Today I was running a 15k race in Merville, BC as part of the Island Series and Warren was running a hilly 10k race in Halifax, NS put on by Mountain Equipment Co-op. By the time I was leaving to head up island he was finished his run. (The one time there is a perk of a 4 hour time difference.) He came in 4th place overall and felt great about his run which I was happy to hear. Very proud of you Warren!
Nadine, a fellow runner from run club, and I were driving to Merville. It was nice not to have to drive the 2.5-3 hours solo. I have chatted with Nadine at run club and at various races but it was fun to just sit and drive along and find out more about her and her life…and her more about mine. Time flew by.
We arrived in Merville an hour before the race was to start and since we had been sitting in a car for a while it was good to have time to stretch our legs. We got our numbers and then said a few hello’s to people we knew. We then headed out for a little warm up. The sun was shining and it was a bit cool but overall a nice day for running. I had been worried when we left Langford because it had been raining and I didn’t really want to run in the rain…if I didn’t have to.
The race didn’t start at the Community Centre where we parked and left our thing, so we had a few minutes to run or walk to get to the start line. We headed to the start doing an easy jog. Nadine had never ran this race before so I let her know that where the start line was would not be the same place that we finished. I had made that mistake last year and started picking up my pace too soon in the run because I had thought that the finish line was where the start had been. It was on the same road…just a lot farther down. This year I was prepared.
I started a few people from the front like always. My Merville 15k Wobble playlist was ready to go, my watch was set with last year’s race time, 1:06:06, and my race flats were on, tied tight and no rocks in them. I was ready to go. 5,4,3,2,1 and we were off. I started out running with people around me but it didn’t take long and we spread out. I could see people in front of me but there wasn’t anyone close behind me or so it felt. I ran along, checking my watch every kilometer to see if I was on pace. If I wanted to maintain last year’s time I had to keep a 4:25/km pace. I was ahead of pace but I was feeling good so I didn’t want to slow down too much. The first 7k of the run I ran at 4:22/pace roughly and was ahead of my half way mark time by about 2 minutes. That made me happy but it also made me wonder if I could maintain that pace for another 8k?
I then thought about something Nick, owner of Frontrunners Westshore had told me on Thursday night and the trouble with looking at your watch while you run. Sometimes people look at it too often and they become obsessed with it. They think if the falter a little off their pace than they need to go hard to ‘make up’ the time or they just dwell on it too much and go to the negative side and the fact that they ‘lost’ pace. I didn’t want to be obsessed with my watch so I just went with how I was feeling. I was also running uphill for some of the start of the run and then I was running downhill so I would even out. I was out there to run my run.
As I ran along I was really getting into the beat of a few of my songs and had my hands moving and was singing. I was just enjoying my surroundings. I could see snowy mountains in the distance and they were beautiful. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. It was the perfect day for a run and I was going to take it all in. Sure, I was racing but I could only see the people in front of me so it felt like I was the end of all the racers and I could do as I pleased. It was a nice way to run.
I reached the 10k mark and I was still feeling good. I was getting closer to people and passed the girl that I had been following behind. Check…one passed. I set my sights on another person and away I went. I hadn’t changed my pace, in fact I was running slower, about a 4:27/km pace but it would all work out in the end.
Ahead I could see Binder. I met her for the first time at the Pioneer 8k race in January and we have spoken at all races since which has been nice. I know she is a good runner and wanted to try to catch up with her. There were a few people in front of me that I had to pass before I would get to her but I only had 3k left. Away I went…by the 2k mark I had passed her. I had looked at my watch and I had 8:30 minutes for 2k. It was going to be a struggle and I had to pick up my pace. Binder passed me and stayed ahead so she was my motivator. I was the bunny chasing the carrot.
I didn’t catch her but she got me through the last 2k. I crossed 5 seconds after her. Once I had caught my breath I talked to her and told her thanks for helping me to get through the run and she told me the same thing. It was a win win situation.
I finished overall 3rd in my age group in a time of 1:05:52 which was a personal best for me for that course. Nadine finished in 4th place in her age group and was happy with her time and enjoyed her run.
Where is your happy place? What do you enjoy doing?