- What? Race Roster Spring Run-Off
- When? April 7th, 2018
- How far? 8km
- Where? Toronto
You can read an in-depth description of my goals here. Basically, my goals were to be sub-50 minutes, which is a pretty conservative time for me and slower than my usual race pace. The reason for the higher time goal is because the race is notorious for having two huge hills and a lot of rolling small ones that can set back anybody’s goal time.
- KM1 – 5:57
- KM2: 5:40
- KM3: 5:21
- KM4: 6:39
- KM5: 5:46
- KM7: 6:10
- KM8: 6:37
Overall Chip Time: 49:36 minutes. You can really see the difference from the hills in kilometer 4 and 7-8, where the two biggest hills were. Had the course been flat, I really do believe I could have even hit my stretch goal, but I know that this race wasn’t flat, and I have to accept the hills. This does give me more confidence going into my 5km and 10km races next month.
I ended up being 30/71 in my gender/age division and 407/986 of all women.
I got around 5 hours of sleep, which isn’t the worst that I’ve gotten before a race. I had a lot of nerves going into it, especially because I had to accept that I just wasn’t ready for the hills.
I ate a plain bagel with butter, some orange juice, and a granola bar about 2 hours before the race. We drove there and had to walk 15 minutes to the starting area, which was a good warm-up, but damn was it ever cold. The temperature was -2 Celsius, and there was a tiny bit of snow falling occasionally throughout the morning. We had to wait for about 45 minutes, which was just enough time to wander around and check our bags, as well as waiting in line for the bathrooms twice.
There was also a lot of dogs there. Nice.
I felt amazing for the first 2ish kilometers. I saw a puppy that was smaller than my kitten and I almost stopped to pet it.
We hit the first hill, and I ignorantly thought that it was the first “bad” hill that we were warned about, but it wasn’t. Had they all been like this first hill, it would have been a breeze. The real bad boy showed up just after kilometer 3, and knocked back a lot of people, forcing many to walk. It went on for about 400-500 meters but felt like forever. I was a little disappointed by the lack of cheering by all of the bystanders, who mostly just watched our misery.
Between kilometers 3-6 there was a mix of small hills, steep downhill, and flat ground. I hit 5km in about 28-something minutes which was one of my personal goals, as sub-30 5kms were my biggest goal during last training block. It was nice to crush that one.
Kilometer 6 sucked. The wind was constantly pushing us sideways on the flat parts, and we had to run into the wind during the uphills. I started having a panic attack around this point because of multiple factors (about the race, my racing future, overall fear of failure. If my lungs are this upset during an 8km, how the hell will they handle a 50km some day!?). It was a really big mental block that I had to overcome, and the fact that this was happening during such a short race really threw me off even more. I had never experienced a panic attack DURING a run, so I hope that doesn’t happen again. I ended up having to take a short breather by the lakeside and dry-heaved a little bit. I passed some ducks right after which helped cheer me up, and also went for a cup of water at the nearby aid station (but accidentally grabbed Gatorade).
The last kilometer or so is what they call the “Kill The Hill” challenge because you have to run up a very steep and long hill. They time this part separately from the rest of the race so that you can see how long it took you to tackle the hill. There are also awards for the hill challenge, which is likely a good motivator to go up as quickly as possible. Quite, frankly, the I did not kill the hill – the hill killed me. I did more of a speed walk than a run and knew that I was getting close to my goal time.
Following the hill, there was maybe less than 100m to the finish line, which I sprinted. This is probably the worst I’ve ever felt at a finish line, and it took me a few minutes to gather my thoughts and pull my phone out. The cold also started getting to me again, and my fingers were so numb that I couldn’t text anybody yet, including my fellow running friend to ask if she had finished (she came in a few minutes after I did). I collected my medal, which was one of my favourite parts of the race. I really love birds (which is why the ducks made me so happy earlier in the race).
(Can you tell how cold I look? We were too cold immediately after the race to take any finish-line photos, so this is about 20 minutes afterwards. Also notice the iced capp that I had to stop for on the walk back to the car.)
Physically, I feel a lot better than I did following my last 2 races. I had a lot of soreness, especially in my feet, after my last few. My only issue now is some nausea from drinking too much Gatorade after the race. I feel like I can easily start back up tomorrow with some easier miles.
This race taught me 2 things:
- I run faster during races (at least on the flats) than I do in training, so I need to stop being so self-conscious about my slow training pace.
- If I ever do a race with hills again, I need to train for them a lot more than I did.
I’m glad that I came in 30 seconds below my first goal and know that I’ll be ready to crush my goals during my next flat races.
(Following the reddit running community, I stuck with their layout for race-reports. This post was generated using the new race reportr, a tool built by /u/BBQLays for making organized, easy-to-read, and beautiful race reports.)