A new Personal Best by a mile - so I'm going to start with the result!
40:53 (360/12159, 44/736 M35-39) ... top 3%!!!
Sizzling! My goal was sub-42 and I wasn't even sure I could get that, so I'm super excited about this one. My previous PB was just under 45 minutes at this same race two years ago, so I knocked off about 4 minutes...
How? A bit of weight loss and a lot of work. I added interval training this year for the first time, and it's done wonders for my speed.
Oh, and that tail-wind at the end didn't hurt either... and of course the legendary Sporting Life 10k net downhill. But finishing top 3% really makes me smile. I have to think there isn't much more speed to find at this point, I won't be getting much thinner and there's a limit to how much I'm willing to train. These really are my peak years right now, so I need to soak in these accomplishments.
This one is pretty awesome. Looking back from the start line, it's just a sea of people standing on Yonge Street in Toronto... almost 15,000 registered! I seeded myself in the first couple rows of the second corral (40-48 minute finishers) to make sure I wasn't caught up in the crowd. The road is pretty wide, but with that many people it's easy to get stuck!
Temperature was perfect, about 8C and overcast. Wind was from the south east, but I didn't really feel much headwind, and got a boost from the tailwind going west.
From the start I felt quite comfortable. As expected my GPS lost it's mind a few times with the tall buildings, but I went by feel and paced myself with the people around me. Marked the laps manually at the kilometer markers (when I saw them - missed a few).
I've practiced a fair bit of downhill, and I found myself really flying by a lot of people every time we hit one. The real key is to keep the feet moving and make sure you're not throwing on the brakes when your foot hits the ground. It's almost like your foot is already starting a back-swing when it finds the pavement when done right!
I hit the halfway point at 20:05 - this would have been a new 5k PB if it ended there! The downhill really helps a lot, I think it's good for about a minute.
I knew my pace at 6k had to be 25:00 to be on pace for 42:00, and instead it was 24:08... this gave me a huge boost, I knew I just had to keep my tempo pace to the end and I'd have that 42:00 finish. From there I set a few kilometers in the 4:15-4:20 range, kept things well within myself until the last kilometer... then hammered out a 3:55 in the last one to seal the deal!
How'd the Organizers Do?
As far as I could tell, everything was awesome... they had a last minute change and had to give out the shirts at the finish. I thought that might mess up the finishing chute, but it cleared out totally fine thanks to a nice long stretch from the finish to the shirts/food.
I didn't use the bag check and didn't drink on the course, so can't comment on any of that! Looked like they had tonnes of volunteers though.
Nice medal - they put a single woman on it this year (presumably due to the whining of some people when one year's medal featured only men!). I gave it to my kids as I usually do, they played Olympics.
Great fun, maybe I'll be back next year... sub 40? So tantalizingly close...