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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 Hour Race

So this 'race' was originally set to happen on October 1st, 2011. Which is a great date. I mean, it's 01/10/11, right?!
But the weather was predicted to be cold + rainy, so after talking to all the participants (2 other than myself) I decided to change it to Sunday, 2nd October.

Let me explain a little. I wanted to challenge myself to a long run. And I wanted to have some support, to keep me company, but also to keep me to it. So I asked my room-mates if they wanted to do a 5-hour looped run. Just run as many loops as you can in the time frame, and we'll call it a race. There won't be a prize, because there's no race fee, but whatever.

I had a route in mind, but when we went over it the day before, we realised it was kind of silly. It's my usual short-run route (2miles) and it crosses the highway, so there's a traffic light in the middle. This is a great fact for my runs, because I get to catch my breath for a minute, but this wouldn't be helpful in a race. So we mapped out a new route, that went around the block. It was only 2km long this time.

So we each used math to calculate our personal goals. I wanted to run AT LEAST 30km. I also hoped to run 50k. Wow, 50k would be amazing. I had decided that if I was anywhere near 50k when the 5 hours were up, that I would just go ahead and finish that 50k.

I never made it to 30k. BUT I also didn't lose the race! So I am okay with that.

We had decided to start at 08:30. After a little delay in our morning pre-race routine, we actually started at 08:30. We did take a 'before' picture, but I don't have it right now. I may upload it once the OTHER room-mate Mike sends it to me :)
So we started, bright and early on a Sunday morning. It was a great morning - the sky had NO clouds, few people were out, and we were going to be bad-ass and run for FIVE HOURS!

I kept up with the Mikes for about 2 minutes. They were going at an 8min/mile pace!! After I did the smart thing, and dropped behind, I did okay. I did two laps then stopped at the house for some hot chocolate.
This would be the place to say that our 'volunteers' were great! They had a pot of water warming on the stove, and each time we came in, they'd add some chocolate mix to it, and we'd have awesome hot chocolate! This was a perfect choice, because it was really cold outside.

We also had Gatorade, stacks of bananas, and pretzels. I didn't eat during the running part of the race, because my stomach was quite upset with me.

After that, I stopped at the house after each loop. I just wanted to sit down for 1-2 minutes, warm up a little and catch my breath. I wasn't running the entire time - I was mainly sticking to my 8/2 run/walk interval.

I remember that 4 laps in, my left knee started to bother me. After that lap, I found my knee strap to put on, and I'm not too sure it worked, but it made me feel a bit better.

After 2 hours of 'running' I decided I couldn't do the loop anymore. I didn't really like the loop we'd picked, and after checking with the Mikes, I headed off to make my own route for the next hour. Since I was wearing my (NEW!) Garmin watch, I could see how far I'd been, so I wasn't worried about keeping accurate tabs on my distance. For an hour, I ran long the river, downtown, and back.

At the 3 hour mark, I went back to the house to pick up Calvin. He said he'd walk with me, and we started walking back to my old neighbourhood, which is where the original course was mapped out. I tried to keep him walking quickly, so I could make my 30k goal, but he kept complaining that he was tired!!

After we walked for about a half hour, we headed back to the house, and I decided to pick up my camera. I decided that if we were walking (slowly), I could at least take some pictures to remember this 'race' by. Especially since we were walking so. slowly!

Here are a few of the cool things we saw during the last 1.5 hours.
Us in the Bubble Tea window :)

Lots of flags around here!

Bright and happy flowers at his house


So I finished my 'race' having completed 26.3km. I was pretty close, but didn't make my smallest goal.
MadAdams ran 33km, I think, and Faul stopped around 20km, because he hurt his quad.
While I was expecting to be last, I also thought I would complete 30km, so I guess those two goals balance each other out. In any case, this was the furthest distance I've covered in ONE DAY, and that makes me super happy!

My knee is a lot better now, and I hope to test it a little in a run this weekend :)


  1. You did a metric marathon!! That's pretty awesome!

    I think you guys should make this a bi-yearly event.

  2. I read this a while ago, but didn't realize that I had not commented until today. Better late than never? Suz, a huge CONGRATULATIONS on a very cool thing to do with the roommates! Loved the pictures you took, the >half marathon distance you covered, and your joy throughout it all. You rock! :)