Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Around The Bay 30K

Hamilton ON
BIB # 2559
Chip Time 2:48:56
Official Time 2:52:04
Pace 5:38/km
Place 2654/6850
Gender Place 836/3331
Category Place 152/600

****MENTAL NOTE TO SELF**** Do Not Eat Nachos the Night Before a Race.

The Around The Bay 30K is a race that I had been waiting in anticipation for a whole year to run. That's 365 days of excitement building! To say that I was eager for Sunday to arrive would be an understatement!

Sarah had been nice enough to organise a dinner on Saturday night so myself, Patty (and her fam), Emma (and her daughter), Marina & Maggie joined Sarah at the Royal Coachman. The trouble with being a vegetarian and going out to eat is that there's not a lot of options. There was not a whole lot of anything that appealed to me on the menu so I decided to go with the nachos. They're carbs right? How bad could it be? Fast forward to a few hours later in the evening when the nachos started repeating on me and I was starting to get my answer.....

I went to bed on Saturday night, set my alarm for 6am and went to sleep. Obviously I didn't have the most fitful sleep from being sick with a cold and excited for the run, and when I awoke hours later and saw that my clock read 6:30am I realized that I had once again forgotten to actually turn my alarm ON for a race! You would think that after Oakville I would have learned my lesson! Thankfully once again I had all of my stuff laid out and ready to go so all I had to do was get dressed, eat my breakfast, brush my teeth and go to the bathroom. It only took one trip to the loo to have my 'Nacho's are good prerace food' theory go out the window. Things just got interesting........

Around 7:30am Derek dropped me off to Sarah's house to catch a ride into the Hammer (which was a little different from the plan that Patty and I had come up with at the Expo to make Emma drive us, but this worked too) with the girls from last night. We quickly made it into Hamilton and found parking (which nobody thought to bring money for - thanks Emma!) and made our way to Copps to try to meet up with some DMers and my runkeeper friend Irina. Shortly before race time we hit the bathroom lineup once more and then joined the thousands trying to make their way out to the corrals. Patty & I walked along like a couple of lemmings following the crowd until Patty realized that we were in a sea of white bibs. Crap! It was now 9:27 and there was no way that we'd make it over to the closed corrals in time so we pushed our way into the open corral just as the gun went off. SHIT! I've still got on my sexy throw away track pants (I know that these pants were dead sexy because I saw people keep looking at them in envy!). I quickly kicked off my shoes, tore off my sexy throw away sweats and threw my shoes back on. Too bad that I didn't take the time to rub any of the nasty Hamilton street debris off of the bottoms of my socks because every now and then throughout the race a new stone would make itself known. This day is just getting better and better!

The race made it's way throughout the downtown area and I suggested to Patty that we should try running a little quicker for the first 10K or so just to try to bank some time in case we have troubles with the hills at the back end of the course. Patty agreed and we sped up. Through the entirety of the race the two of us girls seemed to be getting a lot of attention in our skirts. Spectators were pointing, runners were commenting (two ladies had  a whole conversation about each of our outfits), and dirtbags were taking photos. I don't even want to know....
Around 6K my tummy started feeling a little queasy but I tried not to think about it. Around 8k Patty suggested we gel but I told her that my stomach was not feeling good and I was going to try to wait a bit. Right away she asked if it was the nachos. I knew that was an eyeroll that I saw from her when I ordered them! Shortly after, Patty spotted her friend Beth in the crowd and almost took some random guy out trying to get over to her to pass off her water bottle. I had forgotten to ditch the small pack of kleenex that I had brought with me but after almost spitting on Patty twice (I'm sure that you don't need me to spell out that conversation to you) I figured that it was probably a good thing that I still had them and blew my nose. Now Patty had a new job on this run. To be my official booger checker. Sorry, but I didn't want to be like the guy that Derek saw running down York with a giant snot bubble hanging from his face!

Just after the 9K point there was a set of railroad tracks in the distance. How did I know that they were railroad tracks? Because all of a sudden red lights started flashing, bells starting dinging and the crossing arms started to go down. At that same moment the loudest collective NO! in the history of the universe was shouted as everyone started to haul ass to make it over the tracks in time. Patty looked at me and asked what we should do. RUN LIKE HELL! I yelled to her over my shoulder! The train was still off in the distance so we were pretty safe. The police officer who I refused to look at (in case he told me to stop) was apparently waving people through so we weren't in that much danger. A man who was running alongside us said that he's run this race the last 10 years and never seen that happen before. Just my luck! Not long after this I was able to take a gel. Unfortunately this was going to be the only one that I would be able to stomach for the rest of the race.

