The race had been moved to North Glenmore Park and ran from the Canoe Club down into the weaselhead and back up the other side...and then back again. Calgary's 2 hell hills...twice! Egads!
I wasn't thrilled, particularly since I had a pretty big goal in mind for this race...I wanted to run it non-stop. It would be my first continuous 10k race ever! Those hills nearly always reduced me to walking so I was a bit scared going in. But I'd try anyway.
I got up and got ready for the race on Saturday and, when I went to tie my shoes - discovered this:
Cancerhound had been at my laces! So I had to make a last minute shoe change. I had to get out of town early because it was Langdon Parade day and the only road access to my house would be closed soon...so I made it to North Glenmore nice and early. Because I had decided I would be wearing my hydration pack instead of my iFitness belt, I had forgotten that I would need safety pins. Inside my running bag, I keep the first race pins I ever had - if ever I pin my bib, I use these. BUT when I opened my bag...this was all that was there:
Luckily, I did have extra pins so I was soon pinned up and had my hydration pack on my back and was headed to the start line.
I looked around a bit to see if Michelle had arrived yet and couldn't see her. It was right around then that I realized I was going to need my sunglasses so as I walked back to the car. Turns out had just arrived and I ran into her on my way to the car.
We stood around a bit at the start line waiting for the half marathon to start at 9 and, once they were gone, MEC led a warmup for the 5 & 10k people and it was time to line up. My selfie skills were seriously lacking that day.
At 9:15 - they started us 10k people and off we went. I wanted to start as slowly as I could so I could keep it up a long time. After last week, I knew I was capable of going 10k straight without walking...I just needed to repeat it on race day. Imagine my surprise when I glanced at my watch and saw I was going 6:30 and feeling really good. It took me a couple of kms to really find my groove, but every time my watch beeped to mark a kilometer - the pace was consistent.
Of course, I had yet to hit the hills. Soon, we were heading down into the weaselhead
I didn't try to gain much speed on that first downhill. I kept telling myself this wasn't about speed - it was about testing my steadyness...about finishing the same way I started.
It was such a blazingly hot day - already at around 25*C at 9am. I was sure happy to be greeted by the shade of the Weaselhead. I was also happy to have my hydration pack. On such a hot day - having water with me whenever I needed it was a godsend.
And there were some new additions down there since last week...all entrances into the trails were cordoned off! I guess all of the howitzer shells they've been finding since the flood has made them take action.
I kept going and going and going the length of the Weaselhead. Not far in, I started encountering people on their return trip.
And then, the moment I was dreading - the south hill. This hill is a bitch on the best of days. straight up and painful looking.
Who puts a race turnaround at the top of THAT? But MEC does like to challenge us on these races and I knew that if I could do it on this race course - there'd be no stopping me on a flat one! So I reached the turnaround and headed back down again
This time I put on my downhill legs and added a little speed.
Shortly after I hit the bottom of the hill, a female Darth Vadar fell into step behind me. Each intake of breath sounded like a cross between someone on an oxygen machine and Darth himself. I found myself praying that she wasn't using me to pace her to the finish. Each breath she took rattled me but I couldn't pick up the pace and lose her - I needed to save myself for the hill out of there.
I carried on and was soon plodding up the hill. The end was near.. In 3k I would be done and celebrating my little victory.
My watch was still telling me I was going between 6:30 and 6:40. I crossed the finish line in 1:07:28. No walkbreaks necessary.
and then I went to my car to finish melting.
But I did it! and I am very proud of myself. The first thing I thought, though, was "How do I do it faster next time?" Oy...I am always so competitive with myself...
The garmin geekery. Try to not be too awed by all of those even splits :P
|That dip/pause was the turnaround...I didn't stop but it must have registered like that.|