The Lead Up
There's always a story behind every race I think - the lead up to the event that you think may affect the outcome. This time, I'm going to start with my bike ride yesterday (Saturday).
I planned my 8k race to be a training run, to get me used to being nervous in race situations. I had never run 8k before - my longest run had been 7k about 2 weeks ago - and my goal was a 6min/km if I felt strong. With that in mind, I felt ok doing a long bike ride the day before, but didn't think things thru enough to realize that it might not be a good idea to go too hard on the bike. Ooops.
So Saturday morning, we got up early-ish and headed out on the bikes by 9am before it started to get too hot. We rode downtown, a nice half hour warm up, and headed for
the triathlon bike route which is a double 10km route starting at the Dolphins. The challenge of this bike route is that at the 1.5km mark, you have to climb the first segment of Knox Mountain. It's about a 600m climb with a fairly steep grade that climbs up 50m in height. In the past, on my old bike, I managed to stay at around the 10-12 km/h most of the way. Anyway, we set out at a nice steady pace and when I hit the climb, I really went hard, maintaining about 14-15km/h. Erik was tired from a long bike ride the day before and I was able to stay ahead and even pull away from him. The rest of the route was mostly rolling and then a long gentle downhill that allows some good speed while still peddling hard. The downside is that there are about 8 stop signs or sets of lights to contend with when the road is not closed for a race. Erik rode ahead of me and tried to let me know if the road was clear so I didn't always have to slow down too much. I have no doubt my race day time will be faster.
My best previous time for the 10k was 22:00, my first lap this time was 20:48 so I was happy. Lap two - I got to the hill faster this time but found the climb much harder since my heart rate was already quite high going into it. I was seeing stars on the first climb, and left a bit tingly, so I don't think I was getting enough oxygen. The second climb was even worse and I started to feel so light headed that I decided to slow down a bit in case I fainted. My lungs were starting to fill up too and I wished I had used my puffer before I left. Live and learn.
My second lap time was 21:12 which was still enough to make me happy. Overall time was 42:00 even, avg speed 28.6 kmh. Yay! We found a shady tree and stopped to have a rest. I was exhausted and starting to cough a lot - more a pursuiter's cough than EI I think though. My heart rate was really high the whole race and reached 182 at the max, which isn't much less than my estimated max HR of 185.
After a 15 minutes rest, we were back on the bikes and rode a fairly leisurely 35kms the long way home (for a 70km total), avoiding any more tough climbs and generally taking it easy. By the time we got home, my legs were very sore and I had trouble squatting down and climbing stairs. I stretched, iced, rolled them with the rolling pin, and massaged them, worrying all the time that I wouldn't be able to run worth a darn in the morning, but lo and behold, they felt pretty darn good by Sunday morning! I count myself lucky - lesson learned.
We got up at 6am to a partly cloudy morning, about 16C. Perfect running conditions! I had coffee and my usual breakfast of yogurt mixed with fruit and oatmeal. Got my stuff ready and headed down to the race at about 7:30, which was conveniently only 5 minutes away. I ran into a couple of people I knew and chatted and walked and stretched while waiting for the start. My legs felt good and I figured I wouldn't have too much trouble holding a 6 min/km pace for 8k this morning. The route is flat the whole way so I didn't expect any problems but most of the 265 people there were pretty serious racers and I knew I'd be at the back of the pack. No problemo.
I ran pretty steady the whole way - my goal was to do the second half faster than the first and I was successful in that.
1km - 5:47
2km - 5:57
3km - 5:57
4km - 5:50
First half total: 23:31
5km - 5:37
6km - 5:39
7km - 5:39
8km - 5:57
2nd half total: 22:52
Total time: 46:17, pace 5:47 per km
13/21 in my age group (45-49)
Age graded points - 11
At the 6km mark, I screwed up. For some reason, thought I had only 1 km to go when I reached the 6k marker. Don't know why. I was feeling good so I decided to speed up and finish fast. About 3/4 of the way thru that km, I realized my error and slowed down again because I knew I couldn't hold that pace for 2km. Dumb girl. My last km was more uncomfortable because I had timed it wrong. Oh well, overall I was happy with my time, which has not yet been confirmed. I will post the correct time once the times are up.
As usual, Erik was there as my support crew, carrying my stuff and taking lots of pictures! What a great guy! Here are a few pics.
Coming in - still smiling!
I made it!!