Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hamilton Road 2 Hope Half Marathon

Hamilton ON
Bib # 2811
Chip time: 1:48:27
Official time 1:49:54
Place 552/1750
Gender Place 196/1005
Category Place 37/157

When I registered for this race I had planned on running it for fun. I was already committed to running Oakville and Scotia hard, what idiot tries to race 3 half marathons weeks within one another.....

Hours after Scotia was run and put away Nicole texted me to tell me about her plan to get the 1:45 at R2H. Ok. Guess we all know what idiot tries to race 3 half marathons now. This idiot. I had a slight unwellness in the days after Scotia which I thought would aid in my recovery because I couldn't run. The long run between the two races I went out and nailed 5K at race pace and figured it was in the bag! Enter the busiest 4 days before a race ever, including many many many hours stuck in Toronto traffic 2 days in a row and I was not feeling quite so confident that I would be in good enough shape. Add in a horrific sleep on Saturday night and a time change that I never do well with and the doubts were really starting to grow. Oh well. Just get out there and see what happens right! Gotta try my best, Nicole is making cartoon strips of the two of us and planning our finish line pictures for goodness sakes!

Race morning was cold! -7*C cold. My outfit plans changed as the days went by but the one thing that never changed was the fact that I would be wearing a skirt. In November. In -7*C weather. Why you may ask?! Because I got yelled at in a FB messenger chat when I suggested that I might wear crops. The horror of a #burlingtonskirtbrigade member showing up to a freezing cold race in crops was too much to bear! Fear of being kicked out of the club had me wrapping a space blanket around my legs trying as best I could to keep warm on race day. Nicole drove to my house for 6am then we went and picked up Patty, Emma & Amy. Off to Hamilton we went in the hopes of a good parking spot and a warm area to stay before the race began. In our skirts. In November.

We had a lot of time to kill before the race started and the fact that I could have snuck a nap in at the Dofasco Arena did not go unsaid. I was really tired. And cold. Who wears a skirt to a winter race anyway? We saw Pierre from Daily Mile and our friend Irina (she was my friend from Runkeeper before I was on DM) We took a picture and then made our way to the porta potty line up outside which Nicole assured me would be short. Twenty minutes later we were running to the start line because those lineups were so long! We did see Mike B from DM and Krista DuChene (or Christine DuChamps if you're Nicole) in the line ups so that was fun. For like 30 seconds. Then it was back to freezing and bitching about non runners taking up spots in the lineup. Seriously, what non runner wants to use those nasty things any way?! My husband used one at the end of the Yonge St 10K and said to me "You people are disgusting". Yep.

I think I had a growth spurt? I don't remember that skirt being quite so short last time I wore it.

**So I was thinking to myself that Kenny referred to racing as work. You may or may not know that I have two jobs. They are very different from one another, and in my mind one is work, the other is a place that I go to and get paid for being there. At my serving job I am always on my feet and go go go. At my 'girl in the office' job I sit down, do a little work, fart around on my phone, work a little more, have a text conversation, write some emails, pay some bills, play Candy Crush.....you get the picture. This race for me will be broken up into my two jobs. I worked at this race, just two different ways.....**

SERVING JOB "Hey fellas, can I get you some drinks to start?" "Yes, she'll have....."

I asked Nicole if we were supposed to be on the grass at the bottom of a hill(??!!) to start the race and she said no. Stupid bathroom lineups. We were so far back that first km was nuts trying to get around everyone. Hopefully no one yelled at us for not seeding ourselves correctly like that old guy did at the 10K I did with Kyle in the spring. Pfft. It was really cold out and I was seriously regretting wearing this skirt. This skirt which my shirt was causing to ride up so it looked like I was running in my underwear. Perfect. I'm tired, cold, my feet are numb and I look like I'm running with only a top and socks on. Oh wait. Have I mentioned the wind yet? The cold November wind? I was letting Nicole and her 5' body take the lead, but unfortunately there was not much wind blockage there even if I am only 5'2".  At least I had one thing to keep me amused out here. Watching people's butts. Have you ever noticed how jiggly people's butts are in tights? It's pretty mesmerizing. (Don't worry Nicole, your bum was not jiggly even if I could see your underwear lines) I also spotted one guy with holes in the seat of his tights. Normally I'd point something like that out to someone in case they didn't know (yes, I'm the friend who will tell you if you have food in your teeth. Boogers are another story though. You need to find another friend to tell you about those). I always wish that people would tell me when I've got something embarrassing going on. Like that time that I tucked my skirt into my panty hose and was told about it THE NEXT DAY!!  The km's were whizzing by which I was really surprised about because I was ready to lay down and sleep on the side of the road at the drop of a hat. Around 5K I told Nicole that if I fell back to keep going. We had a quick back and forth (No. Yes. No. Yes.) and left it at that. I was fine for now but I really didn't think that I had this pace in me for 21.1km. Then the downhill came. Yay for that downhill. We were truckin' along and I actually thought that I may just be able to keep at it. I was actually feeling good! Well as good as you can for being dog tired and freezing your thighs off in some crazy cold wind in a dumb ass skirt that looks like underwear. I had a quick gel at 8K, really wanting to stay on top of that because of how fatigued I was. I overheard a girl behind me say to her friend "She must be freezing!". Really?! You think?! What gave it away? My purple splotchy legs maybe? Stupid skirt. We were still flying along, heard Maggie yell out to us (Yay Maggie) and then reality set back in again. The downhill was over and so were my sub 5 paces. Around 11k I told Nicole to keep going. She said no, that I wasn't going any slower than what we were supposed to be. I told her that she could be going faster, that I was holding her back. She said she wasn't leaving me. I said I left her at Scotia. She said Kenny left her at Scotia. I told her that if she stayed with me I would feel bad because I knew that she had the time goal in her today. I did not. I saw the understanding of what I was saying to her sink in and that was that. I slowly fell behind, like Jack slipping underwater in the Titanic (haha) and that was the end of my bar shift.
Why is that girl running in her underwear?

