Sporting Life

I participated in the inaugural Ottawa Sporting Life 10K race over the weekend. It was a 10K circuit along the Canal (always a great running route), starting and ending by Landsdowne. It’s also been my first tour of the newly redeveloped space – it’s a beautiful and fascinating part of town that I rarely visit. Landsdowne / TD Place manages to feel both big and cozy at the same time.

My biggest fear about the race was not being able to run it because of my leg. In true House-ian fashion, I have been suffering from a leg pain since late February. Unlike the dear doctor, mine just came out of nowhere. Like the doctor, the early solution was to down meds (naproxen, not vicadin). After a month of that with the pain, duller but lingering, I decided that physio would be a better, longer term solution.

Thankfully, it has been an improvement. The pain has shifted and it easier to deal with, but still, up to this point, I haven’t had the ability to run more than about 4K. So, how was it adding on six more kilometres without any training, with the risk if dialing back my leg’s progress?

In the recovery area, sporting a new medal

It was a struggle. I walked a few times throughout the back half of the race. Fortunately, despite it all, my time was only about three minutes longer than my last 10K race time. The course along the Canal by TD Place and Landsdowne was beautiful this time of year, and not too hot, thanks to the rain that fell the night prior. The event itself was fairly small, too, which gave me lots of space to go at my pace.

Plus, the medals are pretty awesome!

Sporting Life MedalMy next race is Ottawa Race Weekend. I’m hoping that I’ll hit a faster time, but now it seems that I’m also contending with a pain in my left knee. If this how growing old starts, I’m already not a fan. Long life youth!

Charlie

The Runner

Ottawa Race Weekend course in downtown Ottawa, as run by me and Nike+GPS

When it comes to running, May was a big month for me. I ran my fastest 1k (5:02), mile (8:17), 5k (29:18), and my furthest distance (5.13k). I also recorded my 250th kilometre with Nike+ and Nike+GPS since I started using it early last year.

To top it off, I ran the 5k in the Ottawa Race Weekend with 9678 other lovely people, and managed to place 2380th (top 25%) quite a step up from finishing 5621 of 7354 at last year’s army run (top 77%). But to put my result in some context, the fastest result of the Ottawa Race Weekend 10k race reached the end faster than I did in the 5k.

Waiting before the Ottawa Race Weekend 5K

The race itself was very good. It’s a very different feeling – and very motivating – running with 9000 people, at once. You see someone in front of you that doesn’t look like they’re going very fast, so you try to pass them. In a quiet moment, a bunch of people will pass you. The people watching along the side, cheering for loved ones (and cheering for everyone in general) is great to see too. The best, though, must have been some of the signs that people held up. One was “halfway there – just kidding” around the 4-4.5km mark. My favourite that made me laugh while running was, “your pace or mine?” Twitter tells me Lululemon had something to do with some of these motivational messages. Good on them!

Starting the Race

Regardless, I’m quite happy with being able to do this. High school me who couldn’t run halfway around the school (650m, give or take) in phys ed would be very impressed. I’m hoping to do at least another Army Run this year. Maybe Terry Fox. Maybe the Ottawa Hospital Rattle Me Bones Run (I am a valuable member of their team, after all).

The big question is, what do I do to become a better runner. Is it possible for me to stay motivated through a longer 6-, 8-, or even 10k? Should I push myself harder and shave valuable seconds off each kilometre I run? I’m not really looking to eventually do a marathon. I mean, I’m sure it’s great to be able to do one, but 40+ km is a whole lot of distance to cover, and I’m sure they don’t allow of napping breaks.

Yellow Corral for 30-35-minute finishers. I did it in 29:44.9.

 Perhaps I should just get used to running 5k at a time. Hit it every time I run. After doing that a while, perhaps adding a km or two wouldn’t seem so challenging. And naturally, I would speed up in the process. I suppose there are many, many hot, muggy summer evenings for me to try to figure it out… And a few more medals (and mosquito bites) to be had in the process.

5K Medal