Yonge St 10K: The Highs and Lows of Race Day

6.00 am: Alarm goes off. URRRGGHHHH. Hit snooze.

6.10 am: Alarm goes off. URRRGGHHHH. Hit snooze.

6.20 am: Drag myself out of bed but immediately regret my decision. Why did I sign up for this race?!

6.25 am: Weather check. 4 degrees outside, feels like -2. Further debate the merits of  going back to my warm, cozy bed.

6.26 am: Relieved to see that the expected high is 14 degrees, with a little sunshine and no rain. Perfect running weather! Riding on the (slight) high of hitting the weather jackpot, I start to warm up to the idea of doing the race.

7.30 am: Feeling uber-organized after I make it to the College streetcar on time. It’s a sign, I CAN do this!

7.40 am: See other runners as I get off at Yonge and College. Phew, I’m in the right spot for the bus to start line!

7.50 am: Streetcar driver comes past and tells us we’re all waiting in the wrong spot!  Trudge up to Bay St.

8.25 am: Arrive at the start line and mingle among the sea of ugly race shirts (pumpkin orange, really?!)

8.35 am: Random guy comes up to me and says “Good morning, Elissa.” I stare at him in panic, my mind racing to figure out how I must know him. Then I realize…

8.40 am: Hand sanitizer in the portable toilets smells like tequila. Almost vomit.

8.45 am: Get herded into my race corral. Nerves are setting in, I don’t want to do this!!!

9.06 am: Race starts! Crank “Jump Around” on my iPod and set off down Yonge St.

9.12 am:  1 km down and feeling good. I zoom past someone (they’re walking, but it still counts!).

9.15 am: First hill. Still finding my rhythm, it’s a struggle.

9.20 am: 3 km Gatorade stop, alllrriiiiiigghhht.

9.25 am: Side stitch- oouuuucchh!

9.38 am: The morale-boosting halfway point! I keep the spring in my step with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and an easy downhill stretch from Bloor to College.

9.45 am: The spring in my step is now akin to a tangled slinky. I’m fading fast and dying for the next drink stop.

9.48 am: I hit the 7 km drink station. Bolstered by the refreshment, I crank up the “Journey” and settle in for the last 3 km.

9.51 am: See the ACTUAL 7 km road marker – nooooooo! 3 km to go – again!

10.04 am: Where is that [insert expletive] 8km marker?!!! I can’t be running that slow…..can I?!  I can’t bear the thought of still having over 2 km left to run. Frantically search iPod for a song to help me focus. “Eye of the Tiger”- that’ll do it!!

10.07 am: Confirmation that I missed the 8km marker – 9 km sign up ahead!! I pick up the pace, the end is in sight!

10.11 am: I see the finish line, decide to sprint it out.

45 seconds later: AmIThereYet, AmIThereYet, AmIThereYet, AmIThereYet, AmIThereYet, AmIThereYet…

10.12.21 am: CROSS THE FINISH LINE, PAIN OVER!

10.20 am: Meet up with my friend. He did the run in 53 minutes without training. Hate him a little bit. (Matt, if you’re reading this, it lasted 1 minute, tops!).  Our excitement heightens when we spot what we’ve been eagerly waiting for…

10.30 am: Free beer!

10.35am: Free yogurt!

10.40 am: Free bagel!

10.45 am: Talk my way into a second free beer!

11.30 am: Free coffee!

12.00 pm: Eggs Benny

12.00 am: Sleeping like a baby

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