Saturday, September 30th, marked the day of the 5th annual Lethbridge Police Services Run. They offer three different race distances—half marathon, 10km and 5km. I have now participated in not only every year, but every event! The first three years I ran the half marathon, and in two of those years I even placed in top three and was awarded prize money! Last year, I ran the 5km with my cross country kids—-it was my first race after my foot surgery. And this year, I ran the 10km. More specifically, I ran the 10km while over 35 weeks pregnant.
I had kept up with my training all summer, and most recently I had done two separate 6 mile training runs on Saturdays in late August and early September to make sure my body was prepared for the distance. As the race date approached, I knew I was feeling heavier (duh) and would have to just take the race with ease. I had set in my mind to have a goal of an 11 minute mile, which if I could manage this would get me in at under 1 hour 10 minutes. This would be very reasonable, considering my personal best in this distance is 41:30. However, I understand that every day could be different in this pregnancy and I wasn’t entirely sure how my body would feel come race morning.
The race day came, and I was very happy with not only the cooler temperatures, but that the smoke from forest fires had been long gone. I knew cooler weather would benefit me. The half marathon started first, with the 10km and 5km participants following about 5 minutes later. When our race began, I knew the first 5km would not be an issue—-cool weather, along with race adrenaline and the long downhill to the riverbottom, would all be working in my favour. If anything, I knew I had to be cautious and careful as I wasn’t sure how my body would feel the last 5km.
My first 3 miles were a lot faster than the 11 minute pace goal—-9:09, 9:39, 10:31. At this point in the race, the 5km runners had split off from us and the crowd of runners thinned. We wound through the river bottom and made our way to the bridge, our past Helen Schuler, and back. With less people out there, it was mentally challenging to get through mile 4 and 5. I was able to hold on pretty close to my third mile split, running mile 4 and 5 in 10:35 and 10:32, respectively.
Now with only 1 mile to go, it was mind over matter. I pushed my legs the best I could, all while still watching my heart rate. There as a point in this final mile where I knew I could go faster, but my heart rate would spike. I had to hold back a little bit. Mile 6 was 10:32, and I was able to close out the last 0.2 of the race comfortably. I finished my 6.2 mile run in a time of 1:02.50!
Finishing when I did was perfect—my mom and mother in law had just finished walking the 5km and were able to see me come in to the finish. There were friends of mine who had done the 5km race that were watching the finishers—their words of encouragement helped a lot! I was able to grab a bunch of food, which I normally don’t eat but figured baby needed, walk around to stretch my legs….I eventually went to the bathroom, but it was funny that I didn’t need to immediately! Baby presses down on my bladder, but I just have to try and block that out of my mind when I race because I know I really don’t have to go to the bathroom! I then was also able to catch my husband finish his third half marathon, with his second best time—a 1:42.56. I am still so amazed at the times he can run given that he only runs once a week….ONCE A WEEK! And it’s just speed work with Runners Soul Race Team. Imagine what he could do if he took it seriously!
Overall, this event was again fantastic. I had a great run, my family had a great time participating in it, and the event itself was put on so smoothly (like always). I always enjoy this event, but this year will be extra special as it fell on my 33rd birthday weekend and baby shower. This is a 10km to remember!