January 20, 2008

Unexpected PB - sub 40 10km!

About a month after having a dream 10km, my mindset is very different as I start another 10km race today. I am at the Chilly Chase in Langley, BC. Since my PB a month ago, I got quite sick with a bad cough and flu at the start of 2008. I even had to miss running sessions for eight days. When I got back to running on Jan. 6 I didn't feel quite the way I felt before getting sick.

And when I ran a 3km time trial five days ago, I fell short of my goal by at least 34 seconds. That may not sound like a lot but it was the slowest time I'd run it in quite a while. Coach Pat has me doing these 3km time trials regularly. I did this one on a track, so while the laps make you go a little crazy, it is flat and traffic free.

I had five day after that time trial until the race. With little at stake, I decided to aim for about 4:05min/kms and just see how long I could keep that up. The course was pretty flat, the first 3km were slightly uphill with another slight uphill in the second half of the race, and of course the downhill parts in between.

I started at the front of the race and had a smooth start. I tried to find a rhythm at a pace that felt slightly uncomfortable yet not too bad. At the 1km-mark my watch read 4:11. Hmmm slow for a first km when I am usually so pumped and go close or just under 4mins. Oh well, I felt like I was running hard enough and kept at it. The 2nd km and 3rd km went by in similar times. So I decided that as looking at my watch didn't make me that happy, I'd do a bit less of it.

I focused on catching a guy in front of me who then sped up as I passed him and we ran together for a while. Then I aimed for the next guy in front of me. (I'd looked back at about the 2.5km or 3km mark and didn't see many people behind me and couldn't see a woman so I knew I was in front.) It took me a while to catch him and as I did he sped up as well. It was great as we pushed each other along until about 9km.

From there, I could see the turning point that led to the finish, and with that in mind I found a little extra energy. As I turned the corner and could see the finish, I checked my watch and was surprised to see that perhaps I could finish in just under 41 min. Of course I found a bit extra speed until I saw the clock with about 15metres to go and it read 39:4X! I sprinted as hard as I could and finished with a chip time of 39:51!

January 05, 2008

Dream 10km time

Having arrived in the Netherlands about 24 hours earlier from Vancouver, Canada, I am not quite sure what to expect at the start of the Houtwijkkerstloop 10km on December 15, 2007. It is cold, sunny with little wind. The course is a certified 10km and as flat as they come. My starting position is not ideal but luckily the road is wide so I power through the slower runners in front of me.

My parents are watching the race at about the 1-km mark, and I decide to quickly pull off my long-sleeve top with hoody and hand it to my mum. I keep my gloves on, and race in a sleeveless top with long tights. As long as I keep running fast, I am warm enough. My first kilometre goes by in just under 4 minutes. I slow down a touch but not much as I feel good.

I have had my heart set on 40 minutes for a long time and today I feel ready to give it another good go. My best time is 41:18 run in August 2007. Today, I keep churning out kilometres that are just over 4 minutes so I am on target to finally break 41 mins. I tell myself that I deserve it and focus.

I cross the finish in 40:24 and am so happy! I have just smashed my previous 10km time and I know I can go faster. I get very cold after the race and go home with my parents after having watched a few others finish. My mum finds the results online which show I was second female. I guess I missed out on a prize. Oh well, there's no better reward than my time!