This was an incredibly busy week – but I managed to get a race in! My parents were up for the weekend and they rarely get to see me race, so I looked up a race to do this weekend. There was a free race on Saturday and Run for the Animals on Sunday. I thought to myself that there was another race – so I looked up my Fall Race Guide and saw that MEC had a race at Mooney’s Bay this weekend – perfect! I signed up on Saturday for the Sunday race. The race is only $15 – and this race’s kit was a MEC running shoe/drawstring bag – nice! I will take that over a t-shirt any day!
The last time I ran a MEC race, it was in July and all the way in Carp. I was super happy that I just had to go to Mooney’s Bay for a race. There was plenty of free parking and no annoying long walk to the race start. We left for the race at 7:40, was there by 8am and I was off by 8:20. I cannot do that in the Army Run (I already warned P that we are leaving at 6:45am on Army Run Day). P, my Dad and Max went on a quest to find coffee and donuts while my Mom and I went to the race start. It was really weird to be at the track and prepping for my own race, not just my team’s races. The City of Ottawa had the washrooms open (thank you!!) and there was a good sized crowd (around 200 participants). Like the last race, we had a pre-race briefing and were off very quickly. The crowd I raced with this time was double the size of the Carp race!
We started the race at the 80m start line on the track. Again, really weird to be starting a race on the track. I pointed out to my Mom all the benches that I warm during the track season (I’m hilarious I know!). The race route took us down the track and quickly off to the right onto the path. I know the paths very well – so I knew that the first part was downhill, then a bunch of small rolly hills. I took off way too fast down the hill, so I slowed myself down. Wasn’t a total surprise that my watch flashed 4:47 on the first KM. I knew that I was going to fast (and could feel it too), so I slowed it waaaaay down. This race was my test -race for the big race in two weeks – no need to go hardcore on this one. So I pulled back and tried to keep a steady pace. After the first 1.5 KM we were on Riverside Drive which is nice and flat. The last 500m before the turn-around was downhill. This time we had a water station! Yay! I walked to drink my water (I need to learn not to do this) and went back up the small hill. Soon it was back on Riverside. KM 2 was done in 5:14, KM 3 in 5:26. KM 4 and 5 were a bit painful, but ok. KM 4 was done in 5:32 (noticing a trend here?). I saw Mary from Running in Transit running her 10K (she was 1st overall female!). I also saw a guy running with no shoes (I don’t get the no shoes running thing).
The last KM is gradually up hill and then 300m on the track. The gradual uphill was the worst part for sure! I definitely slowed right down at this point. I rounded the corner and went to the track where I pushed for the last 300m. I crossed the line at 26:39 official time (my fastest official time recorded) but 26:34 Garmin time. My fastest 5K was recorded on the Garmin at 26:22 – so I was very close to this time! Given that the 26:22 was an almost completely flat course – this was a pretty good time for not even pushing it! The MEC people had water, bananas and assorted CLIF bar treats at the finish. Yum!
We didn’t stay for the door prizes as I promised P we wouldn’t be that long. I guess I should have because Mary said I won a price – LOL. We were home by 9:20 – not bad!
There definitely is the potential to do a sub-26 5K for the Army Run. My 5K PB’s have happened twice now on the Rideau Canal Route – so if everything goes to plan, I should be in prime position to go under 26 minutes in two weeks. There is always the potential to go even faster and do a sub-25, but I think that will be pushing it for this season. I’m glad I did this race as it gave me a change to try out racing the 5K again before the Army Run. BUT the Army Run is a bit more crazy, with lots more screaming, cheering people and pace-bunnies. I did test out my new Lululemon shorts and a purple Moving Comfort shirt. The LuLu’s will be staying home, but the Moving Comfort shirt will be my go-to long-sleeved shirt if the temperature is below 15. Otherwise it is my trusty MEC shorts and my Tata Topper shirt for Army Run.
Place and Official Time:
MEC Race #5
Place: 44th Overall (out of 109)
Female Place: 7th across the line