After recovering from what felt like a complete failure at the time, but in retrospect really wasn't. I picked myself up and moved on. I knew I was going to keep running and I was planning on taking the 10k clinic. I also knew I wanted to run faster and push myself without being a sucky baby if a race didn't go my way.
A few things changed at that time. A new guy named Rick started running at the open groups and I joined him. He ran at a faster pace than I was used to, but it was a good push for me. As it turns out - Rick has been one of the biggest running influences I've met.
I also started to get a lot of racing advice. Apparently some people can flip a switch easily which takes them from their normal selves to a savage warrior who can ignore all of the pain in their bodies and focus on winning. Me... not so much. In a flight or fight situation, I'm a chickadee.
Getting to the point, I started to focus differently on this race. I began running with someone once in a while that would push me to run faster. I also tried visualizing the race and prepared a manta. "I am fast, I am strong" This is much better than Kara Goucher's "Fighter".
The Guelph Lake race was another small race - even smaller than Mount Forest, but I was a bit more prepared for it. In the start line I was still a bundle of nerves, but I felt a bit better prepared. The gun went off and I had a few fleeting thoughts about running back to the car or how I'd rather be a volunteer than racing. But every time I had a negative thought, I used my mantra.
It actually worked. I felt pretty good in the race, not like I was doing an easy run, but not like I wanted to die either. I finished this race in 26:30. A full two minutes better than my time in Mount Forest three weeks earlier. I missed placing in my age group by 6 seconds. (I know a small race) but I was thrilled with my effort. I don't have any pictures from this race because something happened to my husband's camera but the finish line shot wouldn't look that great anyway. After this race I began my 10k clinic... would the mantra hold up??? We'll see.