Last weekend (March 10th) I found myself heading to Victoria to join 748 other runners at the 2013 Bazan Bay 5km. The night before the race, ChrisKelsall (Athletics Illustrated) sent me the following message via facebook predicting my finish time. You can also see my response below.
I worked until 10:15pm the night before, came home and got everything ready for the next day. With daylight savings “Spring ahead” happening that night, I was less than enthusiastic about losing that hour of sleep! I woke up before my alarm and was out the door by 8:15am.
I arrived in Sidney at about 9:45am and proceeded to pick up my number, catch up with some friends and then headed out for my warm up shortly after 10am. I usually do a 20 minute warm up, but I decided to try something new this time, extending the warm up slightly and adding in some speed. I know it is highly preached “NOT” to try something new on race day; however, I felt like I had nothing to lose.
Over the years I have never exactly enjoyed the race distance. To me 5km seems like a sprint. I would find I would get warmed up right near the end of the race, so during a recent massage with Yvonne, she suggested maybe altering my warm up.
On the start line, packed in like sardines, the countdown began and we were off. This race (like most) always starts out fast. I went out fast, yet comfortable. Around 1km I found myself running beside fellow Nanaimo runner Damian Allen who had a well-known goal to “take me down” in this race. Up ahead I knew there was Sabrina Wilkie, Jen Millar, fellow Saucony Canada athlete Alison Hooper and I also saw another triathlete who turned out to be Alex Coates. I did not realize that there was another triathlete Ellen Pennockup further in the lead.
After the first km, I settled the pace down a bit as I saw 3:22 and based on my goal of 17:30 (3:30/km pace) I didn’t want to screw myself by continuing too fast. Just after 2km (I think) I overtook Alison with a 3:30. At 2.5km we hit the turn around and I found myself boxed in and caught on the inside. This resulted in a tight turn for me, not to mention the guy in front took the turn around too slow for my liking and I believe I may have put my hands on his back to avoid running into him. I literally nearly stopped around the corner and had to get going again.
Can you tell where the turn around happened?
On the way back, we hit 3km (3:28) and I knew it was time to give it what I had. I still felt too comfortable at that stage so I picked up the pace and kept my eye on Jen’s back as I saw I was gaining ground on her. Not to mention she was in my age group!
The 4th km passed in 3:23 and I was still gaining so I picked it up again. The 100m sprint marker meant I began my sprint and I honestly thought I was going to run out of time, I glanced at the clocked and saw around 17:10 and thought “holy crap” and then I realized Jen was just cruising to the finish. I upped it again and passed her right before the line with a final 3:18. I wasn’t sure my exact time but I figured around 17:15. Someone asked me my time at the finish and I looked at my watch, which as usual I had stopped a few seconds after the finish line, and saw 17:06. WTF? It was then discovered that the clock was actually fast. Official results had me at 17:03 chip for a 54 second personal best. HOLY CRAP!
Instantly I was even happier, though I won’t lie, that small competitive side of me thought “crap, if I had known I was only 4 seconds from 16:xx……” and “darn, I lost that time at the turn around.” Nevertheless I will take that 54 second PB and over a week later I am still somewhat in disbelief that 16:xx is right there. Not to mention the good sign was that my legs had little to no soreness other than a medium blister on the side of my foot.
30-34 age group L-R (1st- myself, 3rd- Melissa Ross, 6th- Gemma Handley, then the last girl I am sorry I am not 100% sure who you are!)
So in the end I was 4th female overall, 1st in my 30-34 age group, in 17:03 with a whopping 54 second personal best! Now I ask myself, why did I ever hate 5kms?! All week long when people asked me about my race, I tried to stay positive and after generally saying “I hate 5kms” I would follow that with “I will try to make friends with the 5km this weekend.” I did exactly that. I made friends with my nemesis (the 5km distance).
Results are found here.
Being stalked when leaving with Damian..... PS. Nice try PE! ;)