9mins & 19secs

Photo of me running in the rainI’m going to cut to the chase here. I’m not going to go through any fanfare or hype. I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’ll just get right to the point of this post which is to tell you what my finishing time was at the Toronto Goodlife Fitness Half Marathon at 8:00am on May 15, 2011. The race I have been training for since February with the extreme assistance of the iRun Runner Makeover team – featuring:

Ok… enough fooling around.

I ran 21.1 kilometres (13.3 miles) in the midst of Toronto’s wind and rain in… hold on to your socks, hat, pants, shirts and wallets… 1:31:31 (chip time).

Woo! Heck yeah! Beating my previous PB of 1:40:50 (set just weeks after beginning the makeover on Feb 13) by 9 minutes and 19 seconds. Yes!

I am very excited and proud… but I have to admit that I was aiming a little bit higher than that. I was hoping to come in under 1:30. Ambitious? Yes (insert Tania telling me “Brock – you cannot be disappointed!! We all wish we could nail 9 minute PB’s!!”) but I still think that I could have done it.

The biggest issue I had on the course was my own disbelief in the idea that I could actually sustain a pace of 4:15/km (or higher) for the entire race. I kept glancing at my watch and panicking when I saw 3:55, 4:05 or even 4:10 and consequently slowed myself down to a pace I felt more sure of and, in a way, short-changed myself into a slower overall/finishing time. So, when Ilia said to me “You did not go deep enough” he was absolutely right… but that’s not necessarily a negative thing.

This is a huge lesson for me. As essential as the actual training is (it is the reason that I am even able to hit paces like 4:05/km) another huge component is the need for belief and faith in my own abilities as a runner. I now know that I can hit and sustain those speeds without “busting a gut” (as Tania frequently says) in the middle of a race. I believe it was Lucy who added “If you think you could have done better, that’s great. It means you are ready for the next step”. Amen to that!

So, valuable lessons learned, a new awesome PB and some great stories to tell. Today I am a satisfied runner. Tonight, I start training again – 8km easy around High Park. Wanna race?

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