Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Race Report: Alterna Ultimate Run 10k

This past Sunday I ran in my third 10k race.  I didn't post about goals or even think about it very hard because I was paranoid about jinxing it somehow after what happened at my last 10k.  I had hoped to finish between 1:10 and 1:20 and instead ended up with what I'll call my "puke PR" instead.  So until I was at the starting line on Sunday, I didn't really know what I wanted.  My previous PR was from the Zoo Run - 1:11:48.8 - which was my first 10k race.

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. :-)

Official stats:

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


  1. Woo! Nice PR and way to push yourself. Thinking what you could have done is what brings you back to racing I think.

  2. Hey, nice job! (A million years late, I know!)

    I was totally the same way about "growing out" of the age group... wahhhh. Doesn't seem to get easier, either.

  3. You have the best racing outfits. I love that skirt!