Happy Canada Day weekend! Happy Free Agent Frenzy! Happy weekend, indeed! =D
Though race package pick-up started on Thursday, I didn’t get around to going to the mall until Saturday. I ran there, actually, and walked around swanky Oakridge Mall in running gear, to the horror of NPY who wasn’t with me at the time.
For all those interested, I logged the contents of my goody bag and they included…
* A less tailored (read more polyester) but still tomato red race shirt. They had run out of small and my medium doesn’t fit anyone. =(
* Single serving of Vector cereal… I never need to buy this stuff!
* Full-size pack of Menthos Spearmint gum
* Trial size of Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock (SPF 55)
* Full-size of Frisk Sweetmint gum
* A Participaction pedometer (usu. touted with a value of $15)… like I’ll use it
* 2 Motrin tablets
* Stayput hair elastics
* Grape-flavoured freezies (2)
* Trial size of Glysomed hand cream
* Trial size of Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds… yum
* One Crystal Light Singles in Lemon Lime flavour… like lemonade with the slightest aspartame taste
* Support breast cancer research pink Wilson baseball cap… by far the biggest value from this goody bag!
Once again, all the race notes tumble out all at once. I hope this is mildly coherent!
* When you bring your slightly bleary NPY, it makes it much easier for him to find you when you wear head-to-toe blue admist the sea of red
* With the patriotic sea of red and hearing the national anthem played by a military band, I felt like I had done my independence day duty before 8AM!
* Perhaps blue is a good race colour. I wore all-blue for that awesome race in Calgary two years ago. =D
* My goals heading into the race included breaking last year’s 56:00 10K. I was so nervous because my 10K training run last Wednesday was tough and took 57:41. At worst, I would treat it as a 10K “tempo” — just another training run that is non-stop and at a pace of 5:40-5:55/kilometer. The goal was to not stop.
* First kilometer in 5:30
* Second kilometer in 10:30 (avg. 5:15/kilometer)
* We were leaving Stanley Park and I noticed someone sitting on the grass. We had passed by when she yelled, “Go Karen!” Karen, who was clad in black, was surprised, stuttered a little, and waved. Around her, we found it somewhat amusing and I echoed the cheer, “Go Karen!”
* On the race course, I like to relax and jest. I randomly give encouragement and appreciate it greatly when it’s given to me!
* Four kilometers in 25 minutes?! What?! That translates to 6:15-kilometer and I was instantly discouraged. I wanted to have misread the marker but I have better eyesight than that. I slowed to a walk, mulled over my futile effort for one minute, and then looked up and saw the 5K marker arriving far less than 1K away from the 4K marker.
* Five kilometers in 27:30. That was 5:30/kilomter again and sounded much better and I had the encouragement to start running again!
* Last year’s race was on a flat course around the Stanley Park Seawall. Since November’s storm, Seawall repair is
not happening slow to the visible eye and after 5K of the Seawall, we were running through the neighbourhoods of West End. I classify the West End terrain as “rolling.”
* I took two other short breaks for water — it was a warm morning! — at 40:00 and again about ten minutes later.
* In the 4K of the West End stretch, I had a hard time. I thought about my really late dinner, ingested at 9:30, and how that “parma-rosa” sauce was at once so yummy and so evil. “Because it’s just a 10K race.” I also ate oh-so-randomly throughout the day before. I know better than to eat creamy food and to eat so late… before a serious race.
* Read 47:00 at the 8K marker. That implied too lax 5:53/kilometer thus far. I was not encouraged that I had 2 more kilometers to go needing 5:30 to complete each one!!
* Then I saw the 9K marker, once again less than 1K away from the previous marker.
* The last kilometer was the hardest. Or it was misplaced by some tens of meters.
* Chugga-chugga-chugga for the last kilometer, telling myself that I’d let up if I hadn’t finished by 56:00. I was desperately trying to exude fine runner form.
* Approaching the ever forward-advancing digital clock, I was running and watching the seconds flip to the end of the 55th minute and into the 56th minute….!
* The clock read 56:12 when I crossed. My watch read 55:29.
* I made my goal! Hence, I was allowed to have a Sausage ‘n’ Egg McMuffin in addition to the hash brown I always deserve. =P
* This year’s medal is really big and really shiny!
* No matter, it’s a PB (personal best) and the non-flat course did not knock me down. In my last year in my division, I’m a better racer than when I first did a 10K. =D
Now I wonder: Will I do the HBC run again? I wondered this year as I was heading in. It was an accident on my part to not notice that I was racing two weekends in a row. The goody bag is something of a draw. The medal… I don’t need another one. And I certainly don’t need another red shirt! I think I may look for a different 10K race later in summer – like Summerfast (late July) or even The Underwear Affair (next week) to space out my races.
All the stats —-
Gun time 56:14 Chip time 55:27
349 of 895 runners
97 of 447 women
21 of 91 women aged 21-29