This was our 4th consecutive year running our local Rebecca Run. It’s a fantastic race on our favourite running paths and just minutes from home. I’ve placed first in my age group the past 3 years (got to love the smaller events) – no pressure or anything!
We headed to the park about an hour before the start this morning, picked up our chips and found some of our friends who were racing. Then we set off for an extended 7K warm-up, including the race route with a minor detour when the 3K races were approaching.
It was a hot and sunny morning and neither hubs or I was feeling particularly excited about racing a 5K. We were honestly wonder why we actually pay to sign up for this kind of punishment. I was also feeling pretty slow and tired, but remembered that I also felt that way last week before a PR at the Canada Day 5K. All we could do was shake it off and get ready to race!
After the warm-up I switched into my Kinvara flats and we lined up to start with a bunch of our friends. And we were off!
I had a strategy in mind: run like hell and try not to die. My ultimate goal, other than beating Lindsay [which I was pretty certain would not happen], was sub-21:00 so I had that pace in mind as I took off running. Mostly I just ran hard and picked people ahead of me to chase after.
The race starts on the paved path alongside a small lake, then winds around it on gravel trails before heading out on a brief out-and-back with gentle rollers. My first K was right on track, but I caught myself backing off for the middle section again. It hurts like hell and I always doubt whether I can maintain the pace, and give it up far too soon. I tried to hold on but definitely slowed for the 2nd and 3rd kilometre.
It was fun seeing everyone on the out-and-back stretch, and I was also able to count the females ahead of me and knew I was running in 3rd place, with a pretty good distance before the next female behind me. This gave me the boost I needed to pick it up and hold my position. I was able to pass a couple of people as we made our way back toward the park.
The last kilometre is along a boardwalk trail surrounded by woods. It’s quite enjoyable on any old run, but not so much in a race. It’s virtually impossible to pass, but this time I didn’t have anyone within reach anyway. I knew that as soon as we came off this stretch, the finish would be just around the corner and forced myself to keep pushing.
Finally the finish was in sight and I saw 20:2X on the clock. I knew I had my sub-21:00 and pushed it all the way through.
We grabbed some water and milled about with our friends for about 15 minutes before hubs and I set out again – we weren’t finished yet! We are busy tomorrow and decided to complete our long run this morning, which meant we had about 18K yet to run, and it was already 10:30. We headed out to squeeze in about 5K, so we would make it back in time for the awards.
By that time we were both starving, and grabbed some snacks and hot dogs from the food table. Who needs gels?!
Hubs earned a medal for his 3rd place AG finish, and I won a medal and gift card for being 3rd female.
We sat around for a little longer before we had to face the remainder of our run. It was noon by this point and scorching hot. We headed to the trails to find the shade, but the majority of the run was still in the pounding sun. My legs felt pretty good until the last 5K, but it was mentally exhausting to be running in this heat.
We took it on the slow side and eventually made it to 30K (18.6mi) total for the day.
|Yes, that is an ice pack in my top.|
|A stop for slurpees was essential!|
I can’t say it was the smartest thing we have ever done, but sometimes you just have to push the limits and it sure felt good to get it done.