Bring us to 2011 where it was discussed that I would attempt this race once again and treat it like a workout. That meant training through the race with no real taper. This past week I had many many doubts that I should race. I have not been able to complete one run without some kind of pain for the last few weeks. Not to mention the pain increased in the days prior to the race, where not only did it show up, it didn't disappear a few minutes later like before and instead would hang around for longer periods of time. I wasn't sure I should race, but thought I would attempt it and see what happened.
I headed over to Vancouver on the 3pm ferry Saturday afternoon. My sister picked me up (thanks sis) and took me back to her place. We went out to a local pub/restaurant for dinner (yummy burgers) and then relaxed and watched a movie. I attempted to get to sleep around 11pm and had the worst sleep I have had in a long time. I have no idea why, but I literally woke up at least 5-6 times throughout the night. It seemed like I was awake every hour. Not ideal before a race.
I woke up before my alarm, which didn't surprise me at all considering the night I had.
Pre-Race at my sisters
I left her place around 7:15 and headed up the road to wait for my ride. Ideally, I prefer to get to a race about an hour before the start so I can pick up my number and relax, then slowly get ready for the race with my warm up. This time, it was out of my control and I was thrown into a bit of a panic.
Why? Well we arrived at the race at about 8am. By the time I had registered and dropped my stuff off, it was 8:10. I had yet to even start my warm up and the race started in 20 minutes. I saw Shauna completing her drills and looking pretty ready to run fast and here I was rushing off for some sort of a warm up. I did a quick 10 min jog with minimal pain, a very small portion of rushed drills and then I was on the start line.
It was packed. Everyone was crammed to the front. I had someones hair in my face in front of me and if I moved the guy behind me hit me with the brim of his hat. I literally couldn't move my feet. I almost knew that a disaster was going to happen. They did a "test start" to show us the siren and then instead of a count down after 15 seconds they just said, get ready and sounded the horn. A bit different for me as I am used to a 5 second count down at least.
The race started fast. Next thing I knew, I heard some yelling and you could hear someone falling. I grabbed onto the girl beside me briefly and said "careful" as I had no idea where it was, but it was near by. I briefly looked behind and saw 1 guy hit the ground a few steps behind and to the right of me, then another guy topple to the ground over him. I have no idea if anyone else fell, but I hope whoever was involved is okay.
I kept behind Shauna and felt pretty good for the first 2km. Slight pain in my right hip at about 1km, but then it went away. We hit an icy portion of a paved trail at the 1-1.5km mark maybe and some of the corners were slow. I found myself losing speed on the sharp corners and then having to pick the pace back up afterward.
At about 3km (I think) Anne-Marie passed me and Shauna, Amy and Sabrina were ahead of me but still within reach. At this point, they all seemed as though they took off. I kept plodding along pushing and trying to stay within reach. I noticed Amy fall off pace ever so slightly, so I tried to stay with her. We reached the turn around and headed back. I love the way back. For some reason it always seems shorter than the way out.
Not far from the turn around, Amy said "are you Erin" I said "yep" and she said "Amy" and after I confirmed her last name, we went on our way. She pulled away from me again and I thought I was a goner, but tried to pick it up myself. At 6km I pulled even with her and then passed her. I kept pressing on (or at least it felt like it) and was hoping I would hang on. Some guy went blazing past me around the final km but was going too fast for me to keep up. We passed the final icy portion of paved trail again, which was still icy (not to mention some icy patches/puddles earlier in the route) and headed towards the finish.
I had no idea what my time was as I had not looked at any splits until I saw the clock at the end. I kicked it in and finished in 29:30. A good effort considering training through it and not a whole heck of a lot of speed work lately. It was a 1:10 PB and I finished 4th female (3rd in the 25-29 age group). Anne-Marie blazed the way back and caught Shauna and Sabrina near the end. Anne-Marie won in 28:40, then Sabrina in 28:41 and Sauna in 28:45. I would have liked to have seen that finish. Amy finished 5 seconds back from me at 29:35 and then I think Rachel Ruus was 5 seconds back from Amy in 29:40. (The results were rounded up for all of us as I was 29:30.72 and in the results I along with all the ladies mentioned above were rounded up compared to the results posted on the wall post race)
As soon as I stopped, my hip began to hurt. My cool down was cut in half and it hurt! Ugh. But I survived the race and am happy with the result. Steveston is a flat course, but is deceiving as it has lots of corners, a 180 turn around plus today the icy conditions in some spots weren't ideal. Still a good day and beautiful sunny weather! Flat courses are nice for a change, but I miss the undulating hills in a course. Little hills and some downhills that you can use to your advantage.
Results can be found here.