… an official PB!
Saturday’s National Capital 10k Race took all I had but I reached my goal of a sub 56 with a final time of 55:39.
Prior to the race I wasn’t sure things were working out in my favour. After a week of very cool temperatures it became clear that Saturday would be a return to summer. For the first time ever, my period started on a race day (too much info?) and I felt somewhat cranky, crampy and crappy. But I put on my race face and exuded fake enthusiasm since the boys were also taking part in the race.
The 10k and 5k races started together, so the boys and I headed to the start line as a group, though we would all be running different paces. I started near the front because it was a gun time only and I wanted this to be an official PB. Within seconds of the starting horn I felt a little guilty about having started near the front of the group… these folks were fast! Luke looked at his watch and said with shock that we were running at a 4:15 pace! I told him we had to slow down. As we did so, runner after runner passed us with what seemed like ease. I just kept trying to reassure myself that many of them would pay for the quick start by the end of the race. Of course with two distances starting at once, you also can’t be sure of who you are running against – someone in your race or someone in the shorter distance.
Luke settled into his pace behind me, Evan was off ahead of us and I slowly found a comfortable rhythm. There were no major hills on my double out and back, but you could definitely feel some inclines. Thankfully there was a bit of a breeze from the river and some brief spots of shade. Perhaps the best part of the route was where my turn around was located – just the right spot to be able to see Luke running his last 200 meters with a serious look of determination on his face.
In the first half of the second loop I felt exhausted and mildly nauseous. I backed my pace off and had a feeling that I would again see a 56:xx at the end of the race. For some time I was stuck behind a tall, lanky teenager with an undone shoelace. I let him know but he clearly wasn’t going to stop to fix it. I kept envisioning him falling to the ground and me tripping over him. I finally decided this old lady was going to pass him and once I did he never caught up.
After passing a few other people I ended up in a space of my own. I had assumed I wasn’t going to make the top 3 in my age group and I had no one left to pass in the open space I was in. At that point I figured it was purely about me and what I could do. I wanted to use this run as my baseline for the fall season. If it turned into a 56 minute run than so be it, but I wanted to know I had worked for it. I didn’t even try to see my time on my watch, I just went for it.
The first thing I noticed as I entered the finish chute was my kids cheering me on. The second thing I saw was the clock, and that 55 practically lept out at me. In fact, as I hit the finish mat I said out loud, “I made it under 56!” Then I just desperately needed to find a place to sit down. A volunteer had to chase after me to retrieve the timing chip. The boys were excitedly telling me their times but I admit I wasn’t really taking it in. Somehow this run seemed more exhausting that the Vancouver half only just over a month ago. Of course that is most likely due to my relaxed attitude to training since then.
Surprisingly I was second in my small age group of 7 women 45- 49 and the 14th woman overall. Evan had his second best 5k time at 25:50 and Luke had his first sub 30 with a final time of 28:58. A successful morning followed by a weekend of canoeing, kayaking, sitting on a dock and napping in a hammock at the edge of a lake. Good times.