Things were pretty uneventful running down the Beach Strip towards Northshore. I saw my friend Bill out in the crowds with his dog which was a nice surprise. Not soon before we hit the lift bridge I decided that I would try to spit again because I was getting tired of stuffing snotty kleenex into my skirt pocket. This time I made sure to do it in front rather than to the side so that I wouldn't hit Patty. Obviously I have terrible aim because the guy running ahead of me missed getting a giant gob on his left ass check by a mere inch! Thank God he was wearing headphones and couldn't hear the nervous laughter coming from behind him!

Running with an upset stomach and a cold was starting to take it's toll on me. I was almost out of water and the stations seemed to be few and far between. As we neared Northshore I was getting desperate and thankfully took an orange slice from some unofficial random strangers. They had runner club jackets on so I figured I was safe. Surely they weren't part of some strange body trafficking ring that drugs runners under the disguise of kindness and comes along the course at the end of the race in a van and collects their victims??!! Now Patty had a new job. To make sure that nobody stole me! Probably that would be better than checking for boogers anyway. As we came up to the rollers on Northshore Patty reminded me to keep an even effort. Check. Up and down and up and down we went and I was getting really thirsty again but didn't want to have to drink the small amount of water that I had left. "Where the F are the drink stations?!?" I yelled. Patty agreed and I could see that she was in real need of water too. I offered her some of mine and realized just how desperate she was when she actually went to take a sip, cold cooties and all. Lucky for her just as she was raising the bottle to her mouth a water table came into sight. Cooties averted! I was starting to get light headed so I grabbed two cups of Gatorade and gulped them down. Soon after we were at the bottom of the first crappy hill. A random woman said to her friend "Who is it that hates this hill again?". "EVERYONE!" was Patty's response. We made it to LaSalle Park and I started looking for my sister and her family who I knew would be up here. I spotted them before they saw me and I ran over to give them high fives. Too bad that my little nephew didn't see me and my big nephew was way to cool to be giving his snotty nosed aunt a high five but my sister & her bf were happy to smack my hand. Yay! Off I went again to tackle the next hill with a little spring in my step. Too bad that it didn't last and I could feel myself starting to drag. I got quiet and only responded to Patty's conversation with one word answers or grunts. We got up onto Plains Rd and Patty had to walk for a minute to get her gel out of her pocket. I gladly told her that was fine and took a little more water. This was the hardest part for me to start running again....the lowest of the low. Almost as if it were a sign we noticed the Priest of the church across the street with the Palms blessing all of the runners. I said a little prayer inside my head and took strength. Thank you God. :o)

Soon enough we came to the spot where the famed 'little person' was. I could hear the We Will Rock You blaring from his ghetto blaster (does he seriously listen to that for 3-4 hours straight?!). I watched people high five him as we ran by but all of my high five energy had been given to my sister. Down the valley we ran and made our way over the bridge to the Valley Inn Rd Hill. "Here we go" Patty said. I decided that the best way for me to make it up this hill would be to get behind her, put my head down and watch her feet. Up up up up we went. Around the corner we went. Up up up we went. Some buffoon yelled out "Look up! You're almost there!" Of course I looked up and guess what?! I wasn't almost there! F*cker! Down my head went again and up I went. We finally made it to the top and I knew that Patty would keep going but I needed to drink the last of my water. Mouth breathing for the last 2+ hours had made it feel like sandpaper. I slowed to a walk, took the last few sips and watched Patty move off in the distance. I had a quick flashback of watching Nicole move away from me at the Midsummer Night's Run and that was all that I needed to get my legs moving and catch back up to Patty. I saw her look over her shoulder for me and yelled "I'm coming!". It didn't take that long to get back to her side and soon enough we had made it to the Grim Reaper.
I would totally buy this picture if that weird looking guy in the red wasn't there. I can't take my eyes off of his hat.

