Monday, March 26, 2012

Around the Bay 30K Relay Race Recap

This post could otherwise be known as "That time I responded, 'I want to run with you!' to a blogger's request for a teammate, drove to another country and ran with two people I had never met before.  Best. Decision. EVER."

Screenshot of said best decision!

Now settle in because this is a long one, as it rightly should be! (Want Ali and Lyndsey's perspective on this? Go and read Ali's recap and Lyndsey's recap!)

After dropping Bernie off at boarding, riding 8 miles on the stationary bike and getting ready, Mike and I drove the 2.5 hours to Burlington, Ontario.  The race was actually in Hamilton, but by the time I agreed to run in the race all of the hotels in the area were booked!  Burlington isn't too far from Hamilton though so it worked out nicely.

After a few phone calls, on the hotel phone of course so we didn't get charged ridiculous international and roaming fees, we all agreed to meet at My Thai for dinner.  Yep, that's right Thai food and it worked out just fine.

When we arrived Ali, Colin and Lyndsey were already there.  We met and instant friendships were formed!  The poor waitress hated us because we took so long to order, sorry lady we had important Spatula Runner business to cover!

 All three of us, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

After dinner we went to Ali and Lyndsey's grandmother's house, party people I know, to devise our scheme for race day.  We were going to be rebellious and not use the shuttle buses to the exchange points for relay runners!

 Spatula Runners only use spatulas while scheming, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

All that planning, I mean "scheming", made us tired so we headed back to our hotel for the night.  I put out my race day outfit, we decided to wear the race shirt (I know, I know) underneath our Spatula Runners shirts since they were long sleeve (and I forgot another long sleeve shirt) and it was supposed to be a little bit cooler out (in the end Lyndsey and Ali didn't wear it because it wasn't necessary and I had to roll my sleeves up).  

Race day outfit

Race morning Mike and I woke up at 6:30 and got ready to drive to Ali and Colin's house.  When we got there Lyndsey was already there and so was REX!! He is Ali and Colin's adorable dog and he loved me (ok he is the kind of dog who loves everyone but I know he loved me a little bit more).

 Ready to race!

My new friend, Rex

Now for the scheme.

I am so grateful for Colin agreeing to driving us all around!  Without that the race would have been really boring since we would have been stuck on the shuttle buses for a long, long time and Mike and Colin would have been stuck at Copps Coliseum for hours.

 The location of the end of the race!

We arrived at the start of the race with plenty of time for me to stretch, warmup and check to make sure our chip worked in the shoe clip pouch that Lyndsey had.  It did.

Ready to "win" the race

Around 9:15 everyone else went to a location closer to where we had parked so that they could leave as soon as they saw me after the start.  Our plan was to drive each runner to the exchange points on roads that weren't closed for the race.

 The madness at the start of the race

 Waiting for me to run by

At 9:30 the race started!  I was far enough back that it took about a minute for me to cross the starting line.  As I was running I thought that I had missed everyone, I had stayed to the right so that there would be a better chance that they would see me, but then I was surprised when I heard them say, "there she is!"

See, I have the spatulas!

After that I continued on my merry way, I did have to pull over to the side within the first mile to pull up one of my compression socks but it only took a second.  After the first mile I clocked in at 8:36 and I thought, "well let's see how long this lasts" and after the second mile was 8:44 I knew that I had a chance to PR.

Miles 3-5 were the toughest for me mentally.  I did slow down a little bit and had to tell myself to just keep going and get to the exchange point.  I don't really remember much of the race except that everyone's watches around me kept beeping every kilometer and that seeing signs for the kilometers made it feel like it was taking forever!  I also remember that there was a guy with a bowl of oranges on the side of the road and I thought that was a little strange (apparently it is normal).  

I had two water stops during my portion of the relay and I took water both times.  I also had to explain to a few people why I was running with spatulas and my response basically was, "because... of... my... friend's... blog...".

The most memorable sign that I saw was, "go, bitches, go!"  Well I went!  I picked up the pace and hit 8:57 at mile 6 and knew I didn't have very far to go!  Before I knew it I heard Mike, Ali and Colin cheering me on and letting me know that Lyndsey was on the right.

