On Sunday I ran my 7th Sporting Life 10K, after missing the last two years due to injuries. I was thrilled to get back to the start line of one of my favourite races, and one that is near to my heart. This year was particularly special because Nolan was running the entire 10K for the very first time, after crossing the finish line with his mom every year since his diagnosis 7 years ago. This kid and his family, who I am lucky to call my friends, are the definition of strength.
I wasn’t expecting much out of my legs one week post-marathon and originally expected to finish somewhere around 55 minutes. After feeling pretty good in the days leading up to the race, I got pumped up while driving to the start with a couple of speedy friends and started to think I might be able to go for something closer to 50 minutes. The near-perfect running conditions would certainly help!
We did a short warm-up and I needed a quick last minute (literally) potty stop, which had me running to the start line with just seconds to spare. I was able to squeeze in near the front with Matt and Andy and knew I would need to be careful not to get swept up with the masses at the front of the pack.
The legs felt nice and bouncy and I could tell it was going to be a great race. My splits were coming in a lot faster than I anticipated but my breathing was in control and it felt completely manageable, so I decided to let ‘er rip. Having the entire width of Yonge Street to ourselves and tearing downhill through midtown Toronto early on a Sunday morning will never get old. I was quickly reminded why this race is a favourite for its course as well as its cause.
4:53, 4:57, 4:55, 4:53, 4:51
The course flattens out and we also hit a bit of a wind tunnel heading west on Richmond after the turn at 7K. It was time to dig a little deeper to hold the pace, and I surprised myself by picking it up. Every turn was familiar and before long I could see the bridge crossing into Fort York for the finish. Glancing at my watch, I realized that I had a shot at sub-49:00 and kicked it up another notch.
4:51, 4:57, 4:50, 4:50, 4:36
Another great day at the races!