Sunday, May 17, 2015

Halifax Bluenose Half Marathon 2015

So today was the Bluenose Half marathon here in Halifax. I have been training hard for this event, even with the horrible winter we had. Based on my training indoors for months I thought I had a great shot at getting slightly faster than my last time here of 1:23:53. While training on the track went well, it did lack some specific outdoor training (ie hills!) which I knew might be an issue.

The weather was overcast and cold to start. The cold was annoying while waiting around, but lovely for the run.  I lined up next to the guy who would win, a Kenyan named Abel who was the 2012 London Olympic Marathon Silver Medal winner (yikes!). He was a very nice guy, from what I saw.

There we go!

So off we went. I was immediately trapped behind a few runners but found my way around and into 3rd place overall, with Abel already taking off at a blistering pace. By 2km into the race I had eased my way into 2nd place overall and my pace felt quite nice. I wasn't passed again until 4km in, at which point my shins started aching. That was odd as it doesn't happen often. It also started to drizzle at this point as well. Thanks for that.

Still I was happy to be easing into a pace I liked. At km 6 I was passed by another couple of guys but still held my pace. But the slight head wind really seemed to be sapping my strength, as I frequently found myself drifting off pace. I'd surge and drift, surge and drift. I managed to cross the 10km mark at 39:23, which while good, was almost 1 minute slower than my time last year, and at this point the ache in my shins moved to my calf. This calf had given me issues last year, but nothing so far in training had come up. Thanks calf.

Pushing through I tagged onto two guys that eased up and passed me at the 11km mark. I held on with them for the next 2 km but drifted back just enough to lose their draft. From this point on I ran relatively alone. 

The hills of Point Pleasant Parks luckily didn't hurt as much as last year, but the calf certainly did. I drifted in my overall average pace from a 3:56 to a 3:58 then a 4:01. The next series of hills aches for sure but I pushed through. I was incredibly happy though to have my cardio not at all be a limited factor, my heart was strong and my lungs very happy. Hooray on that.

On Queen St I dared to look back and saw that the next runners were quite a distance away. Still, you don't let up at this point. I pushed through the next couple of kms which were on a very slight uphill (1-2% grade) and then came to the final downhill. I was not looking forward to this. I knew I couldn't go too crazy downhill as my calf wouldn't be able to take it, but the other runners were maybe 200-300m behind, so I couldn't let up.

I managed to hit the bottom of the hill and make the sharp turn towards the finish line and the next uphill (ugh). I summoned what I had left and pushed to the finish, coming in at 1:24:58. Not the time I hoped for, but the time I had today. My legs just didn't want to let me have anything faster.

I was happy to come in 8th overall and 2nd in my Age Group. A little more work on my calves, a little more threshold work and we'll come back for a Fall half marathon to see what I can do. Thanks to Aerobics First for the great shoes and to Jeff Z at Kinesic Sports lab for the strong cardio. Now onto the world of Triathlon!

My prize for my great finish, a limited edition print.

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