Date: Sunday February 18, 2007
Location: Waterloo, ON
Description: 8 Mile Run
There is something about snow on the pavement that makes me reluctant to count kilometers, so that is why, for the past two years, I have been going into the Re-frigee-eighter wondering when I had last run 8 miles. Hopefully after this year I will have learned my lesson, and maybe be able to judge pace a little the next time around.
The 8’er is put on every February as the first race of the Run Waterloo series, and there is a little something for everyone with 3, 5, and 8 km races along with the 8 miler. All routes are along quiet country roads, with lots of nice rolling hills. Everyone gets to finish off the race with a massage and hot chocolate (which will be needed), along with fantastic draw prizes including a bicycle.
The 8 miler starts with a short downhill before a turn into the wind, which is always strong out on the country roads. Then comes my favorite part, the straightaway, where all the runners stretch out into a single file line, vying for the strip of pavement with the least snow. The course follows a sort of figure eight, so the strong wind was pretty chilly 3/4s of the time. When the wind was behind you however, you could fly, and the temperature got bearable, making clothing stripping and zipping required practice.
The wind proved to be a major challenge for me in judging my pace; I found my self-holding back a lot, scared that the wind would tire me out. This was made worse by the fact that I hadn’t done any pacing yet in the season, just distance building, and I had no idea how hard I could go. Turns out I had a little bit more left in the tank coming into the finish line than I would have wanted, but I am taking consolation in the fact that I finished a bit faster than last year, and felt really great the whole race. I finished in 1:03:07 and was able to pull off a 6th place female finish, up one from last year. I was still well behind some pretty speedy ladies though, with first place female Calla Churchward coming in at 54:12. The men were led by Beijing 2008 hopeful Calvin Staples, finishing in 44:28.
This time of year there is a lot in the pipeline about kicking off the upcoming season with a running race, and I definitely endorse that plan. This race got me out of the base training groove for a day, and left me pumped up about the season to come. It also boosted my confidence it my fitness and training plan, keeping me mentally motivated, and ready to face the rest of what winter can throw at me.