I love racing!
This weekend I made a voyage to Victoria to race 10 km on the roads. The field was tough and there was a lot of talent to compete with. The pace was fast and hard and I am happy to report I am pleased with my run.
After spending a day strolling around the city I woke up this morning a bit early, ready to run. After my coffee and bagel I made my way to the start line. Within the first block of running I knew I was going to have a good day. My legs felt great and the attitude was golden. As I finished my warm up and hit the start line I gazed across the line to see who all was in this race. Basically 15 of the top 20 runners in BC as well as a few peeps like Simon Whitfield. Going into the race, based on last year's results, I was hoping for a top 5 finish. After looking at the start line I was hoping for a top 15.
The start went out exactly how I wanted. The first km went by in 3:07 and felt quite easy. I positioned myself at the back of the second group as we began the long trek out to the turn around point. There was a considerable wind so I thought I would just fall in behind, turn off my brain and run. The pack was led by Colin Fewer from Newfoundland and he did a wonderful job of holding the pace into the wind. Of course coming from Newfoundland he did not think this was wind at all. We continued rolling along at 3:05/3:03 km pace for the next 4 km. Through the first 6 km I can honestly say I felt like I was in a tempo run. It felt calm and easy and the leaders of the group did a wonderful job of staying even and setting the pace. We went through 5 km on 15:27. At this point I was a bit concerned we would end out a bit slow.
The second 5 km were very effortful. The pace picked up at 5 km and we began to test each other. By the time 6 km came around I hit a bit of a bad patch and first contemplated dropping out the race. I always think it is amazing the voices that go through my head when racing. I got my mind back in the game and made a bit of a surge to get to the front of the pack and push the pace. I could see Steve Osaduik up ahead and it looked like he was going to come back to us. This is a scalp I would love to have. I was starting to struggle a bit at this point and with 2 km to go I fell back a bit as the group put in a bit of a surge. As with most races that go well I cannot remember the last mile of the race very well. It hurt a lot, I did not fight as hard as I am capable of but I almost ran myself unconscious. I do remember thinking that 1600 meters is just over 4 minutes, I remember thinking 1 km is 3 minutes of pain and the last thing I remember about the race is seeing the clock and seeing 30:35...
I crossed the line in 30:49, a new best time! I am super happy with my run. I was 11th overall which I am a bit disappointed with. I had the opportunity to run down a few guys in the last 500 meters but I did not have the fire to catch those athletes. The difference would have been a few seconds but also a cheque to come home with. All in all I am very happy with a new personal best. Sub 31 minutes was not a fluke!
Looking forward I am really excited for Sunrun. I knew I was going to run well today and this effort sets me up well for the event of the year (even better then Gay Pride!). I have more to give and am super motivated to get some quick hard workouts in over the next two weeks. I want scalps at Sunrun and I am fired up to get them!
I had a great time today at the race. I love racing and I love running. In many ways it feels like I am home when I am at a race. Within the corps of runners in BC I have many friends and acquaintances who are a lot of fun to catch up with at races. The hugs are flowing and the conversation energetic and exciting. All the talk is of running and finding out about California Races and training times and a few details about life. The world of the elite runner is a place based on achievement and success. Individuals are valued for being successful and trying hard. You need to be good to be invited into the club and that is something rare these days. Sometimes I feel that when I am in the running world I can be who I really am. I am a type A over achiever and I do not have to knock myself down to a lower level to feel like I belong when within the runner's realm. Every once and a while when I have not raced for a while I forget how much I enjoy the world of the athlete. I am happy to be back!