5 Peaks Terra Cotta/ Niagara Women’s Half Marathon Review
High five, it’s Friday!
It has been an interesting week for me. I have focused on recovering from my two races last weekend to have fresh legs for my race this weekend in Michigan. I am headed down tomorrow morning to take on Yankee Springs Trail Run and reconnect with some friends and team mates for some upcoming races.
My knee has been healing up nicely, but it hasn’t been an accident. I have cut out intense training and have done stretching, restorative strengthening work and light exercises such as swimming, golfing and weights to help emerge a better runner.
Speaking of running, let’s rewind a bit and chat about the races that I ran last weekend. I had built a number of double race weekends into my training plan this summer to prep me for Transrockies 120 miler. I needed to defer to next year, but I have decided to go ahead and train as if I am, as I have some other big races coming up this year.
5 Peaks Trail Race – Terra Cotta
This was the first 5 Peaks race of the season and it had everything I love about the series. It only took me 35 minutes to get to from Mississauga and I arrived to sunshine, groups of smiling runners and the laid back atmosphere that only can be found at trail races.
It was the perfect experience for me because I was not planning on racing this one hard. I decided to pace Allegra on her race to keep a consistent run and she was hoping for a sub-30 which is no small feat on such a technical course.
We chose the second wave and were off at a decent clip. This was quite a technical trail, but people were respectful and helpful as we yelled “On your left!” the entire course as Allegra raced her way forward.
It was HOT and I was grateful I dropped down to the Sport course (5.3 KM) instead of the Enduro which was (10.6). They made the process super easy and registration was smooth.
Upon completing, they had fabulous snacks including bagels, nutella and peanut butter (the way to my heart – bread is shaped in an angel halo for a reason), bananas and clif bars. It was great to chat with Robyn Baldwin as well!
I had a fantastic cool down run with fellow 5 Peaks ambassadors, Kent and Michelle and I needed to head to Niagara for the next race. In total, my garmin shows that I ran 10 km on Saturday and with the hills and speed, I may have gone to fast, but I am getting ahead of myself.
What I wore: Lululemon tank, PUMA shorts, SKECHERS Ultra Trail shoes (Review coming next week), Zeal Rival racing glasses.
What I ate: Evening before, I ate 2 whole wheat turkey sandwiches on the way down to the Jays game and a Genuine Health Greens + bar before bed.
Breakfast – Coffee, Genuine Health ActivFuel and a homemade oat bar.
To read more about the amazing awards ceremony and prizing, check out these reviews of the race:
The next 5 Peaks Race is at HeartLake on June 21. See you there!
I headed to Niagara to pick up my race kit for the Niagara Womens Half Marathon, legs still muddy from my morning trail race and met Angela to run the race. We went to dinner and headed for an early bed time for the half marathon in the morning.
The morning of the race, I was extremely relaxed. I rarely get prerace jitters, but I knew my head was NOT into racing. I also injured my big toe on the trail the day before and was in agony and the compression socks I wore were NOT helping.
As we headed to the start line, we ran into Katherine Switzer, the first woman to enter and complete the Boston Marathon. What an energetic, lovely woman.
We did a warm up run and toed up to the starting line, which is when I turned to Ange.
“I have to pee.”
“No you don’t, you are just nervous.”
So then we were off. I decided to ignore my pace and run by feel as this was my double race weekend and I had both toe and knee pain. I took off a little too quickly and soon settled into a comfortable place in fifth overall. I was able to sustain this until about kilometer 15 when my knee started aching. I saw Ange and yelled with as much drama as I could muster: “I’m INJURED.”
She gazelled on forward and I fought with my inner mental strength because I was hurting badly and I was considering just dropping out but I knew I would be furious with myself if I did. I have DNFed once before and that was because something felt medically wrong. If I am just in pain or uncomfortable, you better believe I will finish that race.
The worst thing was I needed to pee. Like actually. If you were to inhabit my brain for the last 4 km of the half, all I was thinking was:
“Don’t pee your pants.”
“Do you think anyone would notice?”
“They will notice.”
“I’m totally going to be the female version of that famous marathoner”
I cannot WAIT to see the finish line photos of this half marathon…
I let go of my place in the top 10 and just focused on form and finishing the race without public humiliation.
I managed to skulk across the finish line for an official time of 1:34:08 and headed straight to the portapotties and followed that up with the massage table! I was 12th overall and 3rd in my new, old lady age group. I was so grateful to have a friend to hug at that finish line – I have never felt so ridiculous or low following a race.
It was a fun race and it had the MOST ridiculous swag bag. (Wine anyone?) Any race that begins with a marching band and has a stunning route along Niagara Falls is a winner in my book. The ONLY thing I would have made different was the hour line up for our race kits the day before. I highly recommend this race to anyone who is looking for a fun race to do with girlfriends.
What I wore: Sears tank top, Sears shorts, CEP Compression socks, Saucony Kinvaras.
What I ate: Dinner – Pad Thai. Breakfast – Coffee, banana, oatmeal.
What races have you done recently? Any PR’s? BRAG a little!