I headed off around 8:15 for the drive south to Victoria. Of course, with my luck I swear I hit almost every red light possible. Not to mention I was terribly afraid that my lovely 91 tempo, which has been struggling lately, wouldn't make it. Already breaking down on the malahat once (post TC 10km about 3 years ago) I did not want a repeat event! Thankfully I made it down to the race start at approximately 9:45.
I did my usual thing of picking up my race number, chatting with a few people and hitting the washroom. Then off to my car to get ready for warm up. Just as I was heading out, I ran into Marilyn and Joey, so the three of us continued on for our warm up. A few quick words with Matt and I was back to my car to get ready to race. At this point I wanted a washroom but knew that with 15 minutes to race time, there would definitely be a line up.
I hit the line and before I knew it we were off. The first km is mostly downhill which meant for a quick start. I tried to hold back, but also didn't want to get left behind. A flat 2nd km lead into a hill. Here I went from 4th female to 7th female. My legs felt dead and just would not respond as Catrin, Care, Sabrina and Claire went by. Definitely fighting negative thoughts in my head from 3-6km. A downhill section into the half way point, which I hit at 14:31. With my next km 3:43 (according to Garmin, which I know is not exact), meant 5km at 18:14, which is technically a 5km PB for me (18:25 from 2010). That bodes well for the next time I race a 5km I hope!
We hit a hill, turn around and then downhill as we headed back towards the start/finish between 5 and 7km. After the turn around, which I felt I was moving quite well, I saw a split on my garmin that said 4:00 and I thought to myself, wtf?! This definitely feels worse than 4 min/km pace. I was slightly defeated at this point, thinking that I had gone out too fast and no longer would hit at least sub 30 like I wanted. At 6.5km I passed Sabrina who had unfortunately began a battle with her stomach that left her puking on course. I wanted out shout out to keep going, but she was mid puke as I went by. Thankfully she did keep going and finished not far behind me.
I kept plodding on, just wanting the race to finish. An uphill finish and I tried to pour it on, but just couldn't catch Claire and finished 6th female (50th overall) in 29:49. I was initially extremely disappointed in my time. I ran 30:05 in October and felt as though I was in WAY better shape than that, so to finish only 16 second faster did not impress me. But I chalked it up to being what it was and accepted that I had really run the race as a training race and my legs were far from fresh.
I chatted with Matt and Marilyn for a bit and then grabbed some clothes before heading off on a cool down with Marilyn (who also ran it as a training race on less than fresh legs) and Joey. We met Claire about half way through and continued with her. On the cool down, Joey mentioned that the turn around was actually in the wrong place and the course was long.
One of the PIH members Gary is always responsible for measuring courses, so he went and officially measured the difference which came out to 74.9m. Calculations say that it added about 17 seconds to my time, which means 29:49 turns into 29:32, only 1 second off of my best time, from a flatter course last January. That improved my overall outlook on the race. While I am not 100% happy with the way I ran the race and my mentality during the race, it is what it is and I am grateful for the experience.
Thank you to PIH for hosting the race and to Bob for everything he does in the running community. Results found here.
One photo from the race so far, I believe mid race, courtesy of Noa Deutsch