Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oakville Half Marathon 2014

Oakville ON
BIB # 314
Chip Time 1:49:33
Official Time 1:49:54
Pace 5:07/km
Place 200/672
Gender Place 55/332
Category Place 18/99

Another fall season, another running of the Oakville Half Marathon. This was to be my comeback race! Picking up where I left off so to speak before all of the crazy calf issues and PF saga began. I've been feeling fairly healthy and kicking ass at the track so why shouldn't I get that elusive 1:45?! I even had Zindine (Irina's husband) to pace me!

I think that this race report needs to start off with the day before. I had planned on sleeping in so of course my eyes were wide open come 6am. I picked up my phone and saw an email from the Oakville Half with the bib number 2898. Sounds familiar? Weird. Then Nicole messaged me her bib number (I was picking up her race kit). 469. Why is your number only 3 digits when mine is 4? I asked. Then Emma tells me that her bib is 3 digits also. And it says that she's running the marathon? Wait a minute!! These are all of our Mississauga Marathon bib numbers! Ru-roh! Sure enough I arrived to the kit pick up to pandemonium. The line up was huge because people were reciting numbers that were not truly theirs for this race and there was some confusion. Finally someone figured it out (other than me) and I was able to get my, Nicole & Zindine's bibs and move on over to the t-shirt pick up. Oh, pink! Me likey! But then the volunteer says that these are the 2k &10k shirts and the white ones are for the half. Boo! Wait a minute. These white shirts are cotton. And children's sizes! Dude! In the end I got everything that I needed and made my way back home so we could drive out to my nephews university football game for the afternoon. If I'm going to veg out I may as well do it outside cheering on my nephew!
Yeah #2!! York Lions vs McMaster Mauraders

Race morning arrives and there is rain in the forecast. And wind. And humidity. Perfect. Who doesn't love a little bit of the elements on race day?! No one, that's who! I got up, got dressed, ate my breakfast, filled my water and put my gels in the little hand held's pouch. I then put everything else into a pile so that I wouldn't forget anything. I'm not going to be the butt of a joke this year. No, no, no! I'm on time with everything that I need. Then Patty, Emma & Amy arrived to pick me up. I walked out through the garage, got half way to the car and realized I forgot to close the garage door. Doh! I got into the car and we were on our way. A minute later I realized that I had left my water at home. Crap! This wasn't going to be good, my water bottle is my security blanket and if I don't have it, it can really get into my head. Not much I can do about it now. It wasn't until we were getting out of the car that I remembered that I had put my gels in the pouch of the water bottle so not only did I not have a drink, I did not have any gels either. This day was getting better and better. Thankfully Amy had an extra gel so I had at least one. I usually only take one gel when I'm racing because they can upset my stomach, but Zindine suggested I try two because one wasn't enough for me when I'm working hard. We then went and made our way to the spot where we were going to meet up with Irina & Zin. My stomach was in knots and as soon as he saw me Zindine said "You don't look relaxed at all". Ha. That obvious eh? We chatted for a short while and then went on a warm up run where I took advantage of a lone porta potty around the corner. Zin asked me how I was feeling and all I could think was 'thirsty'. I went and found Emma in the starting line crowd and put on my saddest face and asked her for a drink of her water. Literally this entire race was sectioned off in terms of the aid stations for me. That was my every goal. Just get to the next drink station.
Emma, Amy, Patty, me, Kim & Zindine before the madness. And rain.

Waiting for the suck to start.

Soon enough the gun sounded and we were off. I think we were positioned fairly well, I don't really remember spending too much time trying to weave around people. Zin had us settled into the pace fairly quickly and I was just counting off the km beeps to the drinks. Beep. Two more to go. Beep. One more to go. You're ok. Beep. Phew. Drinks. I put my hand up and grabbed a Gatorade, drank it and we were off again, counting down the beeps. My mind was fairly blank during this entire race which is strange for me. I was mainly focused on getting to the aid stations and giving out an 'uh-huh' every time that Zin tried to say something encouraging. "Listen to these people breathing hard already. We are relaxed." Uh-huh. "Maintain your effort. Save yourself.". Yep. In retrospect the time actually flew by even though the suck really started to creep in fairly early. It was so friggin humid at the start and I was melting. Thank God I had given Irina my hat to hold onto (Doh! She still has my hat!! LOL) because I would have been way to hot with it on. Not far into the race it started to rain and while others were probably inwardly grumbling about it, I was happy for it because it was cooling me down. It rained for the entire race with a few extra special down pours which resulted in some nasty bra chafe for me but I'll take that over the pounding sun any day.
It's raining it's pouring....

