Even though the Toronto Yonge St. 10k boasts a fast course (it’s mainly downhill and then flat) I always seem to have trouble with it. This year was no different. I think part of my problem is that I never seem to train enough during the winter (and never do any speed training or hill training). I think that’s something that will change next year.
Since Arlene and Dan were both injured I ended up running the race on my own. It was kind of sad but I wanted to run and make them proud. Dan drove me up to the start line, which takes place in our old neighbourhood. I got there with plenty of time to check my bag, go to the washroom (this year I was smart and didn’t just get into the first line I saw. I walked to the middle of the porta potties and found a shorter line) and warm up. The weather was perfect. I ended up wearing a t-shirt, arm warmers and capris. I saw some people in coats and wondered if they would get hot. To each their own. I know I got overheated last year in my jacket and the weather was a little cooler then. Because I was running solo I didn’t bother with a camera this time (so there aren’t many pictures).
I found the 55 minute pace bunny and decided to run with him for the first 5k. My plan was to try to bank as much time as possible for the first 5-7k, which is mainly downhill. The route from 7-10k is flatter so I figured I would need all the time banked that I could get. We took off and I kept up with the 55 minute pace bunny for the first kilometre before realizing that I wasn’t having a good time. I was too fixated on where the bunny was and keeping up. So I decided to let him go and enjoy the race. I’ve always said that I want to be able to enjoy races and not get so caught up on my time that it isn’t fun. I ran hard but some of the small uphill portions tired me out.
By 4k I was thirsty so I was happy to see a water station. I stopped and sipped some Gatorade and water (I have trouble running and drinking from a cup at the same time). There were a few live bands along the way, which was pretty cool. At either Yonge and Bloor or Yonge and Dundas there was a live band that included a man playing on multiple didgeridoos. I slowed down a little to watch them (I lived in Australia when I did my masters degree so I have a soft spot for the didgeridoo). It was pretty cool.
At 7k I hit another water station and tried to run and drink at the same time but ended up choking on my water. So I had to stop and sip it slowly. I knew that I was losing time and that my goal to finish in under an hour probably wouldn’t happen. Still I had to try. When we hit 8k I wanted to run faster but held back (because last year I ran out of steam around 8-9k). At 9k I started to run a little faster and with 500 m to go I kicked it up.
Arlene texted me to let me know that I finished in 1 hour 46 seconds. She congratulated me but I felt really disappointed. It was 26 seconds slower than last year and 46 seconds slower than the year before. I am seriously adding 20 seconds every year! I knew I had a little more in me. It’s also frustrating to know that I can run a totally flat 10k course (like the Tannenbaum 10k) in under an hour but I can’t run the downhill course in under an hour. My goal for next year is to maybe sign up for a marathon training clinic to get me through Around the Bay, which would also help prepare me for Harry’s Spring Run off and Yonge St. 10. We’ll see. I definitely need help with my training during the winter months.
Despite the disappointment at my time, I still enjoyed the run. It’s a fun course and the atmosphere is great. We’re hoping to do this run every year. Next year I’m hoping that Arlene and Dan will be able to join me and that the three of us can finally get our redemption! My one complaint is the shirts. This year all of the Canada Running Series Shirts so far seem to be more fitted in the shoulders. Because of that they feel a little tighter there (and while ok to wear for everyday use, not ideal to wear for working out). If this is the case next year I’m going to need to order a size up.
I’m already looking forward to next year. In the meantime I’m training for my next race, the Toronto Women’s Half in May. I’ll have my recap from last year’s race up soon.