Monday, April 27, 2015

Race #2 the MEC Citadel 5K - Go Hills or Go Home

So here we are in April. That means time for the MEC Citadel 5 and 10 K crazy hill fantastic awesome race. Okay, I may have embellished the name a little. This is my 4th year doing this race. The first year I ran the 10K, the next 3 I have done the 5K. I really like this race at this time of year as I get to see where my fitness is and how training has been going .  Plus I can see if my hills are okay or really lacking.

So the day was promising to be wet, but luckily it wasn't. We had sun and only light wind. That meant I could run in shorts and a short sleeved top. I did have to add some light weight gloves as the air was chilly, but that was a perfect combo for running in this weather.

Sadly we couldn't run the usual course this year as the ditch was still full of snow from our crazy winter. So it meant a slight detour at street level to make up the distance.

This year I did a decent warmup and ran the perimeter of the Fort. I probably could have done a second lap and maybe that is what I will do next year. But it gave me confidence in my choice of apparel anyway.

As usual you have no idea what sort of racers will show up for any given race in this series, though usually there is some fast guys. I lined up at the front and right around 9:30 the Highlander gave us a great send off with a fire from a rifle.

The race starts on a gravel surface as we work ourselves out of the Fort's parade ground, then across some pave stone and to the paved perimeter road.

There I come, trying to pace appropriately

The race then drops to street level which is a huge drop in a very short distance, followed by a 180 to start the climb back up. At this point I had worked my way into 3rd place (though didn't know if both runners ahead were 5 or 10 k). I had a strong climb up and continued around the backside of the Fort before the next drop to street level. The second steep climb back up to the hill top was a lot more difficult. My pace here dropped quite a bit, though to be truthful I hadn't glanced at my pace in quite a while as I was using the faster runners to pace off of.

The race does one more lap of the outside of the Fort (though without the drops to street level again) and then into the Parade Square again. At this point the runner behind me passed me as we started up the gravel ramp to the ramparts. In the past I had a little more kick left in me, but today I had paced to my limit and holding my pace was the best I had. Guns were dodged (cannons) and finally the finish line came. Whew. 18:55 was the official time. The winner was 17:50.

So a fourth place finish this day and no medal for me. That's cool, I was beaten by faster runners on the day. But I will say I managed to better my previous best on this course by 26 seconds, and that a lot. I averaged a 3:49 pace, with an average heart rate of 177. So that average heart rate is close to my maximum usable heart rate from my last lactate test. I guess a new test with Kinesic Sport Lab is in order.

Great race as usual MEC. Great to see my fitness as high as that, especially as I have spent most of this winter running indoors. But my training plan is going well, I have stayed injury free  and now appear to have got faster as well.

Next planned big race, Bluenose Half Marathon. Here we come.