Thank you, everyone, for your kind and supportive words after making my decision about running Hamilton. I’m still getting some shockvibes from friends who, like you, have watched my training and are questionning why. For me, family has to come first; the marathon will follow – just not next month.
In no way, though, do I feel like this is a setback; nor is it a bump in the road. This morning’s race confirmed that.
The Kerr Street Ministries 5K Run has been a monkey on my back for the past year. I was planning to run it last year when, just a week before, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. For whatever reason, I have had some underlying fear that I would get sick again this fall – around Thanksgiving and just in time for the Turkey Trot. For that reason, I didn’t talk about the race; I was afraid of being jinxed.
In fact, I hardly even thought about it. When I registered and checked out the awards, I saw that age groups were under 18, 19 to 29, 30 to 49 and 50+. That twenty year spread in my age group annoyed me; what hope does someone at the top of that division really have in competing against a 30 year old. So there was no pressure; my only goal for this race was simple: break 21 minutes.
My summer racing has been strong and with the exception of last week, my speed work has paid off. On Saturday, when I bailed on my long run, the thought of this race and wanting to run well did pop into my head. Really, 21 minutes should be doable.
This morning, everything was in my favour. The boys were calm, Daddy surprised us in the car when he said he was going to run too (talk about a last minute entry!) and the weather was perfect, 10C without any noticeable wind.
The Kids’ 1K run was first. Little Ironman and I stood in the corral waiting; I planned to use his run as part of my warm-up. But thirty seconds before the horn sounded, he looked at me, “Mommy, I need to go to the baffroom.” Needless to say, he missed his run, despite all of my “Are you sure’s?”
I missed my warm-up. We stood in the porta-potty line for 10 minutes, and I desperately needed those ten minutes to run and stretch – especially with my asthma and after Saturday’s long run. Instead, I got in a quick 10 minute jog and stretch and headed for the start line.
Running buddy, Shawn, and I stood close to the front and commented on the crowd around us: kids in oversized clothes, girls in boots, one couple sharing an iPod. Yes, it was going to be a tricky start; he warned me about staying on my feet. hmmm.
The horn went and we took off. I could tell he was headed for a sub 20. Another running buddy, Richard from Daily Mile, ran ahead of me and I aimed to keep him in sight. But my thighs felt rubbery and my lungs weren’t quite open enough for the pace I wanted. So, I ran hard (but comfortably hard), worked to pass people and pushed myself to get way from the stinky man in black. Seriously. I was having enough trouble getting my air flowing in the first two kilometres; filling my lungs with BO just wasn’t what I needed.
But I did manage to escape him. A few men passed me and I passed them back but, most of the race, I felt like I was running alone. By the time I got to 4K, I was warmed up enough to pick up my pace to the finish, with a time of 20:56. Goal achieved.
Hubby came in later (Yeah, Daddy!), followed by Shawn’s wife and 9 year old son (finishing in 33 minutes – wow!) and Delilah’s mom and aunt, who walked the 5K.
We were so busy cheering in our friends that we hadn’t even checked the times before the awards started. They were the fastest awards ever, due to the few age groups, and the runners’ times weren’t called. So, I was delighted when they announced my name as the first age group winner for the 30 to 49 age group.
On our way back to the car, Shawn and I talked about our times (his, by the way, was 19:50). I told him that I will catch up to him; that is a realistic goal as long as he doesn’t get any faster. It’s a good thing we’re doing tempos this Wednesday night.