First of all – Ottawa Race Weekend was an awesome experience, I would highly recommend participating to anyone.
Second – it was HOT AS HELL.
While most people wisely stayed near a body of water, ran through sprinklers, or vegged out in an air conditioned space…some crazy 38’000 people decided to do some distance running. The craziest being the marathoners, although apparently it was actually hottest on the Saturday during the day when the 5K was taking place so seriously, kudos to the 5K runners. The 10K race that I signed up for was originally scheduled to begin at 6:30pm however after the forecast confirmed it would be ridiculously hot with the humidity, the organizers decided to push the start time back to 7pm in an attempt to avoid the heat being too intense.
What a great choice they made, and really the weather cooperated for us in such a huge way. While waiting at the start line (see below, my sister and I waiting anxiously) suddenly it started pouring rain. It only lasted about 5 minutes but it was intense, everyone was completely soaked as the corrals started heading off. The timing could not have been better, we started our journey dripping wet, nice and cool. I figured we would be all dried out in a few kilometers, however I forgot about the misting stations set up and I also didn’t realize just how many community members had heeded the call from organizers for sprinklers/hoses/water guns to be present along the route. Seeing all those people out there cheering us on and supporting us with their presence and their hydration methods was seriously inspiring. Although my absolute favourite part was the kids standing along the route either with water guns or with their hands out wanting a high five from everyone who passed. Adorable. Some of them would shout words of encouragement as well, it was too awesome.
Overall it was really such a great experience! The community and organizers were so supportive. I ran with my sister and although our parents were at the finish line, I would have felt amazingly supported even if they weren’t. As my corral (probably the third out of maybe five or six corals) was just getting to the 1KM marker, the elite men and women (who had started long before) were coming back and the cheers for them coming from us were deafening. I don’t know if I’m doing it justice, the atmosphere was so inspiring.
I might be addicted to medals now because this one is SO COOL, I love it. So I have been looking into a training plan for over the summer to work towards improving my time (which was 1:13 – aimed for 1:10 so happy with that considering the heat), AND I have found a race at the end of the summer that would be perfect timing. It’s the humane society race, only in it’s fourth year, but it seems quite popular. I would also do some fundraising for that race because I really do support the work of the humane society. Hopefully I find some funds to sign up for the 10K sometime this week 🙂
After not training very much, I was really surprised about my success with this race. I never felt exhausted or like I had to stop or give up. I would walk occasionally when I wanted to drink some of my water, but I rarely did that. I wish I had counted…maybe it was 5 times? For about 30 seconds each time, never more than that. The new training plan I’m going to try sticking to has you running three times a week which should be manageable to me. On my own I was usually doing at least two if not three, so three is a perfect number for me. You do two short runs (never more than 7K) and one long run which is basically the Running Room philosophy as well. I’d also like to get more cross training in this time – good thing yoga on the hill has started!
Can’t wait to get back to running but for now, resting my calves.