I headed down to the Limestone Mile yesterday. I WILL be running this race in 2010 and as I may have mentioned before it will be the GRAND FINALE of my second year of training. As we arrived in the general vicinity of the race my daughter decided to plop herself down at a face painters booth, announced she was using her OWN money and ordered the Large Full Face Canada Flag(it was Canada Day after all). I believed the Women's race was to begin in 15 minutes so figured that was plenty of time to paint a child's face. Leaving my daughter for a moment with strict instructions not to leave the chair, I headed to the race area to check out the hoopla. I asked a girl giving out water how long it was until the women's race, "3 minutes" she replied. I looked around and there was no sign of women lining up for the race, my coach then spotted me in my state of confusion. We talked about his daughter's race then he casually pointed out that there go the women now. WHAT, I thought to myself, how could the women have started already? After all I was standing right there and I had not seen any athletes lined up in any formation resembling a START. As it turns out the women started just north of where I was standing on another street and I was at the FINISH LINE. They were now circling a block in the downtown area. I recognized a rival(Stacey) from my last race in a heated battle with a few other Masters runners. I left to check on my daughter and looked back just in time to see the women leaders racing towards the finish. I noted that my daughter was still alive and ran back in time to see Stacey being hotly pursued by this race's version of me all the way to the end. Stacey looked hot and exhausted, much hotter and much more exhausted then she appeared to be after the 5km we had ran 2 months earlier. At that point I think I had seen everything I really needed to see. This race is very different from any race I had ever run. Firstly it was run as two loops of a downtown block. Secondly it started on one street and ended on another. Thirdly if you blink(or take a moment to check on your children) you will miss it. Fourthly it is short and fast. Fifthly it appeared to hurt the participants a great deal. Mind you the pain is short lived compared to longer distance races however I deduced that the effort to maintain the speed over the shorter distance must increase the pain per second ratio(thoughts?)
I am glad I saw the race yesterday as I now have the tools I need for a great year of visualization exercises, and if my knee continues to co-operate then I can start getting back to some solid training based on my fitness level and not my pain level.