Saturday, June 18, 2011

GO THE DISTANCE RUN 8K - London Honda Series #3

BIB GAME: 19 + 1 = 20
20 is divisible by "5", my favourite number. :)

91 - 1 = 90
90 is divisible by "5", my favourite number. :)


In 2009, I participated in the 3K Fun Run. This is when the Go the Distance event was still held downtown London on a Sunday morning race before it was changed to an evening race.

3K was pretty much all I could handle at that time!! :) :) My results?

June 2009
Pace 7:17/km

Last year, I participated again in this event, but it was my first 8K race. I was very proud of myself at the time for being able to run in the 8K instead of the 3K. It didn't matter that I ended up not enjoying this race at all because of the hot and humid weather and because I had not run it wisely - I still did it!

Out of the two 8K races I ran last year, this race was my fastest/PR, which is not a fair comparison with one being a road race and the other, a hilly trail race. I do not have a blog record, but this was my result:

June 6, 2010
8K @57:47
Pace 7:04/km

So how am I doing one year later? :)


Official Time
8K @54:46
Pace 6:51/km
Gun start / Chip Finish

Garmin Time
8K @53:40
Pace 6:43/km

SOCKS were the swag this year, and IMO, they are very, very cool! I love my race tech shirts collection, but these socks receive two thumbs up from me! :) Sorry about my cheap camera pics ... or is it the photographer's lack of skills? :(

Sorry this post is late, but the gorgeous weather here enticed me to spend my day outside for most of it instead of being inside in front of a computer. I think (hope) you understand. :)

I achieved my goal of running under 55 minutes with 14 seconds to spare, according to the chip time. When I saw the weather forecast, I knew that the humdity, combined with a late day run, was not to my benefit. I'm an early morning run gal, and I love running in cooler weather. Therefore, I set my goal conservatively, and as you will see, I kept my run conservative, too.

Ben dropped me off on campus. I told him not to come to this event, and that bringing me to campus was all I needed from him this time. I could have walked, but I didn't want to arrive hot and sweaty ... I was going to be this way throughout my run so I wanted a little more time staying fresh. :) I picked up my chip and sat in the shade with other runners, waiting for the 3K to end and the 8K to start. I found my old running partner again so we sat in the shade together, discussing our Bayfield race last week, reminiscing about this same event last year, catching up on each other's news, and then deciding to pace each other in this race. I usually warm up before a race, but I decided not to bother for this one. I was feeling very casual about it and I decided that using the first 2K of this race as my warm-up was good enough for me.

Similar to last year, it's hard not to run faster in the TD Waterhouse Stadium. Check out my first km:

1 km - 6:35

So much for "warm-up," eh? Well, it felt good. I didn't feel like I was overdoing it and it was nice to keep pace with a solid group of people around the track before we exited and headed out onto the University of Western Ontario campus. At the 1 km marker, we were following a runner who decided that she would "jump" over the 1 km sign ... only she missed and ran into it, making a huge noise and nearly tripping herself. She looked sheepishly back at us as she continued to run. As dumb of a move as I think this was, I actually felt very bad for her because I knew we would be running past her soon and that it would be tougher for her to run the remaining 7K after embarrassing (and possibly injuring) herself this way.

2 km - 6:37

I discussed with my running partner before the starting gun to be patient, that we would start passing a lot of runners in the first 2K because they would run out too fast to keep up with the others. She told me after the race how she kept thinking about this, and then how delighted she was when, as we had our cadence synced for several km, we passed multiple runners. I didn't count, but we did "well" with our passing. :)

3 km - 6:43

There were several things I truly enjoyed about this race. One was knowing the course ahead of time so we knew exactly where all the inclines and downhills were. Another was having someone to pace with, which clearly was pushing me in a good way. I also felt relaxed and back to my 'norm' of just having fun being in a race, knowing that I was going to PR regardless so just go with the flow. :) I too k the time to thank race marshals/volunteers as I ran passed and even joked with some of them who were putting extra effort into cheering all of us on.

4 km - 6:48

I was trying to slow down somewhat because I didn't trust the 6:30-ish pace, not on a hot and humid night, so I felt better taking the speed down a notch. We were running well and enjoying the park scenery so there was no need to push it ...

5 km - 6:31

Sweet downhill section of the run. :)

6 km - 6:55

This is when I lost my running partner and the heat started getting to me a little. My partner wanted to run faster at the 6K mark, and I told her to go for it. Later, she told me that she had made an error, that she had meant to run faster at the 7K mark, and that her pace had significantly slowed in the homestretch when she was spent. I knew she had wanted to push it, but after my 5K race/PR last week and taking the time off this week to enjoy a break between training sessions, I really, really just wanted to coast at an easy pace.

I had the energy to pass a number of walking runners on a steeper incline. I literally ran up it past several people. One of the race marshals yelled out, "Number 191 !! GOOD GAME !!" I smiled and gave her the thumbs up.

7 km - 6:53

This is when I passed a runner I had been catching up to for a few km. She was slowing down and as you can see from my pace, so was I ... but not enough so that I couldn't pass her. Just after the 7km mark, she came up from behind me and passed me. I could hear her breathing and could see she was struggling, but I was still smiling and thanking volunteers, and after checking my Garmin again, I decided to coast it in because I was clearly under time from last year.

I saw this same runner start walking again and I was going to run past her a second time, but in the spirit of my Donnybrook Dash run, I slowed beside her and asked if she would like to pace it in with me. She picked up her pace and we started to run together. I knew she didn't have the energy to chat so I said a few encouraging words ... "we are almost there ... maybe 200m tops." We approached another runner who was walking so I turned to her and said, "we're pacing in together - join us!" So she did. :) I swear I felt a little like a Mother Hen with a runner under each 'wing' as we closed in on the stadium. The second runner said she had started walking because she really needed to pee! I laughed and told her that the faster she ran in, the faster she could go pee! She then decided to run faster. :)

8 km - 6:43

As my original "chick" and I approached the stadium entrance, she asked me wearily if we had to run around the track again, I told her, no, that the finish line was literally straight ahead, less than a minute to go. As soon as we were in the stadium and on the homestretch , I said, "Let's go! We can do it! We are there!" And we ran in together as I waved and smiled at a few people I know who were cheering us in. :) After we crossed the finish line together, I turned to this runner, shook her hand, and congratulated her on a great run. She thanked me genuinely for running with her.

I met up with my old running partner, and we found leftover water and watermelon together. We then had a good time discussing the race in detail. :)

And guess what? I won a door prize! #188 was called, but this runner was no longer there so they asked for the nearest number ... which was me. :) I now have a red and black London Honda Series gym bag. :) And the sweetest, sweetest part about it was that, as I was heading back to my spot after picking up my door prize, the runner I had run in with ran up to me and said, "Way to go, Coach! You deserve it." Doesn't that make you do, "awwwwwww." What a sweetheart!

I forgot to include in my blog post for Bayfield last week that I won a door prize there, too! I was happy to receive something special on the day I became a member of the "5K in <30" club. I won a cosmetic bag filled with Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream, lotion and shower gel. :)

As for POINTS ... they have not been officially posted yet, but I strongly suspect that I just jumped from 17th place to 6th place, if my figuring is correct. :) I was last in my age and gender group - 12th out 12 women. However this still earns me 9 points and it is a double points event. Therefore, 18 points added to my current 18 points knocks me into the top 10. :) I just might be a contender this year. :)

Half Marathon training begins tomorrow ... and Mondays are now officially OFF/REST DAYS so how's that for starting training! :) :)

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