I don’t think I could have stuffed more stuff into this weekend. And yet, as I sit here on the train ride home from this weekend’s Around the Bay race in Hamilton, I don’t feel tired. I feel like I have spent a weekend living life to the fullest.
The busy-ness started on Friday … no wait, Thursday evening. In addition to packing for my trip to Hamilton (about 6 hours drive from my home-town of Ottawa, I visited my son’s high school for parent-teacher interviews (an adventure in itself), then rushed off to attend my monthly book club meeting. I got home too late and with one too many glasses of wine in my system and woke up Friday a little hung-over and kind of keyed up. After a busy but restless day at work, I drove right to the train station for a trip to Toronto where my parents, sisters and most of my extended family live.
On the train, I pulled out my laptop and worked on the Classroom Assignment from Hell, making incredible progress and even feeling a little more charitable towards my professor. When my laptop battery died after about 3 hours, I was ready to rest. My Dad picked me up the train station at about 10:15 p.m., with a tray of sushi from a great place in his neighbourhood. We drove back to my parents place and relaxed, chatted and caught up for a while.
The next morning, I went downtown to pick up my sister Kathy. We headed to Hamilton (it’s only about 90 minutes from her place), picked up my race kit, cruised the expo for bargains and running-related novelties, and checked into our hotel. That evening, we marked Earth Hour by doing a candle-light yoga set aimed at providing a good night’s sleep. If you can possibly arrange to travel to your races with an experienced yoga instructor, I highly recommend it! It seemed to do the trick. I was asleep by 11 and didn’t wake up until about 6:45 a.m.
The race started at 9:30 a.m., so we headed downtown at about 8:30, which gave me plenty of time to soak up the vibe and visit the washroom facilities in Copps Coliseum (real washrooms – not porta-potties – at the start line – yay!). After running this venerable, historic – and unfortunately wet – race, I met up with my sister and her husband, who drove in to catch the end of the race. I collected my medal and snacks, changed into dry clothing (over a still-sweaty body but it was heaven to get out of my saturated clothing) and got back into the car to dash back down Highway 403 to Toronto. Dropped ‘sis off at her apartment and got back on the highway to my parents place just east of the city.
I arrived at their place at 3:10, knowing my train back to Ottawa left at 4:05. Thinking of my unfortunate seat-mates on the 4-hour train ride, I grabbed a quick shower, re-packed my bag and Mom and Dad drove me to the train station. We got there at 3:57. The train was over-sold and I got the very last seat. Opened my laptop and finished my course assignment, which felt just as good as finishing the 30K.
With just a little luck, the train should be in Ottawa at about 9 p.m. My wonderful husband has promised to save me a heaping serving of his famous rigatoni and a big glass of red wine. Then it’s off to bed and back to work tomorrow morning.
And the race itself? Well, with rains and a final 10K comprised mostly of hills, it was a huge challenge but a great experience. More about that in my next post.