The Toronto Yonge Street 10K marked my first race of 2014 and what I am affectionately calling a personal (second) best. With a final time of 51:04, I was just over a minute off my goal time, and my all-time personal best of 49:59.
I was really hoping to squeak in under 50 minutes, but I just couldn’t do it. Strategically, I ran the race backwards. I started out WAY too fast. I blasted off the start line with an average pace far outside my comfort zone. Coupled with the downhill, I was flying. Well, I felt like I was flying. If you take a look at my race photos, I look like I’m lumbering along on the brink of a stroke. But I felt fast! So fast in fact, that I think I actually got a PB for 5K. I crossed the halfway point at 24:55 – on track for my much coveted sub-50 time.
But I couldn’t keep it up. I fell apart around 6K. With a mixture of self-pity and anger, I watched as the 50 minute pacer overtook me and soon ran out of sight. I tried to push myself to stay next to him but I was suffering. I knew I couldn’t keep up the pace and I had to pull back.
I was mad at myself for making such a rookie mistake. For months, my plan was to run a more conservative 5K and then let it rip in the last 5K. Instead, I did the exact opposite. I’m usually very good at pacing myself but I just got aggressive. I’ve been training at a great pace lately, but mostly for quick, short runs – like 5-6K. No wonder I couldn’t keep it up!
As usual, the race was super well organized and efficient. It doesn’t hurt that we live 800 metres from the starting line.
The bag check was the best I’ve ever experienced. I was just making my way to the buses to pick up my bag, talking on my phone to my husband who also ran a great race and someone tapped me on the shoulder and handed me my bag! One of the volunteers saw my bib number, found my bag and gave it to me without me even asking or standing in any sort of line up. Brilliant!
A big shout-out to Mother Nature for giving us perfect racing conditions. A great day makes such a difference. And big thanks for the Toronto Yonge Street 10K Digital Champions. What a great support network of awesome runners.
The good news is that a sub-50 time is totally attainable. I know exactly what I need to do now. I’ll keep working on speed and endurance and I’m confident I can shave off 65 seconds before The Sporting Life 10K in May.