For the purposes of telling my story (and in the interest of full disclosure) I probably ought to fess up on what my race times have been like lately. Since…you know…I casually forgot to leave that out of my Melissa’s race report.
Back on September 24th I finished Melissa’s in 1:16:57. Now granted, there was a huge hill to climb in the middle of the race and it was my first race in awhile so I’m not disappointed. That was the fastest I could run that day and Kelly and Pam were amazing company on the race course. I don’t think I would have wanted to race without them. Quite honestly I was about ready to bail on doing the race until Kelly asked me to run it with her for fun.
Three weeks later on November 9th I toed the line for the Thanksgiving Memory 10K run in Calgary.Given that this course was a lot flatter than Melissa’s I just really wanted to do better than that time. I didn’t really have a plan for how to race it but I knew there would be walk breaks in there. Starting out I was in with a big shmozzle of people. There was someone who had evidently set up some kind of a workout or goal in their Garmin (be it following pace or heart rate). Whatever they were doing, they weren’t doing what they were supposed to do and their Garmin yelled at them about every 30 seconds to either speed up or slow down. Boy that was annoying to listen to!
Anyhow, the route was a straight forward out and back. I felt pretty good on the way out but I definitely slowed down and had to walk more on the way back. I finished in 1:12:02, a definite improvement over Melissa’s three weeks ago.
Two weeks later it was back to the line to race the Halloween Howl 10K. The route would be almost exactly the same as the Thanksgiving race, except this time I had some friends for company.Once again I didn’t start out with much of a plan, just goals. Pam and I figured we’d hang out together and I figured I’d see if maybe I could keep up with Kelly. Kelly planned on running 9:1s with her husband Mitch helping to pace her.I got a bit caught up in the excitement and the crowd and started a bit fast, but Pam reigned me in. Soon we settled in behind Kelly and Mitch. The pace was a bit faster than two weeks ago so I made it my mission to just hang with her and not focus on much else. I felt strong on the way out but I was still a bit worried. I fell apart a bit on the second half of my previous race and I really wanted to run the entire thing as consistently as possible.
At the turnaround Pam decided it was time to aim for a negative split so she took off with our friend Danny. Kelly, Mitch and I hung with them for a bit but then we decided to settle back in to our previous pace. I think Kelly and I were both a bit worried about blowing up. Pam and Danny were strong all the way through the second half of the race.Kelly has been super supportive and encouraging and we’ve been running a lot together recently. She thinks I’m back to my old speedier self although I’m not quite convinced that I’m entirely there yet. As she started to struggle on the way back I wanted to stick with her and to try and encourage her as much as possible. I tried to focus on remembering the great runs we’ve had lately and to try and emulate that same feeling. I was hoping that she’d hang with me on the final sprint to the finish but unfortunately I think I took off a bit too much.When it was all said and done I was really happy with my race. I felt a lot better on this race than two weeks ago…plus I beat my time! I finished in 1:07:54 which was a definite improvement from the Thanksgiving race. I owe many thanks to my friends who kept me company along the way.
Next up is the Banff Winterstart 5 Miler next weekend!
*PS – If you are reading this post in Google Reader I have finally updated my header and blog layout ever so slightly. Have a look and let me know what you think! Here’s the old header, so not too different….