Well, today was the last run in the VIRA series and I ran seven out of the eight because Warren and I were away for the first one.
I got up at 5:00am today after tossing and turning for awhile. I felt tired when I got up but I just wasn’t able to sleep. As I puttered around the house I could hear the birds chirping outside. I knew then that the day was going to be a beautiful one…and it was. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The drive to Sooke is about 20ish minutes away. As I started driving to the race I realized that I didn’t have my headphones for my iPod. I turned around and headed back home. I love running with my iPod and some days I can run without it but I knew I needed it to get me through after yesterday’s long run.
As I headed out to Sooke for the 10k run I just wasn’t feeling it. I flip flopped in my head all morning if I would try and “race” it or if I would just run it as to how I felt. It ended up that I did a bit of both. The first part of the run I just ran to how I felt. I have done runs in the past that were watch-less so I have a good sense of what my pace is. Another sign to help me was other runners around me that I typically run with. As we ran along I felt tired but I kept telling myself it was only 10k and it was the only thing I had to do today. As we rounded the halfway marker I was happy. I started to see other runners I knew coming my way and I cheered them on as they cheered me on. I like that part of races.
The return part of the 10k is uphill. It is a rolling up hill but in some places the hill just feels really long. The good part I find about hills is that I get to change my running style. I move to the balls of my toes and pump my arms. But something new I have just added is pumping my arms like I am pulling a number ticket from a deli counter machine (Thank you Sean). The change in motion up the hill feels good and it breaks up the run.
As I reached the last 2k I told myself “You only have to run for 8 more minutes”. Warren told me that he says that when he reaches the 1km marker so even though I don’t run 4 minute kilometers I like to think that way as I approach the end of a run. It gets me through and today that is when I got into “race mode”. As I approached the finish and just before I rounded the I saw Cindy. I was so happy to see a familiar face. She and a few others were ringing bells and cheering loudly. I got goosebumps as I ran by and told her “Thank you”. Seeing her was just what I needed to get myself to the finish.
I finished the race in 45:02 and was only off by six seconds from last years time. I will take it proudly and overall I placed second in my age group for today’s run.
After this race they always announce the VIRA series results for the top finishers in each age category. After placing either first or second for all of the seven runs I took part in I figured I would either be first or second for my age group. Well, I ended up first! Whoop! This was very exciting for me because I have never had this happen in the four years I have been taking part in the series. For placing first overall I got a nice medal and I also got a gift certificate from Frontrunners to get a pair of Saucony sneakers. I would like to send a shout out to Katie and Lisa who stuck around to see me get my prize. Thank you ladies for giving up some time in the sun for me.
Overall I had a great running season with the VIRA races. Yes, I placed in the top two for all races (which was a first), but I enjoy the series for more than just winning a medals. For me the series is about meeting new people and gaining friendships from a larger network of runners who are from all over the island. I get to see my fellow club members achieve their goals. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the food afterwards. I love how every year each race has the same food provided for each race.
Something neat happened to me today as well while I was having a massage after the run. Marion, from the Comox Valley Road Runners asked me if I would go to Boston if I qualified for it when I run in Ottawa? I said that running in Boston wasn’t something that I had ever thought about doing until some friends asked me about it. She said “Well, if you qualify and decide to go, let me know because I would go with you.” Really?! Wow I thought and I told her if I did qualify and I got in I would go next year. I wouldn’t wait for another year to qualify again. So, why is this so neat to me? Because I see Marion only at the races from January to April, every other weekend and we chit chat back and forth but not long chats. She has never been and wants to go so to say she would go with me feels good. I told her I would let her know how things went and we could plan it if it happened.
I am more and more loving the running community and have met so many great people. The same is happening with yoga for me and the people I am meeting through Moksha Yoga Westshore.
Now off to enjoy another one of these to celebrate.
What community are you part of that you have met new friends? Would you submit your name to run in Boston if you qualified?