This morning I raced the Glencoe Icebreaker 10K! I love this race for its unique route (not too many races in Calgary go along the Elbow River) and delicious post race brunch. There are also usually a ton of Team Tri Life members racing as well, which makes for a fun and supportive race. Weather can be so hit or miss at this time of the year, and last year we had freezing rain overnight and the entire route was a skating rink. This morning I woke up to sunny skies and positive temperatures.
I got to the race about an hour before the start which gave me plenty of time to go to the bathroom (three times), do a warm up run and catch up with friends.
With ten minutes to go before the start I ate a Salted Caramel GU and headed out for the start line. I was hoping to run faster than the St. Patrick’s Day 10K (59:57) and I wanted to hold a strong effort over the entire race. My friend Shannon (in the matching blue Oiselle Lux Layer) was hoping to come in under an hour as well. We’ve done quite a bit of speed work together and we’ve been pushing each other really well so we decided to start together. We bid our friend Tara (in the TTL vest) a good race as she is way faster than us!
Our friend Trevor found Shannon and I at the start and asked if he could join us. The more the merrier! All of a sudden a horn sounded and we were off!
Glencoe Icebreaker 10K Race Report
Neil came out to the race to cheer on the team and it was so nice to spot him at the start and to know that he was waiting for me at the finish. The race was quite crowded to start with and we dodged quite a few runners. I wanted to settle in to a nice pace and not get caught behind people. I looked down at my watch and saw we were running around a 9:10/mi pace…quite a bit faster than my pace at St. Patrick’s Day. I was hoping I could hold a low 9:00/mi pace though so I went with it. The first mile is nice and flat which helps you to get in a rhythm.
Mile 1: 9:08
The second mile is where the fun starts as there is a big hill to climb! You climb…turn a corner…and then keep climbing some more! My friend Sharon had given me advice to hold effort, but not to hold pace on the hill. We settled in to a nice steady climb and just kept on going. Just when I thought my legs were done with the climb we reached the top and I lengthened my stride out to recover on the flat.
Mile 2: 9:32
The sun was shining, we were running past a dog park…life was great! Trevor called out that considering we were aiming for an hour our pace was a little fast. I think in that moment we were all thinking that we may have started this race out a bit too fast… We soon hit a nice stretch of downhill so I took advantage and flew down. We then were up on a narrow path so Shannon and I took turns attempting to settle in a find some clear space where we could run without getting caught behind people. So that explained our next split…
Mile 3: 8:50
We were now running past some beautiful homes along the Elbow River along an out and back on Riverdale Avenue. We saw a bunch of our teammates coming towards us which is always a boost! I felt like we were running pretty hard so I gave everyone a wave but didn’t have much in me to cheer out loud. At the turn around there was an aid station. Shannon grabbed a cup but I kept running. I remember running this race back in 2009 where my friend James and I had been playing tag up until the water stop. I stopped to walk and grab a cup of water and he kept running and I could never catch up. I had hydrated well up until the race today so I knew I was good for fluids and I didn’t want to lose momentum! I think Shannon caught on because she took a quick sip and continued on.
Mile 4: 9:20
This was where I started to mentally have a tough time. The out and back section was quite a bit quieter on our way back, then we run along the pathway by the Elbow River. We had a section where the path was washed out so we ran through mud, then the little rollers along the pathway felt like mountains. I wanted to slow down but Shannon pulled ahead and looked so strong. I didn’t want to voice any negative thoughts out loud so I told myself to tough it out, stay positive and to NOT LET SHANNON GO!
Mile 5: 9:24
We hit a few icy patches and I felt my footing give way on one, but luckily managed to stay upright. As we ran over the last icy patch the runner next to me called out ICE really loudly to warn the other runners around us. We came out of the pathway and on to a street and I’m not sure if the good samaritan runner caught the curb badly or if he hit a patch of gravel? He fell hard. Everyone around him asked if he was okay and he got up and kept running. He looked like he had hit his left wrist or arm badly on his fall. I am hoping he was okay!!
After this we were close to the finish…about 1 km left to go. Trevor ran in front of Shannon and I and called out that we only had 5 minutes of work left. My legs were so tired and if I was on my own I might have given in and walked. I was not going to let Trevor and Shannon go!
Mile 6: 9:21
As we turned the corner to the finish Trevor had really pulled out in front. Shannon said we should pour it on to try and catch him but I knew that we still had a long stretch to go to the finish and if I kicked it into high gear now I’d blow up too soon. Holy smokes it was hurting!
Finally I knew the finish line was close so it was time to kick it into high gear, catch Trevor (in blue) and sprint for the finish.
Mile 6.2: 2:12 (8:34/mi pace)
I’m pretty sure I left it all out on the course today! Talk about a nice improvement over St. Patrick’s Day…over 2 minutes off my last 10K time!
I couldn’t have done it without Shannon and Trevor. I did not want to let them go and they were my motivation when the going got tough. I think we all surprised ourselves today. And the best is that this was a PR for Shannon!!
What a great day today! I think the three of us worked so well as a team. Everyone played a role in pulling someone else through when times were tough and I don’t think I could have achieved this good of a time on my own. My biggest take aways from today were:
- I am stronger and faster than I give myself credit for.
- It is amazing the effect teamwork on the run can have.
- Never, ever give up. When your brain says walk, tell it to shut up!
Thank you so much for a great race today Shannon and Trevor!
I also got to meet Victoria after the race! She recognized me and said hi as soon as I hit the finish line. I gave her a big sweaty hug…hope you didn’t mind Victoria! So great to finally meet you!
When I got home it was still nice and sunny out so I headed out with Peat to enjoy the nice day.
And then I was a good athlete and did a 45 min recovery spin!
- Chip Time: 0:57:47:80
- Overall 318 of 557
- Females 35 – 39: 17 out of 36