It was at this point that I thought to myself 'Please don't let her pick up the pace anymore, I don't think that I can go any faster". I did a body check and realized that I wasn't hurting anywhere other than my tummy but I had simply run out of gas. Only having nachos for dinner and one gel on the course was catching up to me. Now it was time for the whining to start. "I hope I don't puke on the course, please let it happen at the end"...."I'm TIRED!"...."I'm SOOOO thirsty"..... "Ugh, I have nothing left in the tank"..... "OMG I'm TIRED!". Only once did Patty tell me to suck it up that we were almost there so I shut up. At that point all that I could focus on was my all consuming thirst anyway. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, dreaming of the water that I knew would be at the finish line. With 1K left to go I said to myself "We got this". With my eyes on Copps the whole time it seemed almost like a bad dream, the one where you're running and running down a hall but the end just never comes! After an eternity we made it to the turn into the arena and I saw Patty give a burst of speed and from God knows where I was able to put one on too and crossed the finish line.
Thank God that's over! 30K in the books and no bird crap on my hat!

In the end we had both done what we came out to do. Patty got her sub 2:50 and I had a better experience than at Midsummer. Sure it would have been way better had I not been feeling sick but I was able to dig deep and keep my pace through this entire run. I didn't have to walk those last few km's or have bad feelings about the race. Probably if I didn't have Patty to run with I wouldn't be saying these things but that's what friends are for. To help you get through the tough times. I have learned a few lessons from this race obviously

1) don't eat nachos the night before a race
2) turn the alarm clock ON
3) use kleenex rather than spitting
4) the cadets in the food line really take their job seriously (I was begging the boy for 2 juice boxes but he would only give me one)
5) shut up and run!


  1. Great race report. You had me chuckling a couple of times. Well done on your race and pushing through even though you weren't feeling well. That's the best training you'll get for sure! If you can handle that, you can handle anything! Congrats to you! Love the pics.

  2. Way to avoid puking or pooping yourself Sam!

  3. Congrats...you ran a great race (considering the obstacles.)

  4. Excellent report and way to stick with Patty and not crap out (hee). I always run with gum. It TOTALLY helps with dry mouth.

  5. I love your stream of consciousness that happens during races: Body trafficers that drug runners and snatch bodies, and projectile boogers and cooties! If I could keep up with you, I imagine I'd be well entertained!

    Great report, and you seem to have made the most of this situation! Lessons learned for the next race, right?

  6. GREAT recap :) I love that you raced so well all things considered. I did not appreciate having to read about snot and boogers and gross things that made me gag during this recap ;) lol but otherwise a great race.

    I am not even surprised that hamilton pervs were yelling out about your skirts. WTF is wrong with people ?? ;P

  7. Great job! I never knew you were a vegetarian!!!

  8. Great report, Sam! That sucks about your stomach issues, but, man, that's an amazing finish time when you're feeling that way and only having one gel. You'll rock it again next year, except without the challenges of this year.

  9. *whistles* Nice skirts, ladies!! Oh wait... sorry! But seriously though, how cute are you two? It's a bit sad by now I guess, but I came to expect something to happen to you. It makes for such exciting times to read your blog, I almost get an adrenaline rush. :-) Thankfully I could follow your real time results on FB to know the outcome before reading about it. I was really happy to see that you met your goal, way to go for finding the energy in finishing the race with little fuel!
    Also, very happy to have met you, finally! Muah!

  10. great race report and great job!! great pictures, you look great!

  11. Congrats on a great race! Sorry about your stomach trouble.

  12. Great recap and congrats!!! I would follow that advice NOT to eat nachos before a race!! Ummm forget the guy in red...how about the Grimm Reaper???

    1. LMAO!!! After I posted my comment, I saw yours -- I DIE!! Seriously, someone from the ATB event needs to explain this!!

    2. LOL Jenn. That's the Grim Reaper. He's always at that spot in the course ( around 27k ...... Beside the cemetery). He's an ATB icon! ;)

    3. LOL Jenn. That's the Grim Reaper. He's always at that spot in the course ( around 27k ...... Beside the cemetery). He's an ATB icon! ;)

  13. Okay, so I promise this isn't my only "take away" from your AMAZING recap, BUT.... can ANYONE ELSE see the dude covered from head to toe in black garb?! You point out you'd buy that photo if it weren't for the dude in red, BUT how about the dude next to him?! I am LITERALLY crying from laughing so hard!!