This week featured the Huron House Boys’ Home 10K race in Bright’s Grove, ON on Father’s Day. I like to support local races, especially ones that benefit organizations in the community. This event had so many awesome sponsors and almost a thousand people come out to Mike Weir Park to enjoy a run, walk, skate, or bike – or even just the sunshine and a pancake breakfast, free coffee and bagels, or the awesome prizes (bicycles, a BBQ, tons of golf games, and the list goes on!)
I had run this race once before in 2011 while I wasn’t really training (I had run five times in the preceding year, totalling almost 20 miles) so needless to say I felt much better prepared this time. I was hoping to improve my 10K PB from 34:09 to something that started with 33! My big goal was to run 5:23/mile or about 3:20/km to break 33:30 and I’m happy to say that I came through at 33:27 for a 42-second improvement over my 10K time from April! It was a perfect, sunny day for a run along the beautiful shore of Lake Huron!
The course started in Mike Weir Park and ran out toward the path along the lake and Old Lakeshore Rd. The course map said we’d be heading down some side streets first so, when we came flying out of the park, I think the volunteers and the lead bicyclist weren’t quite ready and we started heading the wrong way. A quick 90-degree turn caused me to slide out, losing some momentum but quickly got back up to pace and the front of the pack.
After that little hiccup, it was smooth sailing as I did my best to keep my km splits under 3:20. Around 3-4 km I started to put a small gap on second place and I put the hammer down (gently) in an effort to pick up the pace and build a comfortable lead.
Around the 6-7 km point of the race, I was crossing paths with other runners still on their way out and their cheers and good jobs and keep-it-ups helped me chugging along. It was great to her shouts from friends and family who were also running!
For the last two km, I kept telling myself “No excuses!” – I knew I wanted the 33:30 time and I didn’t want to have to rely on reasons why I didn’t hit the mark. “It was a little windy. My ankle is sore. I got a crappy sleep last night. I can’t run this fast.” No excuses!
That mantra brought me through the last few km and I was able to sprint the last 600-800m and saw the clock tick from 33:26 to 33:27 as I crossed! Awesome!
My km splits were: 3:17, 3:19, 3:21, 3:21, 3:21, 3:19, 3:17, 3:21, 3:20, 3:14 with 12 seconds of bonus time on what my GPS watch thought was the start of an 11th km :)
In all, this was such an awesome community event and I can’t believe I’ve missed out on it in previous years. What a great fundraiser for the Boys’ Home and a reason to get people together for some sunshine and exercise. Thanks to all the hundreds of volunteers who organized and staged the race! I’ll definitely be back!
Here’s what my training looked like leading up to the race:
Monday: 10 miles moderate (6:27/mile) with 5 strides.
Tuesday: 12 miles moderate (6:21/mile) with 4 strides.
Wednesday: 7 miles with 3x 1200m at threshold pace (target of 4:13; ran 4:09, 4:13, 4:12) and 2x 800m at interval pace (target 2:34; ran 2:36, 2:38). 200m jog recoveries between each. This was on a grass ‘track’ while it poured rain.
Thursday: 10 miles easy (7:15/mile).
Friday: 8 miles easy with 4x 800m at 10K race pace (target 3:20/km or 2:40; ran 2:40, 2:38, 2:38, 2:39) to remind my legs how fast I wanted them to move on Sunday.
Saturday: Sarnia Roadrunners 10K prediction race (no watches!). I aimed to run 10K in 42 minutes (almost 7:00/mile pace). Ran the first 7K around 7:30-7:45/mile having a nice chat with another runner and then picked it up to make up some time over the last 3K. Finished in 42:57.
Sunday: Boys Home 10K in 33:27 (5:23/mile) with 2.4 miles warmup and 2.4 miles cooldown.
For a total of ~65 miles.