Saturday, July 16, 2011

SUMMER NIGHT 5K - London Honda Series #4

History Review

2003 - 34:07
2009 - 35:35

Now that my blog is a year old, a significant number of my race report posts will be starting with a link to the previous year's race report post. How cool is that? :)

So "if" you clicked on the link above, you will have at least the background story on my previous three races before reading this post. :)

So what's happening with my running one year later?


Official Time - 32:12
Gun start/Chip finish

Garmin Time - 31:24

#338 out of 448

14/28 Age/Gender Group

25 DNF

This was Race #33 total-to-date for me. :)

This was my 16th 5K race. :)

And before I begin my race report, I have to play my usual race bib game:
17-7 = 10
10 / 2 = 5 ... my favourite number :)

So I achieved the conservative goal I set - sub-33. And I achieved a secret goal I had ... to cross the finish line before a particular runner!

I was happy to have my mom visiting from out of town so I was spoiled for this race - I actually had two people in attendance to cheer me on (Mom and Ben). I also met up with my racing partner (RP), who was there with her new 'friend' to cheer her on. :)

It was hot and muggy, just as expected, but not as severe as last year (lucky considering the record high temperatures being set in Ontario in the past week following this race). After setting my mom up in the shade in a lawn chair on the sidelines, I took off for my warm-up run. Like several others, I had my 'sweat on' prior to the beginning of the race. :)

I found my RP at the start line, met her friend :), and then we didn't have too much time to chat before the gun went off. RP told me originally that she had wanted to run a sub-30 for this race, but she had missed several runs recently and was not feeling it in this heat. I told her to go for it if she found her legs, but not to count me in - I was in this race for fun, I was not going to overexert myself in this heat/humidity, but I would do the best that I could pacing her. I was willing myself to go with the flow for fun on this one.

And then we were off! This photo is a pic of us waving to Ben and Mom near the start, happy little campers before becoming hot, sweaty and tired! :)

Overall, I really enjoyed this race. I know the course, it's short and sweet, with some challenges, and it has a fun atmosphere. However, this is the first year I can recall finding the course a little too cramped/busy for the number of runners. Either this race has increased in popularity or I was running in a more popular pacing/speed group than in previous years. Does that make sense? :)

The surprising, happy news that I can report from this race is that I think I could have run it faster had it not been as crowded on the path as it was. Perhaps it's best that I didn't as I probably would have been very bummed about just missing a sub-30 - LOL!

A great part of the race - running in union/pace with RP. Having a pacing partner is a wonderful, wonderful thing! :) RP and I ended up running in unison together, sometimes one in front of the other rather than beside each other. It was the only way to pass people when we were able to. We ran together for most of the race - she moved further ahead of me in the last km by running uphill faster when I urged her onward. I am now strongly considering joining a half marathon group next spring because I see how a regular group would probably encourage me to push/improve my pace more.

An irritating part of the race - the runner with the jogging stroller. Let me make it *perfectly* clear that I love runners with baby jogging strollers. I have nothing but admiration for them - what a tough workout! There are always a few of them in the races I run, and it's fun to see parents switch with one another while running a race together. Unfortunately, because this race was mainly on running paths and not on the open road, having a stroller in it proved to be an incredible problem. An additional complication was that this particular mother/runner was very aggressive. She was making runners in front of her turn around in surprise, thus making them jump out of her way with little room to spare. A couple of times, she and her stroller ran onto the opposite side of the path in front of the fastest runners who were returning to the start/finish line. RP, who was just ahead of me, turned around several times to look at me with a, "are you seeing what I'm seeing?!?!?" look. I empathize with how challenging it was for the mother/runner out there, but I wasn't impressed with how more challenging she made the race path for the rest of the runners around her. RP later told me derived some satisfaction by racing her to the finish line and crossing before her. :) I just wished she would have been more laid back and enjoyed this race for fun; her body language indicated that she wasn't. :(

I wrote at the start of this post about my secret goal, about running faster than a particular runner. She is someone who participates in most of the same races that I do, and her times are always slightly faster than mine. She is usually just ahead of me in points in the London Honda Series. At the last race, the Go the Distance 8K, I watched as she passed me when I was pacing with other runners instead of racing to the finish. A bit of a bummer when I realized after the fact that this had cost me 2 points - LOL! Anyway, I saw her running ahead of me through the section of the race when it was proving difficult to pass. I actually was thinking of just pacing behind her the whole way and then passing her at the finish. :) However, RP was keeping us at a faster pace so when she passed my target runner, I decided to follow suit and then hoped that I would not see my secret goal runner then pass me again before the finish line! (she didn't). :)

A tough section of this race is that the last km, which is essentially all uphill and once runners reach the top, we turn left for the last quarter km to the finish line. The pic to the left shows me heading toward the finish after running from the corner/hill. I'm cruising at this point. I'm hot, sweaty, tired, and happy to see the end approaching. Ben and Mom are standing up with their cameras, taking pics and waving. I'm smiling and waving back. Woo hoo! Almost there!

It's just after I pass Mom and Ben that I suddenly catch a glimpse of a runner to my left. I didn't realize I had someone in my left blind spot until she decides she wants to pass me. She has made me her goal to beat at the end! :) It's a funny thing what an action like that can do. I had the same instinctual reaction as I did at the Dairy Capital 10K - I just went zooooom and took off speeding! I didn't catch her in my sights again. It was exciting for me to experience that racing rush at the end. I really ought to thank this person because she's the reason I PB'ed in this race and when I checked the official race results, I really did beat my secret goal runner, but only by 10 seconds (I wasn't sure that I truly had because of the chip timing). I laughed when I saw the above photo Ben took because he captured the moment before this runner started to race me. :)

Everyone met up on the other side of the finish line when RP and I compared thoughts on the race, and shared the details with the others. I gave her friend my free beer and burger coupons so that the two of them could enjoy a free dinner together before Ben, Mom and I took off. It's the least I could do for RP because she's responsible for pushing my running pace in this race.

I am cancelling my 8K with striders tomorrow, and taking a rest day. I then have a 16K LSD on Sunday (hence why I am not going to push it with an additional 8K tomorrow).


  1. That's AWESOME! Way to kick it at the end!

  2. LOL !! Who knew I still had that kind of kick at the end? I didn't! :)