It was such a great plan. The start line of my second ever 10K run was 6 km from my house. I would get my weekend long run in by running to the starting line, running the race, and then running home.
In fact, it did end up working according to plan, but not as well as I had hoped. I got up bright and early this morning to go to the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club St. Patrick’s Day 10K. I must have skimped on breakfast, or not slept particularly well, because when I got out there and started jogging down to the start line at the Pretoria Bridge I started having problems of a, er, gastrointestinal nature.
With my intestines in revolt, I had to give serious thought to possibly not running this race. Fortunately, I was able to get some relief by visiting the men’s room before the race, so I felt better, but not great.
That ill-at-ease feeling was reflected in my run. When it took me nearly six minutes to complete the first kilometre, I knew then and there that I would not meet my goal of < 51:28, my personal best in the 10K.
The run itself was uneventful. A very boring 10K run, 5k out and 5k back with no hills to speak of. I wasn’t feeling very good at all, and trying to keep my mind on the race was a chore. I just focused on running at comfortable pace, and not killing myself. My Race Day Mentality just wasn’t there – I treated the course very much like a run, and not at all like a race.
I picked up the pace in my last kilometre only a little bit, because I am still too proud to stomach it when I see someone pass me in the final stretch. I passed a few people, and crossed the finish line in a semi-sprint. Let’s just say that this race is one I would just as soon forget – my efforts were only good enough for a gun time of 51:58.
I got some oranges and had a drink, then jogged my disappointed self back home.
Of course, for me today’s run was not the final step in my journey. It was not the culmination of months of hard training and planning. It was just one more step in my long (very long. Very long, excruciating, lengthy, and long) journey to the Ottawa Marathon.
With only ten weeks to go, I really feel like this is the make-it-or-break-it period of my marathon training. Will I let these minor setbacks discourage me, and throw me off my goal? Or will I dig deep, find that extra reserve of resolve I never knew I had and put together a good final few weeks of training?
After all, when it was all said and done, today’s run really was not so bad. I still managed to get some 20km of running in, and even when feeling terrible I managed to pull off a 52 minute 10K. The fact that I’m doing decent even when I’m feeling lousy should be enough to keep me feeling good about my marathon plans.