Sunday, September 27, 2009

I did it!! 10km in less than an hour!!

So, I've been hoping to complete a 10km race in under an hour. I mean, it's been a goal of mine for quite some time now. I'm not sure what it is about being an under an hour that seemed important to me, but I know that it's a milestone I wanted to, and needed to reach. I tried in August, but it was just not to be. I was disappointed, yet it didn't surprise me. Yesterday, when I did the Melissa's 10km though, I was truly amazed at myself. In part, because Melissa's is a race that has a huge hill in it. When I say huge, I mean huge. It's part way up a mountain for goodness sakes. So, here's my recap...

We arrived with lots of time to spare, parked in the parkade where I nursed Sullivan. We set up the Chariot and headed to the washrooms. Of course the lineup was huge for the flush toilets so we elected to cross over the river and try the porta potties. Well, by the time we get there, the lineups for them were huge, but no choice. Waited about 15 minutes and by the time I was through, it was only about 15 minutes until the race. Then, Sebastian had to pee, so we got someone to let us in the front of the line at the porta potties. Now why didn't I think of that earlier, haha...

Anyhow, got my good luck kisses from my boys and headed to the starting line. It's a fairly big race (with 2959 people running the 10km), so I tried to seed myself in and around the 10 minute mile sign. I found my work friend Cathy and wished her luck. Then, it was time to start. This of course is always a nonevent since you don't actually get to run right away but rather walk to the start line (took over 3 and a half minutes to get there). I started my watch just as I was crossing over the mat that checks your chip at the starting line.

I spent the first kilometre weaving in and out of people. Passed the drummers and headed over the bridge. As I hit the 1km mark, I was just around 6 minutes. Headed down Banff Avenue, turned the corner and began the very long hill. It was long and by the time I got the water station, I was ready for a break. I had a drink of water and then continued on running. By 2 and 3km I was behind my pace (darn hill!!) by almost two minutes. I gained some time back on the way down the hill. I continued to run at a pretty decent pace, still behind my goal of finishing in under an hour. The route changed this year and rather than crossing the bridge again right when we got back to it, we continued to run along the river with that beautiful turquoise colour and the trees and mountains as a backdrop. I was breathtaking to say the least. At the 7km mark, I was at about 43 and a half minutes, still too slow. Then one of my favourite songs came on "Sandstorm" by Darude. Well, that got me moving a little faster and I kept listening to that song for the last two and a half kilometres. At 8km I was at about 49:15 and at 9km, I was at about 54:30. If I was going to get under an hour, I had to keep a fast (for me anyhow) pace for the rest of the race. And a funny thing happened... I did!! I ran my little heart out. I didn't stop, I just kept going, passing people all over the place. I saw my boys about 100 metres before the finish, smiled, waved, but didn't slow down for one second. I looked at my watch and had about 25 seconds to go, so I kept it up and ran as fast as I could across the finish. I stopped my watch just after crossing and was rewarded with my first ever 10km under an hour 59:56 according to my watch (later I would see the official results and my chip time was 59:53). My closest before this was 1:01:45 (in August at Ronald McDonald House Rock the House Run), and the fastest I have ever done Melissa's before is 1:06:32. So really, this was a huge!! Granted the change in the course helped a bit (no hill coming out of Cave and Basin that's over congested and hard to get around people), but still, Tunnel Mountain was still there and not only did it not beat me, it helped me I think. I ended up with a slower first half and a faster second half (quite the opposite for the Ronald McDonald House, where I was under 30 minutes for the first five kilometres and then slowed down).

So, I believe that negative splits are a beautiful thing. I also believe that all the training I put in paid off. I mean, I always train, but this time around, I have been more consistent than almost ever before. I have to thank my husband for that. He was great in encouraging me to go out and run, follow my chart (which is nearly all filled in as I actually did almost all the runs I planned to do!!) and watched the boys anytime I did. Not to mention even came along on a couple of runs. I also have to thank Cindy. She got me all inspired to run a half this fall, and it's been great getting in long runs with her to get ready for that (less than two weeks for that race!!). Tamara has also been an awesome running buddy. We've been going out once a week now for about 6 weeks and I think we get faster and faster every time. And my boys. I do this for you guys. I want you to always be active and have a love for that. I feel like I crossed some kind of invisible barrier on Saturday and now I look forward to planning more races and training for not only runs, but a few more triathlons too. But next up it's time for the Ambulance Chasers, and then the Okanagan Half


  1. WELL done Sharon! I know you've been trying to hit this for a while now and you did it!!

  2. Congratulations!!!! You did great!