I’ve really fallen behind in keeping up with updates here, my summer has been busy, and I’ve hardly had time to keep up with my running, let alone blogging about my running. I’ve done a couple of races over the last few weeks, and they both have gone really well. I hope it is indicative of how in shape, and ready for this marathon that I’m becoming! I’m focusing on believing that I am ready and going to rock it, because when I step back, I’m a little scared to death about trying to finish with what I feel is an ambitious time goal.
Moose Mountain 16 km Race
I’ll start with the Moose Mountain 16 km race. Lori and I did this race 3 years ago, and love the trails here so much! We have done a number of training runs on these trails, and were both eager to get back to the race. We were registered last year, but because of the floods, it was cancelled 😦
Because this race was in the middle of marathon training, we had planned to run some warm-up km’s first and then race the 16 k. Well the week before the race Lori’s knee really started bothering her suddenly and though she had stopped running, iced, rolled, and done everything she could to fix whatever was wrong, come Sunday morning it still wasn’t right, so she unfortunately decided (wisely) to not race. It sort of took the wind out of my sails, I was looking forward to being out there with her and conquering the race at the same time! I decided to run my warm-up from home, instead of out in the mountains alone. So I ran an easy 6k in Fish Creek, then got home, grabbed my gear and drove out to Bragg Creek.
As soon as I drove into the parking lot at the telephone loop, I saw a familiar face, Tina from Fabulosi-T!! Immediately, I felt a bit better, and was happy that I had made the trek out there. We chatted, checked in and made our way to the start line. We each snapped a ‘before’ pic, and it was only a few minutes until they were announcing the start of the 16k race.
I wasn’t sure of what strategy I was going to race with, but as always, I find it hard to do anything but race hard. The word was that the course was very wet and muddy, so I had come prepared in my trail shoes, and some dark colored knee high compression socks. I started out with the plan that I would not try to avoid any water or mud, because it wouldn’t be long until my feet were wet and dirty, so I might as well dive right in. Well it certainly was wet and muddy, and I stormed through a lot of mud and water throughout the course. It was a good thing my laces were secure, as there were sections that could have easily sucked up a shoe!
The race went by fast, and I ran as hard as I could given the conditions. I saw a few people around me, and passed a few, but really didn’t pass or get passed by many people. There were a few fast marathoners that passed me during the final stretch of their race. This always amazes me… I’m running my 16k hard, and they’ve already been to the top of the mountain and back down and still have faster legs than I can muster. Simply amazing.
I didn’t really know where I was placed as I was running, I thought there were a handful of women ahead of me, but hadn’t really seen many people, so just ran my own race as hard as I could. As I crossed the finish line, in a time I was very happy with – it was 11 minutes faster than I had run 2 years earlier, someone pulled me aside, wanted my bib number, name, and wrote it all down. I looked down and they were writing my name next to the 16k 3rd place female slot! WOW! I was most thrilled that there were some really cool placement prizes for this race. They had commissioned a local artist to create a print of Moose Mountain, and had a set of 3 for each race, and gender placement. It’s a beautiful print, and I’m thrilled to have earned one.
Calgary Corporate Challenge
Today was the Calgary Corporate Challenge 10k race. A few months ago when they sent out the email asking for participants for different Corporate Challenge events, I put my name down for the 10k, not knowing what I’d be up for, but thinking it would be a great way to meet people at a new workplace and glad to step up and represent our company. I sort of forgot about it, and planned out my fall marathon schedule. Then a few weeks ago they sent out an email with our names and some details… oh right, I said I would run this 10k race. I looked at my schedule and I had a 32k long run, and 88 km’s, hmmm, not the ideal week for a race. Oh well, I decided, I’d see if they actually needed me to run, and knew that I could also just run it, and not race it if it came down to it. Well they only had 3 women, and had been begging people to join the team, so I couldn’t very well bail on them, and as I’ve said before, I really suck at NOT racing.
I woke up this morning with a sore neck and feeling a bit wiped out. I had come off a physically hard week of training, plus an emotionally hard week as we had my grandmother’s funeral in Edmonton yesterday. I got up and ate some cereal, drank some coffee and made my way to the start to meet my team. We met at 7:45, and had to get our team registered and checked in. Once this was done, and we all took a bathroom stop, we made our way to the start. The field is pretty competitive at this event, with a lot of sub 40 minute runners. Some of the larger companies even have try-out’s to be able to run for their team. Us little guys are just happy to find 6 people who can run 10k. I lined up halfway between 40 and 50 minutes and waited for the gun.
Once the gun went off I was off, I looked down at my garmin after a couple hundred meters to see what pace we were running and realized I hadn’t started it! Ooops! Oh well, I started my garmin, and carried on. I decided to keep my pace as close to 4:30/km as I could, letting it slow a bit on the uphills and quicken on the downhills. I was hoping to get as close to 45 minutes as I could. I went along, without music or anything just enjoying watching the field of runners. My splits were all fairly close to 4:30, with a couple slower ones during km’s that had some up hill. I drank water at all 3 water stations. I thought it would be good practice to drink at 10k race pace, as I’m thinking about not carrying water for my marathon in October. I did well, managing to not choke on any water, but just getting about one gulp swallowed per station.
I wondered where my legs would begin to protest the week’s mileage, and whether I would have to reign in my pace at some point, but I continuted to feel ok, and just kept cruising. I didn’t have any extra juice in them, and as we ran towards the finish at Central Memorial High School, the road is slightly uphill, and it was all I could do to keep my pace even. I pushed as hard as I could and my gun time ended up at 45:24!! It was a new 10k PR for me, which I’m particularly thrilled with considering I’m at 88 km’s for the week! Not only is that a new 10k PR, but a weekly mileage PR for me! I’m taking this as a confidence boost for the Okanagan Marathon, and really hoping this means that I will be able to finish under 3:45 with a few seconds to spare even 🙂