WOOHOO! I did it. Ran the 5K in the Army Run today and it felt SO GOOD!
This was the first race that I ran in a group and it was so fun, so motivating and something I definitely want to do in the future. I now see why my husband, Steve, joins a running club at The Running Room – the motivation and energy you get from the other people in the group is just awesome!
We (Steve and I) started the morning off at 6AM as we woke, got dressed and ate a light breakfast (I had two hard-boiled eggs and lots of water and a coffee) and then we headed to the park and ride to pick up Tricia. Crystal spent the night at my house so she didn’t have to drive super far in the morning so it was nice to have the group motivation first thing when I woke up. After picking up Tricia, we headed downtown and parked at the World Exchange Plaza.
We met up with Nina, Dave, Mel and Curtis not long after. After hanging out and chatting for a bit about the race, we made our way to our corral and waited for the gun to sound our start. There were bagpipers and the singing of the National Anthem. I prepped my Runkeeper app and took off my long sleeve to rock my running tank and my new The Running Room arm warmers (they are SO PRETTY!)
When the gun sounded the start of the race, it took awhile (about 7 minutes) for us to actually cross the start line. This is when your chip is activated so it means GO TIME! The first part of the race is a hill so I made sure to not make the mistake that I’ve made in previous races and I slowed down my pace. I had plenty of time to make the time up and I did not want to overexert myself in the first few minutes. After we got up the hill on Elgin, we turned left into downtown and ran through the chilly, windy streets and turned right up toward Parliament. We ran down from Parliament to run along the Rideau Canal, which was really pretty.
I kept my pace at around 6:20-6:45 min/km and pushed myself twice in the race to move into the 5:30-5:45 min/km range. The first time was just a burst of energy and the second time was right at the finish line. I felt great the entire race and made sure to hydrate lots and keep focused on my breathing. Deep breaths in and out helped to keep me from cramping up. I felt cramps coming on twice but I just drank water through them and they dissipated quite quickly.
When I got to the 4K mark, Steve started cheering me on (he was running the half marathon but ran the 5K with me as a warm-up… I know, right?!) and encouraging me to go faster. In previous races, I would overrun this part and get cramps and need to slow down at the finish line so I decided not to do that this time. I waited until I was about 200-300 feet out and I just sprinted to the end. Not going to lie, I thought I was going to vomit! LOL
Crossed the finish line and grabbed my 5K dog tags for finishing. Felt AWESOME! We met up with everyone afterward and EVERYONE did SO great! I was so proud of all of the OVMs for doing such a fantastic job – this being the first race for some of them!
Steve ran the half and Tricia, Crystal and I watched him finish at 1 hour and 34 minutes… This was his best time ever for a timed race and I was SO excited for him that I totally cried! He had jokingly said that he wanted to aim for 1 hour, 30 minutes (which would mean a pace of 4:30 min/km) and he totally got close! He shaved over 20 minutes off of his half marathon time from the spring. So incredible! The next stop for him is the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 14/12. I’ll probably bawl and be a hot mess… LOL
Anyway, just wanted to document the race and hopefully it helps anyone out there who might be curious about timed races and who might be considering the Army Run specifically! Such a fantastic, organized event. Huge thank you to all of the organizers and to the veterans and active duty military personnel for all that you do.
Until next year…
P.S. – Did you run? If so, how did you do?