It was such a gorgeous day. A little cold and crisp but clear and bright and sunny.
Oh, and windy. Very very windy. Here is a video of me talking about the wind before the race:
I had managed to rope one of my coworkers into joining me, as he had been expressing frustration that he hadn’t kept up with his training goals. In other words, he wanted to get back into running but wasn’t doing it. I encouraged him to join me because then he would be more likely to train and chances are, he would be faster than me anyway! 😛 After experiencing this wind though, I had some remorse for willingly subjecting another human being to do this with me. From what I heard that day, the weather was windy everywhere near Vancouver but it was especially worse at this little park that is on a peninsula out in the Richmond-Steveston area.
Here we were, at the start of the race. Notice how cold we are and are trying so hard to smile but our faces hurt.
Off we go, and we have to battle the most intense headwind I have ever encountered. The route was an out and back straight line on a flat, so thankfully, the terrain was not challenging. It was so bad that my friend got blown sideways a few times and had to readjust his footing to not get blown into the river dike. It felt like every step forward I was taking was being fought between myself and mother nature. There was actually a point where my breathing was so laboured that I had visions of my heart exploding or my lungs seizing. If I could just make it to the half way turnaround point, then I would have the tailwind on the way back!
Sure enough, that point came and though the tailwind did help push me on the way back a little bit, I was already so exhausted that it took all my determination to keep going. The more I keep going, the faster it will be over!
I could see the bend in the path ahead and the little bridge I had crossed, so I knew I was getting close. The MEC race routes are not closed to the general public, so thankfully on this day of wind and struggle, there were few casual witnesses, except a couple of brave souls determined to get their Sunday morning walk in. I kept going and I could hear my friend cheering me on, so I sprinted just a teeny bit to get across the finish line. I walked straight to the water and food tent, and drank 4 little cups of water. My throat was so dry and irritated, I was coughing for 3 hours after the race finished.
All said and done, my race time was only 43 seconds shorter than the 5K MEC race I did the month before. I was running 10:1 run:walk intervals this time; last month’s race I was doing 7:1 run:walk intervals. By the time my January race comes around, I will be running continuously. 🙂