Another race recap! I know many of you race a lot more than me. Some of you even toe the line multiple times in a month. As much as I love the race day atmosphere, I just can’t race every weekend. Firstly because I can’t afford it (seriously…where is the jackpot out there that allows you to fork out hundreds of dollars a month. Someone out there is hoarding and I demand some sharsies), and secondly, as much as I hate to admit it, I just don’t have the physical stamina to push myself on a regular basis anymore. In short, I’m old and I’m broke. So when I do race, you know that it’s a race that I’m going to enjoy the heck out of.
The Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service (WFPS) race fits that bill and then some. It’s only in its 4th year and this is easily one of the best events our city has to offer its runners. And by the way that its grown in that time, I know I’m not alone in my praise for this one. I ran the half the first year and loved it. I was injured in year 2 and about a month postpartum with my baby girl last year so I was itching to get back to it this year. I’m just over a year postpartum now and though I toyed with the idea of signing up for the half, logic and time to train (or lack thereof) told me the 10K would be a smarter option (please reference prior comment to being old…and possibly a wee bit wise???). And I’m so glad I chose the 10K. Up until a few days before the race, my foot and knee were still giving me a bit of grief from the Lemming Loop race a couple of weeks prior. I also caught another cold (thanks kids!) just before race day so I knew there was a good chance I would be at my best. I was also a week bit (re: completely) undertrained running-wise soooooooo…..
My old age has apparently mellowed me quite a bit too because race day jitters have been non-existent for awhile now when it comes to road races (I still get nervous sweat thinking about obstacle races). I knew that there was a good chance this would not be a great run for me so the goal was to have fun and listen to my body.
Loaded up with some warm layers, my awesome Polar M400 and heart rate strap, the new PRO Compression marathon elite socks and a playlist so old I wondered it there would be enough motivation in my music to pass the time, I headed across town to get myself ready to rock. This was also the first race I’ve ever done where I was going by myself. That was also weird for me. I had a friend I was going to try and connect with at the venue who was also running the 10K and knew of a couple of people from Fukumoto Fitness who would be there but otherwise, no carpool, no family (not unusual, my family isn’t all that interested in my running and since I had the van, there was no way hubby could get the kids there to cheer the runners on).
Race day was gorgeous. Temperatures around freezing (which is my favorite to run in), sunny skies and Fall all around us. Bliss. I had a finish time in my head but wasn’t hung up about it. I always have a sub-1-hour goal for the 10K but that’s more of a dream finish time because I’ve done it only twice and I had a ton more running under my belt for each time.
Right from the start, I felt pretty good. The energy was good, there were lots of runners but enough space to move around and my body warmed up pretty quickly. Around mile 2 my knee started to bug me but not enough that I felt like something was wrong. At the halfway point, I was a couple of minutes faster than predicted and on pace to come in around the time I had hoped to finish in, around 1:05-1:10. The cold air actually helped me and my chest didn’t feel as congested which was awesome. I felt great!
It wasn’t until we had less than a km left that I checked my time to see how I was doing. My knee was bothering and my hip was getting really tight. I hadn’t needed a walk and still felt really good overall. I was shocked to see that I was at 58:xx. I obviously knew that a sub-1-hour was not going to happen but wondered if I could cross at 1:02 (my A+ goal…yes, I have a lot of goals when I run). Deciding to see what I had left, I kicked it up and picked up my pace for the last 3/4 of that km. I can’t say I crossed the finish line triumphantly (my knee giving out 100m from the finish was less than ideal but I managed to hobble across with most of my dignity still intact) but I was happy, happy, happy with how I did.
Official time: 1:01:59.
Not a PR but my best race result since before kids (over 6 years ago!). And without doing much running and relying on my conditioning from my workouts at the gym, I was beyond pumped. For the first time, I really feel like I could shave that number down and next year, I plan to go for it!
Overall, awesome day, awesome race and I am really proud of finishing well. I’m already looking forward to next year and my hopeful return to the half marathon course!