I did not meet any goal I set out with this morning.
I got to Sunnybrook park nice and early at 7 am or so. I saw Marlene walking up to the race site as I was driving into park and made a mental note not to be too shy to say hello to her if I saw her again. When I got to the race HQ, I looked around for my friend Joy and we eventually met up. She was with her husband and daughter and we got to hang out and let Sofie distract us from the fact that we were going to run in a bit.
After I picked up my timing chip, I did manage to say hello to Marlene and her group (major aside - I've "known" Marlene since 2005ish when we were both wedding planning and members of a chat board. I never met her, but always liked her posts. I left that board after my wedding and when I found her blog again, I began to read regularly as I always enjoyed what she's had to say. Her path to major running is one of my biggest sources of inspiration in my journey. Plus, I think she's just as neat now as in 2005 - girl had a candy bar at her wedding). Then I hit the port-o-potties for the second of three pre-race trips and met up with Joy's friend Jenn (who, based on twitter and facebook, I think knows Marlene - small world, eh) as she was there to pace Joy through her first 5k run.
We lined up and the gun went. It was crowded and the paths were narrow with larger puddles due to the rain. I told myself to keep on pace (I pace to music due to lack of any kind of watch other than one with a second hand) and began to pass, pass, pass. The rain held off, but the humidity was crazy. I was wet, like soaked, before the 1km sign.
At 1km, I was on the 6ish minute pace I knew I needed for my sub-30 minute finish goal. I kept on running, settling in, knowing I had this in the bag. Just after 2km, I started to see the finishers come back and took the opportunity to give them applause as they raced on by.
Around 2.5-3.5 km there was a huge loop which allowed for my favorite part of the race. As women would loop by their teammates or training partners or friends, there were high-fives, photos and woo-hoos! Non-sappy me felt some real warmth in my heart as I saw the awesome encouragement from the field.
I got to the water station, took a glass and rinsed out my mouth and drank a swallow and I was away again. I didn't do anything badly here. I kept running. Just before 4km, I started to have the internal walk or not walk conversation and once I saw the 4km mark, my decision was made. I kept running.
The only thing that I could have done, is to give into my adrenaline once I saw the finish. The wave that went over me was immense (I knew I'd be close, I had no idea where I was though).
For once in my life, I controlled myself and kept my steady pace
This, as far as I can see, was my only error.
I crossed the line at like 31:14 and knew it was a lost cause. I did take the chance to confirm via the postings that my offical time was 30:39. I'm unhappy, but not discouraged. The only thing I'm going to do differently for the next race (which may, uh, be next week - stay tuned), is buy a digital watch with timer.
Joy finished in 36:32 and is happy to have her first 5k under her belt.
It was a good morning and I'm happy to have signed up for this race.
After 12 hours of contemplation, I can't see that I would have done anything differently (except, you know... run 40 seconds faster).