Sunday, May 06, 2007
Race report: Sporting Life 10K
That said, I still did my usual pre-race mini taper, ate my pasta dinner as custom dictates (and Frank did as well), and was in bed early.
As we cabbed it up to the starting line, I was really not in the racing mode. I didn't have the jitters, nor did I really have much in the way of expectations. I knew that I was capable of sub 44 minute even on an okay day. I remembered last year's race report in which i noted that I faded in the last three kilometres.
So as the race started and some 8,000 runners (the biggest field, I believe, in the race's 10 years), I barely sprinted out the gates. I hit the sidewalk as all the slower runners were clogging the street, but then finally hit some sort of stride within 800 metres. There were a tonne of runners ahead of me.
The first kilometre hit in about 4:04, which meant I had gone out slower than last year, but faster than my pace goal of 4:18ish. But I knew that this downhill course had a few good hills in the first half and the smart runner should take advantage of it.
Experience helps, I guess, and I anticipated the downhill portions, and paced myself through the uphills. I was passing runners steadily for the first 6K. I hit the 5K mark at 20:48, slower than last year, but feeling much stronger.
I want to write about the last three kilometres, because I'm proud of them. Instead of letting the pain get to me, I pictured the last three kilometres of my waterfront run. I pictured myself powering through each 100 metres, seeing myself pour it on. I didn't pay attention to other runners, or to my breathing, but just looked up at the sky and just pretended I was doing a stong last two miles to a long run.
Kilometre 8 was done in 4:04, which for me in a flat section of the course is fantastic. The next was done in 4:20 and the next slightly slower. I passed the finish line feeling so much stronger than last year, and with a better finish.
I have this belief about my running. I was lighter two years ago when I set my PR, but now I'm a stronger runner, both in experience and up there in my head... I don't get as excited and I think the calming keeps me in check... Oh well, these days, the 10K is not my real show... there's a distance that puts me in so much more fear...
Final (chip) time: 42:39
Place overall: 517/8003 (93.5 percentile)
Place in men: 427/3662 (88.3 percentile!)
Place in age group 85/637 (86.6 percentile)