Saskatoon Police Services Race

Last Sunday dawned my first official race of 2012. It had been cool and rainy all week, a trend that has continued into this week as well. The kids and I went into Saskatoon the day before the race to pick up my race package and stay overnight with my parents to minimize race morning drama – my kids do not do well with 5 a.m. wake-up calls! (And yes, my husband works seven days a week, often 12 hours each day, so no, he couldn’t watch them for the morning.)

I had some wardrobe indecision on race morning. I hate being cold when I run, but also get over-heated easily. Rain was threatening, and luckily I had stuffed a bag full of every different clothing option imaginable. After a quick consultation with some of my Twitter running friends I settled on a long-sleeved technical shirt and my favorite running tights. I started with a hat due to the threat of rain, but the clouds started to break up as I arrived downtown near the start line, so switched the hat for my favorite Bondi Band.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be familiar with my woe-is-me week of illness leading up to this race. I caught a wicked cold that just wouldn’t go away, and coupled with my cold air and exercise-induced asthma, the result was that I struggled for breath a lot. I had increased my inhaler dosage for the week, something I hadn’t had to do since being pregnant with the twins. I took several extra rest days as well, and chalked it up to an extra cautious taper. All these things considered, I had abandoned my hopes of a PB in this race and was planning to just run for the sheer joy of it. Of course, anyone who knows me knows I still couldn’t bring myself to leave my GPS watch at home. 😉

I was entered in the 10km event for this race. The plan was to use it as a tune-up for my upcoming half marathon at the end of May. The race was replacing my long run for that week, so I did a couple slow kilometers as a warm-up to make up a bit of the lost distance.

The Saskatoon Police Half Marathon is a small event, with just 129 runners in the 10k, and just over 100 in the half marathon. It seems to attract a group of more serious runners though, and the field set off at a good pace. I settled in after the first kilometer or so and used my watch to find a steady, but conservative pace around 5:45 min/km.

What a beautiful route this was! Saskatoon has truely some of the best urban scenery in Saskatchewan, and most of our races are centred around the river that runs through the middle of our city. Most runs are a simple out and back along the river, but this one looped around several different areas of the city and finished with a loop across one bridge and back across another. I absolutely loved this route and may use it for future training runs.

Here’s the part that surprised me: I felt amazing! At the 5 km mark I felt great so started to push my pace a bit. We crossed the river and I could see a group of runners going the opposite direction, coming towards us. I knew it had to be the Running Room’s Sunday morning run club! My good friend Glenda is running with them in preparation for the same half marathon I’m working towards, and I was thrilled to see her near the front of the group. We high-fived each other as we met on the road and she cheered loud enough for me to hear her over the blare of my ear buds. That simple gesture gave me such a boost that I flew through the last two kilometers. (The downhill slope of the Broadway Bridge helped too!)

I crossed the timing mat at 54:11 chip time, a personal best by 2:27. WHAT? The race I went into with no expectations and still coughing up a lung? Seriously? To say I was excited is an understatement. I ended up 46th of 129 overall, and 6th of 28 in my age group.

From this race I learned that my half marathon training is really helping me in all areas of my running. My legs are stronger and I can cover longer distances, obviously, but also shorter distances, faster. This race was the perfect start to the season, and has given me the mental boost I needed going into the last month of my half training.

I’d like to send a huge thank you to the Saskatoon Police Service for organizing this race, and for supporting their chosen charity, the Recess Guardians.

(I delayed posting this as I was waiting for some pictures to go up on our run club’s web page, but none have. If you know of any pictures from this event, I’d love to see them!)

Gotta run.

What races have you run lately? What goals have you reached without even trying? I’d love to hear about them!

Follow me on Twitter! @RunMommyRun3


One response to this post.

  1. […] mentioned in past years that I really like this course. It winds around through downtown a bit, then down River Landing, […]


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