In Niagara there is a popular race series of 7 races that occur throughout the year and throughout the region. They are growing in size and offer great races for us locals that don't want to travel very far and they offer travellers great races with some tourist attractions.
The last of the series was the Casablanca Classic 5 Miler on November 13th. I have never done this race, nor had I raced this distance before, so I was looking at an instant PR. But realistically I knew my 10K capabilities and knew where I should be running this race too.
I only signed up for it because I wanted to make sure my motivation and enthusiasm for running didn't waiver as it started to get cold. I really don't mind running in all types of weather, but its the transition seasons that are most challenging. I have a hard time figuring out my clothes (which is a common non-running problem too). I usually dress too warm for those early chilly days and end up uncomfortable. The November date gave me enough cool weather running to practice dressing.
So....race day is less than a week away and I get hit with the worst cold I've had all year! It figures. I stayed healthy through the summer and even through September, when kids are back at school and bringing home all kinds of germs. Not only did I get sick, but everyone in the house was out. I even missed a day of work...and I don't do that unless I'm REALLY ill. I was so tired and achy and miserable. I considered not racing at all. But Mr. B (hubby) convinced me that I would feel better by the weekend.
After a very rough week, lots of Buckley's and Advil Sinus, I decided to run anyway...what did I have to lose. If anything the cold gave me a reason to not put pressure on myself and just to go out and enjoy running again.
It was a very cold and foggy morning, a little damp in the air, but not windy. Looking back, I couldn't have asked for better weather in November. I decided on just a long sleeve t-shirt and capri's. I wanted to wear my new running skirt, but I figured it was too cold (you will hear more about running skirts if you keep reading this blog).
I went to the race alone. My family isn't keen on standing on the sidelines to watch me go by and none of my friends had signed up for the race. I don't mind going alone. I like having my own timeline and not feeling that I'm throwing off someone else's pre-race rituals either. My pre-race rituals usually going to the washroom several times (and as close to the gun time as possible).
I actually didn't know the route of the race, but I knew there were two 'aide' stations, so my plan was to take water and walk 1 minute at each station. The first being at 2.5k which was a little early for a break, but I'm glad I did and the next at 5.5k was much needed. It was a beautiful route that took runners through a conservation park (with big trees and leaves on the gravel path). It was also very quiet for a race, not many fans out on a foggy fall morning. Although, I may have found it less quiet if I was a faster runner and had more people to run with. It's kinda why I've learned to like really big races- there is always someone around!
In the end I ran a 50:11 8k. My pace was slower than I planned, but the excuses of being ill all week was all I needed. I ended up meeting a friend from high school (who had a baby 10months ago and is already racing!!) so it made for a nice morning. I went straight home, took a hot shower, ate and then took a long nap...I guess my body wasn't quite ready for a race.
Hopefully this is enough inspiration to keep running and chasing down those KMS!!