We went into it with a run-walk plan of 10 and 1 intervals of running and walking. Having not yet run 5K without any walking component, that seemed reasonable. We stuck together for a bit and eventually each settled into our own pace. The race took place on a paved path along the river in Springbank Park. With the dramatic fall colours and lots of people out for Sunday morning walks, it felt peaceful and relaxing, not much different from a typical training run.
Since picking up running again last spring, this is the first time I’ve run with people. I like it and would do it again. It gives a sense of camaraderie and support that solo runs lack. Even when we all fell into our own pace through the last 2K or so, it felt good to know that Samantha and Tara were there, and passing or being passed by other racers made me feel “a part of” — always a good feeling.
We did 10-1 twice and then kind of wandered from the plan. In the end, I’m not sure that served me well because I ended up taking more frequent, though shorter, walk breaks when I increased my pace. It’s something to work on. There must be some strategy — Samantha pointed out that you’re supposed to go faster for the last half than the first half of a race.
The race has resulted in some new goals: (1) run continuously for 5K and, once achieved, incorporate that into running schedule at least once a week; (2) plan for the Santa Shuffle on December 1st; (3) improve on my finishing time of 36 minutes.
Before the race, Samantha remarked that the real competition is against oneself. I agree with that — now that I’ve got a baseline, I have a benchmark for improvement. At the end of the race, Tara sent me an email message saying that she had a real feeling of accomplishment. Me too! And so we’re planning for the next one. Stay tuned!