It wasn’t what I imagined it would be. Two weeks ago, Miss Monica, Dave and I headed to Terra Cotta, Ontario to run through the 10.8 kilometres of hills of the course we planned to race today. I’m not sure why I headed north as I had a fairly good idea of what the course would be like: hilly. I had run it for the past two years and knew what I was getting myself into. But I was also at the end of a two week rest period and, knowing that I was racing this “mountain” in just as much time, I figured that throwing myself back into it was smart.
Sure. It was comparable to diving into the deep end before learning how to swim. My chest was still sore from the fall in Kingston, my arm tightened up on me (likely from the sore chest and hill combination) and my pace as almost as slow as my marathon pace. I toyed with the idea of “de-registering” myself from the race.
However, if you know me at all, you know that I am not a quitter. Besides, this was just a C-race, one I was doing for fun – not one that was really important. So for this “not very important race”, I hoped to run sub-50 and a 4:30-4:35 kilometer pace, fast for this course and faster than I’ve run in the past two years.
The first mile was fast and downhill – 6:15. From then, it was uphill and rolling uphill for the next 8 kilometres. I went through 5K in just under 22 minutes – somewhat comparable to what I typically run – but realized that watching the time for the rest of the race was futile; I would have to run by how I felt as pace on the hills would mean nothing.
I ran the course fairly well until I got to the second last hill when my right foot started to cramp. I think it was due to the pressure of the the first downhill mile, followed by the rolling hills. My quads also started to scream at me to slow down. Being a C-race, I wasn’t mentally prepared to be tough so I gave in. Once on flatter ground (haha) again, I was able to stretch out my stride and I was back to a respectable finishing pace.
When I turned the corner to the finish, I nearly died when I saw the time ticking at 48 minutes. Even though I pushed to finish under 49, I was 3 seconds slow. However, I did meet my sub-50 minute goal and pb’ed by over a minute. In the end, I was the 8th female and 2nd over 40 – not bad for a race that I wasn’t really ready for.
I registered, I raced and I pb’ed. Next time, I’m going to throw in a bit of ass-kicking too.