Though I haven’t been much of a road runner as of late, the Squamish Days 8K race has a warm place in my heart. I ran it last year and I loved the community vibe. I was also surprised about the stacked field of competition. Of course, that was before I knew that everyone is Squamish is only a step or two away from being an elite athlete (at least, it often feels that way).
Going into this year’s race, my goal was to beat last year’s time of 41:44. That was a pretty fast time for me, but I thought I’d have an edge up this year because:
- I’ve been running more this year than last.
- I’ve also been hitting the gym more – I feel stronger overall.
- I sometimes (probably not often enough) do speed work in my running. Sometimes is better than never, which is how often I did speed work last year.
- Last year, I ran the Red Bull 400 the day before the Squamish Days 8K. This year, I did not.
Those were the things I had going for me this year. Things I did not have going for me included:
- The fact that the air has been very smoky here in Squamish for the last week or so, and the air quality is not so hot right now.
- The reality that although I am running more often, I very rarely tackle roads.
I’m pleased to say that the strengths outweighed the weaknesses, and not only did I beat last year’s time by almost 2 minutes, but I also cracked my goal of 40 minutes. Clocking in at 39:55… yours truly!
This placed me 5/14 in my age category, 20/77 for the women category, and 58/148 overall – three cheers for being in the top half!
I’m pretty proud of this because I don’t think I’ve ever run a 4:59 km pace … like, ever. At least not over this distance. I downloaded a most random playlist of songs strategically chosen for their beats (think Hey Ya, Footloose, Lose Yourself… definitely an odd mix) and tried to keep my feet moving with the music – and it worked! It kept me feeling motivated, even though I don’t usually run with music.
This year, I stuck around for awards and prizes at the end. It was absolutely worth it – not only for the delicious watermelon, but also because I won a snazzy water bottle. As luck would have it, that was not the only thing I won on this day… stay tuned.
So what do we think – can I spin these wheels even faster in 2018?