On Saturday night, at 6:30pm, I ran the Mississauga 10K race. First I want to say that the race was amazing. Very well organized, awesome medals, the best shirts, and just an overall great experience! I love this race!!!
Let me start from the beginning of the day.
I got up, ate a small breakfast, showered and headed out the door by 8:30am. My parents were not able to join me because they were helping my Grandparents move, my lovely sister was away with her boyfriend, and my best friend was working, so I was rocking this race solo. At first I was bummed about having to go alone but in the end everything worked out great. It would have been nice to see a familiar face at the finish line, but this is my hobby and I can’t expect someone to always be there.
I drove down to Mississauga, about a 3 hour drive, and headed straight to the expo. The expo was great, accommodating and quick. As I said I was registered for the half marathon so I had to switch to the 10K at the expo, which was easy peasy! I picked up my bib, did a quick walk around and was out of there. Because I had an important stop to make next!!
Next I headed over to Gears to buy myself one of these….
Yep that’s right, the day I’m running a 10K I buy myself a road bike. I’ll do a separate post about the bike and this whole experience though. Let me just say I’m loving it!!
After the bike shopping, which took a few hours, I headed over to the shuttle spot to wait for the buses Around 2:30pm I ate a 12 grain bagel for fuel. I remember last year my sister and I did about the same thing for fueling and it worked well for us.
I boarded the first shuttle at about 4:30pm to head to the race site. Once I got there we had a 2 hour wait until race start. This is the only thing I don’t like about the race is the wait between shuttle drop and race start. I was there alone, walking around for a few minutes and a lady asked me if I was alone. Obviously I answered yes, and so we sat on the grass and chatted about all things life for 2 hours. Usually I HATE talking to strangers, but it was kinda nice just chatting with someone to make the time past faster. She also found me at the finish and we congratulated each other and parted ways. So nice!!
Going into the race I was pessimistic I didn’t even want to run it, especially after just having bought a new bike. But I was already there and thought I might as well get the medal. So I dragged my butt to the start line.
The race started on a hill, the start line being at the bottom. I was unaware of this. So first thing we were running UP a hill, straight out of the gate. At this point I turned my music on for about 10 seconds and then I could hear people around me chatting and decided to listen to them. I noticed myself really paying attention to how my body felt and focusing on my running, without my music , so deiced to save my music until the end of the race for motivation, if needed.
For the first 2+ kilometers it was all hills. Up and down, rolling hills. I was not prepared for this. Being the course was hilly at the start, I also decided not to look at my watch. I decided to run this race by feel. If my legs were tired, slow down, just simply let my legs do the work. I didn’t focus on numbers, I didn’t focus on passing people I just ran how I felt.
I was feeling really great still come kilometer 3, which surprised me! Last weekend I was dying by this point, but because I was keeping it slow I was able to keep my pace consistent and not kill myself. At this point I told myself to keep running to the 5K point and then for the second half of the race I could walk/run it. I just kept trekking along, listening to the different runners, and truly enjoying the race.
This is the first race I have just run to enjoy, and I loved every second of it!!!
I am pretty sure I missed the 4 and 5 kilometer markers because I remember seeing 3 and then didn’t see one again until 6. This was a good thing. By the time we got to the 6k marker I was starting to fade, but I just told myself ‘you only have 4k left to run, so keep going, your going to run the whole thing’! By this point I knew I would be able to run the whole thing! I got excited about the feeling of running a whole 10K without any walk breaks!! There were a lot of positive mantras going through my head. One I remember repeating quite a few times is ‘you have already run 5K, you can run 4 more’!
Once we got along the lake front the misquotes came out, and they were nasty! Flying around me, landing on me, just not fun. In kilometer 8 there is a little loop on a little island that I hate! I knew it was coming and I was dreading it. Its toward the end, you can see and hear the finish line, and the path is narrow. When I was almost at the 9K marker I heard the announcer say “and we just hit the 1 hour marker”. I knew I was just over a kilometer to the finish, and thought to myself, wow I’m going to PR! Now remember I only looked at my watch 3 times the whole race, and only ever the distance, so I had no idea what my pace or time was. I had an idea that it was slow, but wasn’t sure how slow. But I also knew that I was running the whole thing, so I had a feeling I would be able to PR, but wasn’t sure by how much. So hearing this gave me a bit of motivation to keep going!!
I got my booty over to that finish line and crossed with a time of 1:06:17. A PR of 6 minutes, to the time of my 10K last weekend.
Average pace: 10:49
Mile splits: 10:38, 10:50, 10:31, 10:51, 11:14, 10:59, 1:15
I was more than excited about this. The time was great, but what I was more proud of was running the whole race. Proving to myself that I CAN do it. I did not train for this race, and my workouts, eating and running have not been ideal lately, but being able to complete this shows me that with hard work I can improve my time and do better.
(I guess I should point out that I don’t like to run this slow, I rather be faster but in this circumstance all I could do was slow down. Ideally I want to be faster, but that takes time and work, which I did not put into this. So sure, by no means is my time fast, because its not, but it is my fastest race so far and rather than beating myself up over being so slow and comparing myself to others, I am going to be happy. Also, a fun note, a few weeks ago I wrote down a goal finishing time of 1:05, and without training or focusing on this goal I only missed it by 18 seconds – pretty good!)
Needless to say I am happy, proud and grateful that my body will let me run. I was there by myself so I didn’t really celebrate my accomplishment, until I got to the car. When I was driving to the highway, it really sunk in what I had just accomplished and I let myself smile and enjoy the moment.
I can say for the whole race I was in the moment, in-tune with my body and really enjoying the experience. I didn’t get all uptight, I didn’t need my music, I was simply one with my thoughts for an hour and I couldn’t be happier. I know my time isn’t fast, but I think I ran a smart race and I’m proud of it!
Slow and steady finishes the race, and that is something I need to remember because it is so so important!!
Thanks for reading this post if you got to the end. It is much longer than normal, but I had a lot to say. I also know I’m not a great writer so I appreciate you stopping by to read my crap 😉
Note: the race pictures were taken from the website. I did not take my camera with me.