I’m going to keep this week short and just recap last week’s race!
Last week I ran the Spring Run-off 8k at High Park in Toronto. Being a Canadian Running Series event, I was especially looking forward to this one. CRS events are the best organized and bring out the best competition! I really appreciate all the work Alan Brookes, Ian Cater, and all of the CRS staff do to make these races top notch!
Now coming off of a so-so race at Around the Bay I was excited to do something much much shorter, 22km shorter to be exact. This was the third time racing this course so I had a really good idea where to go hard and where to back off. Josh, Rob, Adam, Walt and I did a 4km warm-up around the course and tried to stay warm on this cold “spring” day. It was about -1 at race start but I still managed shorts on the day. Luckily it was sunny which made it feel quite a bit warmer.
The gun was off and I tried to stay relaxed knowing just around the corner there was a bit of an uphill in the first kilometer. I could see the group of women just ahead of me as I was sitting in about 7th. I passed a girl shorter after the first kilometer who went out too hard and I had flashbacks to my first go 2 years ago and I felt her pain. As we winded through the course I kept my eyes on the girls ahead which got increasingly difficult because there are so many turns in this course. Now this ENTIRE week, my legs had felt like concrete barely able to manage 10km runs, so I was surprised that they were feeling really responsive and smooth in the first few k’s. I told myself to keep pushing hard and was able to find a way to pick my legs back up after each hill. After the 5k mark I knew I was in about 5th place with Leslie, Sasha, Laura, and Rachel up ahead of me somewhere. By this point I could no longer see them with all of the winding. If I had of been able to see Rachel who was slowing down (as Josh told me later) that would had been a good driving force to speed up further.
Even without the visual, I still ran by feel pushing each kilometer and making sure that I didn’t settle. At the downhill just after the 5k mark I made a move to pass a group of guys ahead of me which helped me keep pushing. As I came up to the final hill I tried to focus on just running smoothly up it instead of pushing too hard at the bottom and fading (since its a 500m hill). I did in fact run the hill 6 seconds faster than the previous two years! As I rounded the corner and saw the finish I realized I ran about the same time as last year. In fact, I was only 6 seconds off of that time, a great finish for running pretty much solo the entire race. In the end I finished 4th female overall in 29:46.
As part of my cool down, I ran part of the loop with my brother who raced the 5k and did a great job! It was good to add a few kilometers and help pace him at the same time. He ran just over 23 minutes very close to what he ran on a flat 5k a few weeks ago! Great job bro!
All in all, I was pretty ecstatic to finish 4th and have fought hard mentally the entire race, really pushing myself. It was a great turn-around from around the bay just 2 weeks earlier. It goes to show you, don’t judge your warm-up or even your week leading up to a race to see how your race will go. My legs felt awful and tired leading into the race and they felt strong and powerful during the race. One of my favourite quotes I’ve seen in numerous places this year (Peak Performance, Desi Linden’s twitter) is “JUST KEEP SHOWING UP.” It may not always be your day, but if you keep putting in the work and just keep trying then you will be there and ready for the time when it is your day.
Spring Run-Off marked the end of that training block and the start of a new one. Onto the next block, which is more speed focused, working towards 10k races. I’m excited to really focus on my speed and see how much I can improve. I never used to have speed and now that I’ve built up my mileage, I can really see a huge difference in my potential!
3more weeks until Mississauga 10k. Until then, GRIND ON.