Race reports are tough to write and post within a timely way when life and its priorities get in the way ... LOL! :)
This is my blog post from last year. I laughed when I reread it because think I wrote it too soon after the race ... I sound rather cranky in it! I still recall how terribly hot and humid it was that day, and how sluggish I felt running throughout this race. It wasn't much fun for me, but I did receive one of my favourite tech shirts to date so this was a bonus. :)
This year, I had better reasons for participating in this race. My former running partner was planning to be in the 5 km, and two DM friends were registered for the 10 km as well so I was anticipating it more as a social event rather than as a race. :)
But before I get much further with this recap. I just want to point out that this race was #35 for me. :) And I anticipate running my 40th race by the end of October. :) :) I think the number on my bib this time is a good omen ... my next race, Race #36, which is the Springbank Half Marathon, is going to be a good one. :)
I'm going to call this a.k.a. The "Accidental PR" race! :)
"On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!" Start
10 km @1:06:04
Not too bad with the Garmin and chip times - a difference of only 3 seconds? Wow! :)
My mom was visiting from Peterborough/Douro where she now lives so it was wonderful to have her come along with Ben and me to one of my out-of-town races. She was at one of my local London Honda Series races in the spring, the Downtown 5K, with my sister and two nieces to cheer me on, but this was her first Southwestern Ontario/Runpiker Series bystander race. :)
After picking up my bib/t-shirt/chip from pre-registration, I found my Jacquie, my race partner, in line at the washrooms. :) Similar to last year, the men's side of the public washroom was taken over by women by the time I arrived so I solidified this takeover by joining this particular line for old time's sake. :) We only had a few minutes to chat before we needed to get into line for the race. This is when I realized that I did not have my iShuffle ... CRAP !! I had forgotten my music at home! My morning prep for the race was out of sync with me paying attention to having others joining me today that I had left it plugged into my computer at home. CRAP !! I have never run a race before without music and now there was nothing I could do about it. I was about to find out what all the non-music-listening runners experience when running a race unplugged.
Just like last year, this race started at the bottom of an incline so runners were lining up on the actual incline, ready for take off. As we stood there waiting for the race to start, I kept looking around for Lauren and Lindsay, but without any luck. I found that both funny (peculiar) and funny (ha ha) because these races are not very large; it should be easier to find people. However, several hundred runners together waiting for a race to start actually all look very similar!
Jacquie's boyfriend ran over to us with his cell phone to take a quick photo - "Evelynne's mom wants a picture of the two of you at the start!", he exclaimed, once again proving that no matter how old you are or what you are doing, your mother will always want a picture of it. :)
Jacquie and I discussed our goals for the race today. She told me that she wanted to run a sub-30 5K today and I told her that my goal was to run my 10K at a steady and consistent 6:30/km pace. I told her not to run with me at the beginning because she needed to run 30 seconds/km faster than I intended so good luck!
Someone then yelled, "On your mark, get set, go!" So we did. :)
1 km = 6:25
What a difference not having music in my ears. I have never heard so much heavy breathing all around me at the same time - LOL! It did make me laugh a little to hear everyone's breathing change so dramatically with race start anticipation. Although my music is never loud enough to block out noise, I could listen in on conversations between partner runners more clearly. :) This was amusing as well.
2 km = 6:34
Ahead of me, I finally catch sight of Lyndsey in her purple skirt. :) She's well ahead of me and I'm glad that there will be somebody else at the finish line to cheer me in! I am not feeling the greatest; I am better than I have been in my last two dismal workouts, but I'm just not feeling it. I'm tell myself to give it until the 3 km mark before determining if this is going to be a good race or not.
Okay, I am now getting into my groove. 6:30/km is beginning to feel comfortable so I focus of holding it right here. I am running with a large group of runners, but most of them turn left onto the 5 km route whereas I cross the road to follow the signs and volunteers for the 10 km route. Although I see runners ahead of me, the group is a lot sparser, and similar to last year again, we are heading toward the Cami car plant to run around it. I am running behind someone for a while, but she starts walking periodically so after pacing behind her for a while, I eventually pass her when she's walking again.
4 km = 6:29
Around the 4 km mark, where the second water station is set up, I see a runner waving toward incoming runners. I think to myself, "How sweet! It's nice of that runner to wave to her friend behind me." It's only when the runner starts running again that I clue in that it's Lyndsey waving and that she was waving to ME! CRAP! Now I feel bad for clueing into this after the fact, and I will have to apologize for not being the brightest person to pick up on this. :( I'm not accustomed to knowing people at these races who will wave to me - ha!
