Sunday marked the first race of the 2017 race season. I have heard great things about the MEC Race Series, and thought that it was an awesome way to keep motivated all year with 5 races. Plus all my friends were doing it, and race FOMO is a serious condition.
As a new runner it is hard to figure out which races are must-do’s, and I’m here to tell you that MEC definitely is! The courses are fun (some are challenging!), the race is very well organized, its SUPER affordable, and its very popular. The organizers announced that 400 people are signed up for this year’s full series – and that number includes me!
I signed up for the 5k for Race One, which I am very happy I did, since PPP is very hilly. I also find it fun to really push myself in a 5k and see what I can do, which I find is harder when running a longer distance, really needing to conserve energy for later kms.
The race was originally scheduled for January 8, but after a huge snowfall they cancelled. The wait was definitely worth it, because at -1 and overcast the conditions were perfect. The crusher-dust trail was frozen but not icy, and not warm enough for slippery mud. I had a great nights sleep and felt really good getting out there.
I set out and felt really good, pumping myself up for the upcoming first (and most difficult) hill in the course. Slowly but surely I made it up to the top, feeling a bit like a superhero, and decided at that point that I’d give the last 3 kms a real college try. I felt great flying down the hills trying to make up for the time lost going up them.
I decided in the last km to empty my tank, picking up the pace – but then got tripped up by a (really freaking cute) dog on the course (PPP seconds as an off-leash dog park!) and put my hands out to catch my fall. It was one of those slow motion kind of trips. Humiliating, but can’t blame the dog for this one. Somehow, miraculously, at 4.6km I caught myself and didn’t actually wipe out, just elegantly tripped forward and flailed a bit. Reassuring the people behind me that I was ok (aside from my ego), I decided to laugh about that later and giv’er to the finish.
My goal for the race was not to PB, but just to run it for feel and see what I could do. I finished at 33 minutes, 6:45 average pace, which is really only 1:45 away from my 5k PB. Not too shabby considering the hills!
Till next time, I’m #BetterInTheLongRun.