I knew I had been training. And I had also done a couple of races recently. But running and training alone is different. And running an obstacle race with a couple of girlfriends is not the same as running a distance race. There was some extra pressure this time around.
I was jumping back into distance racing, and this was the first step on my Marathon journey.
Despite my nerves, I told myself that I would run My Race at My Pace and that I would enjoy myself. The competitive little runner that lives inside my head said that I also had a secret time goal of 1:30.
A MidSummer's Night Run, is a whimsical night time race held to benefit Sick Kids. The grounds were energized, spirits were high, and lots of runners were sporting everything from tutus, wings, wigs, even leaves and ivy. It was easy to get excited with a crowd like this.
I was rocking my new oiselle gear and was feeling good, as I lined up with the 1:30 Pace Fairy. The horn sounded and before I knew it I was off and running.
It was a lake front course, following the trails in and along the Leslie Street spit. The view of the city from there was gorgeous. And the breeze coming off the water helped make the conditions ideal for racing. I stuck close with the my Pace Fairy for the first 5km, but I was struggling to find my happy heart rate. So I told myself to relax and fall back. I could see the 1:30 sign bobbing just up ahead, but by scaling back a little I was able to hit my ideal BPM.
As I rocked out to my Pop-Fabulous Playlist I found my rhythm. My heart rate stayed happily in between 175-185bpm, and I was enjoying my run. Before I knew it I could see the lighthouse, and the halfway point had arrived.
The terrain around the lighthouse switched from the smooth paved path we had been running on to one that was very rough and uneven. The race organizer had made a point of warning runners about this. But in true klutzy Krysten fashion, my toes caught one of the rocks the wrong way, and I was down for the count. OUCH! I was dusty, a little scrapped up, slight embarrassed, but otherwise okay.
(**DAMN THOSE ROCKS**)
I dusted myself off and popped back up just as Kelly Clarkson was belting out "I'd fall a thousand times 'fore I let you drag me down" (**Sometimes life is just too funny! I swear!**) So I took that as a sign - and said "DAMN RIGHT!". I was meant to rock this run and I was going to push hard during the second half to make up the time and momentum I lost during my tumble.
I embraced race day mantra and told myself I was going for it.
I pushed hard. I even started chanting this out loud during the last few kilometers. I felt strong. I felt happy. And I finished the race on a serious runner's high at 1:34!
I missed my goal time by a couple minutes, but I think without my tumble I would have hit my time. So I will take that! Because more importantly I crossed the finish line feeling strong. I had energy left in the tank. And all of that told me that my training is actually WORKING! My hard work and long hours in the trails are starting to pay off. And if I stay focused, and if I keep plugging, than my Marathon dream could really become a reality!
So Let's Make It Happen!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,