Posted by: Karen | May 24, 2009

Run Walk and Roll 10k

Yesterday I raced my first 10k road race in quite a while. I didn’t feel ready for it. I’ve felt slow and achy and sluggish on training runs. I haven’t done speed work since February. I haven’t run any longer than an hour for several months. Still, Melody, the leader of the Start Line, and I had agreed that the RWR 5k would be the goal race for our budding new runners. And hey, since I was going anyway, I might as well do the 10k as a baseline for triathlon training this summer.

The fact that I had to talk myself into it seems kind of silly now, since I really enjoyed the whole thing after all.

The Run Walk & Roll 5 & 10k race is kind of like the end of the year school picnic for Foothills Academy. It’s a very well organized race, and they always have the best party to go with it. Little Runner and I showed up early, picked up my race bib, and chatted with friends as they arrived. Little runner bounced in the air castle, worked her way up the climbing wall near the playground, and hugged mascots.

We chatted with Ronald McDonald, who was “just walking the 5k today”, but is looking forward to the Rock the House race later in the summer. The Stampede Stage band played up beat tunes and I danced along to warm up. Dawn took a video of me and posted it on facebook later. The sun was shining, but it was still chilly out at 8 am.

I set some goals for myself as I recognized local athletes in the crowd. I wanted to beat Nessie, a woman about 20 years my senior, who’d beaten me the last time I did this race 4 years ago. I wanted to beat the two fast race walkers I’d seen training at the Oval this winter. I hoped I could still run it under 65 minutes. If everything fell apart I still wanted sub 7o minutes. If I made it in 62 minutes I’d be very very surprised.

I would use the same strategy I’ve always tried to use in 10ks:
– Easy in the first third. Nothing should hurt.
– Work harder in the second third. Start picking your targets ahead.
– Give’r in the last third. Reel ’em in one by one and kick the finish.

The race began with a gentle downhill – gotta love that. I found a nice sustainable cadence and strove to keep it going no matter what. The two race walkers surged around me in the first 4k, but I pulled away from them when we hit the potholey road near Shouldice. I knew they would be worthy competitors, and cheered them on as I met them shortly after turning back.

I ran the entire 10k, only stopping briefly for a sip of water to whet my whistle at the half way point. I wasn’t looking forward to the 8th and 9th kms, but I started reeling in people ahead of me dragged a couple of them along with some very limited conversation.

I felt good. I felt strong, and my stride cadence held. I turned up towards the finish (damn downhill start) and kicked into 400m repeat mode. A coach had jogged back to coach some marathon trainees just behind me and she had some great tips. They pulled ahead. I put her tips to work  – cool, I surged back in front!

I hit the finish line with a loud YEEEEHA! and stopped my clock at 1:03. I was thrilled to bits.

Little Runner was waiting for me at the finish chute, with a volunteer’s vest on. She shed her vest and led me to the food tent for ice cream, apples, granola bars and chips. There were hot dogs, too. I ate the apple first – it was the best apple I’ve ever tasted.

Our Start Line newbies were all smiles after their experience and we talked about next steps. We celebrated some more, helped take down some of the finish line (the Roadrunners provided race timing), and hung around to see if we won any door prizes. One of my former running buddies – one I credit for starting my blog – showed up for a hug. It was so nice to see her.



  1. What a great race you had! Way to go! I don’t like when Nessie beats me! If I see her or Helly at any races, I try my hardest to keep in front of them. I’m not always successful!


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