Race Report: Harriers Pioneer 8k Jan 11, 2015

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Before the middle of December 2014, I was looking forward to the start of the 2015 race season. Unfortunately, by mid-December, things started to quickly go downhill…

What I originally thought was just a cold, turned into the flu. At the time, I had no idea that it was going to turn into over a month of coughing all night, fever, missing training and generally not feeling well.

Prior to getting sick, I was looking forward to running some major personal bests across the board and was genuinely ready to do so.

Unfortunately, that was not going to happen this time around. Two days before the race, I considered pulling out because I was both sick and untrained. Several weeks off was definitely detrimental to my conditioning.

On the morning of the race, the only reason I decided to do it was because I wanted to see some of my friends that I haven’t seen for a while and I woke up without a fever. Fever would mean no race…no exceptions.

At the start, my only goal was to finish and hopefully I won’t feel like I’m breathing through a narrow straw as the race goes on.

Seeing as I was exhausted before the race even started, I decided to take it easy. I knew that the past few weeks have been very difficult. There was nothing I wanted more than my health back.

Admittedly, I started out too fast and the race was hard from the very beginning. That was a mistake and I don’t know why I make it far too frequently, even though I know better.

At the 4k mark, I even considered dropping out because I knew that I wasn’t going to run my best time and breathing became unusually difficult (my fear of feeling like I was breathing through a straw came true).

Above: I’m struggling to breathe but must keep on going. Photo by Joseph Camilleri

In all honestly, there has never been a race where the thought of “quitting” ever entered my mind.

I slowed down a little more and decided to keep going. After all, I was past the halfway point and I would feel very embarrassed if I quit.

Also, what example would I be setting for my clients if I quit at first sign of a challenge?

Seeing the 7km marker was definitely the highlight of the race because it meant that I was less than 4 min and 30 seconds away from finishing it.

In the end, I somehow gathered enough strength to sprint the last 100m before getting the urge to either collapse or vomit at the finish line. Luckily, neither of the aforementioned happened (or else you guys would be “enjoying” some unpleasant candid photos…lol), even though this was the closest I’ve ever got.

I finished about 37 seconds slower than last year (as I would have expected). My time was 33:40 (4:16 per km or 6:46 per mile pace).

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Above: The age group awards ceremony. I’m the one with the Muscle MLK toque. Photo by Joseph Camilleri

Miraculously, I ended up being first in my age group and 23rd woman (out of 296) across the finish line.

Harriers8K2015_2Although I really struggled during this race, I recognized that being sick means you can’t physically give it 150% and I had to accept it. I’m ok with it because there will be many more opportunities to get a personal best in the future.

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Above: Since the Harriers Pioneer 8k is also the BC Athletics 8k Championship race, I also got a 1st place ribbon in the mail for winning my age group.

Other than being sick, I loved the race, love the people who are there and plan to be back next year (hopefully with a faster time).

Finishing this race made me realize that I can keep going when the going gets tough. It’s important to finish what we start and this race was a good reflection of that.

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