I distinctly remember saying at one point that after I finished the Melissa’s 10K this fall that this would be it for racing for me for the rest of the year. How quickly things change since I’ve got three races on the go in October alone! I’ve been told that racing 10Ks will help me to get faster…so…we’ll see how that goes!
Today was the Investor’s Group Thanksgiving Memory 10K. I woke up to temperatures of –8C and threats of snow. This week has felt downright winterish in Calgary, which is in pretty stark contrast to the record high temperatures we were having at the end of September. Crazy stuff! This morning wound up being a total gong show. As I sat in the car I realized that the play/pause button is no longer working on my iPod. Hmmm. Then as I was driving down the highway towards downtown I was attempting to take the top off my water bottle. As I finally got the cap unscrewed water wound up coming out over top spilling in my lap and now it felt like I just peed my pants. Oops! Thank goodness for moisture wicking fabric because I was nice and dry well before start time!
I parked my car, picked up my race packet and my timing chip, downed a gel 30 minutes before go time, then found my friend Pam. We stuck around indoors for as long as we could, but finally we made our way outside and I ran into Making Waves at the start line. It was great to see that despite the cold temperatures and dreary day that quite a few people showed up for the 10K run and 5K walk.
September was just a dismal month for running. During a lot of my training runs I was struggling to hold sub 11:00 miles and any form of speed work just totally wiped me out. Then October hit and I really lucked out and had a very solid week of running leading up to the race. I had no idea where things would line out for today but I was really hoping my good running streak would continue. As we took off from the start line I wished Pam good luck and started in. I wanted to hold a pace I thought was somewhere in the gray area between comfortable and uncomfortable. The route was a familiar one as we ran the pathway along the Bow River west away from downtown, where I do most of my lunch time runs. It was a pretty straightforward out and back route.
Every time I would glance down at my Garmin I noticed that I was holding a pretty steady pace. I was feeling really strong and like I could keep this up for the entire race. I hit the 5K mark around 28:21. If I was going to PR today though, I’d need to hustle a bit and go for a negative split. I realized as I turned around that there was a good chance that I was in the first half of the pack. That never happens for me on a 10K! I worked to apply a bit more pressure and slowly but surely speed up. I wanted to push things but I didn’t want to push so hard that I blew up. Somewhere around the 4 mile mark I realized that my left shoe was feeling a bit loose. A glance down confirmed it, my shoe lace was coming undone so I had to step over and retie it. Doh, 9 seconds lost! The brief stop messed with my momentum slightly and the push was hurting just a wee bit more. As I raced toward the finish line I realized that a PR would be tight, but if I could just keep this up I would have it. I was running in with another guy and he and I were both breathing so loudly, just pushing to get to the end. And there it was! According to the Garmin my final time was 56:21, good enough for a PR by 11 seconds!!! Despite being chip timed the final results only show gun time, but here are the stats:
Females 30-39: 11 out of 46 (although, really out of 47 because Pam was missing her chip)
Females Overall: 30 out of 131
Overall: 90 out of 251 (well, really out of 252)
Garmin Time: 56:21.94
Gun Time: 56:34.8
Once the race was over Pam and I grabbed our lunch which was included (a personal Papa John’s pizza, cinnamon bun, and a juice) and went indoors to eat and catch up. Not a bad way to end the race!
Overall I am really happy with my race – I progressively got faster (with the exception for the mile split where I had to stop and tie my shoe), I hit a negative split, and I PR’d. And I think I could have kicked it up maybe another half a notch. We’ll see…I have a 10K rematch in two weeks at the Halloween Howl!