Today I raced in the 5km Canadian Championships as part of the B&O Yorkville run. This race is in its 4th year (I believe) and I have raced it every year except for last year when I had my stress fractures. Last year was the first time it hosted the Canadian Championships. I was so bummed not to be able to participate last year. In 2013, I had my fastest 5km time here in 19:34. Thankfully that qualified me to participate today and compete against some pretty speedy Masters runners! Not to mention all the whipper snapper young ones! Knowing my time was no where near the one in which I raced in 2013, I briefly considered switching to the masses race which went at 9:45. Meghan Brown, the organizer of the 5km Championships convinced me to stick in it as there were some good competitors in the 21-23 mins range. I’m really glad I stuck in it as it was really neat to run in an elite group of people. Only about 100 ran in the Championships race and it was great to be able to pace off of others who are faster with lots of breathing room around you. Here’s how the race went down…….
I got there early to get a close parking spot to the finish as I wasn’t sure how the bag check would go and my husband was running down so he needed to easily be able to find the car! I warmed up with 3km on a windy, cloudy and rainy morning. I wore some warm clothes and by the time I was ready to strip and head to the start I was more than warm. Excellent plan this time as usually I stand at the start too soon and shiver. Today I got there with about 8 mins to gun time. I found my husband and gave him my Breath Thermo top and gloves. (I should have kept the gloves!) I was happy with my choice of clothes so I was not overheated.
I felt good on my warm up. Always a good vote of confidence. My goal for this race was to go sub 22. I am nowhere near that 20 mins time anymore. Maybe I won’t get there and maybe with another year of training I will. What’s important to me at this moment is I am healthy and uninjured (knock wood)…..! If I never go that fast again I won’t be disappointed. My attitude going into races is so much more relaxed and that feels great. I saw a lot of people I knew running the event and it was nice to catch up and wish everyone good luck.
I seeded myself towards the back so as not to be taken down by the sub 20 mins crowd! I felt great for the first 2km. I didn’t look at my watch. I went by feel for the whole race, checking only around 4km at my average pace. I was running with some of Meghan Brown’s girls who were being paced and coached and I passed them as I heard the coach say to them at 2.5km “conserve here for the hill….. I thought what hill? Oh then I hit Queen’s Park (said hill!, which gets me every time!) The pacer asked me what I was gunning for and I said, no clue but something in the 21’s. She said stick with us we are running 21. Oh and then they dropped me:). Oops guess that first two km I did in 4:02 and 4:05 was too ambitious. I then slowed to 4:24 for the next km….4:30 towards and up the hill, plus the nice 30km/hr headwinds. With about 500 m to go I thought about my track workouts and pushed it. 4:20 for that km. I finished with not much left in my tank but kept good form. The finish photos will tell me if it was! 21:39. Nearly two minutes slower than 2013 but with the same effort! Man as frustrating as that seems I was totally ok with it. I was really happy with how it went. I found out that I was 12 seconds off 3rd in my category.
I met up with my husband , collected the great post race food and watched some friends in the main race. The rain stopped and other than the wind it was perfect running weather. I love this event and hope to be invited back next year. Maybe there is a sub 21 in me again and maybe not. Either way I’m happy, healthy and enjoying these short and fast races.
I have one more on the schedule on October 24th back at the TO Women’s finale.