Good Saturday to everyone!
There were many races this weekend according to my twitter feed – one of the big races occurring in Ottawa this weekend was the (Day Before) Mother’s Day Run and Duathlons run by Somersault Events. This is a race I’ve run for the past three years, so I am quite familiar with the set-up. However, the location has changed every year! The first year the race was in its original location at Place d’Orleans (the local mall) with the start/finish conveniently in my backyard (well right behind my condo corp. – but I could hear the announcers!). Last year the race was moved to the Aviation Museum as we had outgrown the mall location. The plan was to return to the museum, but unfortunately a big Star Wars exhibit was happening this weekend, so the event organizers were told to go somewhere else. So, the eventually location happened to be a bit further down the aviation parkway. This race is still in my area as the race route is actually on my long run route and my school’s running routes. It is really nice to have a race only a few minutes from home!
The race features a 1K kids run, and a 3K/5K/10K and half marathon distance race. The duathlons are also occurring but they start early in the morning and were pretty much finishing up when the runners started to appear. The race location was not ideal – as it was just at the entrance of the aviation parkway and the Ottawa River recreational paths, so there was not much room. Adding to this was the fact that there was quite a bit of rain the night before and it was muddy everywhere. Essentially there was one way in and out of the race area and all the assorted tents were squished together. There were only 5 or so portapotties as well, which created a giant line. Therefore I did not “use the facilities” before the race. This race isn’t too big, so it did work, but if more people were there it would have been quite congested for sure!
Adding to the excitement was the fact that my school’s Girls Running group was joining in for the running fun. The CW Girls Running group is being let by two teachers and the goal is to get some of the girls out running and enjoying the running life. They did really well today! They will be joining in with Emilie’s Run in June, along with the Girls on the Run group – it will be very nice to have all these young runners running beside the usual running crowd! I met up with them when I got there, and saw my other friend from school as well. One of my co-workers also came to help watch Max as P is off at a conference. Big thank you to him as I really didn’t want to run with the chariot!
Ok – the race!
The start line was very congested, but I wanted to be up as close as possible. This particular race does not do a gun/chip time, so if you want to place, you best be up at the front. I told my friend (who was gunning for a 25 minute 5K) to get herself to the front. I started off in the middle of the crowd near the front and waited for the horn to go off. Once the horn went, off we went and I pretty much started running right away. I saw my friend and her friend running up ahead so I made it my goal to not lose sight of them. I took a quick looksie at my garmin and saw the number 4:21 flash at me. In my head I said “whooooaaaa” and slowed the truck down as there was no way I could keep up with that pace. The funny thing was, that I felt that I wasn’t going that fast. I finished the first KM at 5:10 and felt very very comfortable.
The weather was ok – cloudy with a bit of drizzle and a temp of about 10 degrees. Although I was cold at first, after the first KM’s, the temperature felt great: not too hot, not too cold. Ideal conditions. The 2nd KM came in at 5:18, a bit slower, but still a great pace to attempt to PB. The course was pretty flat with only a couple of rises here and there. Just before the 2.5 mark there was a slight incline, but it wasn’t that noticeable As I approached the halfway mark I saw Mary from Running in Transit and gave a quick wave. I also so my friend and one student run past and gave them a thumbs up too. I approached the halfway mark and the water station, took a cup of water and kept going. I didn’t feel the need to take a break at all, even at this pace – so I kept at it.
The 3K mark came in 5:25. At this point I started to feel a bit sluggish, but my breathing was fun and nothing was pulling or pinching. After the turn around there was a nice little headwind giving the runners a bit of grief. It was manageable but still, a bit annoying. I approached the 4K mark at 5:37, which was my original “goal pace” so I was pretty happy about that. Another student ran past and we exchanged racing pleasantries. The last KM was the most tiring as most of my training this month has been in the 3-4K range. But looking at my Garmin, I noticed I had an insane amount of time to get to the finish and still PB – so I though, hey, let’s take it easy.
Until I looked behind me.
With about 400M to go I saw my two teaching friends right behind me and thought “oh no, you don’t!”. That gave me the drive to finish as fast as I could and try to keep up with them (my own friend is a Boston Marathoner). For the last little bit, I was in the 4:00 range again and that didn’t feel good at all. To my right I saw Max, my friend, and our Athletics Coordinator (who I thought wasn’t coming) cheering all of us on. My two friends just edged past me at the end, along with a younger boy (who I didn’t know was behind me and I may have high fived his Dad who was trying to high 5 his son – whoopsie doodle) – but it didn’t matter because I was concentrating on what the timer was saying.
This is a massive PB. My previous 5K PB was 28:55 and I had not seen the 28:00 time in almost three years.
The strange thing – I didn’t feel that tired afterwards. I did feel like crap for the initial 30 seconds, but after that I felt great. Makes me think about what time I may be capable of for Emilies Run! When I looked at the placings, I came in 61st overall, the 17th female to cross and 2nd in my category (Mary from Running in Transit came in 1st!!), which means I have placing for the third year in a row. My friend who was ahead of me came in just over 25:00 which was her goal. Want to know the crazy thing – she JUST had a baby in February! Way to go!!!
I had quite a bit of fun at this race despite the logistical difficulties. It was fun to run with people I knew and (obviously) a PB time is something to be proud of. Next up in the Ottawa Run Weekend 10K, followed by Emilies Run 5K race.
I hope you enjoyed my race recap!