After a busy month or two… okay let’s face it I’ve been neglecting the blog big time and there is no way around it. But this past weekend (marking the middle of September, almost 3 months since my return home) was indeed a busy one. I ran two races! Yup, two. And I took a Kettlebell Certification course in Halifax. Another yup. I’m now certified to instruct kettlebell swings, jerks, and snatches believe it or not. I’ll break that part of my weekend down in another post.
The Maritime Race Weekend has to be hands down one of the best races I’ve ever signed up for. I’m still blown away by the amazing organization – minus the one day race kit pick up having me stressing out days before the race – the cleanliness was superb (believe it or not even the port-a-potties were clean, as far as port-a-potty standards go). But the energy and costumes set the tone of the weekend the moment Dad and I arrived. I had my very own cheer squad consisting of my Papa, my good pal Katie Conrad and her husband Bryan. Katie even made me a sign! She’s the best (hi, Katie and Bryan!).
The Friday evening Sunset 5k was a lovely little out and back along the Eastern Passage shore in Dartmouth. It was a truly picturesque, a true east coast beauty of an evening. Everything about the night (and day) felt right. We drove up from Digby that morning, I met Katie to collect my awesome race kit, I had a great breakfast, and lunch, I was well hydrated and felt ready to run. We arrived quite early at the starting point, worried about the parking situation, but this gave us plenty of time to find a spot, tour around, and plan our attack for tomorrow morning – knowing I had to run then high-tail it out of there for my training meant we needed a solid game plan. We walked the ferry docks, scoped out the pirates and bought some treats along Fisherman’s Wharf. This gem of a spot is far enough out of the way making it an excellent place to run, but not too far that you’re in the middle of nowhere. But seeing the view it wouldn’t have mattered how far you’d have to go to get there. Nova Scotia is quite pretty when you stop to look at it, or run past it! The entire event was smooth sailing from Friday evening to Saturday morning one excellent reason why I’d go back faster than you can say Arrrr!
I loved the 5k. The last time I ran one was ages ago, my first race ever! I ran a PB which is totally the reason why, but I loved the feeling of running fast! It’s a feeling you don’t often get in long distance running. That goes for me at least. Where the speed came from I have no idea (I like to think it was the training I’ve been doing with my run club- learning to run a 5k) but it was there and I took full advantage of it from the moment that musket blew till I crossed the finish. Yes, a musket was our starting sound. See, this race was great. My mentality towards the 5k distance shifted this day when I realized 5k isn’t as far as it seems (of course that’s when you only have 5k to run). Knowing when I’d reach the turn around point I’d be halfway done wasn’t a feeling of “Ugh, I still have half way to go”, but more “I’m half way there!” I was flying without even realizing it. I came sprinting towards Fisherman’s Wharf – the smell of fried clams and french fries earlier in the night was so yummy now made me want to vomit – which probably helped with my sprint to the end. I finished at 25:17.
Katie and Bryn stayed with me for the firework show (yup, there were also fireworks and a giant inflatable pirate at the end) I collected my first medal walked along the runners stations collecting food and water – again taking full notice of the lack of garbage around. This made be so happy. We called it a night shortly after and packed it in, as early as I could, to get up and do it all over again.
My 10k also went very well- given I hadn’t been running farther than 5-8k over the past 2 months. But earlier in the week I made myself run 13k just to make sure I could still make it to 10k. Lucky for me I could. I felt really strong throughout the race, having only one mental bump along the way just before reaching that halfway point. The weather was perfect, the group of pirates were much more plentiful this morning than the evening prior. But you wouldn’t have known once you got out on the course. With 4 races to choose from the field was a mix of 5kers, 10kers, half marathoners and full marathoners. Some who would have ran with me Friday night, others perhaps a little more serious about their Saturday run. I enjoyed the 10k too, but I have to admit I had a moment of disappointment when I discovered my finishing time wasn’t another PB. 54:01 although was good enough to claim 5th place in my age group wasn’t a sub 50. But really, what was I thinking? I got greedy that’s what.
Collecting all my treasures moving through the runners finishing spot I walked away with a three medals in total for completing the Tartan Twosome, lots of fuel to get me through my next challenge of the day, and one hell of a weekend of running. Like I said before, this is one race I’d run again for sure there matey.