The morning finally arrived. Our race. Our chocolate race. We were up at 8:00 to dress and have a good solid breakfast to power ourselves through 5K. Instead of taking the shuttle, we drove to Port Dalhousie ourselves and found parking on a nearby street. The day was one of those perfect days – sunny but crisp, cool but the potential for a wonderfully warm afternoon. We were prepared – a new firm sports bra (for me – nice to have the girls strapped in tight) and new long running pants for Emile (for those turkey legs of his). A good night rest, a solid breakfast, no alcohol, and a month+ of training.
Could we make our goals of a personal best? Considering the chocolate pits stations on the course? Hills? People?
Goals: Emile: 34:00 Minutes Susan: 38:00 Minutes These goals are based on our best average times on an indoor track – no hills, no crowds, no chocolate and controlled climate.
The chocolate race course is a an out and back one meaning you run 2.5 kms and then loop back to finish where you started. I have never run more than 1.5 kms without stopping, Emile has consistently been able to run 5 km only stopping for a water break each km. We agreed we would not wait for each other (like I’d be doing any of the waiting!), but simply run the best race that we could. As we were separated, I could not tell you what Emile’s strategy was, but mine was to just keep going. I had a target to run from the start until about the 1.75 km mark where a very steep hill marked the entrance into Westcliffe park – and I made it. At the 2.25 km mark, I had some Gatorade and a chocolate dipped marshmallow and strawberry on a stick. Hello, yum!
At the 3 km mark, my old friend the stitch acted up, and I had to walk and stretch a bit, but I kept going as fast as I could. At 3.5 km, I thought I was done, but I didn’t like other people passing me, so I found something to keep going,
And finally, seeing that finish line across the parking lot and Emile waiting for me, I managed to dig deep, ignore my shins, ignore my lungs, and ignore my stitch and ran as fast as I could.
I blog to you about many EOs – mundane, silly, ironic, funny, but today’s EO is one of the most emotional ones yet for me. When I crossed that finish line, tears – and not from the wind – came to my eyes. I am so proud of myself! So proud that I ran 90% of the race. So proud that I could turn such a difficult winter into an accomplishment. We set our goals modestly, and trained for this race and we set fair goals based on previous results.
2 chocolate croissants, 1 chocolate milk, 4 truffles, 1 brownie and 1 chocolate martini (yeah, a real one) each awaited our celebration at the end of the race. Why are more races not like this?
April 29th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:
Time: 29:55 (personal best, and -4:05 from target)
Overall Finish: 58th (!!)
Category Finish: 6th (OMG!!!)
Time: 34:25 (personal best and -3:35 from target)
Overall Finish: 126th
Category Finish: 32nd (!!)
We Run for Chocolate! (updated with official timing)