Thursday, May 14, 2015

Race Report: Alive to Strive 5k Team Challenge

Okay, so I started this post like 2 weeks ago, hoping some more pictures would pop up, but alas, no luck... so let's just get on with it...

Let's kick off the 2015 race season, shall we?! At the end of April, I felt like it was about time for me to get out there and test the fitness.  And what better way than to join my Ottawa Triathlon Club family for a fun 5k Team Challenge to raise awareness about kidney disease! 

Back in March, a message appeared on the OTC discussion board about forming teams for the Alive to Strive 5k Team Challenge.  Joe, our HPS coach, had participated last year in the 10k (he placed 2nd!!) along with me and a few others from the club, so he kicked things off and got the ball rolling on forming teams.  We ended up with 3 teams from the club - The OTC SuperSonic Youth, the Over-50 Shades of Gray, and the 7 PM Itch.  The smack talk was fast and furious on the message board as race day approached, with talk of "age graded" times and "respecting your elders." 

My team was pretty stacked with some super-fast guys, so I definitely wasn't expecting to contribute to our overall team time (comprised of the top 4 times).  Instead, I was just happy to be out there on a gorgeous day, running with friends!

I spent a nice quiet evening at home on Saturday night (wild life of a triathlete / runner, eh?), watching hockey and eating my pre-race meal (homemade pizzas - BBQ chicken and spring veggie deluxe).  I had a relatively early bedtime so that I could wake up at 7 to eat my pre-race meal by 7:30 (3 hours pre-race).  The idea is to start getting my body used to the race routine again, so this 5k was good practice.  After my breakfast (oats with banana, almond butter, protein powder, and cinnamon with a coffee), I filled a bottle with Osmo Active Hydration for Women to drink while I painted my nails (pink and blue sparkle) listening to 90's Jock Jams on Songza. Then I got dressed and drove to the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.  I was happy to run into Missy, who graciously offered to hold my keys and my extra layers during the race since her boyfriend was also running! Thanks Miss!!!

Near the start line, I ran into Coach Dave and caught up with Coach Joe, Mark, and Blaine for a warm-up jog. After a pitstop for a pre-race pee break (I had stopped drinking water when I parked the car at 10), I went over to the grass to do my drills (As-Bs-Cs) and strides.  Then we all congregated at the start line. 

I started out maybe a little too fast, given the adrenaline and the fact that I knew everyone in front of me (but I also knew I wouldn't be able to keep up to them). The race was an out and back and the out was downhill most of the way, so I tried to bring it back under control in order to save some legs for the uphill drive to the finish.  I felt controlled and relaxed, albeit a bit warm in my long sleeves and running capris.  I could see Aaron and Ryan up ahead and hear Simon behind me. 

I skipped the water stations for fear of breaking my focus and instead focused on pacing, breathing, and form. The turnaround was not quite halfway, and as I ran back up the hill, I shouted encouragement to my OTC friends. The hill was a bit brutal and it became harder to keep on pace, but I tried to push onward and bring it back down to hopefully break 20 minutes.  Alas, I rounded around toward the finish and saw 20 minutes tick past with a ways left to run. But I put it in top gear to finish strong given that most of my team was already there!  It is so fun to finish on a track!

Another great race by Alive to Strive; the organizers and volunteers are really top notch. The best part of the post-race celebration was the fascial stretch therapy from Canadian Strength. My legs felt brand new thanks to David and the crew, which was needed since my right glute was so sore for some reason!

Overall, it was a great day with friends from the club and a fun way to kick off the 2015 race season! (Oh yea... final time: 20:39.8, which is my fastest in a race setting!)

Delaney and John ran with weighted vests to simulate the weight gain that people going through kidney dialysis experience.


  1. Fantastic time Kelsey! It sounds like a great race and a fun one to kick off the racing season!

  2. Great race!!! Super fast! Congrats!!!