It was a challenging course, but incredibly well organized and full of energy. So this year, while plotting my comeback and the start of my race season, I decided to go back. I wanted to tackle that hill one more time and to see how far I had come.
I also convinced my Hubby and my Father In-law to sign up for their very first 5km and join me.
We all met at our place and drove down to High Park together. The park makes a great race location - paved roads, no traffic, and great scenery. But Parking is very much at a premium on race day - making carpooling a MUST. It was sunny, but not warm. And we were all shivering as we waited for our start time.
Jamie and Bruce were guaranteed an automatic PR with this run, but everyone had their ideal goal times in their heads as we made our way down to the start line. I knew my hope of a PR was not a sure thing, but decided I was going to go for it anyways. I wanted to run the race in an even 25 minutes, but also knew the hills would likely give me some trouble. It was an ambitious time for just 9 weeks post-op, but I had been running well, so I figured it might be worth a shot.
Jamie and I were both in the Red Corral to start the race. We lined up with the masses and got ready to run. Jamie was aiming for a faster time than me, so I knew we would not run together. We started out side by side, but he quickly pulled ahead and I found my happy pace.
The energy on the course was high. There were over 5000 people racing in one of the 3 race events offered that day - 8k, 5k, and the Children's Run. I know I spent much of the race smiling - taking in the crowds, bouncing along to one of the many bands along the route, and checking out the scenery - it all made for a great race.
The smiles stop during the last 400 meters though. That is where you meet "The Hill". Much of the race is dotted with rolling hills. But that last hill is "The Hill". It is 400 meters of steep horrible yuckiness, that spikes the heart rate, and kills the legs. I knew it was coming. I knew it sucked. So I put my head down and slowly chugged up that hill and across the finish line.
I finished at 28:08 - which meant a 3:21 min PR for me!
Jamie finished in a speedy 22:11 placing 97th overall!
And Bruce finished in 30:47 way faster than his projected time of 36 minutes!
I think it is pretty safe to say we were all over the moon happy with our results. It was a tough course. And we finished strong. You can't ask for anything better. We left smiling, enjoying our runner's high, and hungry for lunch.
451/1691 overall and 28/165 in my age category. Finishing with those numbers, in the top 25%, meant that all of the hard work I have been putting in is paying off. This little defective bod is getting stronger. Even with all the surgeries. Even with all the setbacks. And maybe because of all the struggles. I am making progress.
This is it. This is my year. This year I making Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, and Genetics my BITCH!
One run at a time of course.
Let's Do This!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,