Midsummer Night’s Run Race Recap

To run or not to run?  That was the question of the day yesterday.

Despite my hesitations, the answer was a definite “YES”.

My expectations going into this race were low. The goal was to finish. The one month I had to prepare for this race was not enough time to improve anything but the cardio I lost this summer. As well, the week leading into the race I was suffering from some pains due to last weekend’s long run. I know I’ve been pushing my mileage, perhaps a little too much to make up for lost time this summer. I have two half marathons coming up in September, and I really want to do well. Alas, I know from last night’s race, I am far behind my running goals. In fact, due to my injury this summer, I am behind where I was last year, when I wasn’t even working hard.

Mother Nature decided to give us a break from the rain yesterday as it had been raining prior to the start time.  We weren’t really sure what we were going to get. Due to limited parking, we arrived early to find a spot, and then sat in the car for about 20 minutes before making our way to the start area. It was raining at this time, so it was for the best. When we did leave the car, the rain decided to stop, and it remained clear until we arrived home last night. Lucky for us, eh?

The Midsummer Night’s Run is a flat course. It’s a great race to do for those who are ramping up for a half or full marathon in the fall as you can test your training efforts. There is a 15K or 30K race, as well as a 5K family run. The proceeds from the event go to Sick Kids hospital.

I have only run this race once back in 2012. For each race you run, you build up the mileage and receive a pin at packet pick up. Because I did the 15K in 2012 and 15K in 2014, I have a 30K mileage pin. My spouse has done it a few more times, so he is up to 75K on his pin collection.

Once we left the car, we opted to do our pre race pee. There was one long line up for the port-o-potties.
2014 MSNR Washroom pic

Lucky for me, I had my hardcore girl, race survival instincts on. Prior to leaving the car, I packed some tissue for those ‘just in case’ moments. That’s right….port-o-potties lacked TP! I was prepared! 😉

By the time we finished at the P-O-P’s we had about 5 minutes to corral ourselves. We found an adequate place to put ourselves in the midst of the runners, based on the pace bunny signs we saw. I knew Kari would zoom ahead and I’d probably fall back a bit, but it was a fair area to stand.

2014 MSNR Go Time

The race started with a horn to signal the start. The race didn’t put up it’s usual start gate as it was pretty windy outside. I would assume, the wind would have blown it over, as the start gates are usually a ballon (blow up) type material.

Kari took off, as expected, and I began trudging along the road.  I realized I ran my first two miles under 11 minutes, so I knew I was going too fast.  I slowed it down after the third mile, to just under 11:30 however, I was not getting into a running zone.  Somewhere, shortly after the 5K marker, the pain in my left glute area was intensifying, and I knew I was in for an uncomfortable race.  This pain has been an ongoing ailment of mine, and prior to breaking my arm, I had been keeping it in check, however, I suppose with the extra training over the month, it decided to come back full force.  Lucky me!

I dropped my speed for the next few kilometres, and hit the 10K mark at 1:12.  No records here boys and girls!

In the last 5K of the race, it really was just a matter of survival.  The more I ran, the more pain I had.  I broke my intervals between the 11K-13K and started to speed walk.  I seemed to have felt a little better after that, and then I began running again, and finished the race.  I finished just under a 12 minute mile average.  Yeah, not my best effort. (in 2012, I finished this race about 7 minutes faster)

On the upside, Kari did fantastic, with a time of 1:27 and change, beating his 2012 time by over 10 minutes!  WTG!

I learned a few things after reviewing my Garmin upload.  Firstly, going out too fast killed my recovery zones during my intervals.  Although I did not feel winded -In fact, I felt really good in that respect- my Garmin says otherwise.  My heart rate, did not really go down to my regular levels on my walk intervals and my average heart rate overall was way too high than all my recent training runs.  I can only surmise it’s because I went out too fast.  Secondly, I have got to work on my leg strengthening. Bring on the Glute/Hips/Hamstring exercises!  I’m not sure how I am going to fair in the next half marathon which takes place over the Labour Day weekend.  I was hoping to improve over my Niagara time from last year (2:25) but with this time, based on the McMillan race predictor, my half time would be 2:41.  Which basically means, I will have fallen back to pre 2012 times. *Sigh*  Lesson learned here – Don’t fall and break your arm during running season!  hee hee!

Happy Running.

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A Midsummer’s Night Run

I’m a little late with this race report.  The joys of starting a business, and doing all things business related, can get in the way of writing a blog.  Although, this blog is partly business.  I should be blogging more.

Onto the report….

Race – Midsummer’s Night Run

Date – August 18, 2012

Benefits Sick Kids Hospital

Perks-More-tal Pins given to participants who run consecutive years showing kilometer milestones, Awards for best costume, Beer Garden and BBQ after the run.

The Midsummer’s Night Run took place on the evening of August 18th.  It’s a 5K, 15K or 30K race.  I had registered for the 15K.  The temperature for the evening was perfect.  I had been worried about this, leading up to the weekend as we’ve had a very hot and humid summer.  I’m not a fan of running in the heat and humidity.  I was once fine with it; however, I’m finding as I get older, the humidity really humbles me.

Of course this race is named after Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so participants are encouraged to dress up as fairies.  There were several fairies on the run.  Some were pretty, and a few, not so much. (But most were pretty)  During the race, I was running behind a couple that had made their costumes together.  The female’s tutu was clearly made with care; with purple taffeta and little flowers placed around various points on the skirt.  The man’s tutu was made of the same material, however lacked that female touch.  I could tell he wasn’t much of a sewer, so it was thrown together most likely by hand.  Perhaps staples?  Good thing he had shorts on, as I wasn’t sure it was going to stay on his body. 😉  The costumes (both good and bad) were lots of fun to see along the course.

The 15K is a fairly flat course along a few streets in Toronto, until about the 3K mark where it goes into Tommy Thomson Park, which is a man-made peninsula, known to many locals as the Spit.  While running the Spit, there are some great views over the water of downtown Toronto.  It’s also run in the evening, so the sunsets can be fabulous.

I started out a little fast, but immediately slowed my pace within 10 minutes.  I wanted to have reasonably even splits throughout the race.  It wasn’t until the 11K mark I started to feel fatigued, but of course, I kept chugging along.  I’ve never been an overly fast runner, however, I’ve always been a finisher.  My goal time was to finish in 1:45, and I ended up finishing 145:53.  I think I would have finished closer to my goal time; however, I missed one of my Garmin interval beeps, during a walk break.   I finished with a strong sprint in the end.  I heard someone on the side comment, “Look at her go, that’s awesome” as I passed the 30K runners with the 3 hour pace bunny running into the finish.  I looked at some of the pics that Sport Stats had of me from the finish.  Quite frankly, I looked like I was going to blow up!  (Mouth open, cheeks puffy, arms flailing like Usain Bolt)  Just not pretty.  Lol

Finishers receive an awesome (and heavy) medal.  As well, we were given aluminum water bottles and the typical bagel, bananas fare.

A very enjoyable race.