The Imagine race last year was my first “real” race [you know, with those tear-off things on your bib number that you can’t pin onto your shirt], and I was so stoked to be back again this year.  The race is in a fairly small town, which makes it have this awesome atmosphere, where people are sitting on their lawns and cheering and cute children are giving out freezies to runners and walkers en route!

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We arrived a bit late, which was just chaos as Danielle and I still needed to register.  We weaved our way through to the reg table, paid our fees, and jetted over to the start line [not the nice calm start I’d been anticipating!] at the back of the pack.  We did our share of passing people throughout the first few kilometers, all but a few were people with jogging strollers and/or small children.  So I’m unsure if our passing counts for anything. Also, I think we passed a couple runners which always makes me laugh–ohai, you just got passed by a walker, you know.

The first kilometer always sucks for my legs, no matter what I do.  And I know you’re not supposed to do new things during races, but really.  So I decided to suck back a gel [after Danielle and I traded, cause I wanted her strawberry kiwi and she wanted my grape pomegranate [mostly cause I think she thought it was berry].  Dude, that stuff rocks.  Hello glycogen.  Legs felt good after that [Well really, what was I expecting. Four graham crackers isn’t exactly ample pre-race nutrition].  I now get what the hype is about.

I think I missed knowing it was kilometer two completely, which leads me to believe that perhaps CarbBoom! is full of drugs.  I remember looking at my Garmin at 2.55 kms and telling Danielle we were over halfway there in about 26 minutes.  Not super fast, but steady.  I’d like to mention here, that we kept up such a pace that it was fast enough for my liking, but thanks to aggressive pre-medicating, despite how I sounded while talking, I felt good and didn’t need my inhaler at all during the race.

 

I loved the third kilometer.

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Danielle looking awesome at 3K.

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I was indeed actually walking, but I was also posing.  I don’t typically look like this when I walk.  Typically.

Also, K 3 contained the best sign of the entire race:

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At which point, an old dude who was racing ran up, grabbed the sign, and ran off with it [and then returned it].  Apparently that hadn’t happened in the race yet, so the people with the sign were all stoked that someone had tried to steal their sign.  Best sign and best old dude ever.  And then I cheered for the people who made the sign.

Fast forward to 4.6 K.  After someone tells us they like our cat ears [thank you Tara], I look at my Garmin, and realize “If I had been paying attention to the TIME on this thing, not just the distance, we could have cranked up the pace earlier and I’d have PR’ed.  That sucked. We kicked up the pace, then decided to try running.  Running never works for me.  I didn’t last long and told Danielle that I had to walk.  Kept the pace cranked.

Passed the finish line.

No idea if there was a clock.  Stopped the Garmin in the chute at 5.09K and 54+ minutes, as I forgot about it.  I went back and found that i crossed the finish at 53:43.  44 seconds faster and I would have had a PR.  Seriously, it sort of sucks when the only one you’re racing is yourself and you are THAT close.  Or at least i’m consistent in 5Ks? Anyway, yeah, frustrated I wasn’t paying more attention to the Garmin earlier.

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Post Race

We got our medals and progressed through the chute.  I stretched it out a bit while Danielle went to the bathroom, then we found chocolate milk [seriously a staple of my post-workout/race nutrition] and various other things in the food tent.  After about ten or fifteen minutes we met up with Caren and James, ate some food, and then went to the Land of Amazing

DSCF9461.JPGFREE MASSAGE LAND.

That was awesome.  I am officially addicted to massages.  I signed my life away and told them that if I died it wasn’t their fault, and then chilled out on the table while the physiotherapy student made my legs feel like amazing.  Then because Danielle wasn’t done yet and the masseuse man looked bored, I got him to massage my shoulders.

I’m now two years in at this race, and it’s by far my favourite.  It’s run like a RACE.  With Gatorade and water and massages and food and CHOCOLATE MILK.  Oh my goodness.

So while I didn’t perform as well as I wanted to, I made it.  I had a ridiculous awesome time, and I can’t wait till next year!