Even walking to the start line I wasn't sure how I was going to run this race....would I take it easy, or leave it all on the pavement? A part of me wanted to 'race' this, but I really had no idea what my body would let me do...
Before the race I was talking to my coach's sister, Nadine. She was looking for someone to run with and her goal was to come in under and hour - I thought that sounded pretty good so I said I'd run with her. It's always nice to have someone to run with, but we agreed that if either of us wanted to 'giver' that we'd just do our own thing.
We started out at a pretty good pace, still able to talk, but managing to pass many people. The race course was changed a bit this year because of construction on Banff Avenue, but of course 'the Hill' was still there. You could almost feel the anxiety and energy of the runners increase as we neared the base of 'the Hill'.
As soon as I got near it the wee voice in my head started chanting 'kill that hill!'. So I decided that's what I would do. I had a pretty good pace at the start, which of course slowed a bit as I went on, but I was happy with my leg strength. I swear that hill is never ending...you round a corner and thinks it done, but no, there's more....then another corner and more hill. It actually gets pretty steep, but nothing I couldn't handle. Heck I have to run up a long hill at the end of my training runs just to get home! I was really pleased as I got to the top that I didn't stop running and I kept a good pace. My heart rate was pretty damn high, about 175 bpm, but that was to be expected.
Nadine was behind me by a bit on the hill, but caught up by then time we ran down the other side. I got a stitch in my side at this point, but just watched my breathing and managed to get rid of it pretty quickly. Phew!
Without actually verbalizing what we were gonig to do, both Nadine and I started to pick up the pace at the 5k mark. I didn't want to look down at my watch to see what time we were at (I never do during races), but after the race Nadine said we hit it around the 30 minute mark.
We still had to run down the cave and basin part of the run, and then soon enough we'd be at the finish. It was about this point when I remembered someone saying to me that 10km is going to seem really short after doing an Ironman. I gotta say, it didn't really feel that short at this point, haha. We had a pretty good pace going and I definately wasn't doggin it. The hill to the cave and basin is a bit decieving, it seems sort of steep on the way down. I had to remind myself it's not as bad as it looks on the way up, and for the most part it wasn't.
It's really cramped along there too. Tons of runners and a very narrow path. It makes it hard to pass people. As we went around the turnaround Nadine started scooching around people. I did my best to follow. I got stuck behind one fellow for a while, but managed to finally pass and get beside Nadine. We definitely weren't talking anymore, haha. Both of us were breathing pretty hard but we knew we had less than 2km to go and wanted to give it all we had. By the 1 km mark I was wheezing and somehow muttered between intervals of sucking air that I needed my inhaler when I was done, haha.
Finally we were back at the top and running through the trails to the finish. With all the people standing around the finish it's hard not to pick the pace up just a smidge more...that smidge more wasn't too much more though! LOL.
My official finishing time was 56:39 and I placed 81/635 in my division. (My first negative split I should mention - hooyah!!) For fun I looked up my 10 km time from 2004 - it was 57:43 and I placed 149/752. Well go figure, an improvment! Not too shabby for someone who has only run 3 times since IMC! haha. Needless to say, I'm totally stoked about my time and my race performance in general.
The rest of the Cochrane gang did really well with their races as well. I was really happy for everyone. After the race we hung out for a bit, then headed out for some celebratory sushi. Mmmm...sushi, my first most favourite happy food.
Oh, and as a reward treat, I picked up my second most favourite happy food....an M&M and caramel covered apple. An awesome end to an awesome race day!!! YIPPEE-KAI-YAY!!!!