Race number 2 is now under my (hydration) belt!

The Grande Prairie Fall Classic 2012 had a great course, nice and flat, as promised. We had a beautiful morning for a run… sunny and 9C / 48F, no wind at all (amazing, considering the wind we’ve had lately)!

I slept well the night before, but woke up as a bundle of nerves. I drank as much water as possible, a bit of tea and about a cup of coconut water. I had my usual of toast for breakfast (with peanut butter for extra energy). I ended up having to talk to myself about my anxiety. If I couldn’t talk myself out of being nervous, how was I to talk to myself during the race, convincing myself that I felt great, that I didn’t need to stop and/or to run faster. Just that realization helped quite a bit.

Derek, Owen and I were out of the house by 8:20 (race start was 9:00). We got to the course and my nerves suddenly vanished. I felt comfortable around all the other runners. I took a quick light jog to warm up and then it was pretty well time to go!

There were only about 200 runners in the race, it actually felt like less. We took off (the one hill of the course was right at the start and at the 5k point since it is 2 laps for the 10k). I got into a nice 6:15 min/km pace and found another girl doing the same in the same space as me. We kept each other going for about 3 km. To break an hour, I would need an average pace of 6 minutes per kilometer. I had accepted I would not break an hour, but I was intent on beating my last time of 1:07 at an average pace of 6:36. Checking my watch throughout the race, I was averaging 6:29 for the most part.

I managed to continue running without taking a walk break until the 5k mark, then took 3 more quick walk breaks afterwards. I even got fed up listening to music (or trying to find the right song) and took my earphones right out and carried them for 3k. Around the final 2k, I felt a slight surge and managed to pick it up a bit. I still don’t remember seeing my average pace going above 6:29 minutes/km, yet somehow my average pace was clocked at 6:06, finishing at 1:00:51!

Even though I didn’t break an hour, I’m really happy with my progress! My right calf hurts a bit, but I’m sure that will wear off in a couple of days. I probably won’t race again till the spring, but I’m excited to see what I’ll be able to do with 8 more months of running/training.