Tip one, remember when it’s 3c and the wind is having it’s fun, BRING gloves….In the course of 40 plus minutes of racing down toward the water, while many of us where running for the fun of it, I was running to stay WARM!
The race had been in my calendar since January. I had signed up for the this 10K race, the Mississauga Half Marathon and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon all at the same time out that I wouldn’t back out once it was paid for. The Canada Running Series created this race a few years ago and it draws about 7,000 runners from the GTA. I wasn’t sure if 10K would be a good idea with my half marathon just 2 weeks away. (I really didn’t have a training plan for running a 10k, I just kept adding to my 5k plan when I realized that I needed to follow my Running Free Half Marathon training plan since that was the race I was training for. I did call for some racing two weeks out to keep your body sharp so I made a few calls and sent a few text messages to friends of mine that have run half marathons and they all encouraged me to run the race.
A few weeks before the race a good friend of mine asked if he could join me. I thought it was a great idea since be both lived in the same town we could drive together and shoot some video before and after the race. This was his first 10k race as well, so there we where the 2 rookies freezing at the start line taking selfies and videos…LOL!
My running friends all told me that I would really like the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. I was impartial, this was all new territory to me. A few weeks earlier I had done some faster kilometres in training but nothing close to the sub 4:40 kilometres. The legs were still recovering but I felt I still had cardio power in me.
Since I was a faster runner then my friend I left him behind in the purple corral (the last one) and then I met up with another of my friends, and found myself in the red corral, the sub 45 minute crew. My goal was to run a 45 min. I thought I was stay close to the pace bunny and use him as motivation.
Toronto Yonge Street 10k is a fast course, due to the plunging downhills of the first half. There are some hills, but when the weather is perfectly cool as can be in April, you can produce stellar times I’ve been told.
So I went for it and didn’t hold back….Did I say how cold I was..BRRRRRR
But there was the weather — we could feel it at the start, it was a COLD, not comfortable, just cold, but I was warming up. I like to be shivering for races so as I increase the effort, the cooler weather will let me build up heat.
As I thought, the first bit felt to fast. So I tried to let my breathing and effort guide my cadence. My legs had not gone this fast ever, so it was a little bit of a shock. My friend Amy was just ahead of me even though she was aiming for a fast 5K, so I just let her go and see how my effort would take me. I hit the first kilometre in 4:09….now that was crazy…way too fast I thought.
I kept thinking that I could take advantage of the downhill sand relax a bit on the flats, so I wasn’t to concerned when the second kilometre came in at 4:19. I hit an uphill portion at Mt. Pleasant cemetery and still my pace was feeling comfortable. We had shade still from the rising sun and though it wasn’t comfortably cool, I wasn’t overheating, yet, but I noticed the pace bunnies for 35, 40, 41, 42, 43 mins had all past me.
I wanted to get to the 5K mark in good shape to stay consistent for the end — I knew the real battle would happen around 7 to 8K in, so I stayed relaxed as much as my body would let me.
I hit the 5K mark in 22:39.
Splits: 4:09, 4:19, 4:28, 3:54, 4:40
So by the beginning of the sixth kilometre, I knew it would be a challenging run to get under 45 mins. It was still cold because of the wind but my hand where ok now. My breath wasn’t as even as I wanted. I wasn’t going to worry about water stations, I had my own liquids.
My 6K, as it turns out, was the same as my 3km, hitting it at 4:28. I was feeling pretty unhappy, and tried to get my body to now run closer to 4:00s, but it didn’t move. I ran by the water station and pushed on toward the finish.
7 kilometres came in at 4:27, and the next one, I knew my body wouldn’t sustain the searing first half so I’d have to be content with slowing down, that’s when I saw race bunny 44 minutes go by….oh no.
In the final 2K, I realized I had to dig deep and keep the legs going, I was spurred on by the pace bunny 45……. who passed me and said I could do it — so I brought back the cadence and ran 4:12 8km…
The last two kilometres ranged from 4:38 to 4:43, not the greatest end to the race — I had no clue whether I’d catch the pace bunny as I saw him disappear over the bridge on Bathurst. My goal of getting the sub-45 was out of sight. BUT I thought since I was on my last half km I could give it all I had and go for broke. I sprinted to the bunny and the finish. As I was approaching the finish it said it was close. Final time of 46:00. I passed the bunny but realized that he had fallen off his pacing duties by a full minute!
Splits: 4:28 4:27 4:12 4:38 4:43. Second 5K in 24.01
In retrospect, it was a solid 10K — my fitness was in place for the half marathon and I was warm. for a few minutes anyway..LOL