The usual incline around 8k took the wind out of my sails once again and I decided to take my one and only gel at the aid station right after this. I remember thinking to myself around 10k "Pfft. I got this". I really need to stop thinking that because less than a km later my legs were starting to feel like cement blocks and I was falling further behind Zin. "We should have just done the 10K" I whined. Stop talking! Come on, you got this" Yep. "Let's go! You trained for this". I know. But wait?! Did I train for this? Sure I was consistently doing my track work but I had put in very few tempo runs and it was biting me in the ass now. Crap. "You're slowing down too much. Come on. You need to speed up. You're not even breathing hard anymore!". I'll speed up soon. "Come on Sam! You can do it! I believe in you!" One girl turned and said to me "Oh! He's so motivating! He's even inspiring me to run harder". *Stage whisper* "He's getting on my nerves!!" Haha. He wasn't really getting on my nerves but I like to find the humour in every situation. Even the ones where bricks are tied to my feet. A short time later a lady ran by and complimented my outfit and started asking questions. As I answered them with probably a little more enthusiasm than I was showing for this run I could literally read the thought bubble above Zindine's head.....are you effing kidding me right now?!?! Put the effort into this race not your fashion! Thankfully we saw Irina a few minutes later and she took his mind off the fact that I was an idiot. Hahaha. We hammed it up a little for her camera and kept on moving.
Me: This sucks Zin: Walk in the park

"Let's go Sam! 5 minute km's now ok?! Super hero is just ahead of us. Let's catch her". Yep, I'll catch her later. And I'll speed up when we turn off Rebecca. All these false promises on my part. I wondered if he was buying what I was selling?
Superhero was around us the entire race. She finished maybe 15 seconds ahead of us

Around now my husband drove by and honked at us and then soon enough the turn off Rebecca came and there was a light at the end of this tunnel. This race was almost over and Derek was there to take me home! "Come on now! Let's catch those girls in pink!! Get the pinkies!". Yeah! Let's get those girls in pink! They can't wear pink! That's my colour! Why am I not wearing pink today?! And finally I had a little more zip in my step. Pfft. I may let the girl in the orange cape beat me today but I am not letting these two girls in pink beat me! Right at 20k I got a little bit of a side stich and my brain was screaming at me. JUST WALK! It'll be fine. Zindine is ahead of you, he'll never even know! Just walk off the stitch. And I almost did. I literally took one half of a walking step and said NO! Phew! That was close. And then the stitch went away. And so did the cement blocks. And everything else that as standing in my way and I just ran all the way to the finish line. And it was over and my B goal was achieved. Sub 1:50. I'll take it because I worked my ass off out there and at the end of the day that's all I can ask from myself.
Shoulders up around my ears, yep not tired at all! Haha.

Go towards the light....

Aaaaaaand that sucked. 


  1. At least we'll always be able to be like hey, remember Oakville? And how much that sucked? *hysterical laughter* Bad races = lots of laughs.

  2. Loved reading this race recap....I was right there with you. Congrats for sticking it out and coming out with such a great result! Nice work.

  3. That was a sucky day, I remember it vividly, because I was also running in the pissing rain. Racing didn't seem attractive at all, but you did it! Good job, Sam!

  4. This is an awesome report. I am sitting here laughing - and not at your misery but because I can relate sooo much. Way to work for it!

  5. This was awesome to read. Glad you could make fun of the crappy conditions. You did amazing!

  6. I love the photo in the middle with the caption: "Me: This sucks Zin: Walk in the park".

    Live and learn, right? Next time, remember the bottle, and pink ;)

    Congratulations on getting your B-goal!!

  7. I love your race reports, they always make me laugh. That pic with you & Zin is awesome. It was incredibly shitty out that morning. Good for you for getting out and getting it done!!!

  8. You are such a funny writer! :)
    - Tom