Well I'm sorry, I've gone and done something that irks me when other people do it. You know how when someone is talking about something on their blog, and there is an important event of some sort that happens on a particular date, and that date comes and goes and no update appears on the blog. Ya know, some of us just want to know instantly how that event went! And I am one of those, and here I am finally talking about my 'important' event, and I am late.
So for all of you that have been waiting with bated breath (FarSide!), here's my update. First I have to backtrack a little bit though. You know me, I have to give you too much information (it's the Why? part of me). My knee was improving slightly and slowly, although I couldn't fully straighten it, but then on Thursday evening I got a text from Meredith to say that she wasn't feeling well at all. She was having a hard time taking a deep breath, hot, and feeling tight across her chest. It had been coming on all day. So Friday I said to Larry, maybe it would be him and me going to the Sun Run, and walking it. Thankfully on Friday evening Meredith said she felt slightly improved, so she was going to head into Vancouver on Saturday to pick up our race packages. Saturday I was at the Farmers Market in Abbotsford in the morning, and volunteering a dog agility match in the afternoon.
Meredith came over here on Sunday for her pre-race breakfast, and just after 7:30 we headed off. . Larry dropped us off just a block away from where we needed to be in the race lineup ,and we walked up one street where there was a line of portapotties, and an even longer lineup of people waiting to use them. That two cups of water at 6:30 am, and then another cup at 7:30, were pressuring me to line up. (I had already made a pit stop at McDonalds on the way in) We decided to head around the block to the next street, where the line up for the portapotties there was shorter. The lineup wasn't very obvious though, it was sort of lost in the crowd, and people walking up the street didn't see the line up, and thought they could just march right into a portapotty, and boy did they get put straight in a hurry. When my turn came a guy tried to sneak in before me and I had to tell him there was a lineup as I pushed my way past him.
So you spend a lot of time standing around. You can imagine, hanging out with over 40,000+ of your closest friends, that it takes a while for everyone to get to the start line. Even though the race started at 9am, we didn't actually cross the start line until 9:45. Runners start in waves, with a bit of a gap between each wave. You are able to be running as you cross the start line, and on the back of your number is a sensor thing that starts and stops your time as you cross the start and finish line.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. If you want to make yourself easy to pick out in a crowd, you do not wear the official Sun Run shirt. I need to wear shorts and a tank top. See number 31387? Long sleeves and long pants? I'd be dropping from heat stroke at the first kilometer.
On the way in I had asked Meredith if I had to walk, would she go on without me. She said she didn't know, because she wasn't sure at that point how well she would do when it came to running. She said if on Friday, she felt 100% sick, then on Sunday she felt 30% sick. She had only done one run in the last 10 days, and I had only run about 50 ft. So we started off at a pretty slow pace. The first part is downhill, and I think that was harder on my knee, but it did okay. I was concentrating on the road in front of me, as I wanted to make darn sure I put my right foot down in a safe spot, and I didn't catch my foot on the reflectors that were sticking up from the road about an inch. I didn't want a repeat of what happened outside the lab. We were able to chat as we ran and I felt great, and my knee felt great. There is one really steep uphill before the Burrard Street bridge, and we got up that okay, and up and over the bridge. Before I knew it we were at 6 km and past half way, and I felt really good. The sun was shining, but I didn't get too hot, and we were now on the long straight stretch of 6th Ave. You sort of get into your comfortable pace, and I seemed to ease just a bit ahead of Meredith. I kept glancing back and it was easy to pick her out in her fuchia coloured top. As we rounded the bend to the climb up the Cambie Street bridge, I realized that there was another person in a fuchsia coloured top, and what on earth had she done with Meredith?:) Turns out the Meredith had to slow down to grab some water from the water station to drink and splash on her face and neck, because she was feeling really hot and like she was going to throw up. So I ran slowly and half sideways, and finally Meredith appeared. I offered to take her hand and help her up the hill, but she said afterwards that it felt good at first but then she just wanted my sweaty hand off her sweaty hand and to just leave her to it. At the top of the bridge she told me to just go, so for the last half a kilometer I picked up the pace fractionally. On the off ramp of the bridge there was a noise from behind, like someone falling. I glanced back and I'm sure others did too, and people started yelling, don't stop, don't stop. I can only imagine the pile up that would have happened if a bunch of people had stopped on that narrow ramp. Meredith said she didn't see anyone on the ground when she came down a few seconds later. There is a short stretch on the flat, and then we were over the finish line.
We walked around for a bit and did our stretches. I couldn't stretch my right leg properly, but I did the best I could. The knee held up just fine, which really made me happy. I still limp slightly when I walk because I can't fully straighten it, but today (Monday) I think I can get it almost there. My right calf was a bit stiff this morning and left quad. I can feel both quads this evening.
Our official times were 1:06:09 and 1:06:26. So about 11 minute miles for my American friends. It was our second fastest time doing a Sun Run.
My original goal with this race was to beat my niece Kathleen. (She ran just a bit faster than me at the last one I was in). I guess I met that goal, because Kathleen, as a much younger mother of three little ones, and a working nurse, just wasn't able to make the time to train, so she didn't run on Sunday. The real goal for both of Meredith and I was to do the 10k in under an hour. When we got near the end of our training, and were finding it really hard to increase our speed, our goal was to just go for a personal best. And then it seemed to get even harder, so the goal was just to complete the run. A couple of days before the run, the goal was to just get to the start line.
We were both really thrilled with how well we did, all things considered. We were really glad that it wasn't either of us that was on that stretcher that was being loaded into the First Aid Jeep on 6th Ave. I was over the moon with how my knee handled it, because I had just about worried myself sick the evening before, as to whether I was being stupid even trying to run, what if I made things so much worse, etc, well I'm sure you can imagine all the things going through my head. We both thought that it seemed easier this time, despite our handicaps. We are looking for other runs to do, maybe:)
I ran with one of my mother's knee supports on my knee. My mum, back in the day, was very big on physical exercise and being outside. I hope she was proud of us too.