Melissa’s 10K has become a tradition for me. I’ve raced it every year since 2007!
It looked like it was going to be a chilly one this year…just above freezing! I had no idea what I should wear so I put out a ton of options.
Coach Angie wanted me to run for half an hour before the race. I thought it might help me warm up since it feels like my legs need a good half an hour before running feels natural. I also thought it would be a great way to test out some clothing options! I went out in my Lesley tights, a short sleeve and my Rundelicious top. Despite the chill in the air and the wind I actually felt too warm. There was no way I could throw my singlet on and not feel way too hot. This really helped my decision making for what to wear in the race!
I decided to run along part of the race course, the last three kilometres or so of it. It would help me later in the race knowing what was ahead on the course.
As I ran towards the start line I recognized an airedale terrier in the crowd. It was Theda…along with her owners Tiffany and Corey! Considering that this race is so large it was amazing that I was able to spot them!
I think we were all pretty cold at this point but I was confident we’d be warming up soon. With Neil right before the start of the race.
Neil had his own goals for the race so we split off at the start and I found Tiffany just ahead. We chatted for a bit and then it was time to run!
The course starts off nice and flat but then there is a huge hill where you just keep climbing and climbing.
Last year I ran Melissa’s in 1:05:08. My goal for the race was to better that time. I kept my pace up the mountain slow and steady. I wanted to keep running, but I also didn’t want to push so hard that I’d burn out. As I got to the top of Tunnel Mountain I noticed a runner get out of a car, pin her bib to her shirt and join the runners. What?? Why cheat?
The downhill felt great and I just let my legs turnover quickly and carry my down. Near the bottom I spied a familiar figure – Deb! I caught up with her, touched her on the shoulder and we fell in to step together. We didn’t talk, I think we just knew that we’d try to work together. We were now running on a narrow path by the river where it is a bit flatter. Having Deb next to me motivated me to keep running where I normally may have wanted to give in and walk. Unfortunately with about 1.5 km left to go she tapped me on the shoulder and told me she’d see me at the end and she dropped back. I was sad to lose her but we were each out to run our own race and I needed to keep going with mine. My legs were getting tired and there was a water stop just ahead. I’d been bypassing them so far, but I used this as an excuse to slow down and walk while drinking some water.
Back to running…over the bridge and on my way to the finish…
My legs were seriously getting tired now but I spotted a couple of Team Tri Life folks ahead cheering so I told myself I had to keep running past them. The big cheers I got from Sarah and Sharon were a big motivation!
I hadn’t looked at my watch in awhile but I told myself to just run and kick it to the finish.
All done in 1:02:34. Goal met!!! I’ve been struggling with meeting my goals on my last few races so it felt great to push and make it happen today.
Once I crossed I waited a minute and Deb came charging behind me. Hugs and congratulations, then we went back out to the finish chute to wait and cheer for Neil. Last year Neil ran in 1:13 and change and he came barrelling through to the finish with a huge sprint, crossing in 1:10:00 right on the dot.
Kelly was close behind so I cheered for her, then it was time to grab my warm clothes and to head out and grab some lunch! The lines were way too long for the beer and free food so Neil and I hightailed it out of there to beat the rush at the restaurants.
All in all a great day out in Banff for Melissa’s. I saw so many friends, ran a great race and met my goal!