GIRL IN THE OFFICE JOB "Can I speak to Sam please" "This is" "Oh. I was expecting a man"

So the first thing that I do when I get to work in the morning is check my cell to make sure that I haven't missed any messages between home & work. It would be fitting that the first thing that I would do after I lost Nicole would be to walk a water station. Then I ran for a bit. Then I walked that dumb brick hill. The I ran for a bit. Then I walked another tiny hill. I was ready to go to sleep. Oh there's a photographer, better look like I'm having fun running beside this guy I don't know. Yeah that sucked. Hey, isn't Marlene supposed to be down along here dressed up as Super Mario? Huh. She must not be wearing that outfit today. It's too cold! Only idiots don't dress for the weather. Oh this wind sucks. Wah. Why are so many people passing me? God, I hope I make it in under 2 hours. That'll be terrible. No okay it won't be that bad. We hit 10K in 48:xx I can't implode that much can I? I wonder if I'll see my friend Bill who lives on the Beach Strip down here. Oh. I forgot to tell him the race was today. Probably won't see my friend Bill. That's disappointing. Oh there go the leaders. Yikes. That guy is working really hard. He must be at his serving job. Not me. I punched my timecard a while ago. Geez, I'm really hungry. I don't think that I ate enough last night. Doh! Wait, I have candies in the pocket of my water bottle. I'll eat those! Gah! They're frozen. Geez, people are still passing me. OMG, I'm only at 16K?!?! Can I run another 5K? I don't know. I'm really really tired. But that would be embarrassing wouldn't it. Ok forget it. You can do it. Oh, gotta pull the skirt back down again. Some bystander just commented on my shorts. Oh my hands are really sweaty! Take off the gloves. That'll feel better. Should I walk again? No. Too many people are here to see you! Hey, there's Laura! Hi Laura! Glad I wasn't walking when I saw her!! And on and on the inner dialogue went until I looked at my watch and realized that if I quit farting around I could still get in under 1:50. Ok!! Let's get to work!! Just like trying to get those payroll cheques written before the clock strikes 12! Run! Yay, I was passing people once again and working hard. Well, as hard as my tired body would let me. The km's were ticking away and I was running. Up a little incline. No sweat!! 20K I got this! And then it all unraveled again. There was a runner just standing in the middle of the path. Dude! I thought to myself until I realized he was telling us all to move over, that behind him there was a crowd. A crowd surrounding a man. A crowd surrounding a man who was receiving CPR. A man who was receiving CPR who's eyes I looked right into and saw nothing there. "Oh my God" I whispered. Or yelled. I can't quite remember. I just remember being so horrified. So I ran. I ran to find Nicole and touch someone who was alive. On the verge of tears I rounded the corner and headed for the finish line. I heard Sabrina call out to me and I gave her a half hearted wave and made my way to the finish. I found Nicole and hugged her. Forgetting about why we were here today and asking if she saw the man. If she thought he was dead. She assured me that things would be ok and then I thought to ask her how she did. 1:45:57. She made it! I totally knew that she could. The race this day was hers, not mine and I'm fine with that. It's now 12 noon and I'm clocked out.

You may hate watching the sway of a pony tail but they look damn good in race photos!

Do you notice everyone leaning away from me & Nicole?!  Thank you for the picture Kim. Her hubby ran the half in sub 1:30!


  1. Nicely done, the race and the race report. Sounds like you pulled out a great result with some not so great conditions. Pretty scary about the man down too, that would be upsetting.

  2. Great job, Sam! The pony tail and the skirt make you like a super model on that photo, so the Burlington Skirt Brigade was right after all;)

  3. The inner dialogue is amazing. Most entertaining report I've read in awhile.

  4. Oh man, that inner dialogue is so spot on, eh? It totally is what is is. Love how you snap out of it and write those cheques before noon. I'm so sorry that the man down caused such a bad end for you. At least we know he made it to hospital. Great race Sam and I'll finish one with you some day!

  5. Your inner dialogues are amazing! So good!

    You were so loyal to the Burlington (BRRRRRlington) Skirt Brigade uniform... And Nicole bailed :p

    Watching butts eh? There was a whole article in iRun last year by a guy that watches swaying ponytails :p

    Congratulations Sam, and loved reading your race reports as always.

  6. Love the report as always, Sam! You capture the race feelings so well. Congrats on a great fall race season!

  7. Hi Sam. I'm they guy on the ground whose eyes you looked into as you ran to the finish line on November 3rd, 2013. I was having a good race until just before you saw me. I remember that day very well and then nothing until a few days later when I came out of the coma at Hamilton General. Just so you know, I'm fine now. My wife won't let me race half-marathons/marathons, but I'm still running. Ted

  8. Hi Sam. I'm they guy on the ground whose eyes you looked into as you ran to the finish line on November 3rd, 2013. I was having a good race until just before you saw me. I remember that day very well and then nothing until a few days later when I came out of the coma at Hamilton General. Just so you know, I'm fine now. My wife won't let me race half-marathons/marathons, but I'm still running. Ted