As I reported last week, I’ve been prepping for the Guelph Lake 10K and I recruited Violetta and Ellen to do it with me. It was a gorgeous day for a Sunday run, not too hot, sunny with a bit of cloud cover, a light breeze that felt just right at least some of the time.
As I like to do when there’s a group of us doing an event, I asked Ellen and Violetta to write a bit about their experience. We were all in different places with the 10K. I had been prepping. Just a few weeks before, Ellen had never run that distance before. And Violetta has been sporadic in her training and didn’t feel she had time to prep as she would have liked.
So today I did my first 10 k in my life! At 54! Actually, it was my first running race of any sort! No 3Ks, or 5Ks to start out with ….But then again, I have always been the kind of person to “go big or go home” in all areas of life. This has got me into some troubles in the past, such as excessive smoking and imbibing for many years, but I digress. For the past 6 and a half years or so, I have tried to confine this mentality to more healthy pursuits ☺.
I really didn’t know if I could do it. I have been running for a little while and not tracking any distances, but then one day about a month ago, I actually tracked myself doing 8.5K, and my friend Tracy, said no problem, you can do it!
My high school memories are filled with shame of being the last pick for teams, and being next to the end when it came to any sort of running. But, I am a grown up now, and I have met many other personal challenges, so I summed up my courage and tried it out today.
What a feeling of accomplishment! And what fun to share the love of this sport with other like-minded folks! I am grateful to Tracy for encouraging me to overcome the fear and just go out and do my best.
Who knows… maybe a half marathon is now in sight. I never thought I would say that! So, to all the readers out there, I am at my fittest ever at 54…And sky is the limit! I challenge you all to go after your fitness dreams and be your best ever, at any age.
I’ve really let my running slide over the cold, cold winter. So when Tracy let me know about the Guelph Lake 10k, I thought it would be the perfect thing to get me back into running regularly. It didn’t quite work out that way because I wasn’t feeling very well the last couple of weeks. Since I couldn’t prepare physically, I spent a lot of time trying to work on the psychological aspect, telling myself that I can do this and re-reading Tracy’s blog posts about running without prep and quickly regaining confidence.
I’m not going to lie. I was certainly questioning myself. Could I do this? Was I risking injury given my lack of training? Well, I did it! I now know, for myself, that it is possible to complete a 10k without much prep, not much at all. I haven’t run more than 5k in many, many months. I’m not saying it’s advisable or even preferable. And it certainly wasn’t easy. But I was very lucky—the weather was perfect, the atmosphere was casual and laid back and I was running with a friend I don’t get a chance to spend much time with.
I will say I didn’t love the repeated rolling hills (well, I didn’t mind going down them) or the repeated loop. In the end, the race served the function I needed it to, to get back into running, to remind me how much I love it. It’s too easy to lose your rhythm and get out of good habits. This was my first step back.
Thanks Tracy for inviting me to come along and for encouraging me when things got difficult. And what a treat it was to have Sam cheering us on! I’ve taken my first step and now I’m planning my next ones. Maybe another 10k … maybe another half? I’ll let you know.
The race has that local event feel that you get in the smaller cities and towns. I enjoy traveling for events because you get a change of scenery and a slightly different vibe wherever you go. This one was at Guelph Lake Conservation Area, with the course taking us along the lake for awhile, then through the camp ground, and park. It’s not a bad course but any race that involves two loops is always a bit psychologically tough (in my view). There could also have been more water.
I ran with Violetta, and we had committed to keep each other moving forward. She was worried she wouldn’t make it the full distance (I knew she could) and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make it without a walk break (I wasn’t so sure). Ellen didn’t want to run with us because, according to her, she’s really slow. She of course came in 26 seconds earlier than we did.
My main goal for this one was to do a continuous 10K, no walk breaks. I did it! Other than a very brief walk through an aid station where I was so thirsty I had to drink a cup of water properly, not letting it fly out of the cup while running, I kept a steady pace throughout the race, averaging 7:00/K for a 1:10:01 finish. That’s slower than my 10K without prep! But I think part of the reason for that is that Violetta and I spent quite a bit of the first 8K chatting, and I can’t push quite as hard when I’m chatting. (not that it wasn’t nice to catch up!)
I would have liked to come in under 1:10. But one second over is alright with me. Linda told me recently that I am not aware of my athletic potential. This may be true — I still feel a rush of skepticism when I think about getting measurably faster. Like I’ll always hover around the same speed no matter what I do. But that is a topic for another post. I mention it now because the doubt sets in most acutely on race days.
But the day had many bonuses: Besides getting to do something with Violetta and Ellen, Sarah and Sam rode their bikes to the park to cheer us on and take great action shots! And then, when all was said and done, we went out for a fancy brunch at a lovely shaded patio in Guelph.
It was a great time with friends and it’s got me now thinking of my next goal — 10K continuous AND shave some minutes off of my time. I’m working with Linda again and I’m feeling revved up and ready to go.
Here are the three of us at the finish line, after re-hydrating: