This is my journey from couch to athlete.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hypothermic challenge, but I did it!

Here is the race report:
The weather caused me a lot of stress in the days coming up to this race. I know logically there is nothing you can do about it, but it brought me down anyway. After 4 months of training on dry roads and trails it was tough to watch a couple of feet of snow fall.

It was -15. Everything got off right on time. The first 2kms my calves felt tight, but I think the pre-race massage really helped loosen up my legs. Passing by the start line at 1.5kms, I actually had a brief thought of just quitting. There is something about having to pass the start/finish area that makes it tough. Reminded myself that the first 20 minutes are always hard and keep running. Shortly after that everything loosened up and I felt much better. Finished my first 5km in 38:30 (a little faster than planned and ironically my 5km pb from last year). Started warming up so I took off my gloves and headband. It was nice-volunteers were asking if I was warm enough and offered me gloves. Felt so good I delayed a walk break by 7 minutes because I was going downhill so I figured I should take advantage of it. Coming up on finishing the first loop, I still felt pretty good but I was starting to get tired. Running in the snow was taking it's tole. I see Jen and run with her for a couple of minutes.

Loop #2 - about 5 minutes after I pass the start line the 10am group start. As I'm crossing the bridge on the small out and back someone I know says to me-you should come across and join me. It was tempting for about half a second but I knew I could never live with the fact that I didn't do the whole distance so I just laughed and kept running. As the 10am group catch up to me the road was pretty crowded because everyone wanted the packed down areas. I was going to move to the side and just let everyone pass but I figured I would benefit more from standing my ground and keeping my little packed trail. I know it's selfish and I apologize for making everyone else run through the snow. Still felt ok for the beginning of the second half. My garmin had already died a couple of times so I wasn't sure how I was doing but figured I'm just going to run based on how I feel. It was all going well until I reached the 18km mark. Suddenly my legs felt really heavy and just didn't want to move anymore. Of course all I'm thinking at this stage is in the half ironman my legs are going to feel like this at the beginning of the run No time to worry about GWN - just finish this race. I walked a lot and ran when I could. I found out what the opposite of "looking good" is. I think it's a bad sign when the volunteers stop saying looking good and start saying "are you ok?" My answer, "yes I'm ok, I'm just really tired." There is no way I was going to DNF with 3km to go. I've had a cough all week and it decides to rear it's ugly head now-coughing and catching my breath for a minute before moving on. Plodded on but it was the longest 2km of my life-just felt like I was never going to get there. There was a lady doing the same as me so we encouraged each other to keep going. 1km to go and I see Jen again - she joins me for a little jog to the finish. It was so nice to have someone take my mind off the pain - we have a laugh about the volunteers and Jen tells me I don't look that bad. It's amazing how much stronger you suddenly feel when you see the finish. I take all I have to run it in. Lawrence is there waiting for me (of course he has already eaten breakfast by this time).

I was really disappointed to see 2:57 on the clock-no pb today but felt great to finish. Lots of hugs and congratulations at the finish.

I am inspired by a lot of comments on Running Mania today. A lot of people really believe I have what it takes to finish GWN. Hopefully, I'll eventually believe it too. This race was really tough at the end, so finishing was the accomplishment for the day. At the end times are secondary-I just want to achieve my goals by finishing what I set out to do.


  • At 9:24 PM, Blogger Deb said…

    You did a great job Kerry! congrats.


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