Run for the Animals 10k: Race Recap
The Ottawa Humane Society raised a total of $220,000 with the first annual Run for the Animals paired with the Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-thon in its 25th year! Thanks to everyone who helped raise money – together we brought $125 to the table.
On a more personal note, my race was a great experience! Two reps of 5km out and back on the Queen Elizabeth Parkway. It was a perfect day for a race – cool and sunny. My plan was to practice the last 6 miles of the Half Marathon strategy I created – if I can handle it on fresh legs, then I just might be able to handle it on race day. I tried to stick with it for at least the first three miles – 8:59 minutes the first mile. Then I became a little overzealous, 20 seconds per mile faster than I planned over the next two miles. My legs just felt so good!
I started the second lap and realized…I might be one of the top 5 women! Hell, I could PLACE in my age category! That’s when the plan went totally out the window. I figured out exactly who was ahead of me…for sure that gal in shorts and the great tan was going to come in first, I saw her booking it out on lap 2 before I finished the first. (Probably 20-29 anyway.) About 7km, I see another woman already on her way back, don’t think I’ll be catching up to her. Another who was probably my age….but then I hit the turnaround point. That was it. I’m the fourth woman on the course right now…!
Ok, focus, center, and get back to my “plan”. My fourth mile was only 12 seconds faster, but I’m dipping below my 8 minute miles! Adrenaline and the possibility of placing got the best of me in the fifth. 7:39! I think I burnt myself on the one hill in the back half (which was surprisingly tricky), but the third woman was within my reach. I’ve never considered a competitive strategy, do I pass and when?? Mile 6 was 7:58, and the finish was in sight. I figured the worst that could happen is I puke – my body checked out fine, calves were a bit stiff but generally my legs felt great…so PUSH and passed the woman in third…I think I was about half a kilometer away, lungs were screaming and form was going out the window. Not sure if #4 is going to surge, better keep up the crazy pace, hell I am gonna PLACE!!
BAM! Through!! HOLY CRAP! No idea what time I made it in, forgot to turn off my Garmin in the excitement. Hi fived a couple other finishers as well as the runner I passed, ate a banana, handed in my chip, and off to the park to see how I did. Turns out I was first in my age category, at 50:59! I definitely left it all out there. I felt about the same exhaustion when I finished the Cookie Run – AND I shaved 4 minutes off my time! A PR! As for my half marathon strategy – I think it’ll work, I just have to promise myself to stick to my pacing in the first half.
I’m not competitive with others…or so I thought! I only wanted to PR…but I actually feel a little guilty for passing her! Oh well, it is a race, right? 🙂 Being the inaugural year, it was a small race. I was 1/8 women in my age group and 3/27 women in the 10k. I am definitely going to make this a yearly event for me, what an honor to finish so well in the first annual Run for the Animals! And we get to raise money to help homeless kitties and pooches too!