Whew! Last week I was sure it was going to be an awesome week and then the week dragged on and on and on and WOULD NOT END! My workouts went well and the week ended with my first race of 2018, so let’s do a quick recap of the week before I do a long recap of my race!
Monday, January 22: Abs + Band work at home | I’ve been avoiding specific core work which is not a good plan, so I set aside a day to force myself to do it.
Tuesday, January 23: 8.53km total + back/bicep strength training | This was a speedwork run with 2 x 10:00 in the middle but I accidentally deleted the run instead of saving it, leaving me to recall the total distance but no paces. Oops!
Wednesday, January 24: 3km running + 20 min spinning | I slept in because I was so exhausted and almost did no part of my scheduled 8km easy run. After work, Anson dragged me to the gym with him. My workout was short and I still felt exhausted but I didn’t regret doing something over nothing!
Thursday, January 25: 45 min spinning + shoulder workout | I am trying to do more spinning because I actually really enjoy it and it’s a good cross training activity!
Friday, January 26: 7.60km total | I did this run on the treadmill with 5 x 3:00 @ 6:20 in the middle.
Saturday, January 27: REST DAY
Sunday, January 28: Robbie Burns 8k written about below
In December I was advised to add the Robbie Burns 8k to my calendar since it is basically the first race of the year. It would be a good test of my fitness, so I agreed. My sister ended up getting me an entry for Christmas which turned out to be a good thing, because as the race got closer the less I wanted to do it. Since she paid for it, I felt like I couldn’t back out!
I’ve really only been back to consistent running for less than 2 months and my runs have all been very slow. I have also been working really hard at eating better and doing strength training and cross-training. The extra working out has made a lot of my runs feel more tired that I would like, but I need to keep focusing on getting into overall shape instead of feeling bad about my slower running. (at least that’s what I think!!)
As the race got closer I started to freak out a little as I realized what a realistic time goal for myself was for 8k. I tried to remember that the initial goal that I gave to Michelle, my run coach, which was just to run the entire thing. I didn’t run an entire race in 2017 without walking and needed to make myself not walk and ignore the time!
I spent the days before the race trying to figure out what to wear! It was going to be above zero and I was told shorts was the way to go. I was going to borrow compression socks from Kate to test out (spoiler alert: I am now obsessed and want all the pairs!) and eventually decided on a thin long sleeve and shorts to go with the socks.
When I left the house at 6 am on Sunday and saw frost covering the porch and car, I immediately started questioning my shorts decision, but it was too late! Anson dropped me off at Maria’s place and then we gathered Cathy and Kate before heading to Burlington.
The race starts and finishes right outside of a high school which is amazing because you can stay inside until the very last second! We gathered our race kits, pinned on bibs, said hi to other people we knew and hit the bathroom multiple times.
Michelle and Maria had gone outside to do a warm-up before the race and came in saying how hot it was. Michelle told me to get my long sleeve off because I was going to be too hot. I swapped it for a tank top and then borrowed armbands from Michelle. I pinned my bib onto my tank, ate half a vanilla ben GU and headed outside 5 minutes before the start.
I crossed the start line going too fast and tried to slow down. I always go out too fast and I definitely ran the first kilometre faster than I should’ve. I forced myself to slow down and ignore the people I knew who were running ahead of me. My goal was to not walk and I kept reminding myself of that!
I ditched my dollar store gloves around the 1k mark and struggled through the next couple km’s. I just wanted to walk! My legs were fine, but my brain was telling me “who cares!”
It was then that I decided I needed to watch my pace. I knew that if I wanted to not walk I needed to just go slow and steady so I aimed to run it in under 55 minutes. (As soon as I focused on having a steady run and forgot about how fast other people are, my mental state improved. One of these days I will get my mental game right!)
I knew I needed to hit halfway in about 27 minutes to make sure I finished okay and I hit 4k at exactly 26:55 and my arm sleeves came off then! I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as I ran in shorts and a tank beside people who looked prepared for a blizzard. How were they not dying of heat exhaustion?!
As we turned the corner just after 6km there was a fairly decent hill. I kept myself trudging up that hill and my leg started feeling weird. As I got right to the top I slowed down and took about 5 slow steps while stretching my leg. I guess that means I didn’t run the entire race, but those steps weren’t me quitting so I’m not counting them! My leg went back to normal and I kept running.
I rounded the corner to the finish and sped up to cross in 54:12. I was surprised by how much energy I had and in hindsight, I probably could’ve gone a lot faster during that race. Cathy was there at the finish taking pictures (almost all the pics in this post are hers!) and I loved getting to see so many friends on the sidelines!
We headed inside to get our bags, some snacks, and listen to the awards. Maria got an age category award and she and Leanne both got OMA (Ontario Masters) medals as well! It is so fun to see your friends rock their races and I’m pretty proud to be part of such a supportive, loving group!
After we left, we headed to Starbucks for more coffee before heading home. It was a lovely day and a great race that I would totally recommend!
As I thought about my own race later I realized that in spite of my very slow finish time, I was pleased. I had no idea what to expect from myself so I played it safe. I probably could’ve worked harder and finished faster, but I didn’t want to go out too fast and crash and burn so I opted for a slow and steady pace. I talked myself out of walking and didn’t allow myself to wallow about my time after the race like I have done in the past. All these things are a win for me and I am excited to continue training. Next up: NYC half marathon in March.