 Finishing my leg and I didn't drop the spatulas! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

Well I thought I had to run over a mat at the exchange point to record my time, but I was wrong.  I heard Lyndsey yell "Jamie!" and I stopped and we exchanged the chip and the spatulas and after a quick photo she was off!

Lyndsey's turn to run with the spatulas!

When I looked at my watch it said I had done 6.15 miles in 55:03 (8:58 average pace)!!  Lyndsey ended up "finishing" my 10K for me by running over the mat and online it says that our first leg's official time is 56:21, which is still a PR for me but since it includes our exchange time and the time it took Lyndsey to run over the mat I'm not counting that as my time.  I'm going to go with 55:03 and hope that I run faster than that soon so I can have an "official" 10K PR!

I quickly crossed the street and grabbed my food and water and we got into Colin's car to get Ali to her exchange point.  After parking, Ali got ready for her leg.  We had all told each other our estimated range of times that we expected to finish so we had a good idea of when Lyndsey would be coming.

Mike went up the hill a little bit so that he could signal to us that she was coming and after 1:05 for her 9.5K leg there she was! (A PR for her too!)

Rockin' the spatulas

Ali and Lyndsey exchanged the chip and spatulas and Ali took off for the hardest and longest leg (10.5K).

 Getting the shoe chip on

 Mike did a great job cheering for everyone! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

Heading out on her way

The four of us got in the car and drove back to the same parking lot as the beginning of the race to wait for Ali to finish.  Mike and Colin went into Copps Coliseum to wait for her while Lyndsey and I waited outside of the entrance to the Coliseum.

I know that Ali doesn't want to use her injury and her lack of training (because of the injury) as an excuse, but it is a valid one!  Regardless of that fact, she still rocked the race!  After approximately 1:07 (a PR for Ali too since she has never officially raced the 10K distance) I saw a runner in pink shorts and a white t-shirt coming and I said that I thought it was her, and it was!  We cheered her on while she entered the Coliseum (and didn't fall, unlike some other unlucky runners we had seen).

Wave those spatulas proudly because you're done!

Our finishing time was 3:12:41 and unfortunately the first leg and our final finishing time are the only splits we have since Ali somehow missed the mat after she exchanged the chip with Lyndsey.

Team Spatula Runners

 I suck, Lyndsey and Ali rocked the spatulas, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

The evil relay bibs, it gave people permission to push us around!

After taking some photos, we headed back to Ali and Colin's house for some post-race fuel and cuddling with Rex. Thanks for making us a shake, Ali!

Although we didn't want to leave, we had to get going so that we could pick Bernie up before 6pm.  (Good thing we left when we did since it took us almost a half an hour to get through border crossing).

 It's appropriate that the Spatula Runners were in the kitchen

Spatula high five! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas

This was probably one of the best weekends I have had in a long time and I am so glad that we all got to meet and run together!

Like Mike said to me, Lyndsey and Colin, next year the girls should do the 3-person relay again and the guys can do the 2-person relay!  Or, we can all do the full!

Has anyone had a race where that made them just want to get right back out there and do it all over again?

39 comments:

  1. So cute!
    ha ha "Go, bitches, go!" I love it!
    Congrats on a PR & an overall great time! :)

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    1. Haha thanks Jenny! It was memorable since it is one of the only things I remember!

      Can't wait until Sunday :)

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  2. That looks like so much fun! Glad you had a great time:) I love that people are looking at the spatulas in every picture:) So funny!

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    1. I noticed that too :)

      It was a lot of fun!

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  3. Sounds like fun! You better enjoy the race this weekend with Jenny and me as much as you enjoyed this one. Haha. J.k. I'm glad that you guys had so much fun. And seeing your cute relay shirt, I wish we had one for our relay at the end of April

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    1. Check out "myraceragz" I had a nice experience with them and they like bloggers!

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    2. Haha I am going to have just as much fun this weekend too! Don't worry!

