This Saturday I ran my first 10 km. Now obviously since I have ran half marathons before, I have ran 10km but I have never raced that distance. Unlike normal people, I didn’t start racing with a 5km, build up to a 10 km and then to a half marathon. The very first race I ever signed up for was a half marathon.
This 10km race was part of the Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) Race series. MEC races are great because they take place across the city in different parks, they are chip timed and only cost $15. Now that’s my kind of deal.
Of course, Saturday was the coldest day of the week here. While it has been a beautiful 12-14 Celsius, suddenly the temperature dived down to -5 for race day. When we got up that morning, Tom tried to convince me that we shouldn’t go run because it was too cold. I was having none of that! After all, my Run for L’Arche was twice as cold and twice as long!
So we headed downtown to the start line. I was pretty nervous. I had no idea how to race a 10km. I didn’t want to push too hard at the beginning and struggle towards the end. I decided my plan would be to try to start out slow and aim for negative splits. I used my same 4 minute run-40 second walk strategy.
Tom ran with me for about the first 500m and then he took off to run his own race. I felt really good during this race, I wasn’t having any pain in my legs and my pace was going well despite the wind in our faces. It was at the 4km mark that I saw the first person coming back towards the finish. I’m always amazed by how fast those people are. But I also find it encouraging knowing that somewhere up ahead is the turn around point. After that point I was on the lookout for Tom, I wanted to know just how far ahead of me he was. I was looking and looking and then I hit the 5km marker and yet still no Tom and no turn around point! (I didn’t realize the course wasn’t an exact there and back so we ran a little past 5km before we turned back). But it was just after the 5km mark that I saw Tom. We gave each other a high five as we passed. At this point I knew, he wasn’t all that much in front of me! And that just kicked up my drive to go faster.
Kilometers 6-8 I really kicked up the pace. But then at kilometre 8, we got hit again by a wind head on. My pace slowed a little bit at this point but I also skipped a walking break so that I could maintain my average. Suddenly, I was at kilometre 9 and realized I only had one left. Right near the finish line Tom was waiting for me so he could grab some action shots of me.
As I neared the finish line I saw the clock was at 59:17, I pushed as hard as I could and crossed at 59:27.
Overall, my goal going into the race was under 1 hour. While I was wearing my watch during the race, I never looked at what my time was, I only looked at my intervals. After I crossed I felt a little disappointed, in my mind I thought I was going faster than that. But still, I came in under that hour mark and that was an accomplishment for me.
Afterwards, Tom and I headed to Cora’s. I decided to celebrate with a strawberry waffle!
When we got home we checked out our official time and I saw this…
Umm, while I wish I had run that fast I knew there was a mistake. Boy did I feel sorry for the person who ended up with my time! I was kind of bummed because this was my first 10km and I wanted an official time. But I checked again on Sunday and they had fixed the error. Probably the person who ran in 36 minutes complained. So my official time ended up being 59:19. Tom’s official time was 49:20.
At least now I have a time to beat. My next 10km is on June 1, the Jugo Juice 10km which is part of the Calgary Marathon. I hope to beat my time although I will have only been back from Europe for 3 days so I won’t be in tip top shape either.
What’s your favourite post-race food?