December 26, 2022, Boxing Day: Hamilton 10 Miler
It’s -6 C outside, -11 with the wind chill. I’m 2K into the race and sweating my whatsits off.
At the 1 mile mark there was someone giving out the race time/pace as we passed – I was running with a group of 2 or 3 other runners and the time was 8:10. I can not do the miles/km conversion in my head, so I asked “is that good?”. “Not bad”, he said. “Now to just keep that up for 9 more miles” said the runner next to me.
8:10/mile is about 5:05/km, and I was actually running about 4:50 at that point, having started at around 5:50 and gotten faster as the race progressed. At some point I realized I was probably going too fast – my watch reads out the pace every 5 minutes – and tried to slow myself down, not too successfully though.
It wasn’t until just before the 5 mile mark, when there is a long meandering hill up to a water station, that my paced dropped above 6min/km. After a 10 second stop for some water and a quick shot off a gel pack I was carrying – despite me carrying it in my hand for the last few minutes it was still pretty frozen and to complicated to get more than a mouthful – I took off again and went back to an average pace of about 5:30.
I’ve recently made a change up to my winter running gear, and thank god I did. Where in the past on my upper body I’d wear a tshirt, then a long sleeve tshirt, covered by a windbreaker, I’ve replaced the long sleeve shirt with a zip up Adidas thingy.
I started the race all zipped up, with hat and gloves. The hat came off after about 5 minutes, the gloves about 5 minutes after that – you can’t underestimate the value of a jacket with pockets. Hat gloves, phone, glasses, buff, keys, gel pack, sandwich – all fit in there with room to spare. (I like the Brooks Canopy Jacket).
Shortly thereafter I was unzipping the inner jacket, and soon after that the outer one as well – as far as it would go, my race bib prevented a full unzip. After that I’d zip the outer jacket back up when running into the wind, but otherwise left it down.
Every now and then the back of my hands would get cold, and I’d pull them into my jacket sleeves – the jacket has those thumbholes to keep it pulled forward – other than that though, I pretty much sweat through the whole rest of the race.
It was around the 4 mile mark that we first saw the race leaders coming back towards us. “Holy moly!” I remarked, to which one of the runners just in front of me replied “Fast eh?”
The first place finisher for the Hamilton 10 Miler finished in 53:58, with a pace of 5:24/mile – about 3:21/km. Fast eh?
I finished with a time of 1:33:01, with a pace of 9:18/mile – about 5:47/km, and I’m totally happy with that. It’s a pace that’s not far off from my half marathon pace in October — and I managed to set a 10k PR during the race.
Not bad considering all the eating and drinking in the days leading up to the race, and I’ve been running around 4k/day through December as a part of the Finish Strong challenge, so I wasn’t nearly a rested as I would typically be before a race.
Until Next Time
And that’s it for the year. Coming back to Hamilton at the end of March for the Around the Bay race – 30K, so almost twice this one. Should be interesting. Other planned races posted at https://simonfromtoronto.com/2023-race-schedule/
What are you planning to run? Comment down below.
No Race is complete without a heart rate alert. I’m good, just some setting I should probably adjust.