This year I really wanted to PB/PR all races distances (minus the marathon). I knew that with some proper training, I would easily PB the 10K and the Half Marathon – which I did. The 10K PB was probably the easiest for me since I don’t really run 10K’s all that often and when I PB’d the 10K, it was right around the time I was training for a half marathon (aka little speed work). All I needed was a good steady race and I would PB. The Half Marathon PB was “if I don’t have to stop to use the bathroom, I will PB”. Which is exactly what happened. Even though this year’s Ottawa Half Marathon was a sweat-fest, I still was able to PB because I did not have to stop. The 5K PB – well that is a different beast. I can easily run a decent 5K without any major difficulties. For the past two years, any time I’ve run a 5k, my times have been hovering between 25:00 and 27:00. This year, I’ve been very consistent with hitting around 25:30 for every race. My last 5K PB was set in 2015 at the Around the Bay 5K with a time of 24:53. In a half marathon or marathon, 30 seconds is nothing – but in a 5K, it is very tough to trim that time.
On Wednesday evening, I ran the Run Ottawa 5/15 Farm Run. For once, a race in the evening! I’ve noticed that many of my ‘faster’ training runs have been in the evening, so I was hoping for a fast race. Also, the weather FINALLY cooperated and we had picture perfect weather. Overcast, a light breeze and cooler temps. Because I knew the course well and had perfect weather conditions, I figured tonight was the night to try and PB. I arrived at the race early, picked up my bib/shirt then proceeded to warm up. Another thing I’ve learned is that if I don’t have a full warm up, I’m not going to be PBing the race. I jogged 2K and did a full warm up with dynamics, drills and some glute activation drills. My right leg has been a bit of an issue lately. Just sore muscles but something to keep an eye on.
At 6:30pm, we were off. There were two options for races 5KM and 15KM. It was a small race with 155 people in the 5K and 91 registered for the 15K. At the start, for whatever reason there was maybe 40 of us right at the line and then a big gap before the rest of the crowd. I’m not sure what people were afraid of. I know one friend thought the speedy 5K’ers would take off. But it seemed like a mix of 5 and 15K bibs around me. You can kind of see how the crowd was arranged in this photo by Run Ottawa Member, Ian Hunter (who somehow manages to run and take photos)
Unlike the Canada Day Race where I tried the “conservative” start -this time I was planning on the “fly and
die see what happens” strategy. I took off and did a little speed check after getting past the start. I found a woman in front of me that was going at about the same speed. At first, I hung around right behind her – but then managed to pass. But then, there she was again. I stuck behind her for most of the race. Looking at my watch, I was approaching KM 1 and because of Strava, I knew that I was approaching my 1KM PR – so I booked it until the watch beeped (ridiculous I know…). I hit KM one at 4:32 – then I toned it down a notch. Then we went up a smallish hill and then back down to the one out-and-back section. Looking at my pace, I was pretty steady for the first half of the race. I hit KM 2 at 4:53 and then KM 3 at 4:55. Finally, I got that 3rd KM under 5:00. Usually KM 3 and 4 are my downfall, but not this time for KM 3.
Just before KM 3 there was a water station – where I attempted to drink some water only to forget how to drink and coughed instead. Beautiful. I also started running next to a teenager who sounded like he was going to start vomiting. I usually run without music, but in these smaller races you can hear everyone’s breathing, snorting, and general running noises. I’m pretty sure I sound just lovely too, but it does tend to mess up my own breathing. The 4th KM was not my greatest. I started getting tired and slowed down. Fellow Team Awesome member, Tracey passed me at this point asking about my leg. I noted that it seemed fine but my cardio was going. Part of my training for the next few weeks will be to focus on the mid-part of the race. KM 4 included a part in a wooded area on a “trail”. It wasn’t really that bad as it was a hard packed trail and exactly what I run on 95% of the time. Finally I swung onto the main road and faced that brutal looooong last KM to the finish. You can basically see all the way down the road and it feels like you are never going to get there. I did not have a big kick this time but still managed to finish the 5th KM in 5:05. Starting at KM 2, my watch was beeping the KM before the flags – therefore I finished the 5K before the finish line, but that is pretty typical. I very rarely hit 5K right on. For my PB/PR, I always go by the official results. Even with the ATB 5K PB, I hit 5K before I even entered the Stadium.
I crossed the finish line in 24:51 – a new PB. It might have only been a 2 second PB, but a PB is a PB. I felt quite a bit stronger for most of the race and this route was not as “PB friendly” as the ATB route. ATB is literally just an out and back course with a nice downhill 2nd half. The Farm Run has some small rolling hills and a number of turns. I still need to work on core and the second half of the race. I felt myself start to get lazy after KM 3 and I need to improve on that.
In terms of race results – it was a smaller race but I’m still surprised that I managed to place 5th Female overall. The 30-39 group was the competitive group as I only placed 5th in my category (we went 1-2-3-4-5). Overall I was 24th across out of 155 runners – not bad! As always, Run Ottawa puts on a great race. A super cheap race (less than $40 if you are a Run Ottawa member) and that included chip timing, a medal and a super sweet cow t-shirt. Run Ottawa has quickly become my preferred group for running races. They have two races in September – including Emilie’s Run (which is a FAST race). I’m looking forward to joining the Run Ottawa Crew yet again.