I asked her. Apparently I was. Guess she wasn't expecting any more runners coming out of there. At the first uphill I stopped to walk and pulled out a zantac before my tummy started giving me any trouble. Then I walked the next up hill and the next one and oh, is that a bit of an incline? Better walk that too. I saw Emma on her way to the finish about 2k in and yelled at her "No walking". Thankfully I was running at that moment so I didn't look like a total hypocrite. I did the math and realized I was 2+ hours behind her. Yep, another low point in my day. And then the next one was when I could not see a single other runner ahead of me running out, but hundreds running in. This was going to be a long lonely suckfest. Last man on earth. Because I didn't see my family at the transition area (or them me) I wondered if they might be waiting to cheer for me in town and I started to get weepy thinking about them. I was just so tired, I wanted to go home. This was the longest I'd ever been out for a race and it was an awful feeling. It's hard to run and cry and I started to have troubles breathing so I had to push my loved ones out of my mind and get on with the run. As I got into town though a glorious thing happened. I was catching up to other runners going my way and passing them. I was not the only one out here any longer. I had people that I could commiserate with and laugh at the absurdity of it all. As I walked up a hill I said to the man walking beside me "the way back better have as many downhills as the way out has had uphills!". "I don't know who designed this course but they need to have their head examined!!" he said back to me. We chatted a bit and he asked me if we'd make the cutoff. We have lots of time I assured him. We may be pulling an entire work shift out here but we'll make it. Then someone pointed out the halfway mat to us and I said goodbye to him while I sang Bon Jovi in my head and started my internal countdown. I was passing lots of runners now and made the same stupid jokes to them as I ran by but they all laughed. I passed the retirement home where 3 ladies had been out cheering before and got a thumbs up and a "You go girl" from an elderly lady on a scooter. "Thanks, Mrs!" I yelled back to her. I was starting to chafe under my arms now and frantically asked every aid station if they had vaseline while running with my arms flapping like wings so they wouldn't rub. Finally I found a station with a fresh jar and the lady handed it to me. "Uh, I don't mind sticking my fingers in there but do you maybe have a stick?" The lady found one and pulled out the hugest blob of Vaseline for me which eventually melted and ran all down my arms. I could feel blisters on the balls of my feet now too and wondered if I should put some Vaseline on those but figured that would just feel gross so just dealt with the burning going on down there. This run was really starting to suck but I was on the homestretch. Around 16k I was really starting to run out of gas and was long out of my Infinit drink so I took a chance at the aid station and took one of their gels. I had actually said aloud "I don't think I can make it" while realizing that I was now one of those people who I usually drive past on my way home, feeling sorry for them still being out there. Low point number I've lost count of the day. Thankfully I had a gingin in my handheld pocket and that helped the gel stay settled. I walked a bit until the gel did it's job and then it was all business. Just get to the finish. I walked the last sucky hill with about 5 other people and said "I'm so glad that I did all of that hill training for this because I haven't run a single hill!" God, I was killing it out there with my jokes! At the top I started running again and left all of those people behind. I passed a man with a Pace Performance top on and I asked him if he was from Burlington. He was! "Me too" I said. And then over my shoulder added "It was your top that gave it away, I'm not creepy!". He laughed and said that he knew. I could see Deerhurst in the distance now and a guy with a medal around his neck cheered me on. "Is the medal worth it?" I asked. "Oh yeah, go get yours!" he said. I could hear the finish line and booted down Deerhurst Dr. I heard Noah yell to me and he ran in the crowd beside me to join the rest of my family cheering. I ran through the run area that surrounds the transition and people with their finishers shirts on were all cheering for me. I was SO happy. I ran down the finishing chute and heard them say my name and that I was looking for adventure. Did I write that? I don't remember if I did but I sure got it today. I saw Irina standing on the other side of the finish line and ran through the tape right into her arms and cried. "That was SO hard" I bawled. "I know" she said to me with tears in her eyes. "I was out there SO long. Everyone must have been worried". They were but they knew I'd get there eventually. And I did. Yay me. 

Look who's smiling now

Fuck me right?!

If you ever need a hug this is the girl to go to. She gives the best ones ever #freehugs

Run time 2:26:55 (40/51 AG)
Total 7:54:37 (40/51)

There it is in all of it's horrible glory. Perhaps I'll go back for redemption one day. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Toronto Goodlife Marathon

For 18 weeks less a day I was super excited for the Goodlife Marathon. I trained as best I could through the winter months, a chest infection and a sprained ankle and was feeling good about running a Nicole's BQ paced run. Then race day came and I just wasn't excited anymore. You know it's not going to be a good day when you say aloud on the bus ride to the start "I don't want to do this anymore".

Sweet ass rain coat

The weather was miserable and I knew that my tummy was going to be a bitch. My heart just wasn't in this one but I lined up at the start line with Nicole and Ivanka, let out a big sigh and started a rain coat from the dollar store that was the same material as a shower curtain liner. 1k in and I ripped that thing off like the Hulk. Or Hulk Hogan. Some sort of beastly creature that would tear a shirt at the neck any way.

