Clinging on. For dear life.
That was the theme for this short but intensive race. Quite honestly, it would have made more sense had I participated in the Canadian 5K Road Race Championship which was held half an hour before this particular B&O Yorkville Run. However...
I had no prior 5K running experience.
This is ironic but true. Over the five years of running, never had I once officially raced in any 5K runs. Ever. I mean over the course of my marathon training, 5K is absolutely achievable but just simply overlooked. That all changed when I made my debut on the crisp early September Sunday morning. My mentally going into this race was pretty much "all hands on deck" and taking the suggestion from my brother to simply "run for your life" ?
Preparation wise, I took this opportunity as a serious track workout style kind of run, except - well, as fast as I've ever been on a risk-it-all ordeal. Days leading up to this race day, I still did my due diligence to taper, carb up, and get my mind in-tune for this race.
Prior to start, I warmed up at the outdoor 300 metre track where all the vendors are positioned in the inner field. That was when the Canadian 5K Road Race commenced, giving the remainder of the participants a good 20 to 30 minutes of preparation time. I gradually made my way to the start line, which was nearby the Four Seasons. Knowing that I might get myself into a total log jam of people, I deliberately tucked myself at the edge of the front of the line.
My plan for the route? Just gun it and bolt down.
And that was exactly what I did when the horns were sounded off. I was bursting out of the floodgates for the first three kilometres heading southbound on Bay Street. Going downhill at 3:05/km pace for the 1st k, 3:11/km and 3:13/km right after, I think I'm going to wreck this!
Made a right turn to Dundas St West and then turned right to Parliament St heading northbound. But there's a catch - uphill ????
The remainder mileage was short but unforgiving. I knew I was giving my heart a hard time, especially with the 190s range HR. It was really obvious too as I was pretty much closing my eyes and grimacing my way through to the finish line. I started off at the first member of the pack too. Now I finally experienced what it's like to be the forerunner of a race and gradually having the lead slip away. Definitely going to remember this example and remind myself of "this is what complacency feels like if you don't do enough ground work for anything in life". Harsh but got to swallow the bitter truth pill sometimes.
FINISH LINE & SWAGS:
End up finishing with an official chip time of 18:26 minutes. I actually surprised myself quite a bit, thinking that I would really get a marginal sub 20 minutes time. The possibilities of improving my time can only get better from here on if I stay committed to doing speed work, whether on the tracks or designated tempo / race pace time within a scheduled outdoor run. With a premium admission fee (which actually goes towards local charitable causes), the swags and medals were just as fancy. The B&O H5 wireless headphones excited me the most especially since I got a thing for premium audio experiences and Bang & Olufsen is definitely one of them - so much so that I rather sacrifice my other headphones for profuse sweat abuse and leave these ones as an in-home inner space serenity. The medal is just as notable. Mainly because it's engraved with the word "CHAMPION". Well not really for me, but rather it stands out as a power bank for your electronics which I have never seen before.
I think for next year, I will forego with the Championship 5K now that I have attained their qualifying time of 19:00 minutes or faster.
Looks like I'm also featured on the Bloor-Yorkville BIA newsletter recap too! Fun times - M.W.
It's been a while since I revisited my own personal portfolio and keeping tabs on my training schedule this past summer and into fall race season... sorry! If you are ever wondering what I am up to, I am fairly active on Strava logging in my runs or other cardio related cross-training.
WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO
Ever since my last post, I participated in quite a few races which I will eventually elaborate more in detail on separate individual posts and will be hyperlinked in the following lists:
I also joined my local Lululemon chapter for their group runs Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings on a weekly basis from April to October. You can find them numerous ways on social media and Strava here:
In terms of weekly running mileage, I managed to hold myself accountable for up to weekly 65km per week give or take. What worked for me this year was having the mindset that it is okay to be unstructured despite work commitments and hanging out with my social circle from time to time. For example, I will make an honest attempt to at least squeeze in a long run of more than 21km and juggling between some tempo runs and easy runs. This is important to me especially knowing that some days you have it in you to do the extra, while some days when you're planning for a hard workout and you're just mentally shut down for the day after long hours at work.
Summer's been hot and humid most of the time. I vividly remember doing long runs with a hydration waist belt or in some cases having to divert the planned route to parkettes where there are those kiddy splash pads to temporarily cool down - only to be dying in the heat again with my singlets and shorts all dried up from the heat.
The best part of all races (after putting an honest attempt to train) is the runner's high the remainder of the day after crossing the finish line. Although I am proud of the six races and the PBs acquired since June, there are select races that really stood out more so than others. The first one is the Bang & Olufsen Yorkville Run 5K and the second one is the Chicago Marathon.
Did you know? Up until this past September's race, I have never officially ran a 5K race before. Of course, I fell into typical stereotypes of that it is "simply" just a 5K. What actually transpired was the realization that I actually need more track workouts and manage my short spurts of speed and pace changes. I see myself that if I can make it work, then hopefully that converts to incremental seconds to minutes shed off for future marathon times.
Chicago was my first ever travel-race. I recall being ecstatic being selected through lottery around this time last year. I also had just as much jitters thinking of the travel planning and coordinating the finer details since this was a solo excursion and I rarely travel out of province / country anyways. But now that I ran the race and have time to reflect upon it, I guess it all worked out just fine! I was pretty fortunate to come across our weekly run leader in Chicago so I didn't feel all too foreign. The course was as flat as it can be as described by fellow runners and bloggers on the internet. Race day conditions was as stormy and windy as it can be - true to the Windy City claim. More on that later, but the grand prize overall is my first ever BQ attainment. As much of a reserved person that I am, my raw emotions were on full display upon moment of reckoning that Boston is truly within reach.
That's it for now, but my running journey doesn't end here as I resume regular running back in the uptown!
See you on my run - Mike