Truth be told, I was very nervous in the weeks leading up to it. I wasn’t nervous about the course, after all, it’s where I train so I knew where all the hills were. What I was nervous about is running with hundreds of people and being discouraged by lots of people passing me (and the fear of being last). So I stressed out about it until the day before when I picked up my racing package and nerves turned into excitement. The tables have turned and it was I racing this time, instead of Cuski… who in turn will be my very own photographer 😛 It was pretty cool… I laid everything out the night before and just tried to relax. We had a quiet night and I hoped to get a decent sleep. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. My cat Hobbes was gnawing on my race bib in the middle of the night and later on he started howling so I had a broken sleep… add to that the fact that I couldn’t sleep because I was too excited/nervous about the race. I woke up at 6:45 and changed, had breakfast (English muffin, a slice of Havarti and a glass of water) and just waited until we had to walk to the starting line. The race couldn’t come soon enough and by 9:06, we were off.
The race started hard and fast and I felt like I had all the energy in the world. Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” was a great song to start with, by the way, even though I don’t normally listen to pop music, this song really got me going. I was feeling energetic, confident and running a faster pace. People passed me and I did feel a little discouraged but as the song said, I had to “shake it off.” The weather was gorgeous, the course was dry, and actually, the Chilly Chase was not so chilly. It was so warm and mild that I had to unzip my shirt within the first kilometer. In fact, I probably would’ve survived better in a short sleeved shirt. There was a water station at the 2.5km but I chose not to take any… that was probably a mistake. I should’ve taken one anyway but at the time, I was still feeling good and running hard with a pace under 6:10/km for the first half… I thought yeah I’m strong enough to keep this up for the whole race.
See my pace analysis on Strava here.
Boy that was a big mistake. The last half was killer. I hit a wall, a big one. I slowed down a bit for the next two kilometers to 6:54/km and 6:42/km but by the 7th or 8th km, my body just said stop… and that’s what it did, by the time I hit the top of the hill by Edgewater Casino. I didn’t plan on stopping, my body just did. I started running again but there was another hill that led to the seawall and I had to stop AGAIN. I was so disappointed. By the time I reached Rogers Arena, I started to take it easy and run again… after all, it was only another 1.5km left. I pushed and pushed and had a much needed adrenaline rush around the last corner and I bolted for the finish line. I didn’t know I had it in me. I crossed the finish line happy that I actually completed my first race, I received my medal, and greeted my cheering party, my love Cuski and my awesome sister Robbi who got up after not even 2 hours of sleep just to see me finish. It feels so great to cross a finish line to hugs and kisses from your loved ones.
So For Next Time…
There are a few things I would keep in mind for the next race.
- Thinner socks – Since the weather was so mild my feet were overheating by the end of the race and they just felt heavier than normal. The socks I wore were the socks I’ve been wearing while I trained so I decided to wear them again because it’s what was comfortable. Apparently not for races.
- Keep a better pace – It was a rookie mistake to gun it in the first half so next time I will just take it easy and pass people later on.
- Drink more water in the morning – I felt dehydrated too fast so I think I should have more water with breakfast… not to mention take advantage of each water station.
- Re-work my running playlist – I think, for a race, keep it upbeat. My normal running playlist has some slower songs which is good for training but for a race, I need to feel inspired and excited.
The Event Itself
The Chilly Chase was organized by Try Events and I thought it was well done. I wasn’t confused about anything, all the information I needed to know was right there. I didn’t get a chance to take in the post-race activities because I just wanted to go home but I’m sure it went well. Since it was my first race, I have nothing to compare it to but so far I’m happy with them, and I got something to show that I completed it (as modeled by my lovely cat below) 🙂 My only complaint was that person handing out water and blocking the runners’ path. Stick to a side, don’t block people who might mow you down, sheesh! Perhaps I will join the Hot Chocolate run in March. Thanks for a great event!