…run a race for fun 🙂
It has been one of those weeks. I have been moody and tired, nothing seemed to go as planned. So I headed out this morning to Mooney’s Bay to run the National Capital 10k run with no plans or expectations. I just wanted to run for fun. I didn’t want to be worried about pace or placing, I just wanted the adrenaline rush of a race and the satisfaction of letting myself run at whatever pace was comfortable for me on this given day. I can honestly say this is the first time where I truly ran a race without numbers running through my head. I even considered leaving my watch at home but decided to wear it only to make sure I didn’t get too caught up in the fun and burn myself out before the end of the race, which would have just put me right back in the moody and tired zone. So I glanced at my average pace once in awhile, but that was it. I just wanted to finish feeling good, not disappointed in my effort (like after Wednesday’s run) but also not feeling like I was going to pass out from pushing too hard to try to get a PB.
I am happy to say I was successful in my goal (or lack of goal?). The entire 10k felt good. I remember being very pleased with myself around 6k when I realized I wasn’t in the least bit out of breath and felt very relaxed. With the exception of the sprint at the end I never felt like I was pushing myself to exhaustion and my pace remained pretty steady throughout, though definitely faster in the last half. I was thinking I would finish around 58 minutes, maybe a little under, so was quite surprised to realize after I crossed the finish line that I had finished in 56:48. That is only 39 seconds slower than my 10k PB. For that PB I honestly felt like throwing up right after the race, whereas after this race I was fine. Oddly, feeling so good with a time under 57 minutes actually feels like a PB even if it is not one on paper. I even managed to be second in my age group – though admittedly there were only four of us in the 40-44 crowd. As for final placing, as always I was right in the middle of the pack, though I beat the average time by exactly one minute.
Normally I love having my husband and kids there cheering me on, but today it was just me and that too made for a relaxing morning. First of all, a race morning is SO much easier when you only have yourself to get out the door. Second, it meant I could hang out for a while after the race. I didn’t even bother looking at the posted results, just relaxed and waited for age category winners to be announced. It was kind of fun not knowing if I had made the top three until my name was announced. Then I headed to the tent for the free massage, not something I would have had after a regular training run!
And finally I hung out around the transition zone for the duathlons and triathlons to try to get a sense of how they work. My first reaction was there would be no way I would ever try one just because it seems so complicated. I like the simplicity of running. Show up at the start line, make sure you get to the finish line. The End. My brain can handle that while my body does the work. But the multisport events just look so complex. I would actually have to study a map. I would have to make sure I had lots of equipment organized and in the right spots. I would have to plan. And think. That seems like a lot to ask on top of physically exerting myself. But as I watched the athletes move from bikes to running I realized I could probably handle it. Still won’t be doing that swimming thing, just not going to happen. But if (a big if) I could actually get past my driveway on my bike and start getting some km in, I should one day be able to try one of the shorter duathlons.
It did cross my mind this morning that it was not long ago when I would never have considered going out and doing a 10k race just for fun and as a way to relax. Especially if it involved getting up at 6:00 am! My how things have changed 🙂