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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Robbie Burns Race Report!

Ah, the Bard of Ayrshire. I know, I know... you have no real idea who Robert Burns was, but let me tell you no New Years celebration is complete without his lyrics (Should auld acquaintance be forgot/ and never brought to mind?).

Yes, he's the guy who wrote that.

You're welcome for the jeopardy answer.

Anyway! Back to the race report. The day dawned sunny and early. I crawled out of bed with the 6am alarm and took a shower before dressing, eating (shreddies and coffee). I had one finishing touch to do, putting our family crest and motto on my coat before making my way to Burlington to pick up Emma.

Next year, this will be on a T-Shirt!

Once Emma got in the car, it was a short trip to the high school where the race started and we congratulated ourselves on being about an hour early as surely we'd get prime parking at the school lot.

Nope. It was full.

No fear, we got easy parking on a side street and made our way inside where we sorted out or bunnets and bibs and various other stuff and I checked my bag. We watched/listened to the Halton Pipe band for a bit:

And then made our way for the first bathroom stop and to the cafeteria to sit down for a while. We chatted and took in the costumes and runners.

 Around 9:15, I wanted to head back to the washroom so we did and then headed out to the start. There wasn't much time to think or chat and with a final, "I'll see you later, I'm totally going to go out to fast." I was off, heading for that PB

The race started fine. I was way too far back and spent about a kilometer weaving, weaving, weaving and passing, passing, passing. Finally when we turned onto Fairview, I was able to settle into a pace, thanks mainly to spotting a "Connor's Runner" in a bright orange jacket and following her along as we continued to pass, pass, pass. 

I recognized early that I was running at 10k race pace (Not half marathon pace per the plan), but I felt okay and I felt like keeping up with Connor's Runner was the right thing to do. We made the turn down Guelph Line and although the sun was bright and my glasses were foggy, the slight downhill was a welcome relief as I really was not used to running so quickly or pushing so hard. If you look above, you'll notice I'm wearing a lot of clothing. I was freezing at the start but WAY. TOO. HOT. by this point. I think I should have run without the fleece layer. I even took off my mittens. If I had somewhere to put it (and if I wasn't such a good sport), I would have taken off that damn synthetic bunnet as well. HEAT. TRAPPER.

I had been running pretty consistent splits to this point, but the downhill to Lakeshore saw a 4th KM split that was a touch fast. I told myself to just push through, stay with Connor's Runner and trust myself. I wasn't feeling like I wanted to stop or was out of breath, I was just at that miserable part of any short distance race. I was feeling the effort. We made the turn onto Lakeshore shortly after 5k and I watched as Connor's Runner slowly and surely pulled away. She was employing a strategy I had toyed with - go out on pace and then speed after 5k to the end. Too bad I didn't go out on pace. Oh well.

Even without my pacer, I was able to keep up the average pace over KM 5 and 6 before I really began to struggle. I mean I had to tell myself that I had at most 11 minutes left. I had to confirm that it would be okay if I dropped down to a 5:27/km pace as that was my in-going target anyway. I got distracted here a bit with my fogging sunglasses and took them off. I gave some thumbs up to the photog who snapped my photo (when I find them, I'll share). I recalled that this was part of the Chilly Half Marathon route and let myself get up those slight inclines without thinking too much about the actual fact that I was running fast and with effort. The 41km I had run earlier in the week had arrived to make some noise though.

When I passed the 7k marker, Till I Collapse came on my iPod. Hooray! My boyfriend (Eminem) had come to cheer me on to the end:

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.
I know, right?

You'd have thought I would have blasted toward the finish with this in my ear. Instead I struggled onward, up Locust Street toward the finish line. There is a photog here and I seriously gave him a look that said, "You've got to be kidding me. I can't even bother." What was especially fun was the masses of Black Lungs and Longboat runners who were casually jogging back along the course (on the sidewalks of course) to cool down. I made the turn on to Baldwin, saw the finish and I wish I could say I speed up, but instead I checked the time, plus the time on my watch and thought, Okay I have it. Even if I slow down now. It was my slowest KM.

But a sweet PB!

A 2:32 PB!

Gun: 43:15
Chip: 42:26
Place: 378/845
F35-39 - 13/54 (last year I was 14th in F30-34)
F: 111/428

5:20-5:15-5:15-5:08-5:10-5:18-5:21-5:23 (19.8 - last 0.07)

After I was finished, I stumbled over to the sidelines to catch my breath and rip off my bib belt and anything pressing on my waist. I was bloated. Think Niagara Falls bloated. And stuff at my waist was killing me. I caught my breath and started looking for friends. I was able to watch my friend Sarah finish and her sister, Rachel who was running in her first race! And then, all of a sudden, Emma came blistering through the finish, 3 minutes ahead of her targeted 50 minute pace! We celebrated and then headed out of the cold to get our oatmeal cookies (but not the actual oatmeal), bagels, water and bananas. I dropped Emma at home and quickly made my way to Alasdair's hockey game. He scored 3 of their 4 goals. 

A' fowk did stoatin aw aroond!

Right now I'll be back at this race again next year. Such a great test of pace so early in the season and so close to home. How could I not?


  1. :D i lived in scotland so I know aaall about him.
    GREAT PB, amazing, amazing!

    1. That's awesome. I can't wait to go back and explore more.

  2. Great race report and awesome result Nicole! Well done! Great confidence booster heading into the season I'm sure.

    1. Thanks Robin. I'm hopeful that this result means good things for Chilly.

  3. Yay PB! I knew you could do it!

    1. Well I'm glad someone did. LOL! Thanks Sam.

  4. We look totally adorable :) Thanks for the ride and the company! Great race report!

    1. We are pretty cute, eh? Rocking the bunnets! Thanks for your company!


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