It’s September. And if you’re a runner, you know what that means. Fall race season has arrived! Yesterday, Lynne and I kicked our season off with a rare 5k – the Toronto 5k for Sick Kids.
This is one of Toronto’s newest races – we ran the inaugural run last year. This time, they tripled the number of registrants and had over 400 finishers. Just like last year, it was a very well organized event. Not a lot of frills. They gave out the exact same shirts and medals as last year – but I figure that means they just had lots of extras from last year’s small turnout. That also means less money spent on that stuff and (hopefully) more money going to the cause.
It was a gorgeous morning for a run – sunny and cool. Weather truly does have such an impact on a race. Not just in terms of logistics (rain = extra gear to pack and wear, fewer parking spots, etc.) and performance (humidex warnings/high winds/ice and snow = no PB for you)… but also in my overall attitude. When I wake up to sunshine on race morning, I’m a happy girl. I’m ready to crush it. If the sky threatens rain, I’m dragging and tired, even if I had the world’s best sleep the night before (yeah, right).
So, yeah. On Saturday, I was definitely in the mood to set a new PB.
And I won’t beat around the bush…. I did, indeed, crush this 5k.
Started out strong on the downhill – my time for the first km was 4:32. Yeesh. No way I could keep that pace up for very long. The next few km’s were pretty flat and I set into a nice steady pace between 5:11 and 5:13. Then, right after 3k I hit the hill at Dupont/Christie. This hill felt far harder during last year’s race. It slowed me down, sure, but I definitely didn’t feel as winded (thanks, summer hill training!). Time for km 4 was 5:44.
The last stretch of the race is tricky – you can see the finish area (but not the exact finish line) the whole time, and at first you’re running downhill. Then, as you approach Spadina Rd., you hit the incline, and it doesn’t stop so you finish the race running uphill. This makes it particularly tough to sprint. It hurt, but I pushed through and finished my last km strong in 5:00 even.
My overall goal for the race was to beat my 2011 time (26:30), but my “best” goal was to finish in under 26 minutes. My official chip time? 25:59.2. Just barely made it, but it counts!
[Apologies for the uneventful pace-based recapping. I’m not used to writing race reports for 5ks – what is there to say? With such a short distance, I find there isn’t much chance to encounter an incident or two that would make for interesting post-race anecdotes. Sorry. My next race is 16km longer, though. Surely I’ll have some good ones for you then.]
Afterwards, Lynne and I celebrated with brunch at The Stockyards. This place is famous for their “fried chicken and waffles.” I don’t love fried chicken, and I really wanted eggs. So I let Lynne get their signature dish, while I ordered the biscuits with sausage gravy and scrambled eggs.
We shared the two meals, both of which – as you can tell – were massive. In order to “earn” this breakfast, we should have run at least a half marathon. BUT, we had another occasion to celebrate: Lynne’s birthday! So we figured that made it okay.
Next up: Detroit Half Marathon with Najette & Co. on Oct. 21st. So pumped for this one!
Happy running and racing, friends.