So let’s just get this out of the way, this is what my face looked like yesterday.
I awoke to black eyes, but the ability to breathe through my nose. I headed off to work where they were slightly alarmed/concerned but I can’t really say surprised. This is my x-ray.
My nose is broken, but not displaced which is good. My septum is nice and straight (which I don’t know that it even was before) so I do not need to have any work done, as long as I don’t knock my nose again anytime soon. I’m going to have to take a few days off from running (obviously) but hopefully I will be able to get back to exercise by the end of the week. Oh and work, as I was sent home yesterday because some patients found my face “disturbing”.
So about this race we ran on Saturday, the Niagara 50km Ultra, it starts in Niagara-on-the-Lake and follows the waterfront recreation trail all the way to the falls where you turn around and run back to where you left you car. I really enjoyed the course and the race, it was beautiful ever step of the way and very well supported with amazing volunteers at the aid stations.
There also weren’t too many runners which I’m really beginning to enjoy in races. Everyone chats with one another, you see the same people as you run past them on their walk breaks, than them by you on yours. I also loved this course because it was relatively flat, there is one good climb around 12km and then some rolling hills but nothing too taxing.
We passed the floral clock, which is memorable for Dan and I because when he first visited Canada (before we were dating) I took him to Niagara and insisted we go and see the floral clock because I loved it as a kid. However it wasn’t quite as grand as I remembered, plus I insisted that we wait for the hour to change because it chimed. Turns out it doesn’t and we spent a ridiculously long time staring at a floral clock. Dan still managed to fall in love with me despite my poor memory of clocks.
As we came around the corner to a stunning view of both falls’ we stopped for another picture, a very generous runner already on their way back stopped and offered to take it so we could both be in it.
I loved watching people’s reactions as we got closer to the falls. Some people cheered us on even though they had no idea what was going on, many just stared, some let their kids try to trip us (I found that strange), one lady even commented “maybe they are some sort of runners”, you got it lady!!
After checking in at the turn around, refilling our water and grabbing some pretzels, we headed back to the start or now the finish. I was blithering on about how much fun this run was and where we should run the next day when Dan revealed to me that he was not enjoying the run at all. He was trying but truthfully he was having an “off” day and it was all he could do to keep moving. We dialed back our pace (we had been on a great pace, he certainly can fake feeling good for 25km). He didn’t want to quit because he really liked the hoodies we got for entering the race and we firmly believe you should not wear race gear if you did not compete or finish the race. Plus we were going to get medals, they would be our first Ultra medals. Then he tried to pee and he didn’t feel like he peed much and it was kind of dark and he started to freak out because of what happened recently. It suddenly hit me that I may have to finish the race on my own, and well I didn’t like the idea of that. So we started to analyze what Dan had taken on fuel wise and came to the conclusion that he was probably dehydrated. He had only been taking on water at the aid stations, where I always take Gatorade (Dan can’t stand the stuff) and it was a hot day from the start of the race so we were sweating profusely (although every so often there was a gorgeous breeze off the river). So Dan started chugging water and I forced as many eDiscs (electrolyte replacement discs, look like tums) on him. By the 38km marker he peed again and felt it was clearer, Dan decided that he wanted to finish but we would just take it easy, it was truly a mental game for him. Unfortunately for me the stopping and starting was taking a toll on my legs, I found it increasingly more difficult to get comfortable running or walking and when we did run I wanted to go much faster than Dan wanted. The last 10km were a bit rocky for us but Dan committed to running the last 1km with me and I tried to run at a pace he could manage. We crossed the finish line hand in hand, happy to make our safe return in 6:21:15. Not bad all things considered.
And the post race party was so worth finishing for! There was tons of amazing pizza, pasta salad, bagels with stuff to actually put on them and all you could drink beer (I had two!) We stayed until the end to cheer on the last of the runners. On our way home we stopped a cute little nursery to pick up some plants for our balcony , what a sight we must have been. First of all, we had left our change of clothes neatly packed at the front door on our way out at 4:45am, so we stunk, we both still had our medals on, and we couldn’t seem to drive our cart straight. It also seemed to be taking an awfully long time to find some nice looking plants, I finally realised that we both still had our sunglasses on, which explained why everything looked a little brown! When we returned home we found this on our door:
Special thanks to our neighbour cheerleaders Matt and Andrea. We hope we don’t wake you up as we stumble out the door at ridiculous hours of the morning! (Actually Andrea is training for her first ultra the 100km Oxfam trail run, Go Andrea!)