Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fast girls have a better time

Today was a very wet and dreary race day indeed! I was up, once again, before the dawn to pick up my gal Beverly by 7am so that we could drive to Toronto and run the Toronto Women's 8k at Sunnybrook Park.  I was hopeful that the rain would let up by 9:30am for gun time.  We were not so lucky.  It rained pretty steadily the entire time we were there.  There was no shelter, so we stood around and ran in the rain for about 2 hours.  Very pleasant indeed.  But we are runners, and runners are tough.  No sleet, or rain or snow will slow us down!

Over 850 women ran the 5k and 8k combined.  This picture
was taken through the plastic bag my phone was in.

That is true because even though my run started out pretty slow due to the high volume of runners and being at the back, I nailed my best 8k time ever!  My gun time was 57:38 and my chip time was 56:25 which gave me an average pace of 7:03.  I placed 307 out of 420.  Again, I'm no speedster, but my times are improving which is all I can hope for.  My last timed race gave me an average pace of 7:21 and that was a 5k back in August.  My last 8k that I ran (just in everyday training) was 59:39 on October 8th.  So definite improvement.  I didn't get many pictures today due to the crappy weather.  

Bev and I in my car waiting for gun time!
The course was flat and fast.  No hills to speak of and the water station was serviced by Toronto Firefighters.  A touch disappointing.  None of them were shirtless or wearing suspenders to hold up their low-rise uniform pants over their washboard abs.  Very disappointing indeed.  They were wearing their full on firefighter gear which kept them dry, no doubt.  Sissies!  I felt good during my run which was a change from the last two runs I had.  My average pace for my last two runs was 7:20 because I was still feeling the crick in my neck which was causing my back to be stiff.  I took some muscle relaxants last night and this morning and voila!  Problem solved.  Maybe being stoned also caused my time to improve.  No matter, I'll take it!

The last kilometre of the race I was plugging along with a woman that I'd been neck and neck with since about 5k.  I always get faster near the end of my runs and I started to pick up speed and I passed her.  Then she passed me.  Then I passed her.  You get the idea.  But during the last kilometre, we were running beside each other...and pretty quickly.  As we approached the finish line, we were trying to get in front of each other.  We ended up crossing the finish line together and I looked at her, smiled and congratulated her. We shook hands and I hope that that is the picture the photographer got.  I guess I'll find out in a couple of days.

So I do have some exciting news.  Exciting for me anyway.  I'm going to finish up teaching this Learn to Run clinic (6 more weeks), then I'm taking a break from teaching for a few months. I'm going to join the 1/2 marathon clinic that starts on November 8th. While hanging out with my friends Scott and Elin last weekend, Scott sort of put an idea in my head and I'm going to act on it! I really need to run with people again.  Other than the clinic I teach, I usually run alone.  

Now that winter is upon us, I'd like to run in a group again.  For safety reasons as well as motivation to get out there no matter the weather conditions.  I can already run 11k without stopping, so the 1/2 marathon is definitely the next thing to start training for. Scott mentioned the Chilly 1/2 Marathon in Burlington, so that will be my goal race.  It's the 1st weekend in March and the Around the Bay is the 3rd weekend in March.  I'm super excited because Carol will be teaching this clinic and it will be her swan song.  Sadly we are losing her to Illinois   She's moving there in the New Year with her partner and the Running Room will be without their fearless leader.  This is quite poetic in a sense.  Carol taught me how to run, and when she teaches her last clinic, I'll be her pupil once again.  I'm thankful to have the next few months with her before she moves onto her new life.  She's a fabulous person and my running mentor.