I ran down unknown streets happy to let Nicole take the lead and silently counted off the kms. Only 40 more to go! Oh God. We ran halfway up a big hill and Nicole called a walk break. Right-o! I guess this was Hoggs Hollow? I have no idea but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. We lost Ivanka on this hill so for a long time I wondered how far ahead of us she was and how she was doing. Even though we didn't talk during the race it's nice to know that someone is there beside you, I wonder if she's lonely. Around 10k I started thinking to myself that I was never going to run another marathon. This was lame. The weather sucked. Running sucked. I sucked. Forty two kilometers sure as hell sucked. Nicole was cool though. She didn't suck.

Shortly after this Nicole had to pull off and stretch her quads. I was happy for the break and my tummy was starting to ache. I pulled out some gingins and hoped for the best. We ran along some more, still in unknown areas to me. Some ladies asked us if we were doing the 10s & 1s method. "We're doing the whatever it takes to get through this method" I replied. I think my humour was lost on them as they ran ahead. Nicole asked how my tummy was. "I just need to get to the half" I told her. I had silently made a deal with myself to get to the half strong and then I could let Nicole go if I wanted. Sometimes it's easier to complete the task if you give yourself permission to have an out. I really wanted an out. This sucked. Finally we were running in the downtown area and I actually kind of knew where I was. This was exciting for me and gave me a bit of a boost. I continued to eat my gingins to help my tummy but at least I was no longer feeling like I didn't want to go on. I was going to finish this race, and probably run another, dammit! We finally got down to Lakeshore and my mindset was good. I knew where I was for once. I have never really been down here on foot but I've driven by countless times watching the runners go by on the trail. Nicole had to stretch her quads again and I silently waited. I could hear the finish line but I purposely didn't look over for it. What the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve. A little while later my stomach started cramping and I couldn't face the thought of eating another gingin but then I remembered that I had thrown a prescription Zantac in my pocket at Derek's suggestion so I took that. I had to stop and walk again the cramping was so bad but then we went on running again. And then I had to stop again. Nicole's friend Peter ran by at that point so I told Nicole to go and run with him. "Why?" she asked. "I'm running with you". "I don't want to be the cause of another personal worst" I told her. See that's the thing. When it's my partner having difficulty and needing a break I'm all "No worries, take your time" and I understand and genuinely mean it, but when I'm the one holding them back it's an awful feeling. At this point a spectator in Boston gear jumped in with us. "You're wearing a donut on your shirt and you're wearing a beer! There's nothing you guys can't do!!". This was the little pep talk that I really needed at this point so I started running as he ran with us and he cheered us on. And then magically either by Boston Strangers vibes or the Zantac my tummy started to feel a lot better. Nicole suggested that we do 10s and 1s (for real this time) so we settled in to that and carried on. We watched the fast runners coming back along Lakeshore and commented how awful they all looked. Glad that we weren't the only ones feeling like garbage. All of a sudden Nicole told me that we only had 9k to go and I almost jumped out of my shoes I was so excited. I had no idea we were that far! Holy shit, I was doing this and I was actually feeling ok. We took another walk break and spied Ivanka up ahead just as Marlene passed by us with pity in her eyes (I actually laughed at the look that she gave us). At least all of us weren't feeling like crap out there. We ran for a little bit in the park, passed a large group of guys and then lost Ivanka right as we were turning into the wind. Or should I say THE WIND!!! No wonder everyone running back to the finish line looked so terrible. The wind was awful. AWFUL! I had secretly hoped that all of our windy day training runs would help us out with this element but we'd never run in the wind with 35k on our legs before so it did nothing.

Crap, let's just get this over with. I counted off each km and took the walk breaks that Nicole was calling. We even took the one at 41k that I would normally never do. We ran along cheering with the spectators that were telling us that there would be beer and donuts at the finish line (LIARS!) and thanking all of the volunteers that were out in this horrible weather. There are truly better ways to get your community service hours. Like cleaning toilets at the bus station.
First time for everything. I'm smiling Nicole is not

Finally a girl walking along yelled to me "At the green light you're going to turn. The finish is right there". I wonder if she could see that I was trying to see where the finish line was?! "Run to the green light!!" I yelled to Nicole. This was seriously the happiest I'd been all morning. Finally a light was at the end of this gloomy, rainy, windy, shit show of a tunnel. I turned at the light and let out a sigh of relief. The finish line! I ran my ass off while Nicole posed for the cameras and finally crossed that line and turned and gave Nicole a high five. The original Shalane and Amy.

Did someone leave the barn door open?

Big medals and the worst post race food ever. And no foils! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ATB 2016

Ah, Around the Bay. How I love you. 30k of Hamilton filth, hills and the sound of people dying. What's not to love?!

On Friday as is now tradition I met up with Emma (and her hubby) Zindine and Ivanka and had Burrito Boyz for lunch and then headed over to the expo. I was pretty disappointed to see that there were no souvenir shirts for sale this year and the race shirts were now Running Room and not New Balance. And once again they were purple! I have 4 ATB race shirts. Two pink, two purple. Please get a new colour palette next year Around the Bay!! Once we finished there I headed to physio to get another laser treatment on my ankle, which was now swollen again, and some graston on my calves. Then it was home to ice my ankle for the rest of the weekend.

