Yorkville 5km Race Report

Heather

It was a perfect day for a run, truly amazing, blue sky, little breeze and 14 degrees Celsius (58 F).  So I will never understand the motivation of some people’s winter running attire, but hey it only hurt them.

I like doing this race, some people feels it’s over priced for what it is, but you get a pretty decent goody bag, and the race start is about 1500m from our house, a perfect warm-up!  It’s a small race only 650 competitors on a relatively flat course.

This year we had a support crew, my mother-in-law Ann, she did a great job of holding our stuff, cheering us on, and taking some pictures.  So after we loaded down her backpack and Dan attached his Ultra-Stache we tried to get ourselves seeded.  This is something I’ve been trying to do a better job of, I always start way to far back and spend the first half of the race dodging people, not really a big deal over a 50km but there’s not a lot of extra time in a 5km.  I felt like I was close to the front but it still took nearly 20 seconds for me to cross the start line, and then I passed a girl wearing a leather purse across her shoulder… how in the world did she start ahead of me?  Is she going to show me up and run past me with that gigantic square awkwardly hanging across her body?  I focused on putting distance between her and me.

The Fu Manchu ultra-stache

And the profile.

There is not a lot to say about the course, it’s through my neighborhood so I like it, but I didn’t feel I had an advantage since I typically never get to run on the road or through red lights!  I do know that I spent most of the race passing people, which is a nice feeling but truly shows how inept I am at seeding myself in a start corral.  I especially enjoyed passing the people dressed for winter, I know I shouldn’t, but seriously what were they thinking and there is no reason someone can’t find out the weather forecast this day in age, plus there is a bag check so no reason not to strip down before the race starts, I think I few of the ladies just wanted to show off there new Lulu lemon jackets.

What a fine-looking bunch of runners.

I only got passed once the whole race by two guys, who I noticed when I passed them near the start thinking it was strange, they looked very capable of running much faster than they were, so I actually enjoyed being their fish as they reeled me in around 3km,  as they passed they were picking their next target, I suggested anyone wearing winter gear, they chuckled and sped off.

Around the 3.5km mark you run pass the other end of the street you will be finishing on, I could already hear them announcing people finishing, I smiled and picked up the pace.  I finally caught the girl I’d been chasing the whole race just passed 4km and took off.  I had lot’s left, I’m not used to such short races so I enjoyed just running really hard for the last kilometer and it paid off too.  As I turned the last corner I spotted the clock and realized I was not going to get under 24 minutes as I had hoped, but I wasn’t far off.  My official time was 24:17, chip time 23:58, I’m happy with that, I always tell people my chip time as at some of the large marathons it takes 6-7 minutes to get across the start line (guess I shouldn’t complain about 20 seconds).

Dan finished just ahead of me with 23:35 and we stood with Ann to cheer my father-in-law, Gaz, across the line at 28:09!  The girl with the purse finished too, I think she was regretting her choice of accessory but I cheered when she crossed the finish line.  We stuck around afterwards for the awards and I gorged myself on gigantic cinnamon buns and cheese cake, plus they were handing out colossal bottles of “fancy” water (taste’s the same as the tap) and vitamin water, oh an there were cookies and other hors d’oeuvres (I’m sure you all realize the draw of this race for me now… the free sugar at the end).  Glad we stuck around because Gaz got a little gift for completing his first road race!   Nice touch to finish the day, except wait, it was only 10 o’clock, we still had a whole day ahead of us and our legs weren’t dead, have I found my new favorite race distance????

The Ultra-stache seems to help keep people away from Dan

Note to self: Stop waving like that.

Gaz in motion.

Ultra-stache finish

Gaz finishing his debut international race

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On The Road Again

Heather

Last Saturday Dan and I took a bike mechanics workshop at the Evergreen Brickworks in the Don Ravine (there is also a wonderful farmer’s market from 8-1 there on Saturdays).

I had decided after my bike accident that I should maybe educate myself about my bike, oh and get my bike fixed!

We had to push our bicycles 4km to the workshop, Dan’s tires were flat as were mine and my front derailleur was bent from my accident so we walked because we vowed that we would be riding our bikes away from the workshop.  My biggest hope was that I would make it home with the bike in one piece.

This way to fun!

The workshop was fabulous.  It’s held at the Bike Works garage in the Brickworks.  Bike Works is a DIY bike shop run by volunteers Saturday and Sunday from 10-4, all the volunteers are amazing.

All things bicycle found in here.

