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Brief Race Recap and My Summer Plans

Tracy in a victory pose with hands high in the air, red t-shirt, post run for retinaSunday was the first really beautiful, perfect weekend day we’ve had so far this spring. I went out for my first local 10K race of the season, The Run for Retina, intent on getting a personal best.  But alas, it was not to be.

When I ran the Halloween Haunting last October, I managed a personal record 10K time of 1:05:56.  I could almost taste a sub-65 10K.  A winter of careful running in ice and snow helped my endurance but not my speed.

Instead of besting that, I ended up with 1:07:27.5. But lest you think I’m super-disappointed, let me assure you I’m not.  For one thing, it’s the beginning of the season whereas the Halloween Haunting was at the end of the season. Not only that, as Sam pointed out, I did pretty well age-group wise, placing 17/33. I think that’s better than I’ve ever done.

And not only that, but I beat my last year’s Run for Retina 10K time of 1:10:40 by quite a bit. So there’s that.

I also got to see the woman who won the half marathon just kick it.  Louidmila Kortchaguina finished the half marathon in 1:18:29.3 with a pace of 3:44 per km.  Their race was two loops of the 10K course plus a bit, so I got to see her blast past a couple of times. What a rush!

It was the first time I’ve done a race all by myself–no friends watching, no friends running.  I didn’t mind that but it’s not nearly as fun even if it’s a gorgeous day with lots of other people.

I’d added a few songs to my playlist to pick up the beat.  On the downside, I think “In Your Hands” by Charlie Winston took me out too quickly off the start. I paid for that later.  My race strategy on Sunday was to minimize my walk breaks, keeping them to the water stations and as short as possible. But that was probably ill-advised since I’ve been working pretty consistently with 10-1 intervals for months now.  If I’m going to mess around with that timing then I need to do it in training first.

I also now understand my friends who have been running for awhile and why they no longer do local races. Last year when a couple of people said they were bored of them, I didn’t get it. But the Run for Retina was on exactly the same pathway that we trained on all last summer and all through the winter. The same Thames River. The same Canada geese honking at us as we run by. The same everything.  Great for training but perhaps a bit of a yawn on race day.

Anyway, the whole point of the run for Retina this year was to set my 10K baseline for the season so I would know what I’m trying to improve upon. And I do: I want to do better than 1:07:27.5.

Here are the rest of my summer race plans:

1.  Mississauga Marathon on May 3rd. This will be my first marathon ever. I feel extremely nervous and a little bit unhinged whenever I think of it.  I have considered scaling back to the half. But then I think whatever. Why not give it a try? The other voice in my head answers this question with “because it will take you over 5 hours and that’s a long time to be running.” I guess I’ll see.

2. Niagara Women’s Half Marathon on June 7th. I signed up for this with Anita, whom I did my first half with back in October. I’m excited about this one — all women and we get to run past the Falls twice. And we’re going down the day before. It’ll be a fun getaway and I’m comfortable with the half marathon distance now.

3. Kincardine Women’s Triathlon on July 13th.  This is a very short sprint triathlon (400m swim, 12K bike, 3K run) and there is a whole group of us going: Anita, Sam, Mallory, and Natalie, as well as my friend Leslie and at least three other women from Balance Point Triathlon, my club.  It’s also the first triathlon I’ve ever done, and it will be my third time doing it.  Kincardine is what made me fall in love with multi-sport. I’m excited.

4. Bracebridge Olympic distance on August 9th (or something on the East coast of the USA).  Last year, Bracebridge tested my endurance as my first Olympic distance triathlon. It’s tough but I liked it a lot. I’m not committing yet though because I might have a reason to be in Maine around that time. If so, I’ll try to find something in the neighborhood. But I want to do an Olympic triathlon in August.

5. Scotiabank Toronto Half Marathon on October 18th. Lots of fun last year and I’d love to do it again.

It’s not a busy schedule because (a) I’m starting a new position at work and I can’t travel as much as I might usually in the summer and (b) Renald is about to go live on our sailboat on the east coast of the USA for a few months and I want to be available to visit him, so that means making fewer race commitments or finding stuff near where he is.

I have one main training goal for the summer: to improve my 10K time so I’m able to hit 60 minutes or less at race pace. This will mean learning to push myself harder for longer. 10K gives me a manageable distance to build up to.  I will want to do a 10K event again at some point, maybe in September and another in October.

I’m also going to keep at my swim training through the summer because I’m enjoying it a lot and I’m getting faster.

Still deliberating about the bike training.  Likely I will do spin classes just enough that I don’t actually lose what I’ve got so far. But I’m not aspiring for much there and with my enthuasiasm for running at an all-time high, I’m good with that.

So those are my summer plans. You?

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