The day started off cold and rainy for Run for the Toad http://www.runforthetoad.com/home.html. Fortunately the rain let up, but it still remained pretty cool. Which is actually great running weather.
This is race is in Paris, Ontario and one can sign-up for the 25km run or walk or the 50km run. I, along with a bunch of friends chose the 50km and a couple did the 25km. It is done in 12.5km loops. Thus, I had 4 loops to do. I had early on hoped to do it 5 hours. However, I was feeling a little down about some personal failures lately that I was not sure I would do on the race. Thankfully, I got out the rut and felt awesome and positive on the Friday before the race. Which I think makes a huge different going to a race.
I tried a couple new things at this race. First off wore arm bands for the first. A black pair with different coloured hearts. For the love of loving. They were awesome. Kept me warm, but not over heated. I only rolled them down on the last lap. Sadly, I do have some nasty chafing under the armpits. I’ll have to think of using some sport slick next time. Ouch.
The second thing, was that I used a bib strap around my waist on which I put a small Salomon pouch on for my gels. It didn’t bounce. It was super light, and no chafing. It was a great choice. There were 4 aid stations, with water and Gatorade. Then by the 3rd lap, it had chips, gummy bears, coke, cookies. So there was no need for a water bottle. Great!!! There was even a drop bag, but I didn’t even use mine.
The 50k races got to go first and I stuck with my friend Shannon for the first 3km. But then couldn’t keep up with her. I watched her blond ponytail flop around in front me until the 6km mark and then didn’t see her again until the showers.
Met some great people along the race as always. Leaping frogging them back forth and chatting.
The 25km runs start 10 minutes after, and when they start passing you, it can get a little heart breaking. I just had to remind myself that a 25k and 50k pace is different. But some really flew.
First two loops went really well at 1:10 and 1:16 respectively. I was shocked at the end of my second loop to see Audrey standing on the side lines. I thought wow that was fast. Then she said her hip was hurting and she was out. Good choice since she is going the ARWC in Tasmania in 3 weeks. http://www.xpd.com.au/
I expected the 3rd loop to be the hardest. In terms of time it wasn’t so bad though, coming in at 1:16. It might of been due to all the great cheers from friends (Richard, who’s wife Barb was also running the 50k) and volunteers. They passed water like pros and the best was at 10k getting to the top the worst hill there was a volunteer with a tambourine, standing by a skeleton wearing running shoes and holding a sign saying “No Whining.” The best!
So off to the 4th loop. By now my ankle that had been hurting from the beginning was really acting up. But what felt worse was my right thigh that was getting really tight. I punched a couple of times. Which helped. Unfortunately, I walked 2 of the hills at this point and slowly realized that I would be 5 minutes off my 5 hour hope. I tried to go faster, but just couldn’t make it happen. Some of the walkers didn’t understand trail etiquette which made it annoying. I wonder if they really need to have walkers. Hmmm. Another disappointment was that most volunteers, including the tambourine lady were gone. The last loop is when you need the cheers most, so I can’t believe they were all gone. Especially when there were still races behind me that had 1 and even 2 loops to do. Even though was slow on that loop 1:24, I did manage to drop 3 people, including this guy that kept leap frogging me and saying “you go sister’. What the heck? Unfortunately never caught up to anyone. My total time was 5:05 for 50km. Pretty happy about that & looking for the next challenge.