It has been ages since I have last ran a race and Sunday morning I got to break the dry spell at the Sport Chek Mother’s Day Run. My husband actually was supposed to run the 10k event but due to getting sick earlier and not being able to put the training in I had to step in and save the day, for you couldn’t leave a bib without a runner. Most runners would understand this 🙂
I know my husband will tell you that I sandbagged my target expectations but I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Although I did my best to run all through the winter it was not as stellar as it could have been because of the crazy winter weather we experienced and my pacing is slower than previous years due to a number of factors. So I told my husband to I was targeting 58 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile when I was warming up by myself I thought long and hard on what might be realistic and I though let’s test the waters, so I set my virtual partner with a goal of 55 minutes. This number put a little pit in my stomach wondering whether I was crazy or not. I didn’t realize how hilly the run was going to be when I set this number. In the end ignorance is bliss.
There were approximately 9,000 runners/walkers in both the 5k and 10k event and I goofed before the race even started. I spoke to another runner who said the 5k’ group goes before the 10k so I didn’t get into the corral but with 2 minutes to go I thought something was not right and tried to make my way to the front. I made the right decision and there were going to be some 10k runners pissed they didn’t line up. I felt a little panicked because I wasn’t as far front as I wanted to be and there were a couple of strollers around me and others who were just out for a run Sunday run. Well 1 minute to go and then off we went.
As expected it took me about 1km to weave my way through the crowd to find a comfortable place. I am always surprised at how stupid people some people are when going at the front of a large corral when they know they are real slow. It has nothing to do with faster people being better than slower people but rather it comes down to safety and creating the right flow all along so it is a positive experience for everyone.
Once I found my space and everyone else was more or less at the same pace I tried to find that flow where I was focusing on one kilometer at a time. I have employed different mind tricks or strategies over the years and this year I dedicated each kilometer to a different person I love. It is a little corny but I have to say it helps.
As you can see this was not a flat course and if I wasn’t training for a moderate leg in the Banff to Jasper relay I might have been pissed at the elevation changes but instead I chalked this up to great practice. I must say I was also impressed at how few people I saw walking up the inclines. The people around me were strong and even more so motivating to keep up with them.
In the end my pacing was pretty consistent and the anomalies were consistent.
Laps: (1) 5:25 (trying to weave through the crowd), (2) 5:18 , (3) 5:17, (4) 5:19, (5) 5:21 , (6) 5:29, (7) 5:36 (the hill) , (8) 5:08 (downhill), (9) 5:30 (fiddling with the right music I wanted for the last kilometer – doh!), (10) 5:16
Mike and the girls were watching me in the final stretch towards the finish line and as I saw them he pointed to London. So I ran over to them as London was ready to run the final 100 meters in with me. We have never done that before but it was fitting for this race.
Final Time: 54: 31 Yahoo! And the first word that came out of Mike’s mouth was ‘Sand Bagger.’
I was definitely pleased with this time but couldn’t help but think to myself. I wonder what I could have done if I was 10-15 pounds lighter. If only I could win that battle.