I ran and completed my very first 10km race!
Yesterday, Sunday, April 15th 2012 I ran in the Vancouver Sunrun and crossed the first 10km race off my bucket list! The race is one of the most popular 10k’s around and even though people warned me that the sea of people running would shock me… I never anticipated how many people were actually going to be there…
Look at the sea of people behind us!
And in front of us!
My good friend Melanie and I have been running together for the past few weeks in preparation for the run and were there to run it together!
We were in the green section – which we signed up for pre-race using our anticipated running time (49-59 minutes). The race started at 9am, but because there were almost 40,000 people running this race – the organizers have the sections go in waves and we actually didn’t start running until about 9:25am. The first 3km’s went by super fast and I felt great – at that point Mel and I got separated so I sped on amongst the crazy crowd. We were aiming to do a steady 5:00′ pace so I knew how fast I had to go.
I was doing great until the first hill (there’s always a hill!) going up to the Burrard Bridge – I felt a little winded at that point and took a few second (15-20 seconds) walking break to recover. I typically train for running and all other types of training by interval training. The true advantage to interval training is how fast your body can recover after all out physical exertion. Basically because of that, I like to sprint for a bit and stop and recover and go at it again – it’s how I train!
The water stations were slightly awkward and I found myself actually running on the sidewalks around the massive swarm of people running on the streets just so I didn’t have to keep darting in between people. I almost got elbowed in the face once by a very tall man, and almost got tripped twice by a guy darting in front of me and a girl stopping directly in front of me without warning. Lucky for me – I avoided them all! The best part of the entire race were the music stations and the people on the sides of the road encouraging everyone to “keep going!” and “you can do it!” It was these people that reminded me half way through that yes, I can do this and will not stop!
At the 7km mark I was feeling pretty winded but knew that I had tons of energy and my legs were still holding strong. At this point it’s all mental. You tell yourself that you have to stop.. or you tell yourself to keep going. I remember thinking to myself how amazing and fortunate it was that I was able to even be doing this 10km right then and there. So many people suffer from injuries and medical conditions that would never allow their body to do what I and everyone around me was doing. My body felt great and my spirit was high and there was no stopping me.
As I started to approach the Cambie bridge, I saw the last big hill coming up and told myself to kill it to the top and than I could stop and recover for a few seconds before sauntering across the bridge. After that hill all I could think about was how close I was to the end and that I wanted to make good time – so I kept pushing. Coming down the incline off the bridge all you could see was the finish line dotted with a rainbow stream of balloons and people screaming and cheering telling us all to “keep going!” and “you are almost there – run, run, run!”
It was at that point that I just started sprinting and did so for the last .5 km to the finish line!
I crossed the finish line at officially 53:46.5! (<- First official race PR!)
(I was in the female 19-24 division: I came in 236th in my division, 1376th female and 6020th overall! Not too shabby for a 40,000 person race!)
I met up with Faith after I crossed and stumbled through the crowd of runners, family members, and friends gathered around BC place to celebrate the achievement of every runner who took part. Whether you cycled, ran, jogged or walked – everyone was recognized for their achievements!
Melanie and I just after we crossed the finish line!
Even though I was a few minutes over my 50 minute race goal… I am pretty satisfied with my time. Under 50 minutes will happen in the next 10km race… stay tuned :)