2013 Achilles 5K

I winged another race, just a mini one.  To date, I’ve never been able to train for any running events.  I haven’t laced up my runners since I mentioned the Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K last month to recover some shin issues, except for a quickie 3km test run 2 weeks ago to assess my conditions.

Without training, I didn’t have a goal pace in mind.  I was simply looking forward to let loose with colleagues outside of work, soak up the crowd’s energy,  finish injury-free, and most importantly, beat 1 of my coworkers who smoked me 2 years ago; henceforth known as my arch-nemesis.

I arrived 1hr15min early but a huge crowd had already gathered inside Steam Whistle Brewery (near the Start line).  There was also a long line up!  You’d think it’s a line up to something interesting like free beer, but it’s only to the Lady’s Room.  That was 10min of wasting away my life!!

The blue sky was deceiving; it was a chilly day, dropping to -9C with wind chill.  Winter is still here to stay!  My jacket was in coat check, leaving me with at least 45min of pre-race freezing fun (I only had a baselayer on).  Some friendly trash talks with my arch-nemesis and group photos later, we went our separate ways.  I was having a chatterbox morning, joking away with a few colleagues.  By the time I went to the starting line, I was way at the back and couldn’t find my nemesis.  Was he in front of me? Uh Oh!

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The Team!

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Start Line – Stuck at the back

The crowd took forever to scatter.  I was stuck behind groups of people with no room to groove, weaving through people and going up & down sidewalks to get space.  It was a little frustrating!  Why were walkers in the front?  Funneling everyone from 2 lanes down to 1 lane on Spadina Ave worsened the situation.  It wasn’t until after the half-way mark when the crowd started to stretch out.  I miss the rigidity of cycling races where riders are organized in pace categories and let out in descending pace.  Cycling spreads out a lot faster especially with the neutral rollout at the start.

At 2/3 of the way, I saw a couple of my colleagues walking in the opposite direction.  I flailed my arms at them and they shouted “Hey, he’s ahead of you!!”  “NOOOOOOOOO!!!”  I have no idea where he was.  My finicky legs surprisingly felt fantastic & I sped up to hopelessly make up for lost time.  On the final 0.7km homestretch, I downright sprinted and my strides got longer.  Oh, maybe this is what true running is?!

I crossed the finish.  As I cooled down, I heard my arch-nemesis yelled my name.  Sure enough, he was sitting on the curb soaking in the race with a big smile on his face.  Damn.  He beat me.

I’m embarrassed by my time – my slowest 5km yet!  I comfort myself by noting the identical Gun & Chip time.  This doesn’t make sense, I was at the back of the line.  There must be a timing error.  Right, right????

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30min

A few of us waited for the rest of the team.  My body heat generated from the race disappeared, resorting to another round of shivering.  Comically, 1 of my teammates hung her jacket on a tree near the start/finish line (so random!!).  She was nowhere in sight.  I “borrowed” it & put it on like its my own.

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A few teammates

We gave up waiting after half an hour and headed inside the Brewery for some Irish lunch.  Another line up!  Thank goodness for networking, a few of our teammates were at the front of the line.  I took no joy in butting, but time is money people!

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Long line up for lunch!

We were served a bowl of chili and a cup of Steam Whistle beer.  Now don’t fall off your seats, I wasn’t in the mood for beer and skipped it.

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Yee-haaa … Enwave is 1 of the sponsors of the event!  Post-race ceremony.

It was a fun day and I had an enjoyable time with my coworkers.  I may have took the race seriously while running it but it was just force of habit.   At the end of the day, I had no hard feelings.  Yes, I had a slow pace.  Yes, my goal of beating a coworker didn’t happen.  I may have to hide my face in my cubicle for a few days, but just being with the crowd to kick-start public sporting events for 2013 had me pumped up for the rest of the day.  The fact that my legs didn’t bother me much also means I can gradually ease back into a running regime again.  I still haven’t ran over 15km in my life.  The upcoming half-marathon isn’t going to run itself.  I certainly can’t wing that one!

Have you just “gone in” to a race?

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