Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grande-Digue 15k: Longest Run Yet.

This past weekend I ran le Grande-Digue 15K race! The furthest I have ever run in my whole entire life.

For all you non-French speaking people, Grade-Digue is actually a tiny little town right outside of our town and it loosely translates to Big Seawall...I think. Basically, it is right on the Atlantic. I think...

The Canadian and I woke up bright and early Saturday morning only to discover that spring had left the building and winter had returned. Seriously, it was 30 degrees, overcast, snow flurries, and crazy intense wind. 

We accidentally drove 30 minutes in the wrong direction to the race. For a minute or two it looked like we weren't going to make it on time. I'm not going to lie, I was totally okay with that. The heat of the car was much more inviting than the biting wind.

Unfortunately Fortunately, The Canadian has mad driving skills and got me to the starting line right on time. I was decked out in winter running tights, a shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a jacket, gloves and a knit hat, plus my parka up until the very last minute.

It was a small race of around 300 runners. But let me tell you, about 90% of the runners were hard core athletes. 

Just look at the maniac in the green tank top. And the dude in the purple?! Makes me glad that I was waaaay at the back of the pack. 

The first four miles (6k) went really well. It was windy, but it was a tail wind. The roads were flat and I was cruising along at my usual turtle pace, totally happy and feeling good. 

As I rounded a corner I saw a black car parked along the side of the road with a very handsome man leaning against the door. The Canadian! He had driven around the course and found a place to wait and wave at me. 

His timing was perfect as I was ready to shed my jacket, gloves and hat that I had shoved in my pants. I was going to stick it all in a random mailbox but handing it off to him seemed much more logical.

Note: Please notice the ditch full of icy cold water in the above photo.

I threw him my jacket and he caught it. No problem.

When I threw him my hat the wind caught it and sent it flying directly in the ditch of water. 

Bless his heart, that man went right down the hill and saved my hat from a watery death. 

Note: Notice the hat flying across the top right corner. haha

The next mile was fairly uneventful and I ran along side beach front cottages. 

But then - then - it got ugly. The course turned a corner and I saw the biggest hill I have ever run. I gave myself a pep talk, put on a good song and prepared to conquer the hill.

That would have been all well and good too had the most horrific head wind of all time not picked up at that exact moment. I'm talking knock you backwards, blow your sunglasses off, can't catch your breath, headwind. 

The hill went on for 3 miles. There were a few short plateaus and one very short down hill, but not enough to make a difference. It was excruciating.

At one point we turned a corner and I pretty much wept with relief that the head wind was finally over. But then the crosswind started. It was so strong that it literally blew my outside leg into my inside leg and caused me to trip - twice!

That was also right about when the snow flurries started. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that flurries were simply impossible so the white stuff must be ash from a forest fire. Or perhaps a volcanic eruption.

Enough of the drama. 

I finally made my way to the last mile (13k). This was uncharted territory for me. Eight miles was my previous max. I knew I was in the homestretch and I knew that the last mile was advertised as being downhill. 

I was going to make it. 

Sure enough, that last mile was a piece of cake. I flew. I felt like a fighter pilot in a turbo jet. 

When I crossed that finish line and the woman put my first race medal around my neck I felt like a million bucks. Granted my fingers were frozen solid, my hamstring felt like it had been put in a blender and my shin was screaming, but I felt good. And so excited for a medal!

After an hour and forty five minutes of running up hills through wind and snow, I stuffed myself with chocolate milk and cheddar cheese. I don't know that food has ever tasted so good.

Too bad the t-shirt and the medal are the ugliest things I have ever seen in my life. Seriously, who designed this stuff? And who are the people in the photos? Why didn't they put of picture of me on there?

When we got home I promptly hung my treasured medal in the laundry room. It's where I like to keep sentimental things that deserve some wall space but that no one else really cares about. Where do you keep your favorite stuff?

I owe The Canadian the biggest thank you of all time. He sat in miserable weather all morning just to be my personal photographer, carry my coat and support me. 

He's the best husband ever.


Workout: Cardio - 1.5 mile run, my leg was killing me; Weights - shoulders, bis, tris; Class - Body Flow, 60 minutes


  1. I am beyond impressed! Congrats...all my friends are turning into runners...i must find they have races for people who's fastest pace is a leisurely stroll?

  2. Abdominal exercise machines can be used by people of all age groups for this reason. Ellipticals work for all skill levels, from the most advanced athletes down to beginning exercisers.

  3. G&G PorelleMay 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    hahaha We had a blast reading your blog. We did the run as well and you described it too a "T". Congrats on getting your first medal. My wife and I both agree that it's the ugliest medal we've ever seen as Don't worry the other races have way better medals.
    Thanks for the chuckle