Monday, 28 September 2015

Me and My Peeps

5:00 am - The only reason anyone should be up at this time of day is if they are on their way to the airport for a vacation down south.

Yet, here I am, in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning, up and ready to go running.

A normal person would be sleeping in until about ten before pulling on a pair of fleecy pants and slowly heading to the kitchen to have a cup of tea and enjoy a breakfast of eggs and bacon. Me, I'm scarfing down a banana with a Gatorade chaser.

A normal person would look at the notification of a frost warning and pull that comfy blanket a little closer as they cuddle on the sofa with their spouse or pet. I'm trying to decide if I can get away with wearing just one layer out in the -2 temps.

It's Huffin Puffin day and as I do every time race day arrives, I question my sanity. Why am I doing this? Why did I pay good money to get up in the dark and stand outside in the cold? What possessed me to want to do another race? Am I turning into a race addict?

It is at this point that I have to remind myself that if I didn't run this race, I'd end up feeling disappointed that I missed out on a great experience with my PRC family. This is probably the main reason I race. That and the free t-shirt. And the post race BBQ. And Renee said I had to.

I continually reminded myself of these things as I stood at the start of leg 2, wrapped up in my snowflake blanket, wearing my Peep Buff, waiting for Renee to come into sight. What's a Peep Buff? This highly attractive, handmade piece of finery:

Sticking with the PRC yellow, we brilliantly decided to call our relay team the PRC Peeps. For those of you who would like to know how to make your own Buff, all you have to do is cut a sleeve off an old shirt and put it on your head. I highly recommend removing the Buff from your forehead before using a permanent marker to draw the eyes.

Back to the race. Renee got to the relay point at about 8:24 am and put me out of my freezing misery. I ran fairly fast starting out (for me) in an attempt to bring my body temp back up to a level where a pulse could be detected. Maybe it was the cold (it was definitely the cold) but my pace didn't drop a whole lot for the entire race. As long as I was running, I was staying warm. If I ran a little faster, I could get closer to the heated seats of my vehicle more quickly.

Around kilometer seven in the midst of the hills, I decided it would be okay to slow down just a little. I could feel my toes again and my fingers were no longer numb. Then just ahead of me I saw the familiar yellow shirt of M.E.P.C (Marathoner Extraordinaire Pam Collins). She seemed to be struggling a little on this her second marathon which meant I had to try and catch up to her and make sure she was doing okay. Never mind that her pace starts with a five and mine starts with a seven. Never mind that she was about half a kilometer ahead of me at the top of a hill. Somewhere in my hypothermic brain I figured I could catch her before I reached the finish line.

As luck would have it, she stopped for a pep talk from fellow PRCer Joyce and that gave me the edge I needed to catch up. She wasn't having a good run and was doubting if she could finish the race. I offered her the only solution I knew of - one of my Rice Krispie cookies. She ate it and ended up not only finishing her race, but passing several people along the way. Moral of the story - eat cookies, finish a marathon.

I made it to the finish line in about an hour and ten minutes and handed the relay band to Wendy. It wasn't until I was on the way home that I had a chance to look at my pace info. Actually I probably wouldn't have looked at all (because I really don't care), but Sugar asked about my time. My average pace for the race was 6:52 with kilometer times varying between 6:32 and 7:15. I'm pretty impressed with that. It's a great reminder that I can actually do this when I put my mind to it. Or at least when the temperature drops below zero.

It took us about five hours altogether, but the Peeps finished the relay. We placed 78th out of 90 teams. Rockstars.

We were at the finish line when the last of the PRC Marathoners crossed. You forget how cold you are when you see someone you know crossing the marathon finish line for the first time, tears of joy and proud accomplishment written all over their faces. It almost makes you want to go out and register for one yourself. Almost. Not really.

But it does make me think about registering for the next race on the calendar, the Turkey Tea. I'm sure in a couple of weeks time, on Thanksgiving Sunday, I'll be questioning my sanity yet again and trying hard to remember how awesome it will be when it's all over.

I can be a normal person on Monday instead.

1 comment:

  1. Great Job! I recently started running and did the Juggernaut on Saturday- my first ever event of this kind. My grandmother thought why are you doing something as foolish as that? Guess I woudl rather be normal on Monday too!
    Doing the Breast Cancer run this weekend, my first 5k (without obstacles in my way!) Fingers crossed I make it! Good luck with the Turkey Tea Run.