Anyway, the night before, Jim and I had a date night at the Dean Brody and Paul Brandt concert, so a few beers may have been consumed and I don't even know what time we went to bed, but it was well past midnight. Even with the start time of one p.m., I struggled to feel energized to get out the door. It also didn't help that I woke up to howling winds and a light dusting of snow on the ground. It was like deja vu to the last race I ran at Spruce Meadows! I was so close to bailing, but my entry fee motivated me to show up. Although, Oktoberfest was in support of the Calgary Food Bank, so I wouldn't have felt that bad if I had skipped out, but I knew I would ultimately regret it.
I haven't ran much this past month, in fact, I think the last bit of running I did was at the Spartan race at the beginning of September, so I knew the 10K was out of my league. But that's okay, I still think 5K distances are admirable and an accomplishment to be proud of.
The cool thing about this race was that it started and finished indoors! When Jim dropped me off at Spruce Meadows (I was not about to pay an additional ten bucks for parking!), I immediately ran into Ange and we headed into the Equiplex where Victoria was already waiting. There were booths set up selling running related paraphernalia, a Big Rock beer tasting tub, the bratwurst BBQ, a concession, an area for free massages post-race, a bouncy castle, and a stage with a live band! They seriously went all out and I sort of regretted that I hadn't encouraged Jim and Sully to come hang out while I ran. It's pretty cool that spectators could watch you cross the finish line from the warmth of the indoors.
I struggled with what to wear for the race - it was chilly out, but not super cold. I get warm really quickly when I run so I didn't want to overheat. I ended up ditching my toque at the last minute for my buff instead which I'm glad I did. I also had on a climate control turtleneck which was the worst decision ever. The stupid thing kept riding up my stomach the entire run! But other than that, I felt properly dressed.
The run itself was a bit of a struggle for me. I felt okay when I started out, but I just couldn't get my legs moving very fast. I took one walk break at the first water stand (around the second km), which I had a hard time making up for in my overall time. I didn't look at my watch until I was well passed the 4km mark, around 4.5km, and I saw I was a minute and a half away from 30 minutes. I knew a sub-30 was out of the question even before I started running, but I desperately wanted to get below 35 minutes. I ran as fast as I could for that last km (which always feels like the longest km in history!) and I officially crossed the finish line at 32:10. The course registered a little short for me - at about 4.9km, but I'm happy with my time considering my lack of training. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, running is so mental for me and I am my own worst enemy.
After the race, we devoured our bratwurst (best I've ever had!), enjoyed a beer, snapped a post-race photo, and then I had a free ten-minute massage before Jim and Sully arrived to pick me up!
There's one more race in the Spruce Meadows Run Series coming up: Dashing Through the Glow, a 2km or 5km fun run supporting the Seniors Secret Service (a great cause!) on the evening of December 4. Unfortunately, I won't be in town that day, but if I was, I would definitely consider doing a winter race! Running at Spruce Meadows has been such a fun experience so I really hope they continue with having races next year.
Do you run races during the colder, winter months?
Do you prefer running in the heat, or in the cold?