All week I was a little concerned that I'd get lost on the way to the race. I'd never been to Oka and I still haven't mastered the highways around Montreal. So I google mapped it, checked the directions on the race website, made sure the highways were all open, and finally just decided to trust my GPS. It got me where I needed to go fairly well. Until I got into the park. Then it decided to tell me this:
|thank goodness I was on the road|
Package pick up was easy and I was also fantastically excited to see a bag check in the same place. It meant I didn't have to hoof it back to the car before the race...I just got to stay in the warm, warm building. And use a real bathroom. This made me happy. It was -4°C.
Originally, I had planned on running in a short sleeved shirt and arm warmers. I was VERY glad that I packed a long sleeved shirt just in case...I needed it and ran in the short sleeved shirt plus the long sleeved shirt...and gloves, and a headband to keep my ears warm.
As I headed to the start line, I laughed as I saw this guy:
So I just ran. I worked hard. I checked my pace if it felt to easy or hard- just to keep myself honest- but for the most part, I just ran. The course was gorgeous, the sun was out, and it was a beautiful day for a run.
As I reached the top of the biggest hill, I came up to a guy in BRIGHT orange and said something like "well that was fun" and passed him. A few minutes later, he came up behind me and I felt like he wanted to pass me. So I pushed the pace a little and we ended up running side by side for a long time. As I did some math, I didn't think I was on pace for a big finish, so as I powered up what turned out to be the last hill, my sunglasses completely fogged, and I got a little bit of a stitch, I stopped and walked for a few seconds to wipe my glasses and tame the stitch.
|Start and Finish line|
At 51:38 I looked at my watch and looked at the distance I still had and thought that maybe...just maybe I could finish in the next 21 seconds...so I ran as hard as I could. How hard you ask? So hard that when I got to the finish line, I genuinely thought I was going to throw up. I leaned over to catch my breath and was 90% sure I was going to see the contents of my stomach on the ground soon. I did not. And I was happy about that. My Garmin tells me that at the end I was running a 6:08 mile. Which is kind of crazy.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage the sub 52 finish...but I did run a 52:11. A totally unexpected PR. But I'm shaking my head and thinking that Orange and I could have raced each other to a 51:59 finish if we had stuck together. He finished in 52 minutes on the dot...oh what could have been :)
Regardless though- I'm not disappointed at all (except for with my math skills) and really pleasantly surprised with how much fun I had and how I ran. My body seems to like these fall, cold weather, 10 km races. That run in Canmore last year was an unexpected PR as well. I think I just like the 10 km race distance. I should do more!
The race was well organized and I would definitely do it again. Thanks Oka!
Hope you all had a great weekend! I know some of you were racing- so tell me how it went!