This was by far the best race I have ever participated in. Going forward, it is a race I would compare all other race experiences to. Everything was just right, I wouldn't change a second of it.
Toronto Yonge Street 10K was my third race, the furthest distance race I had run. I was proud to have trained through one of the worst weather winters ever. It was the winter of the ice storm, the winter that started early and seemed to never end. I didn't have a specific time goal in mind...okay, that's a lie. Of course I had a dream goal! To finish my first 10K in under an hour. I knew this was a lofty goal considering my training runs very rarely hit a pace under 6 or even 7 min/km.
The morning of the race was beautiful. Hubby drove me to the start area and then left quickly to get to our predetermined spot to watch me pass on the course. I wandered along the start corral area taking everything in. The weather was finally warm, the sun was shining and the skies were blue. You could just feel the energy in the air.
I lined up for a last bathroom break and then made my way to my corral... The corral I had selected many months earlier based on my guesstimate on finish time on a distance I had never run. Through the crowd I found my friend Erin. Chatting with her was a great distraction and prevented me from the getting too nervous as the corrals were released. Instead I was laughing and hyped.
And then our corral was released.
Don't go too fast... Don't go too fast...
WOW, this is awesome! I feel great! I'm running my first 10K! I'm flying!
My running app beeped in my ear announcing my first kilometer time. 5:41. Ohhh nooo. I went out too fast. I will never be able to keep this up. Holy cow, that was fast. But I still feel great...
What the heck?! I know this is downhill. But I am passing people. I don't feel awful. I feel great. As I pass the halfway point I see my time--under 30 minutes. A PB. In my mind I celebrate, but know there is no way I can keep this up for another 5 kilometers. Can I?
Hubby is in position at Yonge/Dundas Square and watches the lead pack fly by.
Krista DuChene! No matter how fast I was going, it would be awhile before I arrived at the same spot!
As I approach my hubby, I can't contain the news that just ran the first 5K in under 30 minutes. I try to blurt it out as I run by. Although slightly blurry, this is one of my favourite race photos ever, as I vividly remember the feeling I had at this point, and the pride and happiness on my husband's face in return.
Buoyed by this moment, I somehow keep trekking at a good pace.
6th KM: 5:27
7th KM: 5:49
8th KM: 5:28
I start to feel the effects of the pace when the road flattens out. I really have to fight to keep pushing.
9th KM: 5:59
I can see the finish and cross, with a moment of happiness and pain mixed in one. I am still not sure of my time given the clock variance from staggered start. I happily accept my medal and look at my running app. The reality of all those kilometer under 6 minutes hits me. To my astonishment, I did reach my lofty goal and finished under an hour at 59:41.
And I enjoyed each and every single second of it.
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