Amazeballs And Awesomesauce


As you are likely all aware, today was the day that I ran my first ever 30K Around the Bay in Hamilton. Not my longest run ever, but still a significant distance.

The run was fantastic, despite the fact that I am apparently really stupid when it comes to fuel. How so? Let me explain by first telling you what I learned today – which is, of course, a lesson that is filed under obvious to probably everyone1.

I learned that one should probably eat more than a granola bar and a coffee before they attempt to run 30 kilometres.

Profound, no? Clearly I wasn’t thinking this morning because that is how I chose to fuel my body for the run. I’m what you’d call not so smart. I’d like to blame this on a mixture of nerves and excitement, but this wasn’t my first ever long run. Clearly I should know better.

Anyway, the lack of fuel didn’t catch up to me until later in the race. Probably around the 25 or 26 kilometer point. And it happened really quickly. It was as if all the energy and life in my body and legs was zapped. Perhaps it was a Dementor? The last several kilometres were quite a challenge. It was also around this point that I lost Carolyn. See – she’s actually smart and had consumed appropriate levels of fuel before the run. And she royally kicked ass. Her chip time was 2:47:50. Freaking amazing!

Based on how I felt though, I thought for sure I had blown my 3 hour dream. Fortunately, right when I needed it I got a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth,…) wind. And as if predestined, Edge of Glory by Lady GaGa came on. I realize that not everyone is a fan of Lady GaGa, but I have to tell you, for running – her music is freaking fantastic. Combine the second wind, Edge of Glory, and the screaming crowds, you can imagine the runner’s high that I was experiencing. And if you can’t, I’ll tell you this – it was AMAZING. I couldn’t help but smile ear to ear. At that moment, I think I could have done anything. And this was all I needed to propel myself to the finish line. As I rounded the last turn – turning into Copps Coliseum – I could hear the cheers of the people in the stadium. I knew they weren’t cheering specifically for me, but that didn’t change the way they made me feel. What an incredible experience.

Elliot is verifying the authenticity of the medal. He's good like that.

And the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?

The gun-time was still at 2:58. Despite everything I’d still managed to finish in under 3 hours. Holy crap I felt amazeballs and awesomesauce. Better than that even. Words can’t describe how great I felt. I had mentioned to Carolyn afterwards that I am not one to normally get emotional at the end of a race – but this was definitely an exception given how crappy I had felt. Don’t worry folks – I didn’t break down into some blubbering mess, but I did feel an intense wave of satisfaction, and euphoria, and gratitude, and I don’t even know what else. All I know is that the moment was perfect. Abso-freaking-lutely perfect.

And the cherry on top of the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?

My splits were fantastic. I ended up running the first 10 kilometres in 1 hour 21 seconds2, the second 10 kilometres in 56 minutes 8 seconds, and the last 10 kilometres in 56 minutes and 43 seconds. That’s right – despite my craptacular loss of energy and despite the fact that the last 10 kilometres was quite hilly- my last split was only 35 seconds off the second, and still better than my first. Crazy freaking awesome.

And the chocolate sauce on top of the cherry on top of the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?

My chip time was 2:53:12. Holy freaking crapshark! Talk about a huge bonus!

Anyway, today was a lot of fun, a little bit of pain, and a lot of awesome. Thanks so much Carolyn for sharing this run with me. You are a huge slice of awesome pie and I’m looking forward to our next races. Also, thank you to everyone for your comments on the blog, on Facebook, on RunKeeper, on Twitter, on Instagram, and via text message. Your support helped me get past the ugliness of the last few kilometres. And an extra special thanks to Jamie & Nigel who came out to support all the runners. Seeing your faces gave me such a huge boost. You two rock!

Now it’s time to get back to work. Because the Run for Retina Research Half Marathon is just 3 weeks away. Eeep!

1 Well, everyone but me that is.

2 The first part of the race is usually crammed with so many people that the going is typically slow.


18 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    Incredible! Congrats… and it’s okay to admit if you were, indeed, an ugly blubbering mess. 🙂

    1. dangillis says:

      LOL. Thanks nerd. Looking forward to running with you and Paul when I come out to visit 🙂

  2. Great post! Practice and Consistency makes all the difference!

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Beth says:

    You, sir, are amazing. A-MAZ-ING! Right now I’m so tired that I can barely lift my fingers to type this, but I felt compelled to congratulate you on your awesomeness!

    Also, how do I donate to the Run for Retina Research Half Marathon? My apologies if you’ve already posted on this and I’ve missed it – I’m about 30 postings behind on your blog, since my life is a gong show to end all shows of gong!

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks Dr. Beth.

      Donations can be made by clicking on the Run For Retina Research link on the right hand side of the blog. Or click here.

      In other news – go to bed. DO IT.

  4. Carolyn says:

    After your tragic bonk, I kept looking around for you like a meerkat. It was sort of pathetic. I was all high as a kite (totally legal runner’s high should any future employers happen to see this) & wanting to fist-pump & such. But seriously, I fuel terribly during training runs. My strategy for races is to fuel before I feel like I need it. So I opened a gel around 10K & ate it between 10 and 13K. I don’t fuel on a 10-20K run. But my fear of the bonk demands pre-emptive gel’ing. Those chocolate shots taste wicked, too. So you have 40 days to learn from your fail…that wasn’t really a fail – I mean, really…you ran 30K. That’s a win any day.

    1. dangillis says:

      Agreed. Definitely not a fail – a ‘needs improvement’. I still feel like a tool for b0rking up the run because of something as simple as fueling. Gah. Gah to the Gah. Oh well, live and learn and other such sentiments. I’m going to rock the half marathon and the 16K. And after that, I’m going to crush 4hrs for the marathon. Because I’m going to make sure to eat. Before and during the run. 🙂

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