Mid week 10k run. The weather was a bit chilly for mid-June. The day had been nice enough but the evening run was a bit of a chilly start. Starting from a local sports centre, we lined up in the sports field with a bit of a shiver waiting for the warm up flail about to finish so the run could start and really get warm. I found my way to the back of the pack where I belong and chatted with a couple of other ladies who felt equally slow before we set out.
The first bit was running around the field before heading up the road. I quite immediately found myself the last runner before even exiting the field. Up out of the field, up out of the car park and up the road. Lots of up. Around under a bridge and around a corner and up a hill heading for the cycle path (45). Thankfully that was the last of the up for the first half at least. By this time I had passed a couple people that had set off too fast.
Along the cycle path we found ourselves running pretty much downhill (though not steeply and at times hardly noticeable) for about 3.5 km. I found myself running too fast but struggling to slow myself down even though I had known exactly what to expect. I found myself forcing myself not to pass the ladies in front of me to avoid burning myself out completely. Down off the cycle path and down a little barely used road until we turn around and head back and across to a closed off road. At about 4.5 km I had to walk and get my breath back on the flat area. By 5k I was already back to running until I got to the water station for a drink shortly on. I can’t drink and run at the same time for some odd reason.
I started right back to running after the drink and headed down the road, back under the cycle path and down to the BMW dealership to rejoin the footpath. On the footpath we followed around the dealership with the rail tracks on our right and back up to the cycle path. Now remember the cycle path was downhill all the way down so of course it is uphill all the way up. I had a little walk just up the first bit of steeper hill before running and from the top. This was not to last.
Run, walk, run, walk…..that was the rest of my run. I just tried to keep the ladies behind me there and focused on trying to catch up to the lady ahead of me also doing the run/walk thing. I never did catch up to her but the ladies behind did stay behind. I ran as best as I could but the hill continuous for such a distance rally did kick my butt. Run, walk, run, walk but I pushed on. About the 9k mark I passed a man….yup that was a first. The declared he was injured and couldn’t run another step…he ran past me by the 9.5k mark. I did walk the first minute of 9k but then I got running again and I made myself keep going and ran the rest of the race. Down out of the cycle path and across a bit of industrial estate with a right turn through a bit of housing before the end.
Down a footpath in front of houses and another right turn down a little path. A right turn into the funnel and I could see the finish line. I sped up as best as I could manage. I always like to sprint finish. I really didn’t have any sprint in me but I managed as much run as I had left in my lungs. I crossed the finish line just behind the lady I was trying to catch and clicked my watch to stop. That was the moment that I knew I had a new personal best. Not a little pb either but a big one. I had taken 4 minutes and 42 seconds off my pervious time. My new pb is 1:13:38. I was gob-smacked.
Even better than getting a new personal best was what happened a couple minutes later. I had gotten my t-shirt and medal and was about to turn and head to my car when some ladies stopped me. These were the ladies behind me wanting to thank me for helping them run back to finish. I was desperate to be sure I wasn’t last but they were pacing off of me it turned out. I was a “pacer” which made me feel so very useful. I feel great pride in knowing I was actually able to help people.
Lethbridge 10k is my husband’s favourite race so I have heard nothing but it’s praises for months. I can’t say I deem it my favourite or that I even have one but it was a good race. I likely will do it again next year. If you are up to a couple miles of constant uphill in the second half then it is definitely a personal best course as it is impossible not to run quickly in the first half.