On Saturday, April 27th, I made the two hour trek out to Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Hat is in the southeast corner of the province and is the sixth largest city in Alberta. I registered for this race only two weeks ago, shortly after running the Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race. After determining my very pregnant friend Nicole would be around to meet up for lunch afterwards, I decided to register and make the drive.
The Rattler Run is an annual race organized by Medicine Hat College. They have a “I Run 4 Me” campaign that encourages healthy, active lifestyles for everyone, and encourages people to get out there and be active no matter their skill level. They offer a 3km, 5km and 10km race. This year they capped the races at 1000 participants, and they reached their limit in runners just before race day. The 5 km was the most popular race, the 3 km had the most children (lots of kids from a local soccer club) but I chose to do the 10 km.
One major selling point when registering for this race was the 11 am start time. It allowed me to get up at 7, have my coffee and oatmeal, and head out of Lethbridge by 8. The packet pick up in the college foyer was easy and quick, but I was surprised to see my age grouping—26-35 year olds! Usually racing categories go 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, and so on. Maybe even every 5 years if its an enormous race! At 28, I was immediately intimidated by the potential of being with some experienced 30-something’s! I tried to not think about it while I got ready. I. wandered outside into the ridiculous wind to check out the start area (wind speeds were between 45-55 mph today) to realize one problem-country music! Ok, I get it, a lot of people love country music. And when you live in the ‘Texas of Canada’, country music is very prevalent. Since one of the major sponsors was the local country music station, I had to do something drastic……
….One of my first posts in here was about how I don’t listen to music when running. Part of the issue is I don’t want to carry my phone. But, a few weeks ago I bought a hydration belt to wear, and the back pocket actually fits my iPhone 5 perfectly. So I decided to mess with normalcy and attempt to listen to music. I actually tried making a playlist that I was going to attempt to use while running. I realized, though, if it got to the end of the playlist it would not restart back to the beginning. And I didn’t want to putz with it when running. So, since my song of the moment is “Can’t Hold Us” By Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, I did what any sane person would do—I put that song on repeat.
If you don’t know that song or think I am totally damn ass crazy, take 4:18 of your life and listen to it.
Can’t Hold Us-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
For this tempo of a run and for the purpose of zoning you out and pumping you up, this song does it. I don’t know what genre of music i listen to most, but this style isn’t one I would normally be obsessed with. Maybe it is because Dan and I saw Macklemore on SNL a few months ago and I just thought he was so fun. Maybe it was because I still have a soft spot for him because we first heard his song “Thrift Shop” inappropriately on Christmas Eve when my brother in law was playing it in the van while his kids were sleeping. Either way, I would like to thank you Macklemore, for your unique styling, as I think you caused me to run my personal best 10 km. You should feel honored.
Back to the race…184 racers in the 10 km. I positioned myself at the front ready to rock. The wind was going to be a major mental issue and physical problem, so I needed to start strong. I also was not familiar with the paths we were going on, but the volunteers I talked to assured me we had it better than the 5 km, hill wise at least. I busted out of the gate and ran my first mile in around 7:05. I knew this could pose issues, but was hoping to stay under 8:00 for the first 3 miles. The wind in mile 2 hit me, and everyone else, hard. My legs were working so hard but felt like they weren’t going anywhere. The little hills everywhere weren’t even the issue—use to those in Lethbridge—but between the crazy wind and the unseasonably warm 70s weather, it was going to be a fight.
As I was taking in the surroundings and the other runners near me, I got my mind thinking about where I was placed age-group wise. It really hard to distinguish anyone’s age over 20 when you are racing. By over-judging the ladies’ ages, I figured I was at least in top 3 for my age group. That kept me pushing, as I really wanted a medal-I love the bling! The course was out and back, so reaching that halfway point was another good push, and as the trail system we were on allowed you to be able to view other portions of the course in the coulees, you could see the end in sight (even if it was three miles away).
The air was even drier than Lethbridge and thankfully I did have my Gatorade on my belt, because I needed it about three times. The last mile I really started to push, as we had to run over the highway overpass, and once you got to the top of it, it was all downhill. It actually wasn’t a true out and back, because after getting down the overpass, you went straight towards the entrance of the college, not to the back way like the start. Knowing how little of a distance I had left to go made me kick in everything I had left. I finished with chapped lips, a dry cough, extremely exhausted, and with Macklemore singing still…but I made my personal record! I listened to Macklemore for 48 minutes 38 seconds! I demolished my old 10km of 50:05! I was so excited because that was my major goal of this race.
Awards were at 12:30 pm in the gym and I was amazed to find out I placed 1st in my age group! There were 27 participants in the 26-35 group, so not too many but still a decent number. The girl I beat out for 1st place was only about 20 seconds behind me. She told me during awards she was really trying to chase me down at the end but just couldn’t. For about two miles in the middle of the race, she had passed me and was ahead, so me being able to push by her then was the key moment.
I am really starting to think that this whole process I am going through this year with my training is allowing me to get times I never have been able to before. Between this website, the fundraising, the self-reflection, the extra races, and the motivation of honoring my dad, I am really starting to think I can keep surprising myself this year. I have this indescribable driving force when I race now—something I haven’t had in quite some time. I hope this power stays with me all year, as the next month is going to be a rough one. I have this next weekend off, but then I have three weekends in a row of races. The Spartan Sprint is first, then two half marathons; one in Red Deer and one in Calgary. The Spartan race is for challenging myself and for having fun. I have never done an obstacle course run! I do hope to make a best time at one of the two half marathons.
Please show your support for my running in memory of my father Andrew Lammers by donating to one of the two charities found at the link at the top of the page. Both support heart disease research in North America, as the first is American Heart Association and the second is Heart & Stroke Foundation. I am hoping to raise $1000 for each before the Dopey Challenge in 2014—but I really think I can shoot for $1500 each! Take the time to read my “Purpose” up above also, and feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!