On Sunday I did the Run for Retina Research 10K. It’s an event that has been running for 20 years, with options for 5K, 10K, or a half marathon. I’ve done it many times (including in October 2022), and it is known locally as a fun race where you usually get an extra jacket or technical top. It’s also for a really good cause in support of urgent eye care at one of our hospitals.
But oh wow what a brutal 10K it was. I have done other 10Ks without training enough, but I don’t think I’ve ever before been untrained quite to this degree. And of course we would be having unseasonably warm weather for April.
Despite that it was a tough slog and I ran most of it on my own, with my music and my inner voice vacillating between “why are you doing this?” and “you can do this!” it actually turned out to be all-in-all a fun day for the RunFam.
Our team was the second highest fundraising team of the event. We deserve to feel good about this considering that across all the distances there were 700 participants.
We all finished even though we didn’t feel super-prepared. For me, it was my 10K PW (“personal worst”) but oh well. I am not in the shape that I used to be and I didn’t train consistently, so to expect anything more would have been to believe in miracles. That said, I am now feeling inspired for the next event, the Shoppers Drug Mart sponsored Women’s Run on June 11th. Maybe this time, an upcoming race will be the training goal I need to actually get me out the door for regular training. The Run for Retina was supposed to function in that same incentivizing way but it didn’t. But that doesn’t mean the next challenge won’t.
It’s also just fun to get out and do things with others, even if I score a PW instead of a PB. And I’m happy we took part in the last ever Run for Retina Research. Based on the jackets hanging in my closet and the one long-sleeved jersey, I can see that I’ve done it four times. The latest jacket is quite lovely, a white and grey zip-up that fits well and looks quite smart.
I know lots of people who don’t like doing events that travel the same routes that they do on a regular basis. It’s great to do destination events, but I actually enjoy the simplicity of keeping it local and I like contributing to London, Ontario’s vibrant running community. We are incredibly fortunate to have pathways all along the river, and somehow on race day those well-travelled routes feel different and more alive.
How do you feel about local events?