I didn't sparkle at all for this race, deciding to take a relaxed approach to the race and not put too much pressure on myself. I put on my current favourite running outfit and my new hat from Toronto Women's Runs and off we headed to the race. I was really focused on not psyching myself out.
|Ready to go!|
The American came to cheer me on (while reading his book in the shade). He's a great support team, always willing to come and take pictures and carry my stuff around while I'm running. We may not ever see each other during a race but it's awesome knowing that he's there... Somewhere.
|All in good fun. :-)|
While I was waiting at the start line I decided I was going to go for a PR. I had been tossing between going for an easy run and pushing for a PR. I must admit that part of my motivation was the small size of the race and the clearly advertised 1:15 time limit for the course. As it was I pushed pretty close to that!
I pushed hard for the first 5k, doing 5:1 intervals and consistently being passed by and passing the same people. I would note who passed me while I was walking and make sure I passed all of them while I ran. I stuck around the same group of 10 or so people. I drank some nuun while I walked and kicked some butt whenever I ran. My official 5k split time was 34:44.6. I knew if I kept that up I would smash my previous PR.
The second 5k I slowed down. It was getting hot and around the 6k mark my right knee started to hurt. Luckily I shook that off but couldn't seem to keep the 5:1s going. I dropped to more 4:1s a couple of times and lost a lot of time although I kept my pace up whenever I was running.
In the last 10 minutes I really wanted to run the whole thing and knew I had the energy - I was joking more with the people around me and "raced" a little girl pushing her sister in a stroller for the fitness walk (there were 2k and 5k walks and 5k and 10k runs all on the same course). I knew I had the energy but the heat was dragging me down and I didn't push as hard as I know I could have. My second 5k split was 36:38.2, I would bet due to the extra walk breaks, for a total time of 1:10:24.7. I had wanted to finish in less than 1:10 and ended up less than 30 seconds off that goal. No matter what, I'm pretty stoked about the PR even if it wasn't the full 2 minutes I was after.
However - the thing that kills me was a guy I played leapfrog with most of the time, who was pushing me to run all the way to the finish and I walked a bit more instead, finished in less than 1:10. Even though he crossed the start line about 20 before me so his chip time would be 20 seconds faster, I still would have finished under 1:10 too. I'm feeling a lot of "coulda shoulda woulda" about those last couple minutes but I'm trying not to dwell on it. I know I pushed myself hard through at least 95% of the race and know I will push myself even harder the next time.
|Pushing to the finish|
I crossed the line super strong, found The American and got my finisher's ribbon (somehow even more awesome than a medal - I haven't got a ribbon since I was in elementary school!). They had plenty of food and water available, and even a pancake breakfast since it was Father's Day (though I couldn't stomach pancakes at that point, which I think is a good sign that I pushed myself pretty hard). I found a woman I had been playing a lot of leapfrog with to congratulate her on beating me in the end and we headed home.
|My finisher's ribbon will fit in my scrapbook|
better than a medal. Bonus. :-)
Gun time: 1:11:22.8
Chip time: 1:10:24.7
Category place: 49/51 (F19-29 - probably my last race in this category!)
Gender place: 145/160
Overall place: 409/432
5k split: 34:44.6
10k split: 36:38.2