Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mommy's Post Race Report - Flatlanders 10 km

"You better stay inside, Pooh Bear , it's blustery out there!" - Winnie the Pooh

I am very happy to report that my race went very well this morning.  I checked the forecast last night which predicted winds gusting from 40 to 60 kph.  I was really hoping it wouldn't be that strong or would at least hold off until after the race.  Who was I kidding?  This is Regina after all.  It's windy and there are no physical landforms to block the wind.  Some runners actually tried drafting behind competitors.  I doubt this was very effective but I suppose it's worth a try on a day like today.

Back to this morning.  The race started at 10 am which is a little later than I am used to but I guess it's typical for a fall/winter race.  I arrived around 9:30 am and spent the next half an hour trying to stay warm.  It was very cool with the wind and I just wanted to get moving.  The start line for the race was next to Douglas Park track and we started off running directly into the wind. I kind of wondered what I had gotten myself into for the first few minutes.  I really hate running in windy weather.  I guess I should be thankful it was only gusting to 60 could have been worse.  It was just unfortunate because we've had such gorgeous weather here lately..why did it have to be windy today?!

The race route sort of followed a twisty path so we kept changing directions which I appreciated.  Before I knew it, I felt like I was flying. Because I was determined to meet my goal time of 52:30 minutes, I knew I had to take advantage of the wind at my back.  Another turn and suddenly I was gasping for breath once again.  I did my best to stick with some runners that appeared to be running at a good pace.  The most challenging point in the race was between 3-5 km when I was running against the wind and still not even half finished.  That, mixed with the aromatic smell of a hot breakfast in the air, was making me wish I had eaten something before the race.  Yep, you read that correctly.  There was some sort of huge BBQ set up in a parking lot next to the race course...coincidentally, it was the part of the course we had to run by twice.  I will be making pancakes tomorrow.

After battling through strong winds and hunger pangs, I had finally reached the half way point in the race.  I checked my watch...26:14.  Some very quick math told me I was right on pace!  The next section was with the wind again and I pushed myself a bit since I knew the last 3 kilometres would be against the wind. 

The last stretch was really tough but I coped with it better than some others.  I must have slowed down a bit though as a couple of the girls I passed during this section suddenly passed me back with about a kilometre left to go.  I glanced at my watch and realized that I needed to pick up the pace to reach my goal.  The finish line was in sight and it was such a wonderful sight!  I took off my running jacket and tossed it to the ground.  I dug down deep and was able to find some energy left over to speed up and then sprint to the finish.  I might be a Thorson now but I've still got the "Keil Kick"*.

It turned out that I needed the extra speed as I completed the race in the exact time I had hoped to achieve: 52:30.  It just goes to show that goal setting can be a very powerful thing.  I ended up finishing 3rd in my age group for women.  My time was not my personal best but it is an excellent time for me now at this stage in my life.  I have learned to redefine my goals and perspectives in life.  It's amazing how having children makes this happen.  Nothing seems quite as important as it did before.  My kids are now the priority and I wouldn't have it any other way.

* Keil Kick - The phrase used by the infamous Keil family to define a quick sprint at the end of a long distance race.

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