Simply: Don't believe them.
Whether the goal is as easy as to run the miles easy, or as detailed as to evenly split each kilometer, you can bet that the runner has goals. Even, "I'm just going to cross the finish line" is a goal.
So, I know I claimed to have no goals for the race yesterday, but to be honest, I toyed with two: run a true LSD run (with a 6:50ish average pace) OR, beat my 15k time from the Mississauga Half Marathon three weeks ago (sub 1:35:51).
I got up at 6am on Sunday morning with my husband who was up with
I also grabbed my water belt with the 500mL bottle in the back as I knew that water every 3k would not be enough for me (again, this was the first race I wore this belt to!).
I was on the road early and arrived at the start with plenty of time to secure a parking spot metres from the start/finish on a side street. Then I found the washroom in the high school (yippee! REAL washrooms! With soap and water!) and went to look for the members of my clinic who were racing and spectating. Before long, I ran into a few people who were there to do either of the above and we chatted for a while looking for more people and our instructor, Bing who was racing the 5k. Before we found him, we lined up. Only three of us were running in the 15k and the two other ladies were much faster then me so I asked them to not allow me to run with them and wished them luck!
Before long, Hazel was making her
incoherent inspirational speech and sounding the horn to get us started.
I stared WAY TOO FAST. I was telling myself to keep it easy, use it as an easy run, that I was going to die by 8k etc etc:
KM1 - 6:01, KM2 - 5:59, KM3 - 6:13, KM4 - 6:13, KM5 - 6:21
It took me 5 kilometres to get my pace to race pace. CRAZY! The great thing about the first few kilometres of this race is that I know all of the streets as I grew up taking lessons in Streetsville, so I just zoned out and enjoyed the spectators, the little town feel and watching the 5k elites blazing past us around the 10 minute mark. Once we made the split from those racing 5k, the crowd really thinned out as did the spectators (uh, there were none). The course is challenging in that regard and because it it pretty hilly. I concentrated on attempting to keep my pace even at 6:23 or so and keeping myself hydrated. It was super hot and I took fluids at ever station and pretty much every K.
I found it difficult to settle into a great pace as I was by myself and I couldn't find anyone who was running at the same pace as I was. I saw a lot of the same people around me, but most were walk-running and I was having none of that. I did walk through some water stations and to jam my bottle back into my belt, but those spells were function walks, not any kind of strategy. It was a pretty BLAH race after Mississauga to be honest. My best memory from these 5k were watching during the turn around for my clinic friends and yelling out good job to them as they passed me. I also saw a woman who was at least 7 months pregnant racing in a skirt and sports bra - belly proudly leading the way (I found her after the race and congratulated her!). It was hot.
KM6 - 6:16 (GU), KM7 - 6:16, KM8 - 6:21, KM9 - 6:19, KM10 - 6:14
At 10k I started having some trouble. It was hot. We were in an industrial part of the course, I was unsure where I was. It was hot. There was a family of walk-runners who kept yo-yoing with me (mum, dad and 8 year old!) and it was playing with my head. I started to smile at and thank all volunteers and police officers I saw. I realized that I like to see people when I race and to interact with them. I kept zoning out which is good, I guess, but the race didn't feel fun like the last one did. I told myself that it should only be a LSD run anyway and to slow down and not worry about it. I took a GU at 11.5km and it didn't seem to help at all! That's when I put my "suck it up" pants on and took control of my head.
I knew I was on pace to beat my 15k time from Mississauga. I knew the streets again. I knew that there were 3k left and they were nothing. Finally, the parents let their 8 year old race (kid took off!) while they continued to walk-run and I let him lose me. The last three Ks were a lot better.
At 700 metres to go, I came up to a man walking. I said to him, "700 metres to go! Buddy, you've GOT IT!" He started running with me. And by with me, I mean the guy might as well have been tethered to me! When I crossed the road to cut the corner, he was with me. When we had to shift to the left to get out of the way of a fire truck (someone had to be taken off course), he was there! I kept telling him how long was left.
Then, we were almost at the line and I remembered to pull my ear buds out. Just in time because there was the rest of my clinic group, cheering and taking photos form the side lines! It was so AWESOME! It was the first time I had lots of people cheering! I also heard/saw a lady from my baseball team who was there with her fitness class to run the 5k as their final exam. Finally, I felt the normal race rush and crossed with the normal thrill of a finish. Of course, it helped that I had beat the 15k time from Mississauga!
KM11 - 6:26, KM12 - 6:37 (GU), KM13 - 6:07, KM14 - 6:01, KM15 - 5:41
Chip: 1:33:35, Pace: 6:12
Photos to come!