Around The Bay Recap

Training in Review

March 23 – 29th

Monday: Yoga/Extended Stretch
Tuesday: 5K easy
Wednesday: 5K easy – TRX Basic Training
Thursday: 5K easy
Friday: – TRX Basic Training
Saturday: Nice long walk
Sunday: 30K Race

It was a different week in training as my coach gave me a taper week.  I wasn’t sure how I’d respond to it, as sometimes pulling back can be hard, but I welcomed the rest.  My eldest son was preparing to leave to Iceland, so there were enough things to occupy me.  Before I knew it we were dropping him off at the airport Friday evening. I still  had not packed myself to head out early the next morning on my own trip to Hamilton, ON for Around The Bay.

Road Trip

around the bay group

Bus Buddies

I was up at 5am Saturday to get ready and on my way to meet the bus and the rest of my traveling companions.  Run Ottawa hosted a bus trip to get Ottawa runners to Around The Bay.  It was a fantastic price and, in my opinion, a fabulous way to travel.  The cost included the bus trip and hotel.  We left Ottawa at 7:30am and were brought directly to the Expo to pick up our race kits.  We were given time at the expo to look around, go for a walk or do a shake out run.  At a predetermined time we were back on the bus and taken into Burlington to the hotel that was secured for us.  Once there, we were on our own for dinner but the hotel had prepared pasta for their menu and there were a number of restaurants across the street.

My little group chose to go to Boston Pizza. We didn’t kill nearly enough time during dinner, so we walked around and hit some of the few places still open.

Finally, it seemed to be a respectable time to head to our rooms and get ready for the morning race.

Rise and Shine

After a relatively decent sleep we were up by around 6:30am.  It was weird for me as the race wasn’t starting until 9:30am.  There was no real rushing around and we were to meet in the hotel lobby to board the bus for 8am, giving us lots of time once we arrived back in Hamilton for the race. IMG_5535

The Race

We all started out together but as most runners know, once we start, we are really running our own races.  So high-fives and a quick, “see you at the finish” and then we are off.

I really did not know what to expect, however I heard it was hilly and of course this year the “heart-break” hill was not a factor due to a rerouting of the course due to construction.  I can’t compare it to other years, this being my first time running Around The Bay.  As a member of Team Awesome for the Ottawa Race Weekend I was easy to spot on the course with my #TORW2015 shirt/headband.  Running past “Ottawa” I had to stop for a quick photo.


Ottawa Road Sign

I settled in to a decent pace quite early and maintained that pace through the rolling hills that came our way.  At around 18K or so I realized I was close to getting a PB for my half distance (21K) and picked it up a little.  Of course, this is when the rolling hills became more frequent, longer and I think steeper.  I somehow pushed through this to the 22K mark.  At this point I gave myself permission to ease up a bit.    Around the 22.5K  point I suddenly felt pain on the top of my left foot.  It was like my third and fourth toes were broken.  Every step caused me pain, so much so that I questioned if I should stop.  Then I had a chat with myself and concluded that if they were broken (or stress fracture), completing my run was not going to change the recovery I would need, so I tried to shut the pain out and kept running.

IMG_5541I enjoyed different parts of this run.  Particularly running the overpasses and on-ramps.  The famous hill at the end may have been omitted due to construction but the Grim Reapers were still around nearing 27K.   People were spread out along the route to cheer us on.  Of special note along the route, there was a sweet little darling standing on the road while runners ran past, holding out a kleenex box for the runners. 🙂  I am not sure if anyone needed a kleenex but it was hard not to run up to her and get one.  I love when I see little ones enjoying being out and excited to high-five runners.  I hope it’s a moment for them to be inspired to maybe one day participate in their own run/event.

Coming into the arena at the end was very cool and a new experience for me.  It was a little steep running down the ramp but coming into the arena as your name is being called out puts an extra ooomph into your step to push and cross that finish line. IMG_5544

I am very happy with my finish and proud of myself for pushing through discomfort.  As I have said in previous posts, this past winter’s training was about building confidence and this race sure did that for me.  My coach actually told me in our pre-race pep talk that this was what his hope was for this race.

Bridget and I after the race (my roomie)

Bridget and I after the race

I walked away with this: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.  No doubt as I continue training this will be my mantra for a while. 🙂

Have you had to overcome anything during a race?  Pain? Negative Thoughts?

12 thoughts on “Around The Bay Recap

  1. Way to go!! I use “one foot in front of the other”, “pain now, pride later” and whatever else I can think of, along with every food I’m going to eat when I’m done 😀

    • Ha, yes, thinking about what I’m going to eat helps 🙂 It’s funny how much we think we can eat when it’s over!

    • When running familiar routes I’m always amazed at how far we do run 🙂 I was not familiar with ATB though, first time I think in Hamilton.

      • I raced a half marathon the same weekend – but in Prague, Czech Republic 🙂 A bit of a farther trip than Hamilton this year! I have wanted to do the Prague race for two years, so it really was a dream race for me. Running on cobblestones though was a bit of a challenge! Gorgeous scenery, good temps, well organized race and so much fun.

  2. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I love that. I think that’s a mantra we can bring into every aspect of our lives, honestly. I just did a 5K over the weekend, and it’s my first time running again since before I was pregnant with my 3-year-old! I don’t even have a good excuse. Ha. But now I’m back in the swing!

    • I love how running teaches us lessons for life. Welcome back 🙂 to running and may you find pure awesome joy while you are doing it!

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