On Saturday August 18, 2012, I took part in the Midsummer Night’s Run 30K. The Midsummer Night’s Run is one of my favourite races to run because it’s generally well organized and on the smaller side. Plus I love running in the evening and a lot of runners get dressed up in costume. No, I don’t get dressed up but I like looking at all the fun costumes!
I picked up my bib and shirt on Thursday afternoon. The kit was simply an envelope with our bibs, safety pins, and a plastic cord to attach a tag for bag check. I was glad not to get 20 different race ads because those always go straight into my recycling bin. I liked the green color of the shirt but my complaint was that it was short in the torso. I thought it was because I had picked an XS shirt but I heard the same complaint from other runners. The race organizers were also giving out pins to past participants that showed the number of kilometers of races from years past. I got a pin for 75K for having run the 15K and the 30K twice. I thought it was a great idea because I know runners who have done this race since it first started.
The Midsummer Night’s Run starts in the evening and the nice thing about night races is that you’re more likely to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Saturday morning, I “slept in” until 9:30AM, had my breakfast and started to get ready. I made sure I was hydrated with both water and an electrolyte drink. I had all of my running gear laid out and a bag of post-race gear packed. The rest of the day I spent relaxing and catching up on email, and when 4:00PM rolled around I headed downtown.
I was at the starting area by 4:30 and met up with Beki from Rapunzel’s Adventures. I was especially excited to meet up with her after we missed each other at the Goodlife Half Marathon back in May. We chatted for a bit and we also got to meet up with Joe and Fran who were friends of Rick over at Runs 2 Live. I was surprised that Beki and Joe were able to find me since all the volunteers also wore bright yellow shirts, but I’m glad they did. We chatted for a while and then everyone moved over to the start area.
I said good-bye to Beki, Joe and Fran and wished them good luck. I put myself in between the 3:00 and 3:15 pacers. A couple of weeks ago, I had completed a 13 mile run that would have put me on pace for a 3:05 finish. I’ve completed the course in 3:05:56 and I felt that a training run at that pace put me in a good position to finish in under 3:05. At 5:30PM, the air horn sounded we were off! Right at the start, I dodged someone who lost their shoe. I’m not sure how it happened but all I saw was a shoe fly backwards and someone who turned around to chase that shoe. Oops!
The weather was about 22C (71F) with very little humidity and was perfect for a run. I felt really good for the first 5K, but after that I suffered stomach pains that stayed with me the entire race. I was able to ignore it initially but gradually it started to affect my ability to eat blocks or drink liquid and even though I felt like I couldn’t eat or drink, I forced myself to anyway. At 15K, I was about a minute or two behind the 3:00 pacers but I couldn’t keep running at pace with my stomach ache.
It was a real struggle to finish but I was upset more than anything else. I didn’t feel like taking a DNF (did not finish) over an upset stomach. So I pushed through and finished the race. I wanted to stick around and see Beki finish but felt so sick and upset at the end that I needed to leave.
While I know that not every race can be a personal best, I felt disappointed in myself and my performance. But I know there will be other races and in spite of everything, I still did have a good time hanging out with new friends. And I’ll be back next year to collect my 105K pin and to chase down that 3:00 goal!