It’s hard to believe that three months ago I was freaking out about running a 10k race. Yesterday morning, I ran my second 10k at the MEC Toronto Race Five and though it wasn’t a cinch by any means, it was definitely a lot easier. I’ve been training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon so I’m more comfortable with 10-12k runs now. Since hubby signed up I thought I might as well join him for a marshaled route for my long training run this weekend. Little did I realize he needed to clock in 20+ kilometres for his training so he actually RAN 13k to the start line BEFORE running the 10k race!!! Hmph. So I drove myself there and we met up at Coronation Park. He was already running shirtless before 8:30am so I thought I was going to be doomed by the humidity. Luckily, it was ok, and the rain held off until later that afternoon. The weather was actually perfect for race day.
So you might already know this, but I’m allergic to nature. This includes fresh cut grass and especially bug bites. We walked from the car to the chip pick-up tent and I was bitten 5 times on my legs within 2 minutes. Great. I didn’t bring my tea tree oil or long pants. This was irritating me, literally, and I took it as a sign of bad things to come. Fortunately, for some reason the bites didn’t swell up and before I knew it, we were lined up and ready to go so I didn’t have time to be pissed about the itchiness. MEC races are truly bare bones without any glitz and glamour, allowing the entry fee to be a mere $15 (!!!), and the route was one loop on the path for 5k-ers and two for the 10k-ers. I didn’t know if it was going to be overcrowded with the 300 participants, plus the regular runners, cyclists and rollerbladers using the path (it wasn’t closed off but the volunteers were at all the right places and I didn’t see any colliding or conflicts with anyone on the route).
I felt great as soon as we started running, I think I was smiling throughout the first 3k because racing really is an incredible, indescribable feeling, having so many people around you that love the same sport, with the crowds cheering you on. You feel like a winner within the first few kilometers because you’re out there, doing it, choosing this for yourself on a weekend morning when you could’ve been doing nothing (ok, this doesn’t apply to moms like myself because if your baby’s awake, you’re always doing something, but you get the picture).
The first 5k felt ok, I’ve run the path before and it’s super flat so the familiarity helped. My split was 32:00 and I already knew I wasn’t going to do a sub-60 so I was content. It was tempting as hell to run through the finish at the turnaround, but I resisted. Another loop, I went. And it kind of sucked, I even yelled “LOOPS SUCK!” to a few volunteers and they laughed their butts off. It’s just mentally draining running the same circle again. But I knew this going in, and it wasn’t a big deal. A good thing about the loop, Avery and I passed each other twice on the course so that was fun, we air-fist bumped, lol. Hubby finished 4th overall just under 38:00 so he walked back to run the last stretch with me (had he drove to the race with me he would’ve placed!). I was pushing it at the end and finished with a 1:04! I did an even split and considering this was a training race, it went better than I could’ve ever expected!
I will for sure consider doing another MEC race, this run had the friendliest staff and volunteers I’ve ever seen. Everyone was smiling and was extremely helpful. I loved how encouraging they were throughout the entire course. The water station was at the right spot, splits were well marked and I knew exactly where to go at the turns. I highly recommend these events!
I am very happy with this result, I was secretly aiming for 1:05. Since the Acura 10-miler is canceled this year, I just signed up for the 15k Midsummer Night’s Run in, dammit, three weeks!!! Ahhh, I haven’t broken 13k yet!!! Onwards with the training…
‘Til next time, thanks for reading!