Race day rolled around and Nicole drove us into Hamilton. We headed to Copps to meet up with friends, eat bananas and hit the bathroom lines a couple of times before the race started.

 Eventually we headed down to the start corrals only to realize that the horn had blown and we were still on the sidewalk. EEK! Quickly I ripped off my snazzy Resolution Run throwaway jacket and we made our way into the sea of runners and were off. As luck would have it I noticed my friend Michelle amongst the spectators and was able to run over and give her a hello hug before I crossed the start line. I was super happy to see her! It was pretty cold out, my ankle was feeling iffy and my legs felt like lead. exactly how you want to start a race.
Nicole calls this "No photos please" I call it "I'm freezing my ass off". Note
Jamie's hat that his Nana knit him.

 Jamie and Graham were with us at this point and Jamie made some remark about short girls not dodging runners and losing them. I mentioned that probably wasn't good for my ankle any way so we didn't do too much bobbing and weaving. It was super crowded for a long time and I was really nervous about someone taking me out and hurting my ankle even more. I still have a marathon to run in 4 weeks. This is not a goal race for me! Our race plan was simply 'see how things go and dial it back if my ankle or Nicole's IT band starts to make it's presence known'. Time ticked away and the sun came out to teach us all a lesson about overdressing for the race, as always. The sweat was pouring off me but I didn't want to take anything off for fear of eventually turning the corner into headwind. Around 6k we passed Jamie's hat that his nana had knit him on the road. I felt bad because I wouldn't throw anything away that my Nana had made me. Turns out it fell out of his pocket so I'm sorry that I didn't pick it up. We took the over passes in stride, never slowing down and ran over the 10k mats in 53:41.

I like to break this race up into 4 parts. Gross Hamilton. The beachstrip. Northshore and York. We were now on the beachstrip and the spectators are pretty great here. There's the old people in fur coats in front of the castle, my friend Bill and his family (Bill has told me that it's cool to watch the elite runners go by and then a little while later you hear the age groupers approaching), Laura's husband Bernie and his granddad, the smell of cooking with a hint of weed and the lift bridge. We got about 2/3 of the way over the lift bridge and I told Nicole that I had to walk. It did not make my ankle feel good AT ALL! Thankfully she didn't complain. Of course there was a photographer on the lift bridge and I was all ready for him except he was too busy taking pictures of the friggin' seagulls in the steel beams! Dude, those seagulls aren't going to buy your pictures. Mind you neither am I because they are so overpriced so carry on! We played back and forth with Emma on the beachstrip but never saw her again after we turned onto Northshore. This is where Nicole's IT band started acting up so we backed off. No sense ruining Goodlife for a training run race.

We saw Amy out on Northshore who was nice enough to offer us Advil. That actually cracked me up. Thankfully she didn't also offer peanuts a la Barb. LOL Northshore is alive with spectators and it really helps with the rolling hills. There's so much going on down there with people blasting music and cheering that the rollers don't seem so bad. Then you get to the hill leading up to LaSalle and want to die but you truck up it ready for more spectators. My sister hadn't said that she was going to be there this year but I looked for her anyway. Turns out they were at the Globetrotters in Toronto. Oh well, the hope of seeing another friendly face was enough for me at that point. "One more crappy hill and then that lame incline and we're done with the hills" I said to Nicole. I was now in cheerleader mode because I could tell that Nicole's knee was really bothering her. I had felt like something was touching my butt around the LaSalle hill and then realized that it was my muscle spasming. After we turned onto Plains Rd I said to Nicole. "Four more miles. We can do this! I just want to get this shit over with! My ankle is starting to hurt and my butt is killing me." I never even mentioned the crazy chafing that I could feel going on with my bra. The salt from my sweat was stinging it like crazy. We ran past the We Will Rock you Guy and got a laugh when he told me that I was "a good looker". "Obviously he hasn't seen me up close with mouth goo and crusty salt stains" I said to Nicole.

As Plains turned into York the headwind that I knew would be waiting for us started. Because who doesn't want to end a pretty tough race with headwind?! We ran along York and I tried talking a bit to Nicole to get her mind off of things but my tummy was starting to hurt a little. . I took out a frozen Gin-Gin around 27k and hoped for the best. Of course there was a photographer right there too but thankfully there is no photographic evidence of me trying to chew that thing. We high fived the guy with beet red bare feet, ran past the reepers and had a close encounter with the 51 feet under kind. I asked Nicole if we were going to hold hands at the finish line and sing "Best friends". I think that I found this more funny than she did. We ran past all of the dying runners and I tried to give encouragement to those I could. "Holy crap, where the frig is the finish?!?!" I bitched aloud. "Twice around the track" Nicole said to me. I think one of us says this at every race.
Get me to that finish line!

We turned the corner to run into Copps and both spoke a warning to the other one to take it easy. I must have taken it a little easier than Nicole on the turn because I had to sprint to catch up to her, and then she looked at me and ran even harder and yelled for me to grab her hand. I finished the race with a huge smile on my face but forgot to sing "best friends". Jokes on me.

Beeeest friennnnnds