On Sunday I ran the 10K at the Bluenose in Halifax, I had unfinished business and a hill I needed to beat. Last year I ran the same event but felt that I did not have a good run, I was looking for redemption. I knew I could do better, run stronger and I was coming back to show myself what I could do. The biggest question this year would be the weather, it was cold and rainy on Friday and Saturday but Sunday was sunny, cold and a tad bit windy.
Neale and I before the race
It was about 5C when the race started, I was cold and wanted to get started, it was cold standing at the start line. My game plan was to go out slow so that I could avoid last years final 2K crash and burn. The start of the race is flat, around Citadel Hill and then out to North St and the bridge. Running down North St, my nemesis from last year, I looked out over the bridge and it was wall to wall runners, I can not describe the awe inspiring sight before me but I was on a mission and was not going to stop to take a photo. First bridge crossing done, next up Nantucket Ave, a long slow up hill and a real challenge to run. As we turned the corner onto Slayter I spotted the 65 min pace bunny and I knew I was on target and figured I would stick with him for a bit, 65 mins was my goal time. I chatted with the pace bunny, Jeffery, a bit and then it was time to cross the bridge again. Halfway up on the Dartmouth side I spotted my aunt and uncle who were there once again to cheer us on. A quick stop for a hug and photos and I had to get ready mentally to conquer the part of the race that has haunted me since last year.
almost 8K done and looking strong
I had lost the 65 min pace bunny when I stopped but I knew he was up there so I focused on running and catching up with him. Just past the top of the bridge I caught up to Jeffery and as it was downhill, I went with it and passed him, figuring he would catch up with me as we went up North St. North St, the hill that haunted my dreams for a year, I was ready. Funny how thing look bigger in you mind, they grow into a huge thing, well North St did not disappoint, there it loomed. I focused on a pedestrian crossing sign at the top of the hill and with determination started up and did not stop until I was at the top...take that, this year I had won . The last 1.5K is a long flat section, a short down hill and then a 350-400m uphill section at the end. Ending a race on an up hill incline is evil but it was a fitting way to end a very hilly run. I never saw the 65 min pace bunny, I was still ahead of my 65 min goal and as I turned up Brunswick St and the finish line was in sight I knew I could finish strong. I was thrilled to cross the finish line under 1:04, 1;03:46 in fact, more then 5 mins off last years time. I had surpassed my goals, I had run all the hills, I had finished strong and I finished under my 65 min goal time, it was a great run.
My friend Jenny and I after the run
The second leg of my May hat-trick was in the bag, 2 races, 2 PB's and one more to go, Tamarack Ottawa Race weekend 5K on Saturday night. I would like to set a PB for the 5K but this is a really crowded race and if I do not, I will not be disappointed. I am looking forward to this weekend, I love this race but what I am really looking forward to is cheering on my friends in their races.