Tuesday, April 19

Sooke River 10k

This luckless race has single-handedly crushed any latent desire for a marathon this year. The only thing racing this weekend were delusions of grandeur running through my head.

Just before leaving the house I checked the progress of a friend who was racing in Vienna. He’s run more than a handful of ‘thons over the last few years, his inaugural performance in Dublin ’04, 4:06:22. After following his training for a couple years we managed to connect in Boston two years ago where we bother suffered through a cold, windy day. I’ve continued to follow his training over the last few years and was ecstatic to see he’d finally managed to achieve his dream of a sub 3-hour performance, 2:59:35. He may not be the most talented athlete out there, but what he lacks in skill he more than makes up with determination, grit and tenacity. On more than one occasion he’s been a true inspiration.

And so, with the car packed we drive out to Sooke, Isla wondering whether or not there’d be a park to play in, Ally trying to calm Corbin and me daydream of a fall marathon. Fast forward a couple hours and my fantasy world had come crashing down to reveal a bitter cruel reality.

With a cold sweat clinging to my forehead, I knew immediately after the warm-up that I was in trouble but didn’t expect the worst. At about the 3k marker, I remember a Justin Bieber look-a-like passing me and asking if I was okay, he thought my shoulders looked tight? Who asks that sort of question mid-race, particularly when you’re less than five feet tall? The same rug rat, congratulated me on my performance after the race, “good job out there” I remember him saying… all I could do was smile: 3:33, 3:45, 3:44, 3:43, 3:58, 3:58, 3:59, 4:12 (hill), 3:52, 3:35

In all seriousness, I’m not too worried about the race. Sure it was my second slowest 10k ever, having only run slower in my debut as a runner back in ’93 (46:03 at the UVic 10k). But as I’m struggling through the lingering effects of my recent cold, I’m not too surprised with my performance. What hasn’t escape me thought, is my clear desire to run two minutes faster at the upcoming TC 10k.

Sooke River 10k, 38:35, 3:52km/pace, 27 OA, 4 AG,


Thomas said...

Bit of a back-handed compliment there .... actually I agree, I'm definitely not the most talented runner out there, but right now I'm in a very happy place all the same.

At least I was never accosted by some miniature know-it-all!

Keith Mills said...

this thomas character seems cool. character and determination are great traits.

im confused, intrigued and inspired at this... 38:xx.... second slowest? did you knock 10' off your 46' 10k in one race? I do recall a certain PIH workout, where many breaths of fresh air ago, I was in awe at Meg Day and yourself out hammering through Cuthbert Holmes park. 36' 10k's all seemed so fast. I wish you the best in your forward movement wit running. Hope to see you at the track series, and hitting a marathon when your good and ready. best wishes.

Michael said...

Thomas - it was meant to be a very big compliment. You deserve everything, enjoy the well earned 'happy place'.

Keith - Thomas is very cool, and yes, I did knock a lot off between my first and second 10k (I didn't run my first 10k very smart). Those days chasing, or barely keeping in front of Meghan were brilliant. And now it's me in awe of your progress. My only advice, take it slowly (and enjoy)!

Grellan said...

You gotta start somewhere Michael, enjoy the journey.

I'd like to be starting at 38:35.

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Chris said...

You suck.

No you don't. I suck...mistaken identity or Tourrets.

Anyway, I once ran 2 minutes faster at the TC than I did at the Sooke and I think that is the year you paced me to a 37:30 or something. I was going to hang myself for running a 39:XX...then TC made me feel a little better. I bet you will run mid-36...oh sure that is far from a pb...but you know you are fitter than 38-something...and naturally a lot faster than 36-something...