Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Around The Bay 2009

There is not enough swimming and biking in this road racing game for me.

So, I somewhat randomly picked 2:15 as a good goal for myself. I figured I could come close to that. It wasn't until near the start that I was told that I would get a shiny silver metal if I did it under 2:15. I like silver.

Training up to the race was somewhat sporadic. Got some good long runs in, but nothing at any sort of hard pace. Felt ok coming into the race though.

We caught a ride with the 'running maniacs' from bomanville on their bus which was awesome. They had arranged that we could get our race packages the morning of as a group. That was fantastic. They were a fun bunch to hang out with on the ride down. Got to Copps and checked out the finish line. I did the relay here a few years ago, and ran the finishing leg. I really think it is one of the neatest finishing lines I have ever crossed.

The Start. So, I turned on my GPS and waited for it to aquire a signal. It was taking a while. I didn't realize until the start that it had completely frozen. It wouldn't even let me turn it off and restart.

So as the gun sounded and I tried to start my stopwatch, it wouldn't go. I was running on instinct alone. (apprently my instinct sucks)I got into a comfortable stride which I was hoping was near the 4:30 pace I wanted to start at. As I came accross the 10km mat I was almost 2min. ahead of that. Oops.

Over the next few km my quads started to tighten up due to the cold. Nothing serious at the time, but I knew that I would be hurting by the end. I had caught up with Jon very early on. I knew what his goal was and had thought that I should hang out with him. For some reason I decided to pass him and keep up with my pace. In hindsight I should've stuck with him. My normal conservative start went out the window.

I tried to ease off a bit, but with no reference I was a little in the dark. I asked a few people around me what the splits were at a few points, but it was kind of hard to really get much from that.

Around 16km, my quads really started to hurt. It wasn't affecting my pace or stride too much at that point, but at only the half way point I was hurting too much to be good.

Through 20km I was still ahead of the pace I was hoping for, but at this point, I thought that the buffer was going to be important if I still wanted to get sub 2:15.The rollers came as a bit of relief. I am really good at running down hill, and can usually recover pretty well. So I held my pace comfortably throughout. Even the big hills didn't really bother me.

Jon came flying by at some point in here looking super strong. He had paced himself well. I tried to pick it up to go with him, but it didn't happen.

Around 24km I really was starting to hurt. It was a big mental game from that point on. Cresting the last hill, I was hoping to be able to turn it up a notch on the way back home. It didn't happen. It was more survival. I couldn't lengthen my stride out at all as my quads were on fire. I uped my cadence as much as I could, but I was getting passed a lot!I was just hoping not to see the bunny catch up to me.

If I had had a watch, I would've realized I had enough time but I didn't.At pretty much exactly 1km to go a small group caught me. My heart sunk as I saw rabbit ears. At that point I committed to absolutely burying myself to beat him in. I was this close to that shiny silver medal that I wasn't going to let it slip away. I just pushed with all I had. It was probably the hardest 1km I have done in my life. I put some distance on him and held it. Turns out that he was about 30sec. ahead of 2:15 on the gun. So I had a little leeway.

2:14:29 on the gun and a shiny silver medal. I was toast. After the race my knee locked up as a result of my muscles being so tight in my quads. I ripped the hell out of them in the cold. I am still gimping around today.

So there you have it. It was my first Around the Bay, and the longest running race I have done (outside of Ironman). I honestly am in more pain than after Ironman. If I had paced better I would probably not have hurt myself so bad. I'm not sure if a funcitoning watch would've helped.

I am happy with the time, just not how I got there. Good mental exercise though. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger right?

Allright, I am going to gimp off to the gym now, and do some stretching and light upper body work. I probably won't be able to run for a few more days yet.

It is now biking season. No more long runs for a while!


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