The phone was buzzing at 4:48 to wake me for the big day. The uplifting memo on the alarm I left for myself was “Leave house by 5:15. Fly at 8:30”.
It was chilly but at least not raining. Yet. I got to UBC with plenty of time to park the car and get my bib. At about 8 the rain started and I was only wearing my singlet, shorts and the Vibrams. This was my first race in the rain and I didn’t mind it as much as anticipated, though I thought my nipples might cut through the singlet.
This year The Fall Classic had pace bunnies, so I found myself the 1:45 guy and decided to stick with him until about 15k and pull ahead then. The gun went off, and I was on my first goal race.
For the first 3k as I warmed up 5min/km was a good pace. Once in my groove though, it wasn’t enough and I started to pull ahead until disaster hit at 6k.
I had to pee.
This was to be my goal race and I had to pee!
Which I did just before starting as well! My home route are trails and rural farms. Easy for me to do business without exposing myself to some poor unsuspecting person. Of what I could see there are only 2 port-a-potty spots on the route and I couldn’t wait, so into the bushes I went. Given the pressures of, A-I wanted to get back on the run now! and B-I hope I’m in far enough in so no one sees me!; I’m surprised the task got completed at all.
I emerged from the hedge trying not to look any runners in the eye, to see my pace bunny a good 200m ahead of me. I caught him at 7k and left him behind from that point.
Given that; the rest of the race felt great! I was slapping hands, clapping to the bands and having a good time. My pace stayed pretty steady between 4:44/km-4:47/km.
The last 2k I was pushing for all I had. I knew I was going to be close to finishing at 1:40 and wanted to beat the mark. I was soaked and I could hear the water slop in my Vibrams with every step. The last 300m I tried to sprint and my legs said, “No F#@king Way!” in the form of becoming what felt like two steel rods had replaced my muscles. There was no accelerating beyond that pace. The reality of the stiffness of my legs was so intense I failed to see my comrades cheering me on at the finish line complete with barefoot cheering sign.
I finished with a chip time of 1:40:19
I couldn’t feel more accomplished at that moment. My PB from 2012 had been shattered by 9:50!
Now I am quite literally halfway to qualifying for Boston in a minimalist or barefoot format.