Archive for November, 2014

“It’s Only Going To Hurt For 52 Minutes”

When I started working with my new coach, Ron, in July, I mentioned that I had two upcoming fall 10K races scheduled, just six days apart. I really wanted a 10K PB at one of them, but I wasn’t picky which race got the honour. After falling short at the first (The Heartbeat Run), I was gunning for it at the Mogathon the following weekend.

(Yes, I realize this was two months ago! After this race we moved right into harvest season and anyone who has been anywhere near a farm knows how hectic that is! Now that we have snow I can start to catch up a bit.)

2013 was my first year running the Mogathon, and I really enjoyed the race. It was a perfect mix of quirky (gorilla handing out bananas along the route), fun (bouncy castles and balloon animals for kids), and serious (chip timing, medals for all distances), and the live music, BBQ and beer gardens at the finish line lend a festival-like feel to the whole day. With my favourite fall race, Day of the Dead, cancelled for 2014, this was to be my last main event for the year. I wanted that PB so bad I could taste it.

The thing Coach Ron said to me that really stuck was “it’s only going to hurt for 52 minutes.” My current PB was 53:13, and he was confident that I could get down into the 52’s. I’d always thought about races, and even long runs, by distance – “only 8 km left,” or “I’ve already gone 12 km!” I’d never considered that I could measure them in time instead. For some reason, 52 minutes at an uncomfortably fast pace seemed more manageable than 10km. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, but somehow the half dozen seemed… well, possible.

This is a challenging course that winds around the Saskatoon riverbank and uses several of the city’s bridges. Hills are always a challenge for me, as I have none close to home to train on. Around 8 km I started to really hurt. I knew the hills were behind me and I reminded myself, “it’s only ten more minutes. It will only hurt for ten more minutes.” I came up behind a teenage boy and he took one look at me and took off! I guess when you’re 18 the thought of a 31 year old mother of three passing you is terrifying enough to make you find a new gear! I laughed to myself and knew I’d never catch him again.

I dug deep and crossed the finish line in 52:10, a 1:03 personal best. I accepted a sparkly finisher’s medal and a muffin and got my chocolate milk out of my race bag. (Many races don’t have chocolate milk at their food tents for some reason, so I always bring my own carton in a Ziploc bag with a little ice pack!) I cheered for a few friends as they finished and headed to the BBQ tent for an early lunch (included in my race fee!) before heading home. I was thrilled to discover I’d finished 41/270 overall and 5th of 63 women aged 30-39.


In the end, this was the race that showed me that the intense training Ron had been putting me through for the past couple of months was starting to pay off, and that I really am capable of faster runs than I thought. While it was the end of the 2014 fall racing season, it also felt like the start of preparation for 2015!