Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nissan 10 Mile 2007

Race for a medal
After the mud run, my legs were in pain for the next week... I try not to show it when I go to work, the most difficult was when I go down the stairs. Soon after my legs recovered, I started googling for local running races. My search criteria was that I wanted to run a race that gives out a finisher's medal. :-)
Nissan 10 miler showed up in my search result, and this event seems to be held for the first time! collecting the 1st edition of the medal, how cool is that? without hesitation I signed it up, I tried to get some of the colleagues that are beginner runners to go to this race with me, but as soon as they heard it's a 10 mile they wished me good luck... I grew up with the metric system, knowing 10 mile is more than 10k, but I had to find out exactly what is it - it turns out to be a 16k! a little longer than I expected!

The "Training Plan"
It was already the last week of June, the race was going to happen in less than 3 weeks. Since I was running and walking during the mudrun, my goal for this race was to run it all the way without stopping for any walking breaks. I had no idea how runners are trained and how much training is required, so I called my friend Alan, this guy has ran the Toronto Marathon full distance 4 times in the past. Alan had stopped running for a year and was out of shape, but just to give me the support and encouraging me to get into running, he decided to run the 10 miler with me. Alan managed to take me out for a "long" run twice in the 2 weeks. One was going to be a 9 - 10k, but it turned out to be a 5k run with 4k walk due to his unexpected stomach condition, another was a 6k run. Just like that, the race was the next day. This time I have confirmed with Alan that one of the old sneaker I have is actually a pair of running shoes and I should use it for this race.

Nissan 10 miler

Alan drove us to downtown. This was obviously a way much bigger event than mudrun, I have never seen something like it. There were so many runners and there were free Gatorade at the start?! I had two cups since it was free! you could tell how little I knew about running races. I didn't know about placing myself in the right position according to my expected pace and finishing time, because I had no idea about my pace and no concept of predicting the finishing time at all. I followed Alan and just followed the crowd, it actually took a few minutes just to get to the starting point, the race has started.

Water Station Incident

Since my only race experience was mudrun, as I recall there were only 2 water stations provided during the mud run 10k trail race. Nissan 10 miler had water station every 3 km! I totally didn't expect this, so when the first water station showed up around 3k, Alan said he needs to get some water, I was a unprepared and soon lost in the crowd... I couldn't find Alan anymore, I stood on the side waited for about 3 minutes and decided to give up looking for him. Off I went, at around 5 - 6km, I caught Alan was in front of me!! he said he thought I didn't wait for him so he just took off! &^$%$! as I have mentioned before, Alan was out of shape, he was going at a slower pace so he told me we should split so that I can continue with my comfortable pace and he wouldn't slow me down.

The Lonely Journey to the Finish Line
For the rest of the race I simply tried to enjoy the scenic view in Tommy Thompson Park, didn't not to think how much more I need to run and keep my legs from stopping was the only goal. As soon as we got back to the commissioner street, my legs started to get heavier and heavier. Probably I just didn't realize my fatigue legs until we were running in the boring industrial street area. At 13k, it started to hurt... My diaphragm started to cramp. I didn't know what pace I was going since I had no concept of pacing, all I know was that I saw several girls ahead of me and they don't seem to be tired at all! how could I stop like this, I had to keep going without slowing down. The cramp was over at 14ish km, I was able to fake a good look and try to speed up a little bit to the finish line! :-)

Just to thank Alan for supporting me in running, I had enough time to go get my bag back and shoot some pictures of Alan in pain at the finish line! the guy had his legs quite stiff towards to the end and actually fell a few hundred meters before the finish line...

The next few days my legs were really sore, again I had troubles to walk down the stairs. I thought this is an unavoidable stage after the race until I started to run more regularly.
760 1:35:35.4  5:57 1:33:48.7 1280 WU, FELIX      NORTH YORK     503/630   78/93   Men 30 - 34
760 out 1194. below average again, oh well... there's always a next race.

I survived!

2 slow joggers

Alan at aid station with stinky feet