Since my baby brother lives out of town, my Christmas extended to Sunday when the holiday celebration continued with my extended family. So of course I brought my medal from the Boxing Day 10-miler to show my parents, brother and sister-in-law.
From what it sounded like at the race, this might have been the first year that all finishers at the 10-miler received finishers medals, with those who finished within a certain amount of time getting a fancier medal. Proudly showing off the holiday-themed medal (which eased the painful ache in my quads just a bit) my sister-in-law made an interesting observation:
Now “all my medals” isn’t exactly an overwhelming amount. I could easily cover a Charlie Brown-sized tree with the medals I’ve collected for finishing races (and a few for earning age group podium positions). Yet, it’s an interesting idea for next year.
Meanwhile, my legs finally start to feel human again on Day Two after the 10-miler. While the climbs are tough on the body, it’s the downhills that can trash your legs. And I certainly feel it. I take it as a burn of honor, though. It means I ran hard. That I worked. It’s that healthy place of knowing that you’ve done your best with the balance of having fun.
Now for tidbits and lessons learned from the race:
1. Not all nice people are sane. Sue and I met a woman who started talking about the race, the course and her marathon and triathlon career. She was super cheerful and super nice … and the more we talked to her, the more we thought she was super strange. Which proves you can’t judge sanity on face value.
2. Beware of bathroom lines. The Hamilton YMCA was the host (and beneficiary) of the run and there were plenty of bathrooms around the facility. But in a race that draws around 700 people, there are going to be lines. Women perhaps are accustomed to waiting and generally have moved beyond the grumbling stage. Men, however, are not as used to waiting and after one guy spent about 20 minutes in a one-stall bathroom, there was the potential for a throw-down before the race. However, being in Canada, even the verbal sparring was polite.
3. Gingerbread hot chocolate from Tim Horton’s is the perfect post-race treat.
And now for my list of things I did well in the race:
1. I ran a smart first mile, pulling back to not get sucked up in the fast start. It’s 10 miles. You don’t want to blow your entire energy supply in the first mile.
2. I talked myself out of mental breakdowns. Any time negative thoughts came into my head (oddly in the voice of my ex-boyfriend) I countered them with something positive.
3. On the steepest hill, I kept running. Refusing to look at my Garmin and judge my speed, I just kept a running motion, and passed a bunch of people who took to walking. Even better for my self-confidence — they didn’t pass me back.