We did it. My friend T and I ran our first 8K race. And it was awesome :)
(my hat, medal and good luck necklaces that N made me)
We had so much fun. We signed up for the second-last corral. We can run 5K in about half an hour so our goal was to finish the 8K in under an hour. I can't remember the options but this put us just ahead of the speed walkers. We were good with that.
This was a big-ish race - 2,265 runners. Our last race only had 100. This race we got into our corral, green, and I was comfy at the back but T got a little competitive and moved up towards the front. This may have been a good idea because we heard the gun go off and then it took us over a minute to cross the starting line and start to move at a light jog. About 90 seconds before we really felt like we were running. But it was awesome. I just kept smiling :)
We had psyched ourselves out SO much for this race. And it turns out we were crazy. I am fighting shin splints right now so we ran a little slower than usual but it felt great. I remember being surprised when we passed the 1 K mark. When we passed the 3 I said "now we just have to get through our usual training run, no problem!" T laughed. It was so different running without strollers.
The first hill was a bit scary, but in the end not too bad, and we didn't stop! That was our other goal. To run the 8K without stopping. I know everyone says you can walk but that's been our plan and so far so good. There were times it felt very slow and steady, but we kept moving. And really, we were surprised by how good we did feel. It was beautiful to run around High Park - there were swans!
The highlight for T was getting water/gatorade at the 4K water check. She has always wanted to throw her cup on the side of the road. She was positively gleeful about it. T is one of the tidiest people I know so this was very cute! And it made her so happy.
She missed the 6K checkpoint (another water station, she was busy littering....) and was ecstatic when we hit the 7. Then we headed up the final hill. It was BIG. When one of the volunteers shouted "just half a K to go!!" I could feel her speed up. My leg was hurting and while I didn't want to stop I wasn't quite ready to sprint. So I waved her on and plodded up the hill at my own pace. It was good.
Crossing the finish line was surreal. People shouting and cheering, chanting "sprint, sprint, sprint" and all of a sudden I could! It was great.
We finished 1796 and 1835 respectively. Both under an hour and only 39 seconds apart. My time was 54.44. I was the 788th woman across the finish line. And I smiled all the way home.
We got hats and medals and it was so COOL to ride the subway home and have people wave and smile at us. I ducked into the Starbucks near home and treated myself a latte and the barrista gave it to me for free and people were high-fiving me in line. I felt like an Olympian :)
And then I went home and my darling N met me at the door. He was SO proud. And when he saw my medal he went crazy - "Mommy WON!!!" I told him I hadn't really but he didn't care, I was a winner and for that moment I really felt like one :) It was awesome.
And only 5 weeks til the next one.....