Although I have a marathon coming up exactly one week after the TC10K, I did not hesitate to sign up for a shorter and faster race just to see where I was at. Last year, when I ran the race, I finished in 43:31 (chip time). Last year, I only wanted to see if I could finish the race without any pain, but my sub-45 minute first attempt at a 10k since my foot injury inspired me to run more in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.
This year, I wanted to beat it. My desire for a 10K PR and the fact that I had an awesome time at last year’s race were two great reasons to sign up again this year. So, I did. Also, some of my friends and coworkers were also doing the race.
I definitely think that events like these are not only a great opportunity to challenge yourself to do your best but also a wonderful time to socialize and connect with people who love the sport as much as you do.
Since I was doing primarily distance work, training for the BMO Marathon and the Run for Their Lives, I was not entirely sure how my 10K time would be affected by the lack of tougher speed work. In the past, I’ve never done a marathon and a 10K a week apart. However, I like to experiment.
The weeks leading up to the race, I made sure to always stay hydrated in training. The night before the race, I had a plate of spaghetti as a way to “carb-up”. I also prepare everything I need for race day the night before, which includes: making sure that my Garmin Forerunner 110 is charged, my Public Myth gear is clean and ready, my race bib is in an accessible place and I know what I’m going to eat and drink in the morning.
It was a great opportunity for me to test out my new Public Myth running shorts…and I gotta say-they’ve done it again! I’m super impressed with how comfortable the shorts were. They are the perfect length and they fit great! I love them!
So, I got up around 6:30 am, had a banana and an energy bar. I also made sure I was hydrated. I drank water and an energy drink. Since race started at 8:00am, I left the house around 7:15am to make sure that I get there on time and have time to warm up. I like to park a few blocks away from the start line because then I can jog down to where I need to be as opposed to trying to find closer parking. The jog also serves as a warm-up in addition to preparing me mentally and physically for the race.
When I got to the start line, I was so thrilled to see Rob Reid from Frontrunners/New Balance. Frontrunners and New Balance sponsored the TC10K. Every time I see Rob Reid, I get inspired to run/race even better than I had predicted. He is truly an inspiration and is highly knowledgeable of all things running.
Again, I started my Garmin Forerunner a few seconds earlier than gun time. The first km into the race felt slow as I finished in 4:21. I knew I had to speed up if I wanted to beat last year’s time. At the 5km mark, I was at 20:47, which I thought was right on pace to PR. The best part though: I felt great! (Last year, I hit the 5K mark at 21:25 and that felt too fast for me.) When I hit Dallas Road, it got pretty windy, so I stuck behind a guy, who was bigger than me to try to get out of the wind.
By the 8k mark, I was still feeling pretty good but I know that I slowed down a little bit. However, I still hit it at 33:39, which means that I was over 1 minute ahead of my last year’s pace. At that point, I knew that it was time to really focus and that if I wanted to PR, then there was no room for pacing errors. I also knew that I wasn’t going to break 40 minutes this time.
I definitely picked up the pace, especially after I saw the 9km mark. At that point, I knew I was going to beat my last year’s time, so it became a question of “by how much?” I crossed the finish line at 42:14 (chip time 41:52), which is more than a minute faster than last year. I was pleased with my time. My average pace was 4:14 per km (6:48 min mile).
I ended up being 287th person across the finish line out of over 10,000 people, which puts me in the top ~3% of finishers. I was in the top 100 women (39th woman overall to be exact). What surprised me even more and came totally unexpected was that I placed 2nd in my age group. Because I didn’t know that my time would qualify me for an age group award until after I looked at the results online when I got home, I didn’t make it to the awards ceremony on time, hence the reason why I don’t have any pictures of me receiving my medal/award on the stage.
However, the TC10K race director was awesome enough to email all the age category medal winners a couple of weeks after the race and let us know that we could pick up our medals. I picked up mine and here it is 🙂
You can check out the rest of the TC10K results on Raceday Timing.I want to thank Raceday Timing and the TC10K organizers for having timing mats at the 5k and the 8k mark and for showing those times in the official results because otherwise writing this blog post have been harder as I don’t want to have to memorize my splits when I’m trying to race 🙂 Also, timing mats deter cheaters, like the two individuals who took shortcuts in the Vancouver Sun Run, which took place a week before the TC10K.
I believe racing is about doing your personal best. Regardless if I place 50th or 1st, as long as I feel like I’ve had a good race, ran well and improved my time, I’m happy. A race is something to work towards. It’s a way to see if how I trained was effective and it’s how I determine if I need to tweak my training plan.
The TC10K is a great course! I want to do it again to see if I can improve on my time. Next stop: BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 5th, 2013.