No one is ever going to hire me to brand their races... I come up with such terrible names. I discovered on Friday that I was not expecting. I had been expecting not to be expecting but hoping to be expecting nonetheless. Anyhow once it was clear I was not to have any expectations on the baby front this month, I began searching for racing possibilities for the week-end and came across the Hypothermic Half Marathon. I ran this in 2009 as a consolation for not being pregnant and wanted to do so again. But it was sold out. My training partner encouraged me to call up the race director and talk my way in as an "elite" athlete. Ah... the misplaced enthusiasm of training partners... I decided to bury my pride and make the call which went something like this:
me: "Hi, I understand the Hypothermic Half marathon is sold out for this week-end but I was wondering if you had any room for elite athletes. Well, not elite per say but somewhat fast. Ok I'm not super fast right now but I feel confident that I would place in the top 5. [Long, uncomfortable silence, which prompted me to continue blathering]. I ran this race in 2009 and was second, I think I could really, probably place in the top 5... or top 10... almost certainly."
disinterested employee: "yeah, sorry, we're sold out."
So, onwards I looked for other racing possibilities and found the first race of the local circuit at which I used to be a regular was this week-end. I signed up for the 10 km.
I am out of shape. Let's just say that I have been training about as much as I have been writing about training. Since the New Year I have had the occasional, oddball 50 mile week but most of my weeks have been around 30 miles (and those 30 miles are usually run between Friday and Sunday with not much else the rest of the week). I am following the trying-to-get-pregnant training plan i.e. train hard between day 1-11 of cycle (and not even so hard then) and then nothing but easy running (or nothing at all) until the end of the cycle. I was expecting to run somewhere between 39 and 40 minutes... and that's exactly what I did, 39:06 to be exact. I split the 5 km in 19:37 and managed to come back with a solid negative split of 19:29. Slowest km was 4:18 - uphill into the wind, fastest km was 3:33 (same km run in reverse).
All in all, it was fun to exert myself even in the -18 deg C temperatures. It was good to get back out there and run a competitive race. Exciting to be passed and try to hang on and to pass and try to break away. I had forgotten about that good old racing vibe. Also it's nice to know where I am at i.e. what kind of times I can run on bare bones basic training. Makes me think if I can be a bit more consistent, actually do some work-outs, I can get back down to sub-38 again in time for the spring road race season. If I get even fitter than that, and really ready to race hard, than undoubtedly I will get pregnant and forfeit my spring road racing season... and I would have ZERO complaints about that trade-off :)
p.s. while it is never really fair to play the game of "where would I have placed had I run this race, in looking at the results I think it is safe to say I would have been almost definitely in the top 5. Certainly it probably would have been maybe likely :)