This was just one of those results that snuck up on me, and about which I’m exceedingly pleased. It was the first race of the year for me, and, as usual, I resented waking up at 4:30 a.m., I resented climbing through the bushes in Mission to take a leak, I resented climbing through more bushes just south of Stampede Park to take another leak, and half a dozen times I said to myself, ‘Why the fuck am I doing this?’ I didn’t feel exceptionally fresh for this race, and no part of me was looking forward to it.
Then the gun went off.
About 1.5kms into the run, I looked at my watch: 4:00/km pace. I thought, ‘Damn, I feel way too good right now; it’s gotta be the adrenaline.’ Then about 4kms in I looked again: 4:00/km pace. That’s when I thought, ‘Okay, so this is how it’s gonna be, hey? Just trust yourself. No excuses not to make this hurt.’
And kms 7-14 hurt. But I kept reeling in runners, one by one.
At km 14 I saw one of my colleagues from the tri-club and tried (in vain) to catch him, but it pushed me past a few more runners, and every glance at my watch showed I was hovering around 4:00/km.
Anyway, those last kms hurt a lot (and the very last kilometre hurt like a muthafucka). When I crossed the line and looked at my time and my average pace, at first I was like, ‘WTF? Where did that come from?’ And then I was like, ‘Goddamn right–Jack [my coach] taken care of me, I’ve trained hard, this makes sense.’
And now, on the other side of this, my first race of the season, I’ve made my first cash-in on all those training hours, I’m motivated to train harder, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. So if there is some sort of lesson here, I think it has something to do with having a bit of faith that something’s good for you: whether it’s jumping out of a plane, mountain biking for the first time, or running a race when (you think) you’d rather be sitting in a porta-potty and/or napping, sometimes there’s a delta between present self and future self, and you can’t see the path between the two until you’re at the other end.