May 8, 2013
|Date||Event||Goal Time||Chip Time||Gun Time|
For almost every race I’ve done, I publicly obsess about my race prep, goals and strategy. There are usually blog posts, social media posts and the requisite picture of my gear all laid out. This race was a very different story…
I registered to run the Mississauga (full) Marathon way back in October 2012. Months later I also volunteered to be a pacer. However, as you probably know, I finally succumbed to an ongoing injury a month ago and I pulled out from pacing. However, I still had my original full marathon bib from October. To give myself a glimmer of hope, I asked the organizers to switch me to the 10k event, the Valeant Pharmaceuticals 10k. I thought I’d at least get the nice Under Armour shirt. I was painfully aware that I was not likely to be running by then.
I wrote about my path to preliminary diagnosis and the start of my recovery in this post. I was actually under doctor’s orders to try to run and see if there was any improvement. So 3 days before the race I laced up and did a slow 8km. I did a slow 5k the day after too. It wasn’t as bad as before but 3 weeks of inactivity made me very rusty. My chiropractor said I could keep running short distances up to 10k.
I was very careful and purposely didn’t tell anyone I was running this race. Until the night before I wasn’t sure I was going to do it at all. And I didn’t want any pressure or expectations. But, I didn’t lie! My exact words in person, on Facebook and on Twitter were that I wasn’t running on SUNDAY. The Mississauga 10k was on Saturday night 😉
Getting to the Starting Line
I knew I wasn’t going to get a new PB. Based on the training runs earlier that week, even getting under 60 minutes was out of the question. I set my Garmin’s virtual pacer to lead me to 1:07.
I decided to wear my Ron Hill race shorts for this race. I find all Ron Hill gear to be a cut above all other manufacturers, but I don’t wear them often because they have really small pockets. In a marathon, I like big pockets to carry gels and stuff. For a 10k it didn’t matter.
Race logistics were a bit odd. Runners were asked to park at a GO Station and then shuttle buses would take us to the start line. But they wanted us there really early! The last shuttle bus left the station an hour before the race started. The start line seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere, but at least there was a park nearby where everyone seemed to be sitting on the grass and chilling. It would have been nice if there was some entertainment or something while we had to wait for over an hour.
There were many more police than usual. Considering what happened in Boston, it’s totally understandable. I think it’s the new normal now. The police were inspecting bags before people got on shuttle buses and check bags, and the had a strong visual presence too.
In the starting area, I ran into Don who trains at the same Running Room I do. He was there with his uncle and his young cousin who was running too.
I seeded myself at the very, very back of the starting corrals. I wasn’t expecting to do all that well…
…And Away We Go, Slowly…
I’m used to running with well-trained and experienced runners. The back of the pack in this race was not the runners I was used to. By the first hill 500m in a lot were walking and gasping for air. Some people were running with really rough form and it hurt to hear how hard they were pounding the pavement.
I did 10-and-1’s to try to keep myself slow and comfortable. Even though I was only moving around 6:20 min/km, I was flying by people when I finished my walk breaks.
The tingling in my feet kicked in about 2km. I’m well-aware that I’m not fully recovered yet.
It was nice to run and not be putting out a major effort. I spent a lot of time thanking volunteers and cheering back at spectators. I yelled “You’re Awesome” to one kid who was volunteering and he yelled back at me “No, You’re Awesome!”
The big surprise on the course was the bugs! I swear they were getting sucked into my nose! I spent some time swatting them off of my arms and legs. I need that blood! Not yours!!
During the run I connected with Hans again. I paced him through the Oakville Half-Marathon in 2011, and ran parts of the Mercedes-Benz Oakville 10k 2011, 2012, and Around The Bay 2013 with him too. I seem to see him everywhere. It was nice to see a familiar face.
I thought it was the last 10k of the full-marathon course, but something wasn’t adding up. In the full, you don’t run though RK McMillan Park. It was kinda frustrating to actually see and hear across the bay at the finish line at Promenade Park, but it’s still more than 1km away.
In the final stretch to the finish line, the crowd support got much better. There was someone holding a “Worst Parade Ever Sign” and I said “I hate that sign.” She laughed. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Lyndsey Thomas near the finish line. She said she knew she was going to see me even though she shouldn’t have! How? Maybe runner’s radar?
I finished under 1:04, which was comfortable.
The part I was looking forward to all week was to post about how I snuck in a race.
I feel like I have done all the Mississauga Marathon races in reverse. In 2011, I did the Mississauga (full) Marathon. In 2012, I ran the Mississauga Half-Marathon. And then this year was the Mississauga 10k. I guess I should run the Mississauga 5k next year!