OK, almost a week afterward, (It's Friday now) I've got some time and inspiration to write about the Mother's Day 5K race (if you'd call it that) I ran on Sunday last. To Mollie and Janice, thanks for your pre-text comments on the post and I hope this answers your questions!
I started running in December or January (It's all a big blur, really...) and along the way had a little help picking and paying for the correct shoes. Pretty much everyone in this circle of bloggers knows Sarah, and after having watched her go from blown-out knees to marathon-runner, I was concerned about what running could potentially do to me. After all, it's no wussy sport! Running is hard on things like ankles, knees, hips, spines and heads (physically if you land on it, and emotionally if you let setbacks get the best of you) To be honest, I've never really even liked running. I've never done it well, felt really clunky at it and as a result, never really put my heart into it - let alone my soul... or come to think of it, my sole, too!!
I consulted my chiropractor who, by the way, was instrumental in getting Sarah back on her feet, so I felt confident in honest words from a man who also is a runner and all-round athletic type. He said to me,
"That's great - do it, absolutely! But... start slowly. If you work into it starting now, you'll run the full 5K. If you over do it off the top, you'll be walking it, or may not do it at all."
That was enough for me. So in my true Turtle style, I dogged it. I mean, I started SLOWLY! I checked out the web for this thing they call a "walk-run" programme. The fist one I came to suggested a ratio of 90 seconds walking to 30 seconds running. Very well. I did it. There's a bike and walking path by my house, a portion of which was ideal for my training. It took me down some hill, up some hill and had some flat spots too. I discovered very quickly, though, that the cold winter air - not to mention the icy patches on the path - set me back. I couldn't seem to run when it was chilly out, let alone windy. Overall, I had a very on-again-off-again training thing going on for months. Those of you who live in the Calgary area or know people who do, know that our weather patterns here can be and are rather erratic. This year particularly has been all over the map weather-wise. Needless to say, I hadn't done a lot of running just prior to Race Day, so it was going to be an interesting challenge!
As if I didn't have enough challenges already, I had work in Banff on the Saturday night prior to the race. I crawled in the door at something like 2:30 AM, the race was to commence at 9:00 AM.
I met my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew on the C-train platform at the University and we rode down together. (along with SO MANY other enthusiastic runners!)
My sister, Laura May, sporting her green walkers bib.
Here we see Doug and Julia. Julia walked the course with Laura May, Doug warmed up with the Mother's Day 5K then headed for his long-run, an additional 20-some-K in training for the full-marathon in July.
Here's Daniel - he and Doug paced together, starting out at the 8-minute-per-kilometre mark.
Nicole ran with me, requesting that we back ourselves up a bit to the 9-minute-per-kilometre start position. I wasn't going to let on, but I'm kinda glad we did, considering my state of sleep deprivation!
Eyes-front to the main stage and start line
My attempt at an artistic shot of our start position, showing the Calgary Tower. 9th. Avenue is a one-way east, however for the race we faced west."
Looking forward to the 8-minute-per-kilometre position. Can you spot Doug and Daniel?
Along the way, heading north on 4th Street, I spotted this, a gourmet hot dog joint. I've never been to Le Chien Chaud being a proud supporter of Tubby Dog on 17th Avenue, but I will one day venture back to check it out.
The race completed at Olympic Plaza, but not before passing in front of City Hall on MacLeod Trail. Here we are (Doug played photographer with my phone) after the race.
All tolled, it was a great day. I wouldn't say it qualified in my mind as a "race" more than simply a "fun-run". The course was flat, which was a pleasant surprise since the majority of my running had been on one piece of pathway with lots of hills. Wouldn't you know it though, as we rounded the corner of 10th Avenue and headed up MacLeod Trail in front of City Hall toward the finish line, there was this grade. Not much, but just enough to frustrate a newbie-runner. Here you can TASTE the finish line, and all of a sudden there's this wee challenge of a grade! It makes me laugh to think about it!
Oh, and only one little frustration during the run: I discovered a little over half-way that my timing chip had broken free of my shoe. I was clocked in at the start line, but never clocked out at the finish. I checked the stats on the website, and my name doesn't even appear as "not completed" - I simply don't exist. It kinda choked me since I'd worked toward this, my first-ever-race, for months. Ah well, I have photos and witnesses, and best of all I have the memory of a race well run.