Back when my dermatologist suggested I come in for surgery on Tuesday, April 22nd – I quickly checked my calendar, saw it was the week leading up to the Sun Run… And agreed. When I look back now, I wonder if I wasn’t giving myself an excuse. I’m scared I’ll never PB in the 10k distance again so if I can keep setting up scenarios where “it’s not my fault” then I don’t have to worry so much.
Regardless of what I was subconsciously thinking (if anything), I came out with a prescription for antibiotics (precautionary) and advice to take it easy (as in, don’t run) for 1-2 weeks. I didn’t tell my dermatologist I was planning to run the Sun Run in 5 days – but after our conversation during my surgery I doubt it would have surprised him. Not that he would have condoned it.
I took two days off last week – Wednesday and Thursday – and did an easy 5km on Friday. All feeling good. I realized I could bandage and protect the incision quite nicely. Okay, let’s race. Another easy 5km activation run on Saturday… And I was ready to run the Sun Run.
Here’s the thing. While I may have been terrified of not getting a PB… There was no way in on this earth I was going to miss this year’s Sun Run. Why? Because last year I qualified to wear a blue bib – I ran a 43:59 meaning I qualified by 1 second. Despite the fact I was certain I wouldn’t PB (and going into the race with that frame of mind was pretty much the final straw – there’d be no PB for me this year), I knew I’d fully enjoy every second of this race.
And I so totally did.
After bussing it downtown, I headed straight for Starbucks and had my double shot espresso (as planned, I’d had my double strength matcha latte an hour earlier – caffeine can be a great performance enhancer, if practiced). With 50 minutes to race start we did a short warm up jog, and then hubby and I stripped off our warm-up clothes and checked our bags – and continued to do some strides. With only 15 minutes to race start I ran over to the porta potties – no line up at all because I’m in the blue corral.
It was honestly amazing. Not worrying about fighting the crowds in the yellow corral as I’d done the year before. Not having to stop my warm-up and get in the corral 45 minutes before race start like last year because I wanted to be near or at the front of the corral. I drank in every second for fear I’ll never be back. Was I being silly to think I’m not fast enough to re-qualify or was I just being realistic? I don’t know.
It didn’t matter though. Last year I ran 1 minute and 44 seconds faster than this year. A blue bib does not dictate how fast you’ll run or how well you do. Your training and your state of mind are more important than the colour of your bib.
But I loved it. I loved every minute that race. I flew down the hill to clock 3:59 for the first kilometre. I was pretty much on my own – most everyone was ahead of me, faster than me. A blue bibbed girl passed me at km 4. I passed her back at km 9. I also passed one other blue bibbed girl at km 7 – I’d been on her tail ever since km 2. I never pass other runners. I am the one getting passed because I always go out too fast. But somehow this time I picked up the pace for the last 3km.
When I crossed the finish line, I was happy. Not happy like last year, where I was nearly in tears upon realizing my PB time. Happy like omg, this was the best race experience I’ve ever had and I totally enjoyed every minute of it. I simply loved racing those 10km. It was honestly one of my greatest and most enjoyable races.
I can’t think of anything I’d have done differently.
Okay, that last line is totally bull. Next year I will not schedule surgery the week of the Sun Run.
Oh, and I am going to run another 10km race this year in an attempt to re-qualify for the blue corral. Because those negative and belittling thoughts I had of myself and my abilities? Seriously not cool. Of course I can re-qualify! Onward and forward…
Training — Planned Weekly Mileage:
- Dec 30 to Jan 5 – 50km (actual – 57km)
- Jan 6 to 12 – 60km (actual – 63km)
- Jan 13 to 19 – 60km (actual – 63km)
- Jan 20 to 26 – 75km (actual – 77km)
- Jan 27 to Feb 2 – 105km (actual – 108km)
- Feb 3 to 9 – 90km (actual – 90km)
- Feb 10 to 16 – 75km (actual – 75km)
- Feb 17 to 24 – 105km (actual – 100km)
- Feb 25 to Mar 2 – 135km (actual – 135km)
- Mar 3 to 9 – 120km (actual – 105km)
- Mar 10 to 16 – 135km (actual 110km)
- Mar 17 to 23 – 150km (actual 83km)
- Mar 24 to 30 – 120km, with specific pace runs (actual 100km – no pace runs)
- Mar 31 to Apr 6 – 120km, with specific pace runs (actual 100km, nailed my pace runs)
- Apr 7 to 13 – 105km, with specific pace runs (actual 75km, got sick in the middle, but nailed all my pace runs)
- Apr 14 to 20 – 135km, with specific pace runs (actual 100km, nailed my pace runs)
- Apr 21 to 27 – 70km, with specific pace run and The Vancouver Sun Run 10km race (actual 48km, good pace run, race = 45:43)
- Apr 28 to May 4 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- May 5 to 11 – 150km, with specific pace runs
- May 12 to 18 – 135km, with specific pace runs
- May 19 to 25 – 120km, with specific pace runs
- May 26 to June 1 – 150km, with specific pace runs
- June 2 to 8 – 135km, with specific pace runs
- June 9 to 15 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- June 16 to 22 – 150km, with specific pace runs
- June 23 to 29 – 120km, with specific pace runs
- June 30 to July 6 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- July 7 to 13 – 105km, with specific pace runs
- July 14 to 20 – 90km, with specific pace runs
- July 21 to 27 – final taper week