I have participated in the Lethbridge Claus Cause since 2013. I have done the 10km twice (2013, 2014) and the 5km once (2015). I opted to register for the 10km this year 1.) because I am training for a full marathon and need distances! And 2.) I needed a challenge.
I don’t normally get anxious or nervous for 10 km events, but this one was causing some grief. I knew before even setting foot at the starting line, my time would not be what it was back in 2013 and 2014. Those times were 45:37 & 45:52 (2013 and 2014, respectively). My most recent 10km times (up to this race) had been 44:10 (Moonlight Run 2016), 43:28 (Disneyland 10km 2015) and 41:30 (my personal best, Rattler Run 2015). Those events, especially the 2015 ones, were surrounded by training focused on speed work. It was also before my foot got the best of me. So I was fully prepared to not run anything close to those. But I still wanted to run something that was respectful for me. I decided the night before the race that I would be happy with anywhere from a low 46 minutes to an upper 47 minutes.
The weather was perfect for running on race morning! Minimal icy spots on the paved course, and a nice brisk winter air. I was one of the only fools wearing shorts, but I did have layered long sleeve shirts and my tall compression socks, so really there was not much skin being hit with the elements. I made sure to arrive early enough to allow for a proper warmup. My husband came to cheer me on (I sort of forced him because of my nerves). Race began at 9 am, with the 10km and 5km runners heading out together.
For the first loop, all the runners were together. This allowed us to be near other runners, but you have to be careful….those 5km runners are potentially going at a faster pace than you would for a 10km (I mean, they should be) so I didn’t want to get wrapped up with trying to stay ahead of people near me….they may be doing the 5km! I was able to check race bibs, as the different colours signified which event you were in. I was able to determine by mile 1.5 I was the 3rd female in the 10km. It was around mile 2 and 3 that my mind started playing games with me, and I didn’t know if I could hold pace. Was I going to fall apart?
The 5km runners head to the finish line as the 10km runners do another loop (plus some). I started to get my groove back, but then also got myself comfortable. I was a bit behind runner 1 and 2, but I didn’t see runner 4 nearby. I held my pace and then in the final straightaway pushed in the best I could. I successfully held my position of 3rd place female the whole race, and also ended up placing 1st in the 30-39 female category. My splits were: 6:58, 7:50, 7:40, 7:53, 7:53, 7:45 with an average pace of 7:39. Official chip time of 47:30.
Takeaway on my splits….I ran my first mile like I was going to run a sub 43 minute 10km. I want to get to that point again, really I do! But that obviously hurt me in the miles after. What would have been ideal is if I could have hit consistent 7:30 splits, but I can’t go back and change that. I am happy, however, that I was able to reach my goal of being faster than 48 minutes. I also was able to have a faster pace per mile at this event than I did back a month prior at the Bare Bones 9km. A farther distance and a faster pace; I’ll take that! My foot felt strong during the race, and I didn’t have too much pain afterward. My cardio (and confidence) is what needs to come back. And it will in time. I was definitely feeling the ‘race pains’ then next day, but I couldn’t lay around….I had a 15 mile training run for the Goofy Challenge to do, and honestly….it went better than expected! Countdown to Goofy is beginning NOW!