#1. Run a distance that you have never run before.
#2. Refer to number one.
A 12k is an odd distance, but one that for some reason spoke to me this year. I had never had the desire to make the drive "upisland" for a race - it seemed that two hours of driving to race for forty-odd minutes was silly. This year, though, something about the Cedar 12k beckoned. And seeing as how it was to be my first 12k, I would pick up another PB.
I was happy that Trevor made the trip up. He was kind enough to drive, so I offered the car for him to drive. It was good to see him getting back into racing after a self-imposed hiatus.
Maybe that was it this year. You see, there is a stigma attached to 5k's and 10k's. We all know the numbers and what they mean. A 37 and you will be shaking your head in disappointment, wondering what had happened to those low 35's that were once yours. But with a 12k, no one knows what the numbers mean. What is a 44? And it is my belief that it is because the 12k is an "off-distance" that people are more relaxed. There was a definite difference in the energy of the people at Cedar. Less worry and more fun.
For me, Cedar was to be a workout. Yoda has suggested descending throughout the race, and Rumon's comments at 2.5k of the race rang true in my head - this is going to be hard to do. You see, it is downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back. Running progressively faster as you continue to go uphill is not the formula for a good time.
I will include the details at the end, but suffice it to say that I surprised myself. I ended up running the workout as described, which pleased me. And while the race itself was fun, I echo the comments of my friends on other confessionals - it was the warm up that really reminded me that running is about community. Warming up the the likes to of Todd, Trevor, Stefan, Jim, Rumon, and Mike was a pleasure. A leisurely jaunt where everyone rotated around and shared stories. I openly mused about doing our long runs together in this fashion, although I know that is very wishful thinking. As runners we tend to be masochists, and as such we will suffer in isolation, braving the elements so that we may later passively brag about it to our comrades. But the moment of having everyone there feeling good and about to share in a common experience was refreshing for the soul of this runner.
But while I enjoyed my time with the boys, it was a sobering moment in the cool down that put everything in perspective. As we ran back along the course, about 1km from the finish we came upon a St. John's Ambulance and a person on the ground, having compressions performed on his chest. It was an eerie silence that followed, the weight of what he had witnessed grounding us on the road. The sound of footfalls on light mist was all that was heard until Todd, who works in health care, turned to see if he could offer assistance. For the rest of us, Jim, Rumon and I, we kept on as there were already many people attending to the situation and there was nothing more we could have added. It doesn't take much for us to be the one on the ground and that, in a strange way, added to the appreciation of the day. We later found out that the man was brought back and will be ok, but the moment had left its mark.
Today was a comfortable run along the waterfront. Got out and moved the legs, feeling smooth, imagining that if Jim Finlayson had appeared in the distance, that today, today I would catch him. I know that wouldn't be the case, but it was a fun thought.
Cedar 12k Details
km Split HR Avg
0-1 3:48 146
1-2 3:37 162
2-3 3:41 166
3-4 3:39 171
4-5 3:30 170
5-6 3:48 170
6-7 3:30 173
7-8 3:32 175
8-9 3:39 174
9-10 3:35 179
10-11 3:26 180
11-12 3:13 182 (MAX 187)
12k 43:03 170