Last year, it was her first race ever and since she needed some motivation to get back running this year, I signed us up.
My sister was having problems with motivation leading up to the race (I know how that feels!) so I reassured her that we would stick together during the race, whether we had to walk some of it or just run really slowly. This race was more about the experience and running together than achieving a PR.
With the recent flooding in Calgary, we weren't sure the race would be still be on but we received an email saying it was still a go as the courses had not been affected. That was a relief as one of my races had already been cancelled/postponed due to the flooding (for obvious reasons).
I picked up our packages at Strides a couple days before the race. This race has the best race shirts! They are flattering and nice colours which is always a bonus. My shirt from last year is one of the only race shirts that I actual run in.
The weather this year was far more favourable for running than it was last year. It was ~15C at 7:30am which meant capris and t-shirt weather for me. Last year it was sweltering hot so I welcomed the cooler temperature.
Of course, I was running a bit late so I had enough time to wait in the long line up for the bathroom, and meet up with my sister before heading to the start line. It was perfect as there was no time to stand around and get nervous.
As we headed to the start line, I confirmed with my sister that our game plan was no plan. Just run comfortably, take walk breaks if needed and have fun. We would stick together- even though she told me I could do ahead if I wanted to.
Before we knew it, the gun went off and the race was on. We waved to our cheerleaders and were off.
|Cheerleaders getting ready|
|Hand in my face...|
We quickly started chatting and just ran at a comfortable race. At the first corner, K jokingly asked if we were almost done! In the first kilometer there is a long, fairly step hill that I was certainly glad to get over and done with early on. Right around the 1K mark, we saw my friend from work, D, that I have run into at a few races now! She was doing the 10K, which is the same course as the 5K for the first 4K.
I didn't pay too close attention to my watch throughout the race. We just ran based on how we felt, keeping a steady conversation, with me doing most of the talking.
Meanwhile, hubby and the girls ran into Penny, our clinic instructor. She injured her calf last week and is on the sidelines for a bit while it recovers. She was supposed to run the half marathon but obviously couldn't. Instead, she came down to cheer on her runners. I wish her the speediest recovery as it just isn't the same without her on the pathways with us.
And she "walked" 3K with those crutches that day. If that doesn't get you off the couch, I don't know what does.
At 2.75K, I checked our time and we were doing pretty good. Just over 16 minutes which meant we were around the same time as last year. K didn't think she would be able to run it faster than 33 minutes so we were doing great.
It was around here that we ran into a couple ladies from my half marathon group. They were also running the 10K. I wasn't really expecting to see them so it was nice to chat with them for a minute before moving on.
At this point we started to pass quite a few people, which felt good. We were weaving around and squeezing between groups of people once we got on the narrow pathway towards the track. I remember last year it was this point (~3.75K) that I got a bad side stitch and was really struggling. This year, I felt great! I was pushing myself a bit but it was important to stay with K.
As we ran up a small hill to the track, I saw hubby and the girls. They cheered us on.
The last kilometer was fairly tough. I knew K was struggling to keep up so I just stayed a few feet ahead of her to keep her going. As long as I kept the pace, she would keep going. I really wanted to sprint at this point- apparently I have found my competitive side!
A few hundred meters from the finish, I shouted some sort of encouragement to my sister, slowed down a hair so that we were running side by side and we brought it in. Just before the finish line, we grabbed each other's hand, and threw them up in the air as we crossed over together!
We did it!!
Turns out we were actually 1 second faster this year!! Our chip time was 31:43, whereas last year it was 31:44. Not bad considering we weren't even trying for a PR! I'll take a course PR!
Afterwards, we grabbed some pancakes, ran into a few more people we knew and enjoyed the post-race after glow! We are already thinking about next year's race and signing up our daughters for the kids' races!