I had a typical night-before-the-race sleep with what I’m pretty sure was a dream. I “awoke” at 3:26 a.m. to a loud pop that made me freeze in my bed. You know what I thought it was. I waited for flashing red and blue siren lights to stream through my window but it never came. I figured that the safest point of my apartment was in my bed although I considered crawling along the floor to the window to peep out. Then I drifted into another dream where I was back in Halifax and dealing with the consequences to being “witness” to a shooting. And I told myself within a dream that if I could transition from my place in Vancouver to Halifax so quickly, that I was in a dream.
I do believe that this whacked-out dream was inspired by recently walking past the intersection in my neighbourhood where earlier this year, a man was killed, gang-land style.
I woke up for real at 6:30 a.m. and enjoyed my breakfast of cereal+milk, yogurt, and green tea. It was surreal that although I was headed out earlier than usual (7:45), I wasn’t technically at peril of being late for my run was not until 9:30.
Arriving promptly at 8:30 at the sportsplex of UBC, I was able to pick up my chip and bib without any fuss. Then I lurked in the women’s changing room/bathroom for a bit – I was so nervous!
During one of my nervous trips between the gym and the washroom, I saw Chui with whom I had not made firm plans to meet up. We can just find each other, I in my yellow cap and she in her red cap! :D Hanging out with Chui and her friend Pat was fun and took my mind off other troubles and anxiety.
It was pretty cool with how the start and finish lines were close together but angled, that we saw the sub-2-hour half-marathoners coming in with a strong finish as we 10K’ers waited for our start.
From the very start, I let myself fall behind Chui and Pat, who are sub-50-minute 10’ers while I was aiming for some time that has an absolute value of 57 or 58. :D Still, I broke out too fast – on the uphill at the start, no less – and finished the first kilometer in 5:28. It’s no wonder I was wriggling uncomfortably with a cramp within 10 minutes. :(
In general, the first four kilometers were really hard for me and I couldn’t feel a good race form until 4km in. It’s ironic because the first six kilometers were pretty much downhill.
I finished 5K in 29:27 and was relieved to know that if I did lowly 6-minute kilometers until the end, I still hadn’t broken one hour. I hate it when the clock rolls over. :S However, I knew that nearly all the elevation lost over four kilometers was made up in 1.5km. And I tend to positively split (run the second half slower than the first).
For the 6th to 7.5th kilometer – which was roughly uphill – I had the novel pleasure of running on Old Marine Road. With tree cover, it was tranquil like a trail but the road was wide and paved. There was an opening in the trees and we were treated to a view of the Strait of Georgia, a long thin strip of Iona Beach, views of airplanes landing at YVR, and timber piles floating in the sparkling water.
I hit 8K at 48:00 and had to battle with the clock to get the last two kilometers within 12 minutes. And I did! I did it in 10.5 minutes, in fact!
Normally, I do not remember my fellow racers but there was a woman in a black top with red stitching who laboured audibly in front and behind me throughout the race. We were neck-and-neck in the final stretch and I had the oomph to sprint past her at the end. :D
As for some final post-race thoughts:
* It was a fabulous running day! I heard it usually rains during the November Fall Classic but there was nary a rain drop.
* The beige New Balance hoodie looks and feels okay but lacks tailored detail and gorgeous fall colours in the logo! “Freebies” were available in the form of samples of Neutrogena’s awesome Ultra Sheer sunblock and Goody Stayput (rubberized) hair elastics. The sunblock has been handed out at other races this year – I’ve tried it and love it – and I’ll get a full-size when the need arises; and the elastic bands apparently cost a pretty penny!
* I liked how the race took over the gym at UBC. It was dry and warm – quite the requirement during the rainy years! – and there was a changing room downstairs with the biggest “treat”: indoor plumbing.
* For food afterwards, I gobbled down some totally satisfying chili and a chocolate fudge-y oat square. Yum.
* I am actually quite happy with my result – I had to remind myself that the pain was temporary while ruing your result would last for days following.
* Pacing can be a bit of a problem for me and there is little room for error in a 10K race! I found that relying on my GPS-linked watch, which was probably accurate, could be very discouraging. In the second half, I stopped watching the pace reading it was so liberating! The next time I race a short distance, I’m turning the GPS off!
All the stats —
Chip time 58:27 (exactly three minutes slower than my PB, July 1, 2007)
492 of 883 finishers
240 of 554 females
71 of 141 females in my age category