Monday, April 22, 2013
Race Report: Toronto Yonge Street 10k
Wow. I am writing a race report only one day after the race. How amazing is that? Maybe I should wait a few weeks to post it. Or not!
So, yesterday I ran the Yonge Street 10k. Originally, I’d planned for this to be my big 10k of the year (same course as the Sporting Life 10k – which was my first race ever and my running benchmark - just a few weeks earlier), but after spraining a ligament in my toe (and several weeks of almost no running), I decided to make this, like the Race to End Homelessness 5k two weeks ago, a test run. Given a good result, I’d then make the Sporting Life 10k my big effort if all worked according to plan.
I woke up around 6am and had half an English muffin, a tiny bit of peanut butter, half a banana, and a coffee. My stomach had been off for the few days ahead of the race, so I was iffy about eating, but knew I needed something.
I spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure out what to wear. I’d laid out my race clothes the night before, but the morning of the race was -2 – a bit colder than I was planning for. In the end, I went with my plan (capri running shorts, a tee shirt and arm warmers)…at least until I got to the start and was way too cold. Fortunately, I had a light running jacket in my bag check bag, so I traded the arm warmers for the jacket and repined both my Official Bib and my “Runners United In Support of Boston” bib (which I wore on my back…along with many of the other thousands of other runners).
Had a nice chat with another woman in the line for the port-a-potties, and then went off to my start corral. Somewhere in there I also did a bit of a warm up (1/2k jog and some dynamic stretching), although I am sure I should’ve done more. That’s what I get for wasting so much time on clothing choices! Although it was really cold…wonder if all the hopping I did in the start corral counts as warming up? At least it got my heart rate up!
I was in the first corral (not including the Hand-cycle participants who actually started first), so had a pretty good spot to hear the welcome speeches. There was also a moment of silence in memory of what happened at the Boston Marathon. It was nicely done.
The race itself was awesome. There’s really nothing at all like running down Yonge Street with a thousand other people.
My stomach was not happy most of the race (I’d had something of a stomach bug in the days leading up to yesterday). I was just glad it never got bad enough to really affect my pace. Thank goodness!
Mind you, my little stomach troubles were nothing when I saw people in Boston Marathon jackets. Every time I saw them (some were running, some were along the course cheering), I’d run faster. Seeing those jackets was like a shot of adrenaline. Every time I saw one I remembered how lucky I was to be running that day.
I expect every time I see a Boston Marathon jacket for a good long time to come, I will have the exact same response: I will recall what happened there and be reminded of how very, very lucky I am to be able to run.
My final time for the race was 48:40. This was 3 minutes and 22 seconds faster than last year. I was utterly thrilled. I honestly don’t think I could’ve done better than I did. In terms of stats…my time put me:
· 43 out of 533 in my age group of Women 30-34 (top 8%).
· 261 out of 3089 of all women (top 8.5%); and
· 1184 out of 5610 overall participants (top 21%).
Aside: Can you tell I love stats and measuring my progress? I know I am crazy that way – but for me it is part of the fun of it all. I run because I love it. I keep track of my progress (I immediately download my Garmin after every run and compare it to other runs of the same distance) because I wouldn’t believe how much I’ve improved otherwise! And on that note, I was happy to see that I ran every mile of this race faster than every mile of my previous 2 10k races!)
After crossing the finish line, I got my medal and some nice goodies (the best of which was a great promo race shirt for registering early) and walked a mile and a half to the subway for my trip home.
Final reflective thoughts
What happened at the BostonMarathon was a tragedy – in reality, there is no word strong enough for how awful it was. But running is a gift and one that should be celebrated. And that’s what racing does. It lets you celebrate your achievements, your training, your progress. No matter where you are or how fast or slow you go – you are moving forward. That is worthy of celebrating and supporting – and everyone running in the race today – and the people wearing Boston Marathon jackets and cheering on the streets – knew it.
Never forget what happened in Boston or the people whose lives were changed forever because of it. But don’t let fear ever keep you from moving forward.