5 km = 6:39 (hill)
There's a long, steady incline hill in this section and it slows me a little. Soon after I reach the crest, the runner I passed earlier catches up to me. I start chatting with her when she runs alongside of me. :) I don't want to play this silent, competitive, yo-yoing with someone when it's just us in this section of the race. It's her first time running this race, and we chat about what the rest of the course will be like (the railroad tracks which had a TRAIN on it that stopped me during last year's race is around the next corner). Within a few minutes, she stops to walk; I do not see her again ... until I see the photos of me near the finish line later at home. :)
I'm making a point of this because I am the type of runner who never turns around to see who is behind me. It's just not something that I do. In fact, I personally find it odd when I see people ahead of me who consistently look over their shoulders to see who is behind them. I am only realizing now, after the fact when I see the photos, that she wasn't too far behind me for the rest of the race. This means I was the "Red Shirt Chick" to her throughout the race. :)
6 km = 6:31
Recently, one of my DM friends started a thread on running mantras with her friends, which I found very interesting. Most of the ones that were shared were very inspirational. However, lately, I find that the one I use the most is, "I am a machine" - LOL! Not very Oprah-esque, is it? :) I just find that when I am on my long runs, trying to stay at a steady, even pace, I start telling myself that I am a machine, not to deviate from my steady pace, to keep going unaffected by anything else. For some reason, it's working for me. At this point, I am feeling very, very good. I am strong and not at all tired; I am not even breathing heavily. My adherence to being a "6:30/km machine" is working after 6 km and I am proving to myself that I am in total control.
7 km = 6:46 (head wind)
Well, so much for all that "control" I thought I had!?!?! After turning the corner to head east toward the railway tracks, I run head first into wind. I didn't notice if before because the car factory did a good job of blocking it, but now it is blowing directly at me. It's been awhile since I have run in wind; I recall all the wind we had back in the spring, which proved a little challenging on my daily runs. For all my complaints about the intense summer heat and humidity, I had forgotten about the lack of spring and fall wind. :( Clearly, I am a machine that doesn't work as well in a head wind. :(
8 km = 6:53 (head wind)
This is such a sobering reminder ... all the months that I have spent running and 'enduring' in an effort to run a goal PR at my Niagara Falls HM this fall, but I have to keep in mind that the weather conditions may play a bigger impact on my goal more so than my preparation. This wind is making it tough for me to keep steady pace. I am aware that running along the Niagara River is susceptible to windy weather so if I encounter a head wind on October 23rd, I will have it for the duration of the race, making my race tougher. I need to mentally prepare myself for this possibility. I have been joking about rain all summer on that day, but I need to factor in wind as a possibility, too.
9 km = 6:30
It turns out that this route is exactly the same as last year's after all. There's the section on grass and on a short trail through a field to connect us to a subdivision street, which makes this 'unique.' :) I have crept up on Lindsay and we laugh and call out to each other; I continue to try to master control over myself by keeping at my intended pace.
We are on the last stretch when there is a steep up and down hill ahead; it's great to go down, but I recall the tough getting up part. :) In a move that makes my heart smile, Jacquie is there at the top of the hill, waiting for me, ready to pace me into the finish; she knew the hill is where every runner needs it the most. Awesome timing because we catch Lindsay in the valley and encourage her to keep pace with us up the hill. It is so much easier to run up a hill with someone pacing beside you than it is alone! I am pleased to see that at this point, I am laughing and chatting with Jacquie. I'm feeling good and this, for me, is the best of a race - still feeling good by the end of it albeit a little more tired. :)
10 km = 6:23
Jacquie stops pacing me at the parking lot where Kurt is waiting for her. Ben and Mom are off to the side near the finish line to cheer me in. All is good. :) And as I see the clock change to 1:06 as I am running up to it, I am very pleased because I have just PR'd (without music, I must add - go figure!) when it wasn't my main goal, but my average pace display is showing me that I have done a pretty darn good job of sticking to my intended pace throughout.
The best part of the race was meeting Lyndsey - officially! - after the race. It meant a lot to me to both meet her in person and the added bonus of running to the finish line with her! You are clearly a wonderful person and here's to future races together, my friend! :) :) We made the introductions to one another's mothers - woo hoo to cheering, picture-taking Moms! - and we checked to see if there are door prizes waiting (the hat you passed onto me to give to Ben went to the Goodwill yesterday, Lyndsey!).
Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Lauren, but with her blistering speed that made her the 7th female overall to cross the finish line, and a third place finish for her age group, she was no doubt halfway home by the time I arrived at the finish line!! CONGRATULATIONS, LAUREN!! :)
Finally, to top my terrific race day off, when I checked the results for both 5K and 10K races online, I discovered that my friend, Jacquie, had WON for our age group in the 5K !!! And this meant a FIRST PLACE MEDAL. I called her to squeal with excitement over the phone and Miss Disbelieving laughed with shock that she had done so well! I emailed her the race director's email address and the next day, I received this photo from Kurt (he bought our Champion some flowers) with Jacquie's first ever running medal. :) It gave her the incentive to state that she would like to train between now and the end of October for the 10K race in ... NIAGARA FALLS (!!!) ... which makes that medal priceless. :) :)
An awesome race ... and a very different post from my post about last year's event - LOL! :)
I am off tomorrow and then I have an 11.5K on Tuesday. Week #11 begins ... my final week of the Strength Training phase. :)