The weather was exactly the kind I dislike intensely. The temperature was 4C (which isn’t too bad for early December here), but 40 kph winds made it feel downright nasty. As if that weren’t bad enough, it rained, and it rained hard. The course, which goes through Toronto’s pleasant and pretty (in summer, anyway) Kew Gardens, involved lots of twists, turns, muddy corners, and vast, deep puddles. In short, things sucked.
What you can’t see in this photo are the one meter high waves in Lake Ontario. What you can see is me drafting the big guy in front of me. (No shame in that, as long as you say “thank you” when you finally ease past him…)
It turned out to be a wonderful race.
I managed to set a new personal best, with a clock time of 56:16 and a gun time of 57:15. (The timing was done manually rather than by chip; runners were tagged and clocked as they crossed the finish line.) All the training and nutrition changes I’d made over the past few weeks really paid off. I’d done short, fast runs on the treadmill three times a week, light weights and stretching twice a week, water running once a week, and one longer outdoor run on Sundays. I’m now sugar-free and gluten-free. I’d been doing 15 minutes each day with my Sports Breather. I’ve lost 10 lbs over the past five weeks. I went into the race feeling vital, light, and strong.
That’s not the regime I’d want if I were training for a marathon or an ultra, but it certainly got me where I wanted to go yesterday.
This was my first race with my Invisible Shoe huaraches. They were amazing. Only a pair of thin rubber soles and a couple of nylon laces, and I fairly danced on the pavement, the boardwalk, and through the icy puddles. Oddly enough, my feet never really felt cold (though they certainly got very wet). My footing was solid, and the laces neither slipped nor stretched. 10 out of 10 for Invisible Shoes!
As you can see in this photo, after close to an hour of running in the wet, the cold, and the wind, I was still happy.
All in all, a brilliant day. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even grow to like running in the cold and the wet…