This post was supposed to go up yesterday… but I’ve been home sick and so have had very little energy to do anything but the bare minimum, so no writing or publishing happened… Trying to get back on track today, so here it is… Better late than never…
Remember on Thursday, when I said I had signed up for an 8k race that “I believe[d] to be a relatively flat course”… Yeah, so about that… it wasn’t very flat… In fact, after a quick little down hill at the start line and a couple hundred meters of nice flat along the water, the rest of the first 3 km of the race were pretty much all up hill… and not a slow hill… we are talking a big steep hill… for 3km… Yeah, the joke was on me for not researching the course better.
Add to that the fact that Thursday night (after I posted about the run), I started feeling a bit off… Slept really badly that night… I might have had a fever… And the next morning I woke with a sore throat and had managed to come down with one of the nasty bugs that were going around. Unfortunately, I was away for work, working at site, so I couldn’t just go back to bed and call in sick… Powered through working the morning, then started traveling home. Anyway, the point I’m making is that my body decided to attempt to thwart my racing in Sunday’s race as well… but while I had a bit of a froggy voice and was not 100% I didn’t want to waste the entry fee, so I went and raced.
I am not a “runner”, or at least in my head I don’t feel like a “real runner.” This was my first run organized by one of the local running clubs (vs one of the bigger local running events that have larger turnout and more “non-runners”), and I did feel a little out of place… As an example, I got chatting with a couple of the women in line for the toilet before the race, and they were comparing brands of runners, discussing the different shapes and the amount of support… I stood and listened, but didn’t add anything to the conversation… I normally just go to the store, find a pair that doesn’t have too many crazy colours on them in a medium to low price range, try them on, hopefully they fit my fat feet, and then be on my way. I don’t always buy a certain brand, or prefer this type over that type… If it fits and it in my price range, I’m good.
Anyway, back to my conversation before the race… the two women were discussing the different aspects of shoes, both wearing seemingly very specific running clothing as well. The older woman was a very lovely and sweet German woman in her mid-fifties who decided to do her first marathon for her 50th birthday. She was such a sweetheart and waited for me at the finish line because she knew I had registered alone and thought it would be nice to finish with some supporters. (See, wasn’t she just the biggest sweetheart?) Turns out I actually finished about 30 seconds before her, and am not a sweetheart… so I just left the finishing area and went straight to the free post-race food… I felt quite bad about it when she found me later and asked me how the race went…
The younger of the two women was telling us she was now in to “ultras”… I had no idea what an ultra was… but she went on to talk about training to run 100km… and how it wasn’t that big of a deal because they “give you like 24 hours to finish it, so it’s not about speed, just constant forward progress”… yeah, right… I didn’t pay attention to her bib number or anything, so I don’t know how she did in the 8k race, but that’s probably just a normal walk in the park for her. She is definitely a “real runner.”
Back to the race itself now… the race route was pretty nice, once you got up to the top of the hill… It went through some forested area, and it made me realize that I like trail running much better than road running. Unfortunately, there aren’t many trails that are right by my house, so I’d have to head out a bit further to get trails… which isn’t exactly what you want to do at 6am… but that might be fun to do every now and then.
The end of the race felt really good… I managed to end the race with a decent sprint… finishing at a pace that I’m sure is still slower than the pace the winners of the race ran for the entire 8k. But, I passed a least a half dozen people in that last 100m, so I’m happy with that. I think that’s my sports training coming in… (even when you are exhausted and feel like you have nothing left… you still have to sprint after someone or the ball…) Or maybe I just didn’t push myself enough through the rest of the race? Or I had finally recovered from the long uphill at the beginning?
My result was 50:06 on the master clock, but my chip time was 49:46. I didn’t beat my personal best time from last fall, but I’m happy with it. And I learned a few lessons about checking on the course before assuming it is flat.
Are you a “real runner”? Or do ever feel out of place?