2nd Annual Calgary 10k

photo (4)The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon event was celebrating its 50th year and as much as it would be nice to collect a huge belt buckle for my collection, my training only positioned me to run the 10k, especially since I am running a 19.1 km leg in the Banff to Jasper relay this coming weekend. Last year I ran the Calgary 10k event for the first time as a visitor to Calgary, as this event fell on the same weekend I was here buying a house, this year I was running as a local proud Calgarian.

A month ago I ran the Sport Chek 10k in 54:31 and although I wanted to better my time by a least a minute this race I purposely set my watches virtual partner for 55 minutes for I needed to be smart about this race. Unfortunately two weeks ago over the long weekend, my left calf seized up completely and after consulting the internet I realized after the second run of the weekend that it could mean a tear to the muscle. Petrified that I would be sidelined for both races I stopped the stretching I was doing thinking that the muscle was just tight and hung up my running shoes until I could get further guidance.  When I phoned on May 20th for an appointment at the recommended sports physio clinic nearby they couldn’t get me in until the 26th, I nearly freaked at the delay but I didn’t want to just go anywhere.  So I did no exercising all that week and babied my calf like my life (/sanity) depended on it, which it kind of did.  As the week progressed my calf greatly improved and by Monday, May 26th I thought I should test the waters and go for a little run before my physio and to my great relief it was still tight but a fraction of what it was the week before.

At Physio, she couldn’t confirm whether it was a tear or not but there was definitely an issue. She asked whether I would be receptive to Medicinal Acupuncture. I said I wasn’t familiar with this type of acupuncture but if it is covered I am game for almost anything.  Since it was covered, she went ahead and inserted a needle(s) within my calf muscle, glutes and lower back and let’s just say I have some tight muscles all over.  She warned me that it might be difficult to walk on my one leg for 1-2 days after and she was right.   I was worried based on the after effects of the treatment whether I would recover in time but by Wednesday I was feeling like I had a new leg and I went out for a cautious 7k run.  No issues.  I then ran again on Saturday morning for an easy 5k with and again no issues.  Let’s just say I am a believer of this type of acupuncture and would highly recommend it to other athletes.

Even though I was part of a small healing miracle I wanted to be  safe running this past weekend.   The great thing about this year’s event is that I have met many people and I somehow convinced one of my new running friends to run this event as well.  Although we agreed to run our own races it was great to be at the start with a familiar face.

The Marathon and Half Marathoners started at 7.00 am, and the 3000 of us in the 10k group started at 7.30 am.  The first 5 k felt great, I didn’t have to resort to any mind strategies to get me to the next kilometer mark but then by 5k the running flow that existed for the first half of the race was gone. It left me, I looked around and it was no where to be found.

1k – 5:17; 2k – 5:09, 3k – 5:18, 4k – 5:26 , 5k -5:37, 6k – 5:40, 7k – 5:11, 8k – 5:35, 9k – 5:33, 10k – 5:08

I can see now looking at my stats, that I started off too fast and then was all over the map, no wonder I had a not as great back half to the 10k.  There is no question I need to work on my pacing!!!

My final chip time: 54:35 

Based on my gun time I ranked 26 out of 270 in my age category (35-39), which puts me in the top 10%.  Next year I will be in the next age category and my goal is a sub 50 minutes. It is doable.





Calgary’s 10k Jugo Juice Race Report

I am on my sister’s Mac computer which I am not familiar with, thus I am having a difficult time figuring out how to do basic things like copy and upload pictures, so those will have to come later.

Prior to Sunday, Calgary experienced  unusual levels of rain which I think worked to my favour on my house purchase. On Sunday though the day started out at a cool 4 degrees celsius and lots of sunshine,  perfect for running a race.  The 10k race started at 7.30 am with the marathon and half marathon group starting at 7.00 am, I only wish more races did this to take advantage of the cooler weather in the morning.

I asked to be dropped off early (6.00 am) not knowing how things were going to go down and let’s just say everyone was so laid back that I had no issues going to the bathroom 3x beforehand with no lines.  The race started and finished on the Calgary Stampede grounds and a wave of nostalgia rose up from going to the summer event every year as a child from 3 to 12 years of age.  Again not knowing what to expect I went out to the start line area 1/2 hour beforehand and by 7.15 am the only people in the start chute were the elite runners or the wanna be elites warming up. The average runner like myself, which was 95% of the participants were milling around socializing. Totally not what I am used to. Finally at 7.20 and only after they made an announcement did people start to enter the starting chute and again unlike other races people weren’t clamouring to be at the front.

For some reason whenever I start a race I always hug one side or the other, rarely do I go in the middle of the crowd. This time was no different and as I look over to the side this well dressed man says hello to me and of course I say hello back and turn around thinking he was just being polite.  Before I know it, swarms of people are asking to take photos of him and lo and be hold, it was the Mayor of Calgary. I am secretly treating his hello as a big personal welcome to his great city, lol.

This race was just supposed to be a fun one given everything I have going on so my running target was simply to finish just under an hour.  Despite warming up and feeling good, I found the first 3k very difficult and I am chalking it up to the altitude difference as the elevation of the race was nominal. There is no question that my lungs were working harder and with that my heart rate was definitely higher than normal. As a result I took quite a few walk breaks along the way which is unusual for me on a 10k.

There weren’t that many spectators out along the route but there were enough pockets of enthusiastic people to put a smile on your face.  Despite the lack of spectators there is no question that this city embraces fitness and supports these types of running events. There was no evidence of impatient drivers that you get during a Toronto race.

The last km of the race is one long winding tease. Finally you turn a corner going right and run right into the Calgary Stampede Grandstand with a decent amount amount of supporters in the stand.  It was definitely a neat feeling in the end to run this event knowing that this is going to be my future city.

Overall this race was extremely well organized, you had a place to stay warm before and after your race in the Grandstand building, plenty of post race food and hydration, including a pancake and sausage breakfast.  They also did a great job in separating the half marathoners from the 10k group in the last 3 or so km. Essentially the half marathoners had their own lane way up to the final strides so they didn’t have to contend with the 10k volume of runners. This is not much of a concern for the average half marathon but I believe it would make a world of difference for the speedier racers.  I would give this race a 4.5 out of 5, the only missing factor would be to have more spectators.

Next year the marathon race component is 50 years old, according to the race officials it is the oldest marathon event in Canada ?? Anyways yesterday I was a visitor running the race but next year I will be a Calgarian – yee haw!

Oh and I finished in 58:50 – perfect for this race.