“This is probably my last attempt at a PB (personal best),” Krista DuChene told Paul Gains, about the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. “I feel like this is where I am giving 100% one last time. And, I am not saying I am retiring or giving up on a chance to make a world championship team, but this is where I am going to give everything to run as fast as I can and then just take it from there.”
DuChene is a living legend, Olympian, mother, and inspiration to many, in Canada and all over the world. She’s at the cottage with her family while many of her racing peers are in Ottawa at the Track & Field Championships. Last month she raced 10K in Toronto, and this is what she wrote about her experience at the event:
For a short while I had some extra time on my hands that I disciplined myself to enjoy, knowing it wouldn’t last. And sure enough, here I am recovering after a 5:20 am run followed by a day-long field trip with the kindergartens to the zoo. But it’s a good feeling.
Since my return from the London Marathon in April, which was after the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October and the Olympics in August, I have really enjoyed the lower mileage of: 25, 75, 100, 110, 120, 130, and 101 km. Averaging 112 km/wk for the last five weeks was refreshing. I was doing some decent workouts but not feeling the healthy fatigue that comes with marathon training. In fact, I didn’t really feel like I was training much at all; my peak week of ~22 km/day was noticeably different than how I feel when marathon training at ~29 km/day (with one rest day/week). I was approaching the Toronto Waterfront 10 km with the attitude that I wanted to have fun and give a solid effort. And that I did.
With the Rio send-off that Alan and the Canada Running Series had for us last year, I think this race will always have a special place in my heart. I was the returning champion but knew Natasha Wodak would break the tape first, knowing she holds the Canadian record, and is training for the 10,000 m at the World Championships in August. It was nice to see familiar faces and get to know some of the other elite women. Like last year, even with an early 7:30 am start, it was a hot one. I had already started my heat training for Rio last year, so this year I really felt the heat. Usually I run my first 10 km of the season around goal marathon pace so I was happy enough with 35:53. I think it could have been closer to 34 minutes.
I gave a strong effort and was glad some other speedy women were there to keep me moving. Huge shout out to Saucony teammate, Leslie Sexton who ran 34 minutes in her first race back after her terrible ankle sprain that cost her 3.5 months on the sideline. And props to Brittany Moran who finally made the right move by passing me when I faded a bit in the second half; Megan Brown is doing an incredible job with coaching. I’m so pleased to see the depth in Canada’s long-distance women. And lastly, congratulations to race winner Natasha Wodak, my Rio roommate who is returning to racing after foot surgery and a new coach. It can take a while to cash in with a new training program and we are excited to see what she does this summer. I got a few messages from friends and raised eyebrows from the kids when they discovered I placed 5th overall (4th Canadian) like something went wrong, like I broke my leg, had heat exhaustion or something crazy like that. Nope, I accomplished what I set out to do and had no problem being beat by others who fully deserved it.
After the awards, which included some beautiful flowers for the masters category win, I rushed to catch the GoTrain in order to make it back home for my timing duties at my son’s swim meet. The trip was quick and smooth, even giving me time to shower, briefly rest, and get a pecan square from my favourite Sweets Bakery. I planned to have Father’s Day off so that we could make breakfast for Jonathan as he is normally on weekend breakfast duty when I am training. Our 6 year old daughter was quite happy with our restaurant-style menu that we had planned all week. And her brothers were good to play along.
Coach Dave and I are mapping out my summer training and racing plan, which will include a fall marathon. The days are now longer and I’m enjoying some earlier runs.