Run: 10km @ 53min40 (MDS Nordion 10km route)
Not only did I beat last year's time (even though I was totally in the wrong corral again - but more on that later), but I nailed up a new PR for me! And what's really cool is that it wasn't really a hard run for me. Well, at least not has hard as it has been in the past (yay for half-iron training)!
It was a record year for the 10km race again - they set a record last year too - at over 8000 runners. And you could tell. I could not get into the corrals until about 3min before race start. And even then, I was in the 65min corral - about 10min back from where I wanted to be. The street was just so packed no one could move. We had to wait for the race to start to get the rest of the people in the starting area! I was a bit peeved at this because they could have organized it better - I'm sure that they knew they were getting more people than last year. And while I wasn't focused on getting a PR this year, I didn't appreciate not slotting myself where I wanted to be.
Unlike last year where I feverishly passed people to get where I wanted to be (and wearing myself out in the process), I decided that I would be much more patient in moving through the pack. I was, after all, just doing a training run disguised as a race. The patience paid off, and I managed to calmly weave through people and before I knew it, I passed the 65min pacer, then the 60min pacer, and then the 55min pacer was in sight. Originally, this was my goal for the run.
But then people's paces started to fade, and I kept passing more and more people easily. And then when we hit the water stations (of which there were 3 - that seemed a lot to me for this race distance) tonnes of people peeled off for a drink and I just moved to the middle of the road and kept going. Suddenly I had passed the 55min pacer and didn't even notice.
My pace stayed the same for about 9km, after which the people leading up to the chute were cheering like crazy. I looked at my watch and saw that a PR was within reach. Suddenly, the race changed for me and I wanted that PR. I picked up the pace and held a hard pace for the last 1000m. I was hurting a bit right near the end, but I was still solid on my feet and nothing was concerning me. 53min40 later, I had a new PR and I felt great.
Unfortunately, my wife didn't feel as good as I did and she had to stay home. :( But she still pushed me out of the door cheering for me, as did my daughter. I've really got a great team working with me, and even though they weren't at the finish line, they were with me the whole time in spirit - they cheered me the entire way!