Do I wanna run a 10k? Honestly? No. I started running in September of 2013, right after coming home from completing the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare (DDD) Challenge at Disneyland. I walked a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday in extreme heat and humidity. Apparently the heat and humidity fried my brain because I thought the way to recover from that was to start running! Well, no, not really. I had a goal in mind. runDisney requires a proof of time (POT) supporting a half marathon finish under 3:15. I’ve never finished a half marathon under 3:15 (and probably never will) so I had to get a 10k under 90 minutes. I decided to download the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Training App for my iPhone (just in case I love running so much that I didn’t want to stop at 10k!) and found myself a 10k on the last Sunday before the deadline to submit a POT for the January WDW races. I had less than two months between DDD and MEC Race Seven on October 27, 2013. I trained pretty hard and managed to run the race (with 20s run and 40s walk intervals) in 1:24:43.
That POT got me a really good corral placement for the half marathon at Walt Disney World in January. My friend Barb (who has a half marathon POT under 3:15) and I were in corral K. This year the corrals went all the way to P (which coincidentally is the main reason corral placement is important to me!) so we had five whole corrals of buffer, with about 7000 people in total in them, behind us. So that was worth the training.
After the training for that October race, I didn’t run very much. After the January races, I didn’t even walk much, essentially taking three months off. In April, I missed the Yonge Street 10k due to illness. I was registered for Yonge Street as a walker but for the Sporting Life 10k in May, I registered as a runner. My original plan was to try for a new POT. Well after taking three months off, I knew that wasn’t going to happen but I wanted to get under 90 minutes.
Let me say this…I will never consider myself a runner. I’m a walker. However, at Sporting Life I was trying to be a runner and I got to experience a race from a runner’s perspective. Sporting Life has 27,000 participants divided into six corrals. After complaints about crowding last year, the new race director spread the corrals out by 20 minutes. Even though I was registered as a runner, I was in corral Orange…the corral reserved for walkers and slow runners (that’s me!). Walkers get a bad rap from runners. I know this from social media. Now that I’ve experienced a race from a runner’s perspective, I totally get why they hate us. Yes there are runners who have respect for walkers and yes there are walkers who respect the race etiquette and don’t annoy runners (I hope I’m one of these walkers because I certainly try to be). Sporting Life is a race that’s set up to doom a runner in Orange corral. Why? Well the entry fee is relatively cheap and the race is for a good cause (Camp Oochigeas – a camp for kids with cancer) and it entices people with the fact that they close down Yonge Street – the longest street in the world – and let you run or walk on it. It was also Mother’s Day. This all lead to corral Orange having a good contingent of what I will call Tourist Walkers. These aren’t walkers who regularly do races. They aren’t out for a PB. In fact, they probably don’t even know what a PB is (except a PB&J). They walk 5 or 6 across forcing runners to slow down behind them or weave around them to pass.
Weave around them is what I did. My Garmin shows 0.65 kilometres of extra distance, mostly in the first half of the race. Based on the pace I was going, I figure I would have finished about 6 minutes sooner which would have given me a PB or pretty close. So I was disappointed.
On the plus side, I was the only one I saw dressed in a costume (I saw a couple of hats and floral head wreaths) and lots of people complemented me. I posed for pictures with people in the corral and even after the finish line. I did have fun but I really would have liked a time under 90 minutes…..I missed by 8 seconds. 8.
Fast forward to today. After coming up short at Sporting Life I found myself another MEC race. Today is the last possible day to submit a POT for DDD. Between signing up for the MEC race and today, I knew I wasn’t going to get a PB. My training hasn’t been that consistent and my paces have been pretty slow. In fact, yesterday I did the Jeff Galloway Magic Mile test for the first time (it’s supposed to predict your finish time for various race distances) and my half marathon finish prediction is slower than I’ve walked many of them!! Today I woke up not feeling well and ready to bail on this race (which cost $15) but I figured I had to get the distance in so I might as well go and do it. Soon after the start of the race, the pack had sped away from me and I was alone. This MEC race, like my last, was a 5k, 10k and 15k with 5k loops (out 2.5k and back). I got lapped by the 15k leaders (they started 15 minutes ahead of me). Some of the 5k people who started at least 10 minutes after I did lapped me, including a little girl running in a dress! Results haven’t been posted yet but I’m pretty sure I came in last.
My POT from last October is good through DDD 2015 so I have decided to concentrate my training on endurance for DDD 2014!! The half marathon is three months today. I’m going to plan out some different routes so I don’t get bored on my long walks. I am also going to keep up with the running but mostly on Tuesday and Thursday nights (which are 30 minute runs) in the hopes that I can run part of the half marathon in August. I know I won’t be able to run a whole half marathon but my plan is to run/walk the first 5 k to get me an extra buffer so that I never have to hear the people on the bikes with the orange flags telling me how close I am to the minimum pace! Then I’m going to walk the middle 10k and if I have the energy I’m going to run/walk the last 6 k. If I don’t have the energy, I’m going to run the last 0.1k so that I am running in my finish line photos!!