Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Start of Spring Racing

So far this spring, I’ve run 2 races: Around the Bay 30K and the 5K race of the ENDURrace series.

March 30th - Around the Bay:

I was strangely nervous before ATB this year. It’s the 4th time I’ve run this race, but this year was different. This year I had a plan for my race and this year I had goals for the rest of the season. I started to wonder how things would pan out and if they didn’t go as planned, how that might affect my race season. I was worrying about silly things, even my wardrobe… I kept checking the weather and putting out options to wear… and well.. it ended up being fantastic weather. I wore capris and a thin long sleeve shirt, but my sleeves were shoved up past my elbows pretty quick.

OK.. I didn’t come in here to write about clothes… although I could… nah… I’ll get back to running.

My plan for this race was to run it at my goal marathon pace and finish in a time of two hours and thirty minutes. Here’s how it went:

I was happy that it was a slow start with so many people in this race. It gave a bit of time while it thinned out and I could settle into pace. I hit the first km right around 5 minutes. Perfect. I just needed to maintain a steady pace. I started chatting with a couple of runners near me and they had the same goal of 2:30, so I stuck with them until the first real incline – an overpass. I ran up and over and I guess I pulled ahead a bit because I noticed that I didn’t see them anywhere… and I never saw them again.

A few minutes later, I spotted a couple of familiar runners up ahead (Joanne B and Jack K), so I picked it up slightly to catch up to them. said hi, and then ran with them for a few km until Joanne went ahead.

Jack and I stuck together until just after 21K where I had a bit of a mini-bonk… I got some sugar in me and got back on pace, but I didn’t catch up to Jack. At this point, the hills start. For some reason, I thought there was one more hill than there actually was, so I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the 27K mark and knew there were no more hills in this race. I felt good and I felt strong, a glance at my watch told me I was still on pace, so I was happy. As I crossed the the finish line, I saw the clock at 2:29:24, which meant I would get a silver medal instead of the bronze that I had received in years past. I thanked the volunteer who handed me my medal, walked around the corner and there was Jack!

My chip time was 2:28:18, which was 2 seconds shy of a 14 minute improvement over last year. I had stuck to my plan, it went well, and I had new confidence for the marathon in May.

April 12 – ENDURrace 5K:

After a good race at ATB and after training with Health and Performance for a bit, I had high hopes for this race… perhaps a little too high. I somehow let race excitement get the better of me and lost any ability to run smart. Here’s the race in a nutshell: I started too fast and then pretty much died.

Now for the full version: run like an idiot to the first corner, notice that I’m running the same pace as people who are way faster than me, drop it back slightly, but still keep running too fast to the first km mark where they were calling out the times… I hear a 3… crap. I should not be running under 4 min Ks… 3:54 was my first km… it went downhill from there… not the elevation… just me. I got slower and slower. It did not feel good. I just wanted to stop. I didn’t, of course, but I wanted to.

I finished the 5K in 22:13, which was a PB for me, so I am happy about that, but I’m disappointed in the way I ran. I know better… and had I run like I know I should have, I most likely would have ended up with a faster time. Lesson learned, I guess. Or at least I hope I’ve learned my lesson!

Up next is a double race weekend, a little mini-ENDURrun if you will… well.. not really. Saturday evening is the 8K portion of the ENDURrace and then Sunday morning is the Waterloo Marathon (the half for me). I WILL run smarter this time.

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