Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favourites - Races

So to date I have not run the same race more than once. That will change soon though as I'm going to run the Horror Hill Run again at the end of October (knock on wood). I'm not going to discuss my times at these races. That information can be found under my statistics page and to the side of my blogs. Instead I'm going to focus on what I really liked or didn't like about the races I've run. I've written them in order of my favourite race to the one I probably will never run again.

Waterloo Half Marathon
Ran this in 2010. It was my first race ever and I really loved it. I was nervous the day of, had a horrible cold, and didn't know if I would actually make it through the race. My mom was going to come up and take Lillian but when we all got sick we told her we wouldn't run it, so she didn't come. Luckily my girlfriend stepped up and took her and we did it. I met Cecilia's dad at this race, and I'm glad I met him before getting to know more about her family since I would have been very intimidated to meet him but since I already have no biggie. I loved the size of this race, as it only had a few hundred runners and because of that I didn't feel overwhelmed or nervous. Also, being in town was great since I slept in my own bed pre-race and got to go home to my own shower post-race. One thing I didn't like when I ran it was that the last km looped through the parking lot so you thought you were there and then had to run another km. They changed this for 2011 when Steve ran it. I also like that several of my faculty members (not just my running BFF) have run this or did run it, so I can discuss the race and get tips from them all. So even though it poured rain for 12km of the race, this race will always have a special place in my heart.

Horror Hill Run
Ran this in 2010, knowing I was 6 weeks pregnant with Katrina, and was well into the first trimester exhaustion. My running BFF and I had trained for this race since my half in September in St.Catherines and she had a marathon within a few weeks of this race, so she'd always planned to pace me during this race. It was fun to get to tell her I was pregnant. My doctor told me I could keep running and do the race, but not to let my heart rate go to high, or push myself to the point that I was gasping for breath, because if I couldn't breathe then neither could the baby. I was on a training run and pretty much told her that I had to reduce my speed and that during the race, she wasn't allowed to push me beyond my comfortable pace because my doctor had said it was bad for the baby. She was very excited for me, and glad I told her since her plans had been to push me to run better than ever. This race was fun, but poorly organized the day of. They started late, so we all stood outside at the end of October so it was a bit cold. I enjoyed the race, and the view was lovely. It's also nice that the start point is about 3.5km from my house, so I got to leave late and got home quickly. I came in dead last here, but it's fine because I was pregnant and am now over my fear of coming in last and never have to worry about it again because it's not bad and didn't crush my love of running. I also had to pee in the bush, got burs in my underwear, but the race goes 1.2km from our house and my mom brought Lillian there so we got a photo of Steve, Cecilia, Lillian, and me (with Katrina in-utero). We also got the best race photo ever taken on this day. I will be running this race again in October, though I'm not so sure I'll crush last year's time as much as I hoped.

Waterloo Classic
This was my first 10k race, and my first all city race. It was very well organized, and started off in the Laurier statium which was nice. It meant real bathrooms not portapotties, the pickup for the kit was a day before so we showed up ready to go. I learned at this race that I don't like 10k. I also learned that races where you loop over the same distance are not much fun, even if I loop distances when I run at home. I was happy that my mom and stepdad had Lillian while we ran. They planned to bring her to the race with them, but she fell asleep in the car, so my mom was at the finish line to see me come in. I loved that she was there, and that made it really special for me. To date this is the only race that she was at the finish line for, but that's fine. I'm sure in the future when I run local races, and the girls get older she'll be at more finish lines. I liked the size of this race, but it was a bit confusing, since there were 3 different lengths all running the same route or part of the same route. There was also a relay going on, so when you go to read the stats on line it's a lot of categories. I don't know if I'd run this race again. It wasn't anything special but it's part of an 8 race series that goes from February to November and I think it would be fun to try to run all of the races in the series one year. This doesn't include the half, and the distances are all between 2.5km and 8 mile. (there is an endurance race of 160km that I wouldn't count as the race, but would sub in the half-marathon instead)

AHS Fun Run
Ran this in 2011, as my first post baby run. This was technically a "fun run" so I didn't know what to expect, and while I enjoyed the familiarity of the location, and race course,  having my friends and family there, and the fact that it was only 6km from my house, I didn't find it to be very organized. First the line to sign in was split into 3 rows, which makes sense except when line A-H is massive because the person working it is very slow and chatty. Literally, 20 people were ahead of Steve, while I only had one in front of me for I-P. So it took him forever to get signed in, then they lost his registration. After that I nursed the baby before the race, and it was supposed to start at 10:15 but we went out at 10:10 and they started less than a minute after that, without any announcement for the runners to get to the start line. So the race was fun for us, but with the amount of work it takes to get two strollers, and two kids in the car I don't feel a 5k is really worth all that effort to run it again anytime soon.

St.Catherine's Run for the Grapes
Ran this in 2010, without knowing I was a few days pregnant with Katrina.This was my first large, out of town race, and it was a learning experience. I arrived at my usual time, a bit over an hour beforehand and there was no one there. There were a lot of people registered for it, but most of them signed in and took off or showed up a very short amount of time before the race. After I signed in I had an hour to kill. When I did my Waterloo race, it took a long time to sign in and we hung out inside to look at booths and warm up, but here it was in a park, and there were no booths when I showed up, and I just walked very slowly around the park, and sat on the curb. I didn't like that there wasn't anything to do, and since we had an 11 month old with us, she decided not to sleep all night so I wasn't in my best condition to start the race off. The route itself was nice, though the run for the grapes had very little of the race actually going through vineyards so that was a bit of a disappointment. I enjoyed the race, but this is not a race I would run again.

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