Monday, October 22, 2012

Final Race of 2012 (Probably) - MEC Shubie 10K

Alright, so there is nothing like a late season injury and a bit of pain and back to back to back races to make one's focus change from a heavy training schedule to some time off. As I mentioned before, I somehow hurt my foot during the Shubie Tri. This lead to weeks of little training, heading into a double weekend of heavy Rum Runners / River Duathlon action. While my foot had come back to 80%, I had done little training during that rest phase. My results from those races were still not too bad, but I lacked that extra kick from all that time off and a bit of my endurance. And of course pushing through lead to me hurting my other foot.

I think these are actually calf injuries and will be getting them treated this week. But before I went in for treatment, of course I had one more race to do.

Earlier this summer when I set my PB 10K time of sub 40 min, I also won free entry into the final MEC race of the year. Well my foot seemed not bad and the few easy paced training runs I had done seemed to say that showing up for this race wasn't going to be too bad.

Well this was a pretty straight forward event, line up, go, run to turn around and hold your pace til the end. Of course not having raced in a few weeks, and with minimal training I did wonder how I would fair.

Shubie is rather a hilly trail run, and this day the path was covered in a thick carpet of wet leaves. Still, the tactic is simple, run. We took off and I was quickly in about 6th place and refusing to look down at my Garmin to see just how fast we were going. It felt good, whatever the pace and it was probably 1 km or so into the run when I dared glance at my pace. I saw 3:50 km/min show up, so I slowed down. Still by 2 km into the run  I was catching another runner, who had also obviously paced poorly to start things.

The up and down nature of this course makes keeping a steady pace tricky and my Garmin profile shows me all over the place, but generally close to the 4 min pace mark. I did feel good that Dave Nevitt (local marathon legend) didn't pass me until close to 4 km in and I stayed with him for quite awhile. By the turn around I was at 20 minutes and feeling not too bad. I knew there was no way, though, to keep that average pace up for the rest of the run and I was eventually passed by 2 more runners.

Luckily I found enough oomph to stay with the last runner that passed me, generally falling no more than 20- 30 meters behind him at any point. I really made up time on him when I ran up hill, which I was surprised about because I felt horrible climbing them. I also made a little time up by making the corners on the trail as tight as possible, I mean why run any further than you have to.

It was at this point when I really started looking at my Garmin for distance. Finally I looked down and saw that 9.2 km had showed up. I knew that the course was essentially flat to down hill at this point and I also knew that my finish line kick was probably not going to be around, so the best I could do is pick up the pace. I manged to get it back to a 4 min/km pace and even a bit lower in points as I surged ahead of my fellow runner. I just kept upping the pace as best as I could and didn't look back.

As the finish line straight fell under my feet my stride opened up. There was still 400 meters or so to go, so a full out sprint was out of the question, but I found enough speed to stay ahead until I crossed the line.  It wasn't a PB by any stretch, but darn I was happy to have had a decent run in the park. I managed a 40:56 time and finished 7th overall.

Now a day later my feet hurt again. As I mentioned, I will be heading into see my Chiropractor who I know can fix me up. I will also be taking a rest from racing. See, while I can probably get back into doing some base training, if I race I know I can't hold back and will hurt myself again. And the last 2 months of foot pain have been rather draining on me. I wasn't to race again and soon, but I want to do it as close to my peak as possible. I really don't want to show up and have a list of excuses as to why I may fail. That sucks.

Oh and the mountain bike is a calling.
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