I came close later in 2016 at both Toronto Women's 5K races. I thought I had it in the bag at this year's Achille's race until I looked at my watch. 2017's Yorkville's B&O was just painful, as was Pride & Remembrance.
I thought maybe the trick was a race route I liked. I registered for STWM which was the location of my very first race. The race coincided with helping the dog rescue I volunteer for be part of the Charitable Challenge as well as Jean-Paul's Six in the 6 marathon challenge. As the day got closer I realized there was no way to focus on a PB with all of this going on. I changed my race distance to run with friends at the half.
I was back to square one with looking for a 5K race with not much hope this late in the season. I posted a message on social media about this frustration. My comments lit up with recommendations for the upcoming Fall 5K Classic in Waterloo. It was reportedly a fast course. Drive all the way to Waterloo for a 5K? Well, considering we drove to New York for a mile race, I guess this was nothing. Plus, I could see many of my friends from the area who would be running. Done.
They were right. The race was incredibly well organized, of a good size and a very nice route that was indeed fast. I warmed up in the neighbourhood before lining up for the start. If I did the race again I'd place myself a bit closer to the start as although I'd been about midway in the crowd, there were large groups and even walkers ahead of me. It took a bit of frustrating weaving at the start which I know adds time and likely jacks up my heart rate. Once we were out on the main road people were spaced out better. My goal was to not go too fast in the first couple kilometers, and then to hold on for the last part. The first two felt great. I was on pace. (Looking back with the downhill in the second k, I think allowing myself to go a bit faster would have been okay without wearing me out too much). As expected, at around 3.5K I was ready to throw in the towel. I saw my pace slowing. Instead of giving in to walking, or even just letting my pace stay slow, I told myself to speed up. This is NOT my usual message--and, my body does not usually listen! I somehow managed to keep the pace up for the next kilometer. The final stretch with the finish line ahead was practically unbearable. I just had to hang on. I closed my eyes. I looked away. That darn finish line seemed to not be getting closer. Finally, finally, it was there. I crossed, stopped my Garmin and half collapsed on the near by fence trying to not attract attention as we do when we feel like we are about to die but don't want anyone to notice. After about a minute I looked down at my watch remembering and wondering if the pain had been worth it.
It had! Not a huge PB, but a PB nonetheless! And a good learning experience about the pain train as well.
4K realizing that unless I hold onto this pain for another kilometer I'm not going to get a PB