Friday, November 20, 2009

The Milk Run

I went to see a physiotherapist about the pain in the knee I was feeling. His assessment was that I was running quite a lot for someone new to the sport and that some of my leg muscles were not as strong as they needed to be. The weak muscles were letting the strong muscles pull the knee cap off to the side enough to cause irritation and then pain. He gave me some stretches and some excercises to do to strengthen the weaker muscles.
One week before the race I ran the course to check out the surface and to get an idea of time. The surface was good with only a small patch of gravel at the trail head, but the trail itself was paved and smooth. The time was about an hour, however I didn’t accurately check the time so it was only a guess. Monday night was a fast 8.5k Pub Run. Tuesday I ran a very fast 4k on the track, followed by Wednesday’s fast 4k with a run up armour hill. I then rested the rest of the week. My knee was feeling fine considering I had run more this week than any other in my life.

In Lindsay I met up with the other runners from Runner’s Life and tried to get my name on the team. After being re-directed to several different people, I ended up giving a change of info form to the lady handing out the timing chips and she didn’t know anything about it but put the form in her pocket. I ran the MAD 10k last year in 1:05:00, so I wanted to do this in less than one hour. My target would be 50:00, but I thought it might be a long shot. I asked some of the other Runner’s Life runners what their target times were and got times around 45 minutes. Cynthia said she thought that might be a bit fast for her so I decided to pace with her. My plan was to stay with her as long as I could. When the race started the pace felt a little fast but not uncomfortably so. We were passing quite a few people and I hoped I could keep this up for the remainder of the race. At the 5k mark I found my breathing getting more laboured and Cynthia was slowly pulling away from me. I decided to just let her go and to relax and just keep my legs going. I noticed a lot of the people we had passed were now passing me. My only goal at this point was to keep running and not let myself slow to a walk. I figured I would be lucky to beat the one hour mark now. I saw a police officer friend of mine as I was coming down Adelaide St. and decided to pick up the pace a little to give a better showing. Just a little further and I was in sight of the finish line. I was determined to pass the 5k walkers and the stroller pushers that were between me and the timing mats. So with my head down, I sprinted toward the mats making sure to hit every one. Not wanting to pass out I continued to the parking lot at a ever slowing walk and then came back to the tables for some much needed ice-cream. Some people asked me how I did and I didn’t know. So I walked back to the finish line where the clock was still only reading 1:02:00. I ask if that was the 10k clock because I thought I finished close to one hour and I had already walked around for several minutes. I was told it was and suddenly felt very good. Once I read my time from the result sheet I was in disbelief at my 47:30 time. They never did get me on the Runner’s Life team, but I would have been the slowest time on it anyway. My target for my next 10k race will have to be 45 minutes or better. I don’t know when that will be, but I do know I want to start working on more distance now and maybe some trails.

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