If you followed my blogs lately, you should’ve probably noticed I’ve had quite an eventful month. I raced three events all over the town in the past five weeks. Finally, I am happy to say that I am feeling strong and healthy to race this last event at the Summer Fast 10K around the Stanley Park Sea Wall. I was probably at my 90% performance on race day. Honestly, I didn’t train well enough coming into the race. On most days, I was only able to complete partial of my speed workouts before succumbing to the summer heat and my own frailty. Nonetheless, I am glad that I was able to persevere in spite of all the shortcomings. Let’s get straight to race day.
After a full month of heat wave, the weather really cooled down this weekend owing to the abrupt wet weather. The morning felt much cooler than most days. I got to race site an hour before gun time. I knew this race has had attracted many competitive runners in the past, so I was expecting to see some running celebrities in today’s field. After bag check, I was ready to head out for a warm up. I spotted some of the elite females including Catherine Watkins and Sabrina Wilkie, as well as some other runners. They were also ready for a warm up run. I kept my jacket on because the breeze was actually giving me some chills. I began running and saw two tall lean guys running towards me. Aha, I slowly recognized them as Dylan Wykes in full Mizuno race gear and Kelly Wiebe in Saucony outfit. Coach D gave me a pound and asked how I was doing as we were jogging together. We chatted for few more words and I wished those boys good luck before heading on my own way for some easy warm up.
I ran along the seawall and heard another group of runners chatting behind me. That group included Sabrina and Catherine. I was running very slowly but the group behind never really got past me. I made a u-turn at about 10mins in and went back for another 10min before getting back to the start. I did a few drills plus 100m strides to conclude the warm up. There, I saw few more elites including Rachel Cliff (the eventual female winner), Nicholas Browne, Mark Bennett, and few others.
As I saw people slowly moving to the start line on the opposite side of the road, I was eager to get myself a good position at the start line. I was warned by Coach D that the first mile or so would be quite twisty and narrow. I definitely didn’t want to be bogged down by slower runners. I found a good position at about fifth row from the start. The elites were still doing strides with less than 5mins before the gun.
After a few announcement from the VFAC host, the runners dashed away as the gun went off. I love running with a pack of fast runners. The road was so narrow and twisty that I felt a river of people was pushing me ahead. There was absolutely no way to stop the flow. The first few mins went by very quickly as I was pushed to run at sub 3:30 pace, one that I knew I would get into trouble later on if I had continue to doing so.
Once the twist and turns were over after the 2KM mark, I finally found my own rhythm running at a much easier pace of about 3:40-3:50. We were now running along the seawall finally. This is definitely a turf that I am fond of and very familiar with. I maintained a good pace of 3:45 by following a group of guys of similar speed. In particular, I followed this runner, who dressed in complete black outfit from top to bottom including his calve compression, socks, and shoes. I had no idea who he was at the time and didn’t have a chance to see his face until the race was finished. This guy is definitely a machine. He kept a well steady pace of 3:44 throughout the entire race. There were times I felt he was loosing me but I would make sure to stay close. He sure helped me to pass many guys and girls. At the end of the race, I met up with him while I was running a 15min cool down run. I actually thanked him for ‘pacing’ me that is of course without his prior knowing. We chatted as we ran back to the event. I also found out that this amazing runner Philipe Edora is almost 10 years older than me. He encouraged me that I still have so much more room to improve as I am still a fresh runner. It was really great meeting such an inspiring runner.
At the end, I ranked at 32nd or 33rd. I am not really sure because the timing team actually lost me in their system. Good thing I had my Garmin that morning to prove my time to them. There was an urge for me to run “naked” that morning…good thing I didn’t leave my Garmin home. I guess anything is possible.
Despite all the ups and downs in the past two months, I am happy to hit a really good one today at the BC Championships Summer Fast 10K running a PB of 37:31min and ranking at top30s among a very competitive field.
Thank you for reading my post! I’ll be training more diligently in the next little while before my next race at the Eastside 10K in early September! Stay tuned!