Saturday morning was a beautiful day to race! It was about 15 C outside, and sunny. I wore my running shorts and a lululemon shirt and it was perfect.
The race was at South Glenmore Park and we were directed at race package pick up the night before to park at a near-by Co-Op (grocery store) and a shuttle would bring us to the race start. Turns out there really wasn't a need for that since the parking lot right by the race start wasn't full at all. The shuttle was a 15-passenger van and we didn't see it until we were almost at the race start since we decided to not wait for it. We thought the walk would be a good warm up. It took about 10-15 minutes to walk to the start.
It was the 3rd annual Race for Pace, to raise money for Pacekids Programs for Children with Motor Disabilities Society. There were lots of families and children out to do the walk or run. It is a great cause and I am glad that I was able to support it by running this race.
Before we left the house I had a yogurt cup. I probably should have had some fruit or smoothie but I always get butterflies before racing so I don't feel like eating! I drank lots of water the night before and the morning of so I was well hydrated.
I decided to not carry water during the race because there were 3 water stations on the course- 2.5k, 5km and 7.5km. I did carry a package of GU Chomps in my shirt pocket. I don't need a whole bag for 10k so next time I will put a couple in a baggie and carry them since it was annoying to have all 8 in my pocket bouncing away.
The cool thing about this race is our timing chip was a strip of ticker(?) stuck to our race bib! I have never seen this before and it was nice to not have something strapped to my ankle.
The race start was pretty uneventful. I pressed GO on my watch just as I was crossing the start, although it probably took me less than a minute to get to the start since the race was so small. The 5k and 10k started at the same time so it was a little congested for the first 1km as people were getting settled into their pace. I decided to use the kilometer markers and my watch to judge my pace. Unfortunately the markers stopped at the 2.5k turn around (for the 5k racers) so I had no idea of my pace for the rest of the race. I was passed by a lot of people, mostly running the 5km. At the 1k marker, my pace was 7:04 which I was hoping to maintain a 7:00 min/km but it's kind of hard when you have no way of judging how you are doing in when there are no markers! At the 2km marker, my pace was 7:20 so I was a little slower. I took my first GU Chomp at the water station at 2.5km.
I passed a couple girls when we got to the first big downhill just past the 2.5k turn around- they were running so slow and I knew I had to go fast to make up for my slowness on the rest of the course! I pretty much ran by myself from 3k to 5k. I could see one guy in the distance depending on if we were on a straight away. The course is in a protected natural area and is part of the run I did a couple weeks ago with Kim. I have seen deer on the pathways in the past and it is well covered with trees. Around 3.5km the leaders started coming back the other way (out and back course). The winner ended up completing the race in 37 minutes. Amazing!!
Hubby passed me going the other way around 4 kilometers. He was going pretty fast!! He PR'd.
Just before the 5k turn around there is a pretty steep and long uphill. I ran for half of it and then walked the rest. I took another GU Chomp. The water station was at the top. I checked my watch here and it was at 35 minutes which is a couple minutes slower than my usual 5k time. I grabbed some water and took a gulp. I started choking a little. I find it hard to drink out of those cups- I just inhale the water! I ended up getting a really bad stitch and could barely walk. So much for making up time on the downhill!! I just held my side and started to run slowly. The last 5k was a struggle as I tried everything to get rid of the side stitch. I have never had one this badly. It was annoying! I really wanted to finish the race in 1:10 but I knew that probably wasn't going to happen since I had to slow down so much and there was no way I was getting a negative split!
At the 9km marker I started to push it a little more since I was feeling a little better. I could hear the 2 girls I had passed right behind me and I didn't want them to pass me!! At the last 500m the one girl passed me and I tried so hard to sprint and my stitch came back with a vengeance. I had to stop!! The other girls passed me and I just decided to go for it because the faster I got to the finish line the faster I would be done! I saw hubby standing at the finish line cheering me on. I gave it all I had and passed the 2nd girl just before the finish line. I was so happy!!! My official time was 1:13:40. Technically I PR'd since my 10k at Wasa was 1:20. I am slightly disappointed that I wasn't under 1:10 but it was a hilly course and my side stitch problem didn't help at all. I really need a Virtual Partner to pace me!
Overall I enjoyed this race and will definitely do it again. I love running around Glenmore Reservoir!
My new shoes came in the mail so I am going to lace them up tonight and go for a short run. I wasn't able to get a workout in yesterday as we were in Strathmore/Chestermere for my nieces' baptism all day. Hubby rode his bike from Chestermere to home (about 45k) but someone had to drive the car home!
Unfortunately we don't have any pictures from the race since we forgot the camera. Boo!!! Now I need a new countdown ticker...