Tartu Parkmetsa Run started around 1 PM in the afternoon so I had lots of time in the morning to do other things. I slept in, enjoyed my bed and finally got up around 9 AM. Then I did regular morning stuff like showering and eating breakfast and was ready to leave the house around 11.30 AM.
The race destination was around 4 kilometres from my home, so I decided to walk/jog there. Unfortunately the weather was not great: around 6 degrees Celsius and raining. I walked most of the time and jogged for around 10 minutes but since I was carrying a backpack, it started to shake and bounce and it was pretty uncomfortable to run that way. But it was enough to get me a little warmed up.
Right after arriving, I met Elari and Marin. We got our starting materials, chatted and had to pose for some photos for the ISC booth 😀 Me and Marin also did some more warm-up: slow running and running exercises. I also saw lots of people from my running group at TYSK and many people I met in Crossfit in February. During the warm up the back of my left knee, that had been strange all week long, started to hurt more… That made me worry. A lot.
Soon it was time to wait in the toilet line, give away my backpack and jacket, take some photos and get ready for the start. I was a little nervous, cold and wet from the rain but so ready. My goal was to run a time under 42 minutes (6 minutes per kilometre). That would have been my personal best pace ever.
The first kilometre: lots of mud and water. Just when the 1st km was over, I saw Elari passing me. He was actually ill and had told me that he would be taking it easy. Well, I was giving everything I got and he still passed me as if I was standing still 😀
I was going fast (for my personal level of fitness). The pace on first kilometer was just over 5 minutes per kilometer. When RunKeeper told me that, I was amazed. Me and 5 min per km? We hadn’t met before but it sure was a nice 🙂
I was worried that maybe starting too fast would mean finishing weak but I decided to take that risk. I slowed down a little after the first kilometer but I was still waaaaaay ahead of my goal pace.
Around the end of the 4th kilometer was the drinking point. I didn’t really need to drink so I didn’t. It had been raining all the time and parts of the track were really muddy. The worst part was just after the drinking point where I almost stopped because it was so slippery and I didn’t want to land face forward in mud. I also got a little side ache in my tummy but I ignored it and it went away. From there on, it was only 3 km to finish. I kept telling myself that if I made it that far with a really good pace, I can finish it strong.
I saw lots of familiar faces on the track and that made me happy. I felt my legs getting more tired but I just pushed forward. I managed to speed up on the last kilometre and ran to the finish line with a smile on my face.
38 minutes and 50 seconds. Average pace: 5:29 per kilometre. Happiness, joy and pride.
I outdid myself big time. I didn’t only accomplish my goal but improved my personal best pace (that I ran a week before in the III Virtual Run) by 48 (!!!) seconds per kilometer. And if you compare this 7K to Narva Energy Run last year, I improved my time by 13 minutes and pace by 1 minute and 44 seconds per km.
That kind of progress is just so awesome!
Before going home, we had some soup, bread and an apple jam bun (any Estonians know a good English word for saiake?). The food was actually really good. Overall I have nothing bad to say about the events that Treenitus organises, they are always great. On my way home, I felt that me knee was hurting. I decided to give my body a rest day on Sunday just as my coach Maris had suggested.
- My official time: 38:50
- Average pace: 5:29 min per km (personal best!)
- Average speed: 10,93 km/h
- My position: 259th (out of 376 that finished)
- My position among women: 81st (out of 168)
- In my agegroup: 42nd (out of 91)
Now I just absolutely can’t wait for my half-marathon any longer 🙂 Fortunately I have 2 more 10K races before that to prepare myself. Excited to see what more my body can do 🙂