On Saturday afternoon my girlfriend phoned me to ask whether I would be interested in running in her place at a local race the next morning. She was scheduled to run the 10 mile event but unfortunately she came down with a terrible cold. I told her I would think about it and let her know shortly. I was not interested in running for it was cold, windy and rainy and this forecast was supposed to continue into Sunday (plus the rest of the week) but I did plan on getting in a 10-12k run in at some point anyways. If I did do it, it certainly would not be at race pace and instead I would treat it simply as a practice run. My husband was completely on board with me running it but it meant that I would miss London playing hockey which I really wanted to be a part of. So I hummed and hawed and finally decided I was going to do it but internally I wasn’t happy with the decision. The next morning I was still at little unsettled when it dawned on me that they also offered a 5k event. I could switch to this event easily, get a run in although it wasn’t the desired distance and make it to London’s hockey. My husband thought I was settling a little bit on my training as I wasn’t getting my desired distance in but in the end it was the right decision and I had a great morning all around. I probably even got a better quality workout in just the 5k then I would have at the slower distance I would have gone for the 16k.
Quite a few of my friends were doing the 10 miler event and much to my delight I experienced no twinge of envy that they are doing this distance versus the 5k. It seems that once you do a marathon that the smaller distances are not weighted the same but that line of thought is for another conversation. We all started from the same starting point and then less than 1k in we diverged along our respective routes. This past training season I didn’t do any speed work due to a few different reasons and thought it was an accomplishment just to get out the door, so I didn’t know what to expect for this 5k. Normally it takes 5k just to warm up on many of my training runs. I was thinking that maybe 27 minutes would be a reasonable goal. My PB is 23:44 (March 13, 2011). I decided I would look at my Garmin at the 1k markers and then assess where I am at. My first 2km were around 5:10/km so I thought okay I can live with just under 26 but by the 3k mark I set the goal of coming in right at 25 minutes. For most of the race I was trailing this young boy, who looked as young as 9 years old but could have been older. Just before the 4k marker he started to lose his wind and as I caught up to him I told him that he is doing great and that I know he can beat me. With that friendly competitive remark he found some additional energy and stayed with me. When we saw the finish line 1/2 km away I told him it is his and off he went surging to the finish line probably with a smile on his face that at least he ‘beat me’ :-). Eventually I crossed and my Garmin read 24:59. I was thrilled with this time given that I did no training. The official results indicated though I did even better at 24:50. I guess I will take the chip time!
Given that I wanted to watch London play hockey I immediately walked back to my car went home with time to spare to take a shower, get into some warm clothes and head out with the family for a fun time in watching 5-6 year olds playing hockey.
I have been grappling for awhile about the notion of doing another marathon. So far I have done 4 and although it is such an incredible and intense experience (training and race itself) I am at the point where I recognize that I don’t need to do another marathon at this point. My life already is a marathon and I need to think about working smarter even in the fitness world.