We went to Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark in Niagara Falls, on Friday for a two night visit. I've known people who went to it and they said they had a good time but didn't know what to expect. I tried updating the blog while I was there on Friday, using my POS Blackberry (time to get a new one) but obviously it didn't save so I just summarize our stay there.
As I said to a friend, "I'm glad I didn't pay full price for our stay!" and he agreed. All in all, it was okay but after hanging out in the park for hours soaking wet, I had a chill and felt a little sick. On Friday night, which was two nights before the Chilly Half, I took a sleeping pill to ensure I had a good night sleep and it turned out that I had one of the best sleeps in a long time. I went to bed around 9 pm and didn't wake up until 6:30 am!! I was out like a light!! I guess all extra hours I've been working finally caught up to me.
Saturday morning, it was pouring rain and barely above zero degrees. I was supposed to do a 10 minute run but I didn't run since Monday so I increased it to 20 minutes. There was no way I was going to run in that crap for 20 minutes so I went to the gym and ran on a treadmill. That was painful and I struggled to finish. How others run for hours on a treadmill is beyond me.
By Saturday night, the rain was pouring down and the winds were howling. I'm glad the Chilly was on Sunday as the weather was suppose to change and the temperature was to drop below freezing. That's better than running in the pouring rain but the winds were just nasty. At dinner I had a "small" 32 oz beer (equivalent to three beers, I think) and then another pint. This was my version of carb loading. Friday and Saturday eating were a disaster. Good thing we didn't have a scale in the room.
Sunday morning the weather was just as nasty but the rain had turned to snow and there was about 5 inches on the ground and more coming down. The Chilly is in Burlington which is about 40 minute drive from Niagara Falls. However it took longer than expected as the roads weren't plowed and it was quite slick. We saw lots of accidents and several cars and trucks in the ditch. That did not sit well with Tammy as she was on the verge of flipping out and it wasn't as if I was speeding or anything. I actually was driving fairly slow and responsible. In fact, I was driving so slow that several trucks were passing me
We finally got to Burlington with 30 minutes to spare and pulled in the parking lot of the hotel that was hosting the race. I tried to get in the hotel to change and take a leak but it was completely full and they weren't allowing anyone else in. I went back to change in the car which was a disaster as I couldn't find lots of things that were kind of important, like my bib which the timing chip on the back. I finally got ready to go and ran to the start line which was about one kilometer away. Talk about crazy, I was running to get to the start line when the race had already started and runners were coming towards me!! DOH!!
The temperature had warmed up from Niagara Falls to a balmy -5 Celsius but the winds were blowing around 25 km\hr. It was really hard to figure out what to wear as the windchill would make a big difference. The roads were very slushy and the city layered down salt which began to melt the snow. Within the first 500 meters, my feet were soaked but the dangerous part was the slush hid the potholes. In fact I rolled my ankle three times by stepping in a hidden pothole. That would come back to haunt me.
Things were going along until around the 8 km mark when a car pulled out of a parking lot and proceed to drive down the street with runners in front of him. I don't understand why people can't wait or why they need to drive when there is a race in progress. People on the sidelines were yelling at him and motioning him to pull over. One girl in front of me, pounded on the driver side window. He hit the brakes and I thought he was going to get out and confront her. That would not have been a good idea....on his part. I finally caught up to the car and pounded on the trunk and then on the other side of the street was a cop standing there. I yelled at the cop "HEY, GET THIS ASSHOLE OFF THE COURSE!!" and she immediately ran across the street and flagged the car over. Thankfully the idiot didn't hit anyone.
By the 14 km mark I was beginning to tire. Eload was one of the sponsors for the event and they were giving out lemon flavored gel at one of the water stations. I grabbed one and ripped it opened. It was absolutely disgusting and I dumped it at the next water station. Sorry Dr Stoddard but your gel sucks.
Around the 15 km mark I was running beside a cop car. I asked for a lift as I was getting tired and the cop laughed.
Final results: 1:44:44 (missed PB by 1.3 seconds....crap!!! I shouldn't have stopped when I rolled my ankle three times) for a 5:05 min\km pace but according to my watch, I only ran 19.76 km for a 5:18 min\km pace. Crappy Polar!!
Final verdict: The carb loading worked as I was hoping to finish around 1:50 plus the chilly they served at the end of the race was awesome!!!
Not sure how I'm going to do at Around The Bay (30 km) in three weeks. I won't be running at the same pace, that's for sure.