Ah, race day. I woke up from a decent night’s sleep after responsibly turning down the offer to watch the new season of Arrested Development (I had to be up at the ungodly hour of 7am, don’t you know), and changed into my spiffy new trendy Mizuno short sleeve technical race shirt, thank you very much (it came with the race kit), feeling pumped and ready to go but for the pre-departure pit-stop, where I was greeted by the most appropriate monthly visitor one can get on the day of the Toronto freaking Women’s Run.
Good morning! You are still a female!
“Why do I need to know this?” you may, quite fairly, be asking yourself. I’ll get to that.
So anyway, I took an Advil Extra Strength, but my body was having none of it, which was a thoughtful gesture, and I got on with things, figuring that I was already a red-bibber (signed up for the shortest distance, expecting the longest time), so it wasn’t as though I was going to surprise or disappoint anyone with my time anyway (“…and bringing up the read, it’s Lasty!”). I’ve spent the last couple of weeks treadmilling about 3k for every 30 minute workout, and running on pavements and grass and up and down hills is, shockingly, much more difficult, so I was expecting to finish in about 45 minutes, give or take.
I mean, it’s not as though I wasn’t beaten soundly by intrepid 10-year-olds and over-sixties, but despite all this, my lovely running partner Tali and I finished the race together after 35 minutes and 51 seconds!
And with the help of my amazing friends and family (whom I can’t thank enough), I managed to raise $153 for POGO, a great deal more than my lofty original goal of $20.
Now, about the race itself.
“Ladies, start your engines!”
This being my first real experience with running culture, I was touched by how supportive and open to new-comers the event was. There were cheerleaders in blue waving pom-poms, people ringing cow bells, holding signs, kids clapping along the race course. My favourite was “I’m a stranger and I’m so proud of you.” This guy was waiting near the starting line for all the runners, even our measly little slow-paced 5k. Then there were the motivational posters. “Run like Ryan gosling is waiting for you at the finish line with a puppy.” Replace that with RDJ, Hugh Laurie, and Jon Stewart with MY puppy, and I probably would have beaten the first place finisher (17 MINUTES!). They also had similar signs for Patrick Dempsey (which way am I supposed to be running again?) and Halle Berry, which I thought was a very nice touch, given that this is a women’s only race. Go Toronto! They also had “Run like you’re representing Canada in the Olympics” to which I was not tired enough not to respond vocally: “Ahahhahahahahahaha no, I don’t think so.”
So mission completed, but this won’t be the last race I run. The whole experience was a joy, and I have to say, I have never felt better since starting to run regularly.
[A reminder: I am (now) aware that marathon doesn’t just mean “organised race” and actually refers to a specific length of 42km. The key part of this item is “of sorts,” with the main idea at the time being “raise money for a charity while running.” Which is done! I am, however, planning to do a full marathon in October, as a specific and personal challenge to myself.]
Ah yes. The marathon. I am aware that an actual marathon is 42km, and I am running a 5k. The key word(s) here is (…are) “of sorts.” You have to start somewhere, right?
If you would like to support me by supporting research for kids with cancer, donations can be made here.
I will be using this Run-Walk-training-schedule as a guide for getting into shape, so that I can do this justice.
Update: I have achieved my fundraising goal! That’ll learn me to set modest goals. Let’s keep trying to up it!
Notes to self: