Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Double Header Weekend - Part 1 Rum Runners

So last weekend was another double header. The last time I did this it was a triathlon on Sunday followed by the Natal Day road race on Monday. That time around the triathlon was my main goal, and the Natal Day race was more of a bucket list type deal. Sure I did well at the Natal Day race, but ultimately could have done better.

This time around I had 2 events scheduled for one weekend, but both were important to me. First up was the Rum Runners Relay, a 110 km journey from Halifax to Lunenburg in 10 stages. The next day would be the Riverport Duathlon, a 4/28/4 km event to close the Tri Nova Scotia Season. And lets add to this. Weeks ago after the Shubie Tri was done, I noticed I had hurt my heel and hadn't been able to train for the last 3 weeks. I had managed a few runs the week of, easy ones. My problem was that I couldn't tell until after I started running if things were going to hurt.

So Rum Runners is rather special to me. I love the team atmosphere and it is the only relay event I do. Plus I had the glory leg, the final, good old number 10. And chances are that I may or may not be around this time next year for another go at it. So I had to go ahead and chance the foot.

It was a rainy, windy day with cool temps. Yay! I traveled with Mike Milloy most of the day joining the rest of our team at around Leg 5 in Hubbards. As is usually the case, I do my best to stay dry heading into my leg, so I carried a large umbrella. This still meant that I got wet feet, luckily I was wearing wool socks though to keep warm.

It was great watching my team mates run their legs and cheering them on. It was obvious that Ian M's marathon training had really paid off as his time increased well over the last year. And Mike M's pace was rockin'.

I finally lined up at 5:37 PM. I was already tired from a poor nights sleep, worried that I was going to reinjure myself and cold from the rain and wind. For the first time I was trying kinesio tape on my foot / calf for any extra help, had a few ibu's to reduce any swelling, and coated my legs in Rub A535 to get some heat going on. I had also opted for using my triathlon shorts in all the rain as I so hate running in wet clothes that are baggy.

Off we went to run from scenic Mahone Bay to Lunenburg, 10.9 km's away. I decided that I might as well go out moderately hard and not hold back. If my injury decided to show up I might as well be as far into the leg as possible before needing to walk.

After the first kilometer things had leveled out a bit and I found myself in 7th place. At this point status quo was going to be my game. I settled down from my initial pace of about 3:50ish min/km to a pace around 4:05 or so. By 3 kilometers in I managed to slowly catch and pass Mark Campbell, though he would remain maybe 100m back from me the rest of the run.

What shocked me was that at 4.5 km I looked back and saw Mark, the road and no one else. Then 1 kilometer later a guy blew by me while I was running a decent 4 min/km pace. Yikes, where did he come from? Oh well, no worries.

While the rain and cold was annoying when not running, it was actually not bad once the run started. The humid air kept me from needing to grab any water at the stops, and the slight chill was rather welcome.

Now while the rest of this leg was extremely easy mentally, the end was anything but. I started miss the first turn but was helped by a corner worker, then in town there were a series of turns which I was unsure of. At this point Mark caught back up and we ran side by side for a bit. Unfortunately I was at  my limit and mark still had more gas in the tank and got about 50 meters ahead of me.  I would eventually get close but never had a real chance to get him at the end. There is always the maybe and maybe if I wasn't racing the next day or maybe if I wasn't injured etc... I could have caught and passed him but it really doesn't matter. That day and that time Mark was better and I had no problem with that. I ran home standing up, injury free and happy for the team and myself.

Overall we had a team pace of 4:57 min/km over the 10 legs and finished a great 29th out of 70 teams. Personally I had an 8th place finish (3 top tens in a row) with a time of 44:03 for 10.9 km and a pace of 4:02. I was pretty impressed with that over last years pace of 4:11 (for 12.9 so slightly longer).  Also as a team we received no penalties. Great stuff guys!

I used yellow tinted glasses to simulate a sunny day. I think it may have worked!

I was a little sore that evening, but happy and ready for the next days event. Luckily I had a hotel room in Lunenburg so that I could have a leisurely next morning before heading on to Riverport.

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