      I know I do want shirts too, maybe we can try to convince everyone :)

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  4. Congratulations on the PR! You guys did great and obviously had tons of fun!

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    1. Thanks Suzanne!! It was so much fun!

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  5. Nice recap - our times don't equal 3:11 (which is our chip time) so I'm assuming it was longer for me but whatever :P lol

    I re-mapped it out today and it looks like it was only 10.85km so I was super slow (for me) but meh, it WAS one of the best weekends ever!!!!!

    Great job Jamie!!!!

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    1. Thanks Ali!! You did great too!

      We have to take into consideration the exchange times (probably a few minutes total) too.

      We need to do it again sometime soon :)

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  6. I AM SO JEALOUS of everything in this post. HAHA! You girls are so awesome, adorable, and inspirational. I want to hang out with you all.

    I loved reading all about this race. Fantastic job ladies.

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    1. Thank you so much!! It was definitely a memorable race.

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  7. Absolutely awesome! You make me want to run a relay! :D

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    1. You should run a relay, I am so excited for my next one!

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  8. What an amazing time! Awesome work! I loved reading both yours and Ali's re-caps and now I want a relay to do! LOL

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    1. Thank you! Come to the States and run a relay with me! :)

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  9. I was just wondering when this race was - in fact a friend at pilates class asked me about it. Great job on the relay! Love the spatulas!

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    1. Thank you!

      Usually the weather isn't great for the race, I guess but this year we lucked out! It looked like the full was a bunch of fun too.

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  10. That looks like fantastic fun! I had a few local IRL friends do the ATB,a dn everyone had fun.

    It's on my list for next year!

    You guys rocked it, totally wished I ran, great post!

    Now what's your next race?

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    1. It was a lot of fun, definitely do it next year!

      Mike and I are running in a half marathon on Sunday called the Skunk Cabbage Half Marathon in Ithaca, New York. Then we finally have a break from races for a few weeks!

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  11. My first marathon, the Mohawk Hudson Marathon, in 1995, I finished and said- 'I want to run another one!'

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    1. That's good! Hopefully that is how Mike and I are in September.

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  12. What a fantastic weekend!! And a huge congrats on your pr... you just keep getting faster and faster. :) I love that you're all planning out next year already!

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    1. Thank you so much Laura!!

      I guess I should do speed work, ugh. It seems to be working haha!

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  13. Great recap Jamie! It was so nice to meet you and Mike this weekend. I had a really fun time, and hope we can do it again soon!

    I guess I should write my re-cap now...

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    1. Haha I can't wait to read your perspective (and then I will add it to my recap)!!

      It was so much fun to meet you too! I can't wait until next year, we really all need to run together. OR like I told Ali if you find an enticing enough race we would come run with you guys beforehand :)

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  14. O my gosh! y'all look like you had so much fun!!!! Congrats on your PR :)

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    1. Thank you!!

      It was really fun, so much more than I thought it would be!

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  15. Love your recap. It looks like you had an awesome time!

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    1. Thanks Jen!! It was an AMAZING time! Just what I needed :)

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  16. I already read Ali's report so it was great to get your perspective of the same race! This race and weekend sounds so fun and I'm so glad you all had such a fabulous time. I want to do a relay like this sometime!

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    1. Thanks Ricole, it was really fun!

      You should definitely do a relay like this! Lots of marathons have them I think!

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  17. Congratulations on your 10K PR, and having a blast doing it. You look so happy and like you're having so much fun (which I'm sure you were) !!

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    1. Thank you so much Michael!

      I was definitely happy, and I am very sad that the weekend is over!

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  18. it looks like you had a blast. I hope we can have a fun meet up at boilermaker this summer!!

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    1. It was a lot of fun!

      I would love that! It might be difficult to find each other in the sea of 14,000 runners but we can make it happen :) Are you doing the 15K or 5K?

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  19. That's really great that you guys could get together and do this! I have enjoyed reading all of your recaps! I have loved all the bloggers I have met so far and runners are just good people too!

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    1. Agreed! I think runners who blog are the best :)

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