The workshop takes you through changing/patching a flat tire, lubing and care for your bike chain, and some general checks, such and breaks and cables that should be routinely performed.  They also lightly touched on things that you could learn to do yourself to save money.

After the workshop, Brian, one of the volunteers, helped me change the tube in my back flat tire and we inflated the front one.  Brian also helped fix my derailleur (and no I didn’t know it was called that before this workshop), although he mentioned that I’d probably need a new one in the new year.  We also lowered my bike seat, since I feel that this was one of the reasons that I fell over, my feet couldn’t reach the ground.  I understand that seat height is important to the efficiency of my cycling however I’m currently willing to sacrifice efficiency to have the comfort of knowing my feet reach the ground.

As we cycled home into the sunset, my chain fell off, but I got Dan to put it back on since we just learnt how to do it and I had thoroughly cleaned my hands (I didn’t want to get them greasy again).  We made it home in one piece, not going to lie, I’m really not a confident rider.  Dan thought it was hilarious that the only time I went fast was when we ran out of bike lanes and had to join traffic, the speed was because I hated it so much and just wanted to get home.  I hope in time that I will become a more confident rider, I’m trying, practice makes perfect, or something like that.

A Toad, some Hope and a Fat-Ass

Heather

Welcome to the new Race In Pieces!  What does everybody think?  Be honest.  We thought we’d give the site a little update since the DeathRace has come and gone (hard to believe), it’s still a work in progress so please bare with us.

As for Dan and I we are back in training mode.  We are running this weekends Yorkville B&o 5km.  I’m excited for this run because it will be Dan’s stepfather, Gaz, international debut!  It’s been awhile since he’s run a road race and I’m so happy that we can share in this with him.

Dan’s next big race is the Run for the Toad 50km on October 1.  It’s a trail race but a relatively flat one (he seems to be drawn to flat these days).  I’ll be running the 25km as a training run (haha, we all know that I’ll end up getting caught up and ‘race’).

My goal race is the Road 2 Hope marathon in Hamilton.  This is also a flat (net downhill) course (so maybe I’m a little drawn to flat these days too).  This race will be exciting too as it will be my Big Sister’s comeback half-marathon, she hasn’t run a road race since 2007, and injury plagued her earlier in the year, so fingers crossed she can make the start line on November 6.

Our last race of the year is slated for November 13 (only a week after my marathon), it’s trail race in Batawa, called the Fat-Ass.  That’s the main reason I want to do it, I want a race shirt that says I’m a Fat-Ass.  It also helps that I met the wonderful race director, Sandy of Tri and Run Sports (located in Trenton), she is easy-going and gives out awards for being the slowest and dirtiest, I figure with my propensity to falling over and being slow I might just win a prize!  Big Sister will also be joining us for her trail race debut and we are hopping that Little Sister and Little Sister’s Fiancé will too and maybe even Big Sister’s husband???  I will continue to harass them until I get my way (I think some of Dan’s only childness is rubbing off on me)!

And to think I thought things would settle down after the DeathRace, silly me.

AWOL

Dan

It has been a while since my last confession, whilst I may have let my blogging lapse my running has not been left to the same half assed fate.

Post DeathRace I was determined to get back on the horse, there were lessons learned from the race but Heather covered most of those. The overwhelming learning was that whilst we can do a lot of our training together we need to race for ourselves.

The first test of our solo racing was the Midsummer Nights run, I managed a personal best of 1:19:24. Was it the racing on my own or my new secret weapon that helped me?  Well let me explain my secret weapon, I have noticed that all the ultras and trail races seem to be won by bald men with mustaches. This presents a problem for me as I am not bald (and couldn’t rock the look) and my facial hair-growing prowess is spotty at best. So I have the Ultra-Stache, a product I think I should market to the running world as a whole, the “stache” can be applied just before the race and is totally unisex, not to mention it makes one heck of a fashion statement. There are still a few enhancements to be made as it fell off at the 9km mark, I swear I slowed down until I started to visualize the Ultra-Stache proudly sat upon my top lip.  I am going to go out on a limb and attribute 100% of the success to the Ultra-Stache, check out the shelves of your local running shops, it is only a matter of time before this takes off.

In Greek mythology I am known as Stavros the Fast.

Up next is the B&o 5km, going to be a pretty special race firstly because it is on my door step but most importantly my Stepdad, Gaz, is over from England and is racing with me, and my Mum will be there to cheer us on. It will be the first time she has been able to watch me race.