Saturday for kit pickup was rain, rain, rain. Unfortunately, the expo for this race is outdoors. Glad I remembered to grab an umbrella before I left - too bad the only one I could find was my 4 year old's Hello Kitty umbrella. Awesome.
|Expo in the park. Hello Kitty umbrella not pictured due to embarrassment.|
|Good kit. The coupon for free hard boiled eggs will definitely get used. I also appreciate a race that has women's specific shirts, even if the shirt is not my favourite shade of blue.|
Sunday morning Amy picked me up early, and then we headed off to get Patty and Sam - The Burlington Skirt Brigade loves to carpool. Amy offered to drive, because she's way nicer than the rest of us, who tend to yell 'not me' and hope someone else offers. Finding parking at races blows. But Amy had a secret weapon, having reserved a spot in her friend's driveway, which happened to be right by the race start. SCORE.
|Why don't races have a best dressed competition? C'mon, we're ADORABLE.|
|Dorking out in the start corral. I gotta get a new move that isn't double thumbs up.|
I don't know if it was because people actually seeded themselves properly, or because of the nice wide road, but I hardly spent any time maneuvering around slower runners - a welcome change from some races! Looking in your direction, Midsummer. So the first few kms went very smoothly. I was totally in the zone, comfortable with my pace and feeling great. I kept catching glimpses of Amy's ponytail not far ahead of me - she's a bit faster than I am, but as long as I could see her, I knew I was keeping up a good pace.
km 1-3: 5:13, 5:10, 5:13
My watch beeped off km 3 at least 100m before the actual km marker. Shit. I hate when my watch is that off early in a race, it makes it hard to trust the paces. I resolved to ignore my watch until 6k, and just zoned out, one foot in front of the other. In control, not too fast.
km 4-6: 5:10, 5:13, 5:13 Hello consistency! That's a first, usually I'm all over the place.
I had set up my playlist for this race with my most motivating songs starting at around km 6. I really wanted to get a negative split on this one, and figured I'd try some musical help to power through the last 4k. (Eminem's Berzerk? Put it on your running playlist right now.) Somewhere in here there were a bunch of houses with 'SLOW DOWN' signs on their lawns, and I thought SCREW YOU I'M NOT SLOWING DOWN! Then I realized it was probably the homeowners trying to get traffic to slow down, not runners. Duh.
km 7: 5:05
Still feeling good. Picked up the pace. My watch was almost 200m off the markers so I was ignoring it and just looking at the total time as I hit each marker, doing mental calculations to figure out if I had a shot at going under 52 minutes. Math while running is never a good idea, but I was pretty sure I was going to be really, really close to 52 minutes and used that as motivation to pick up the pace a bit.
km 8: 4:55
Self doubt started to creep in. My breathing was getting harder to control, and my brain started whispering things like 'you could walk for a bit and still get under 54 minutes, you have lots of time to play with and still PB. 53 minutes would be a fine time'. SHUT UP BRAIN. Don't tempt me with your bad thoughts.
I had spent some time before the race trying to figure out how to handle this exact situation. Closing in on the finish, when things start to hurt, the 'let's just stop' thoughts always arrive, and I've never dealt with them well. This leads to things like my epic slowdowns in the last 5k of Midsummer and the Mississauga half. This time, though, I was prepared.
I started telling myself 'you went through childbirth without drugs. Twice. That hurt a hell of a lot more than this. If you can do that, you can run another measly 10 minutes.' Over and over. 'If you did that, you can run another 8 minutes. You can run another 5 minutes. 5 minutes is nothing.'
Amazingly, it worked! With a bit of an assist from Ms. Katy Perry and the song Roar (thank you Amy for that suggestion).
km 9-10: 5:05, 4:55 extra 200m: :54 (pace 4:46)
|Double thumbs up AGAIN. I'm so predictable. But look how happy! Coming up on the finish, knowing I'd run a great race.|
Chip time: 51:56.2 <--YEAH!
Gun time: 52:07
Category place: 13/108 <--hey, that's not too shabby
Gender place: 36/305
Overall place: 110/541
|A spectator at 7k told me she liked my socks. Hells yeah.|
Amy had a terrific race too - I kept catching glimpses of her ahead of me. She finished just over 51 minutes (and 12th for our age group, bumping me to lucky 13), which made her easy to find right after we were done, since she was still catching her breath when I crossed the finish. Clearly the real reason I ran this race fast was so my ride home couldn't get away!
|I hope the Mississauga Marathon can handle our awesomeness.|
And now, of course, the big question looms: what goal time to aim for at the Scotia half. Hmmmmmmmm.
Bonus picture: FINE. I know this is what everyone really wants to see.
|This is what happens when I can't find my rain jacket.|