a.k.a. the 10k race i did on sunday.
firstoff, i realize that it is 11:34pm, which is also way past my bedtime. but i just got home tonight and am feeling rebellious toward doing what i’m supposed to be doing and i’m still recovering from spending 5 days in toronto.
so, the race.
going in, i was not feeling good at all. i had stuck pretty close to my training schedule right up until the final week. then i got sick: my throat was sore and i was blowing all sorts of mucous of my nose. (sorry for the mental picture.) and my knees were hurting from doing the max interval circuit insanity workout with shima last sunday in her garage, which involved a lot of jumping on the cement ground.
i wasn’t really feeling any more optimistic on the morning of the race. it was the second worst day of the month for me to be running (at least i didn’t have cramps!) and i hadn’t brought food from home so my breakfast was different than what i normally eat. oh, and i had severely underestimated the weather this past weekend and was cold for most of it.
but the sun was out and i surprisingly didn’t really dwell on the negatives. shima and i were too busy getting to bag check and finding people. they left me at a port-a-potty line since they run faster than me and were in an earlier corral.
once i was standing in the crowd, it wasn’t really that cold. people all around me were complaining about the weather, though, and that was annoying. it’s not like it was snowing or hailing or raining. we shuffled to the start line and surprisingly, there was no congestion! i was pretty impressed with that since at least the first kilometer of a race is normally slower since there are so many people, at least in the races i’ve participated in.
after the first couple kilometers, i found a pacer: a red-haired woman with pink compression socks and an orange race shirt that spoke disparagingly about 905-ers (ie, people who don’t live within the city of toronto, but rather, in the surrounding suburbs). there was a man with a sign on his back that said, “catch me if you can” and a woman who had “try to keep up” on the back of her shirt. neither of them were really all that fast, so i passed them with a “thanks for the motivation” good thought toward both of them. at one point there was a guy wearing a leafs jersey who was running for “game 6,” which i thought was cute. [btw, sorry for your loss, leafs fans.]
in the second half, i mentally attached myself to another runner who paced me from kilometer 4-ish to kilometer 9. through the crowd and after turns, i kept my eye out for the tall middle-aged man in a white shirt and blue cap. at 6k my right foot started to hurt enough that i had to stretch it out quickly against the curb. i had been walking a fair bit since thursday with my canvas camper sneakers that i really like, but that have no arch support. for some reason, it affects my right foot a lot more than my left.
by 7k my stomach was bothering me slightly but i was still on pace, running just under 6 minutes per kilometer, which was my goal. one part around 8k was super windy and i thought i might lose my hat, then i saw the 9k marker. although it was slightly uncomfortable, i started picking up the pace a touch, pulling ahead of white shirt and blue cap man, starting to sprint as i went down the home stretch to the finish. i crossed over one timing pad and then encountered a crowd of people before the finish line. bottlenecks happen when you have 27, 000 people running at the same time. i stopped my watch and patiently walked across the finish, slightly disappointed at the anti-climactic ending.
a few conclusions from the race:
1/ are torontonian runners a bit wimpy about the weather, or was that just the people around me?
2/ i pretty sure i’m capable of running faster, i just need to put in the effort to train and stay focused when i’m running. too often my mind drifts and i inadvertently slow down.
3/ i don’t think giant races are for me. i found this one too, too big. at the same time, running with that many people was a motivator to keep my speed where it should be.
i’m just looking at the results now and as an exciting tidbit, i know a couple of the top runners! charly allan (#6) is the son of the farmer i work with on wolfe island. adrian del monte (#13) is my co-worker’s son. they are speedy quick!