A funny thing about today's run ... I took the time to check the number of people and the times from the 2009 and 2008 races. I knew that I would probably be one of the last 5 runners. The race is smaller, and clearly runners with 5 min/km paces and lower had participated in this run before. I have learned from experience that it makes a difference if there is a small # of runners versus a large # of racers in a race as to where my placement will be (i.e. just below average or near the end!). I went to this race with the attitude of, "someone has to be last in a race so it might as well be me!" The entire time I ran, I was 10-15 metres behind Runner #163. I "thought" I had someone behind me running, but she was so much further back from the rest of us, I actually had myself convinced for most of the run that she had dropped out, making me the back end runner. The truck they used with a hand-made sign to warn cars to "WATCH FOR RUNNERS" pulled AHEAD of me and Runner #163, thus emphasizing to me that I was truly at the end! Runner #163 had a steady pace within my range so it was fine for me just to follow him for most of the run. I had my music, and it was a gorgeous day in the countryside ... when the pack is so far ahead, it's easier just to zone out and do my own thing.
I was also feeling a little angry and used that time to try to cool down. JJ had emphasized several times to me before this race about on how much she wanted to run together to pace each other. Once we got onto the road, she took off and ran ahead of me by several minutes for the rest of the race. Now, I have been in several races with her by this point, and I honestly don't have an issue with her running ahead, but I do hate being assured that we will do this together and then having her take off on me so soon without a word. It's an etiquette thing.
As for runner #164, he started walking the hills after the 6K mark and I didn't walk any hills so this is when we started to yo yo with each other - when he walked, I would pass him, but then when he started running again, he would make a point of passing me. I was a little irritated by it because I was doing my own thing - I actually slowed down at points because his pace ahead of me slowed down, but I wanted to avoid the yo yoing. However, I "had" to pass him on the hills because at those points, if I slowed down too much, I was afraid that I would not start running again. Anyway, in the last K, he clearly made a huge effort to pass me and although I can honestly say I didn't care, it was still a little irritating. I acknowledge that I set "goals" while running that include passing certain runners so I "get" that he made passing me his goal - it's just that I was clearly trying NOT to pass him! LOL! My focus was on me and finishing "well", thus establishing a base 10K time for me from which to compare future 10K races this summer.
On a funny side note, JJ ran the whole race with this guy, Martin. He told her that his wife and his brother were running at the tail end. Mr. Yo Yo was Martin's brother, and it was his wife who finished last. Small town run!
(On a side note, at the Woodstock race, I was behind a runner who had a generous backend, and I was behind her for most of the race as she ran with her friends who eventually ran ahead of her ... I "could" have run past her because I had the energy to, but my heart wasn't in it. JJ reprimanded me when I told her this, telling me I should have run to make time, but I told her I didn't have the heart to - I was proud of this woman for running as well as she did, which was as good as what I was running(!), and I was sure it was not easy to keep going after her friends ran ahead. To be "that" person who suddenly runs past her at the end just to cross the finish line one spot ahead of her is soooooo NOT me!).