It’s a spring tradition that’s pretty well known in Vancouver – the streets are closed, the traffic horribly disrupted, and 50,000 or so people participate in the Sun Run. As an elite (or somewhere on the edge of elite) runner, it’s pretty neat for two reasons: one, that there are tons and tons of people in one place who think that a fun thing to do on Sunday morning is to run 10k; and two, that the concentration of talent means that as long as you’re not out running sub-30, there are plenty of people to pull you along to a good time.
Last year’s Sun Run was maybe the best I’ve ever felt in a road race. I felt like I could pick up the pace half-way through, was strong the whole way, totally drained at the end, and I smashed my personal best by 1:15 and my goal by 45 seconds. It was pretty cool, and set me up well for confidence in the season.
This year, I had a lack of confidence going in. I was only two weeks back into running and half a week back into doing intensity off an injury (whine, whine, whine), and even then, I hadn’t been focusing on speed work (or focusing much at all). My mind was really not in the race. Somehow, though, that stuff seems to go away when I put my running flats on and leave the house on the way to the start line. Things start to come together when the trip to the start line seems inevitable.
Some of my fears came true: I felt less zippy than last year, I couldn’t pick up the pace the way I’d like to, and, horror of horrors, last year’s The North Face Whistler Half Marathon winner David Palermo passed me with a k to go, to beat me (nooooo!!!). I ran 20 seconds slower than last year – for my second fastest 10k ever. So what do I think? Great race? No… but on the other hand, I feel like if a substandard feeling race gives me a reasonable time, the fitness must be there, so now it’s just a question of – training more!