This afternoon I ran my first 1okm race ever. Last spring I participated in my first running race ever. Running has never been my strong leg in a triathlon and races generally inspire me to get better. So I thought I’d sign up for a few races to try to inspire myself to get going with the running. As long as I stay injury-free, I’m happy.
Side note: I haven’t checked my Garmin yet, so all of this is based on how I felt.
The race started out pretty good. The start of a run is so different from a triathlon… it’s so anti-climactic. During a triathlon, at the start you are preparing yourself for the washing machine of arms and splashing. Basically, you are preparing yourself to not breathe with any regularity for several minutes as you try to find a spot that doesn’t have other people’s arms or legs taking it up. With a running race, basically we all try not to go out too hard. At least, that’s what I try not to do. As people pass me or whatever, I really have to stop my competitive edge from kicking in to speed up and not let them pass. Actually, today’s race started pretty good. I felt pretty good in the first couple of kilometres. Around 4km in, I had the most horrible side cramp I’ve ever had. I actually stopped and doubled over in pain. Luckily, just bending over and letting the cramp have its way for a moment worked like a charm. I’ll have to remember that for the future. After that, I was generally uncomfortable for the next 4km, but there was no real pain anywhere.
Pain is really so relative and tricky. It is the body’s way of saying, “Oh, please stop.” I really wanted to stop. I did walk a couple of times in the last 5km, but just for a little bit. I played leap frog with a number of other runners. It was pretty funny, actually. I tried to talk to a couple of them, but they just wanted to go on ahead. I can’t say that I didn’t feel a sense of satisfaction when I passed them for the last time at the 1km point. The last 2km felt the best. I felt like I could go at that pace for a lot longer, but I was glad that I didn’t have to. I powered up the Broadway Bridge easily and sprinted at the end. I was a little mad at myself, actually, because I had a lot left in my legs and wished that I would have broken the 1-hour mark. However, I only felt like I had a lot left in the last 2km. It is obvious that I’m training for longer distances. Perhaps I can hold that pace for the half marathon coming up in a couple of weeks. I would be very happy with a 2-hour time (my PB is 2:14).
After the race, I went back on my bike to find my training buddies who were doing the half marathon. They were both struggling. Hopefully I provided them with some good encouragement. It was a small race so there weren’t a lot of spectators out cheering. Moral support is very important for athletes – friends and family of athletes should take note. We love to see you out there!
All-in-all, I had a really good race. I have had no knee pain for a while now and I am starting to really love running again. Isn’t it funny how not being injured will do that? I am very happy with my 1:05 finish. It will be interesting to see how my half marathon time is in two weeks.
OH MY GOSH! I almost forgot! The weather was AMAZING today! It was +2C this afternoon. It is the warmest day it’s been in a while. Everyone was over-dressed and we all were stripping down after a few km. It made me wish that I had trained on the treadmill because running outside in really cold weather is just not the same as running in this. Actually, it was pretty slushy as well, making the run a bit of a slog. I won’t complain, though, you basically can’t ask for a better day in Saskatchewan in the beginning of February! Hooray for great weather!