Wednesday, 15 May 2013

First ride of the year

We had just a couple days of warm weather towards the end of April, and I got out for my first ride of the year.  The sky threatened rain, and I could see rain that way and that way, but by heading towards the sunny gap in the clouds managed to stay mostly clear of it.  I got a light sprinkle, but it was still sunny, which means rainbow!


It also means a muddy stripe up my back by the time I got home.  It's good to be out there again.

Monday, 6 May 2013

GoodLife Toronto Marathon & 5k – Not a race report

Up at 4am again, like two weeks ago.  This time out the door at 4:30 since there were no fancy preparations.  It was dark well before dawn.  Tim Hortons’s hadn’t made the donuts, neither had they and bagels for us.  We carried on to Cambridge for that.  Nervous, and short on sleep due to her critters climbing on her head, Jen could barely choke down the bagel which I told her was an excellent start to a running adventure.  

Nice day for a run

Having totally stormed the Yonge Street 10k, Jen was eager to go again.  I offered that the Scotiabank Waterfront race was in September, and would give her the summer to train.  I offered that the half was a fun and popular race.  I want to race now, she said, and something a little longer.  Well, there’s several nice races on May 5.  There’s Toronto, Mississauga, and closer to home, Waterloo with half marathons.  The GoodLife Toronto lets you run down Yonge Street again, so she favoured that.  She checked the website, and found the half and full at nearly the same price, but the medal for the full was bigger, shiny, and dangled invitingly.  Go for broke, she said to herself and signed up for the full marathon. 

Wanting to come along again, Meghan was told she had to race too this time, so she was signed for the 5km.

We parked close to the start with an hour to spare before the 7:30 start.  I got to be squire this week, taking Jen’s sweatshirt and pants a few minutes before go time.  The start was adjusted this year, so by the time they circle back from the starting line to Yonge St they have covered 2 km already.  Meg and I gave some great cowbell until the last were past, then got into the car to go the to next monitor point, near Yonge and Bloor.  We were set up at the bridge over the subway tracks with cowbell in hand, just shortly after the leaders had gone past.  Shortly thereafter the half marathoners went by, and then Jen, on their way into the ravine.  I brought speakers and had some epic music playing.  My intention was originally to park closer to a ravine access road and go down into the woods, but the parking spot was out by Yonge, making that a convenient location.  
The weather was terrific for running.  Nothing but sun.  Cool in the early morning, becoming warm but not hot by noon.  Just a slight breeze.

The crowd has thinned

By this point, Jen had made friends with Valerie, from Saint Catherines, and the two would shadow each other to the end, finishing a minute apart.  Passing the 12 km point, she gave a shock when announced that it had just become the longest distance she had run.  Ever.  She originally intended to go with the 5:00 hour pacing rabbit, but one didn’t turn up.  She chose not to be bunny to the 5:30 rabbit, and instead followed her own tune.  

5:30 rabbit with her last remaining bunny

Waiting again for the last of the marathoners, Meg and I were off to park at CNE grounds.  Traffic was slowing, and parking tight, so we were at the course just in time for Jen to pass through.  The half marathoners are done, but the marathoners head for the long waterfront out-and-back.  I had a short run to chat with Jen.  She was feeling well and in good spirits.  I was still terrified that she would run out of gas and end in tears.

Lined up for 5k race
Next up was Meghan, with her run starting at 12 noon.  There was some likelihood that she and Meghan would finish together, but Jen wasn’t keeping pace to do that. Meg ran a good race, keeping to mostly a steady run.  It was a great race, since she swims often but doesn’t run regularly.  She was very pleased with herself, although disappointed that there were insufficient medals on hand for her to have one as a take away.  They said they will ship it.  Everyone wants a shiny dangly prize to show off.  

Herd of 5k runners
The 5k crowd hit the water station like a herd of buffalo, totally overwhelming it and leaving the struggling last few marathoners dry.

There she comes
We waited, with fretful parental worry, about a half hour until Jen showed up, still happy and bouncy.  Well, there might have been a few tears except that she was much too dehydrated for them to come.   No matter.  She had her big shiny medal. Meghan had her great race.  I had two amazing daughters.  What a great day it was.