Saturday, October 3, 2009

Flatlander's PR

Distance: 13.1 miles
Unofficial time: 2:12:48 - a PR by 11 minutes, 54 seconds
Pace: 10:08 min/mile, 54 seconds per mile faster than last year

Where do I start?

Ah, the morning.

Chou Chou has mostly switched back to mountain time...except in the morning. She's up at 5:15 saying "Hi!" and ready to smooch and cuddle and then play. Mum and daddy are not. Mr. Wumpus was incredibly sweet this morning to get up with her at that ungodly hour and take her down for breakfast. I slept until 6:30.

My race started at 10, which is both good and bad. Good, because I slept well knowing that I didn't need to wake up extra early to make it in time, but bad because 10 is kind of late. I tried to eat at the right time, drink enough and have coffee but not over do it. It was tough. Nine am would have been better. Whatever.

We headed into town and I was one of the first to pick up my pack, then we headed to Tim's. Then the baby fell asleep. Lucky bastard.

After two bathroom breaks and a quick realization that most people have some sort of warm up routine (I do not), it was time to toe the line. It was cool (5 degrees C), but I went out in just my long sleeved shirt and shorts. I had my jacket on but rarely have run in it, so I left it behind. It was the right decision.

Playing on the bleachers while everyone else warmed up.

Jittery, chilly but ready to go.

And we're off!

This was the first year the race was timed with chips, and the first time I've run with disposable chips (they're on a piece of paper you loop on your laces). Besides being flatter than my last race, this race was also super friendly. No one talked to me during my first half (but there were tonnes of cheering folks), but for this race, I had a running buddy by the first kilometer. By the third or fourth, we had gained another friend. I found out quickly that I should have chosen my friends more carefully - Dorothy finished a full three weeks ago (in 4:36) and Cecilia finished a half three weeks ago in 2:11. I was hoping for a sub 2:20. Was I out of my league?

Well, yes. But after last week's run with the midwife, where I realized I wasn't pushing myself enough, I decided that I needed somebody shooting for a faster time than me (but not by too much) and I needed to run with them as long as I could.

Dorothy chatted on and off, keeping me entertained. She has a brother who farms who is completely blind, which I found fascinating. She also thought (like me) when she started running that walking was not allowed. So funny.

By the 8 km mark, I knew Dorothy was itching to take off, and me and Cecilia were more evenly matched. A side stitch had me walking a bit and Cecilia gave me pointers on getting rid of it. At 10 km Dorothy was pulling away and I checked my watch: 59:27 - the fastest 10 km I've ever done by a full 5 minutes. My hips were hurting a bit and I knew I was going much faster than usual. I knew at some point I'd have to run my own race. I knew I'd lose Cecilia near the end, but I just decided to stick with her as long as I could.

At the 11 km mark, we were joined by Coralee. She finished her last half in 2:06 and wasn't looking to go any faster this time out. She was friendly, fun and made the next few km fly by.

I hit my honeymoon mile (the 8th) and actually ran out in front of Coralee and Cecilia for a solid 5 minutes, only to have them catch me, then pull away. I kept them in my sights and caught back up to Cecilia by the 16 km (10 mile) mark. We ran together for another 10 minutes, but my legs and left hip had decided they only wanted to do 10 miles. I told them that based on my watch we were looking at possibly a 10 minute PR and there was no way in hell I was giving up.

The last 2 miles hurt, but nothing like last year. I knew I had a PR, maybe even by more than 10 minutes, so I cranked the iPod (I hardly used it all race) and lifted my chest and started swinging my legs.

The race ends on the track and as I turned through the trees, there was the husband and Chou waiting and cheering, "you're going to be under 2:15" the husband says - "I know!" I shouted, as I kissed Chou and climbed on to the track.

The track felt lovely and soft, and while I didn't pick up the pace much (oh, were my legs screaming), I had a good cadence and kept it up. At the 21 km mark, the husband let Chou down and she ran, smiling to me. I scooped her up and we ran the last 100 m together - much to the amusement of the crowd who clapped and cheered and exclaimed things like "Too cute!' and "That is so adorable." yeah, I know.

Cruising home in 2:12.48. Holy crap.

All done! Chou kissed my medal. Nice.

The Ministry of Silly Walks walk

Post-race sushi. Not quite Cora's brunch, but a close second.

I learned a lot this race. I learned that I'm way too easy on myself and that yes, track workouts and hills are necessary to get faster. I confirmed that strength and cross training is important. Case in point, at this point last year I was just glad to be done my race and I proceeded to NOT RUN for a month. Yeah, not good. This year? I'm looking at signing up for a hypothermic half (in January) and I've got runs penciled in for the coming week. Mentally, I'm in a better place after this race and I'm still loving running. That's a big deal.

I also met friendly, fun people on this run, and the way this run went really drives home the message that I must, must, must run with a buddy at least now and again. Sure, I'd love to have my Jen P and midwife here, but that's not going to happen all that often, so I need to branch out and meet new runners.

I'm feeling fine, Internets. I'm feeling inspired and motivated. I'm feeling like I want to run some more. I'm feeling like I could demolish a chocolate sundae. I'm also feeling a lot of pain in my legs, folks, but it's all good.

It's all good.


Smithers said...

WooHoo! Great job! You have officially made me feel like a lazy sack of poo.

Keep up the momentum! :)

Jennifer P said...

High 5! So we're on for Winkler on Saturday? ;)
Glad you were able to meet some other runners -- it will make training for your January 1/2 much funner. Hey, maybe I should come out and do that one with you! That way if I do into labour you'll already be there.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Lynds! Congrats on the PR, on finishing, on doing it! Can't wait to see you!
luv J9

Sarah said...

Great job! A PR is always very satisfying :)
Any more thoughts on the midwifery stuff? We've been busy getting ready for the big move to Brisbane... our furniture is leaving in a couple of days so we've been packing up our house. Scary and exciting all at once. Anyway I hope you are well and congratulations again!!

Beth said...

Wow! A PR and you had a fun time. That's great. I hear you about the 10 am start. That would be late for me, too. So glad that you learned a lot and that you are excited about your training. Congratulations!