Monday, May 30, 2016

Run the District - Chuckle Run Report

Yesterday was the first of the Run the District races - the Chuckle Run. Each race is themed with something relating to the Western Fair District - this one because that is where Yuk Yuks Comedy Club is located.  Some of the themed elements included a rubber chicken race medal, three comedians performing along the race route, and a man in a chicken suit leading the fun run. Each participant also received a free ticket to Yuk Yuks, and since Doug and I haven't been there yet, we're looking forward to using them!
I've never really recorded a race report, but read an good article about them recently, so I thought it would be a great way to capture my Chuckle Run experience.


2016 Chuckle Run route
Route
As expected, all the Run the District events take place in the Western Fair District and surrounding neighbourhood. This year, they switched up the Chuckle Run route to give participants a "behind the scenes" look at the district. The course was a 2.5k loop that started in the Agraplex and took us around the fairgrounds - including on the race track. This set-up allowed for three race length options - 2.5k, 5k, or 10k.  Since this was my first race of the season, I opted for the 5k route.  I'm not a big fan of routes that are loops or out-and-backs, as I like the scenery on my runs to change.  But at least for this one I was exploring areas of the fair that I hadn't seen before so it was "new to me."
2015 Chuckle Run - rain!

Weather

The event was on Sunday, with a start time of 10:00 am for all three distances (9:45 for the kids fun run.)  Fortunately, we had some rain on Saturday which brought the temperature down a bit on Sunday morning. It was still pretty warm, and humid - I believe the "feels like" temperature was around 80 F at the start - but a breeze helped, so it was bearable. This was a huge change from the weather last year, which was cold and rainy.  Neither extreme seemed to dampen the spirits of participants and everyone was having a great time.
I'm official now!


Gear

Pretty much regardless of the weather I wear the same type of running capris. Particularly when it's hot and humid, I need to have the right fabric covering my thighs - nothing worse than uncomfortable chafing after a run! I planned on adding fun socks for the run, but given the heat....?  I didn't realize I was going to get a special Run the District Ambassador shirt, so that was a pleasant surprise!  This was my first race in my new running shoes, but I had several training runs to break them in. I was really pleased with how my feet felt at the end of the race.

Thoughts Along The Way

I was not prepared for this race - I talk a bit more about that below, so I won't go into it much further, but I have to mention it because most of my thoughts were along the lines of keeping myself going. I started out the right way, pacing myself not trying to go to fast. When I started out I kept telling myself I just wanted to run the whole thing - it didn't have to be fast, I just wanted to keep running.  About 1/3 of the way in, Doug had to walk for a bit. This wasn't a big surprise, he's been having some knee issues and we knew this would likely
Just before we started!
happen.  I managed to keep going though. There were two unexpected hills (well, technically four, as I did the loop twice), as the route took us under a road twice, but my usual "head up, chest out" mantra my brother taught me got me through those.  After finishing the first loop, I didn't think I was going to be able to keep running for the entire race. I made it up the first hill on the second loop and had to slow to a brisk walk.  I was disappointed, but I was still going. I changed my goal - finish running and run all the hills.  I managed to do both. I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, knowing that a few years ago I wouldn't have even attempted what I had just completed.

Finishing & Results
Posing with the finishing bell.

I did a whole post about how I'm training for these events. Admittedly, I wasn't as far along in my training as I had planned to be for the Chuckle Run.  I took a break from training while family visited and during the run of the show I was in. As a result my time wasn't the best, and I wasn't able to run for the entire race. That is always my first goal, but I just hadn't properly prepared. Lesson learned - I have recommitted to my training schedule and will be on track for the Run to the BBQ!
The "official" results aren't in yet, but I did check the unofficial ones yesterday. I finished in about 37 minutes.  While far from my best 5k time, it was also not my worst. I'm looking forward to the next race and seeing the improvement with consistent training!






On a personal note, writing about this experience at all is kind of a victory for me. In the past, it would have been hard for me to publicly admit to a shortfall, or not meeting a reasonable goal I had set for myself. Not that it was easy to talk about going off my training schedule and having to walk during the 5k, but to recognize it as a learning opportunity and to admit it is a big step for me. Maybe I am on my way to being a grown-up...



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