Thursday, September 17, 2015

Maritime Race Weekend Double Header 2015

So this passed weekend was the Maritime race Weekend. 2 races in 2 days. This year I opted for the 5km Friday night race (well this is the only choice for the Friday night race) and the Half marathon on Saturday morning.

I could go on and on about the great setup and great volunteers and atmosphere but why bother. It's all great. This race is well put together and is about as smooth an operation as you can get in a race this large (about 3000 runners in various races).  So lets go straight to the race.

The 5km race on Friday is a good one. Really quite flat for a coastal race, with a few minor rises and falls. It is an out and back on a closed (pretty much) road. So as a faster runner you get a lot of cheering from the crowd as you make the turn around.

This year I thought I would see if I could possibly beat my PB 5km time from last year, a 18:04. Still I didn't want to kill myself before the next days race! We lined up and were soon off.

A couple of runners took off quickly. I held back, just like last year. A few runners passed me and I figured I was feeling good, so I jumped on with them. We soon caught all of the early leaders and headed off. At this point I was in third spot.

As the leader took off ahead a little more I attempted to gain on second place and soon pulled up. We made the turn around and headed back. The air was really humid, but cool, and so far it wasn't killing me. I didn't bother to look at my Garmin. Heart rate and pace weren't a concern as my goal was to hang with second place. First was either going to burn himself out or else keep pulling away. I could in no way match his pace.

Soon the finish was coming up. I again pulled up to second place, said hello, then dropped in behind him. I held that spot for a bit but he kicked it with about 400 meters to go and I was already at max. I ran down the finish line straight and crossed the line with a new PB of 17:39. Wowza, where did that come from (training I guess).

Well the next morning I was back at it, same starting point (we line up by pace) and ready to go. Sorry for the lack of photos, but they aren't ready yet. Soon we were off. My plan was to head out at a moderate 4 min/km pace and see how that felt after awhile, hopefully dragging myself up to a 3:58 avg pace and another PB. Well that didn't quite happen.

That humidity from the night before was still in the air, but now with a nice bit of warmth. I felt okay heading into the 10km mark, but that was when the series of hills started. I had worked myself up to 4th place overall and was hanging with the group but started to drift back.

The legs kept turning over but something wasn't quite right. I just had no steam. Maybe it was the humidity, maybe the the fast 5km the night before, likely a combo of both, but I was not feeling it.

I hung on to the 3rd place runner for quite awhile but with 5 km to go he was far enough ahead that there was no way those tired limbs of mine could do anything about it. And I started to glance backwards, which is never a good sign. My pace average had drifted to 4:02 with 4 km to go and even though I knew it was downhill, I wasn't feeling good at all about going sub 1:25 (let alone the sub 1:24 I had hoped for).

As the final few kilometers approached, I started to run amoung the slower 10 km runners. Mentally I felt like slowing down to a walk and hanging out with them. But I let momentum carry me along. Finally the finish line came up. I crossed the line in 1:25:46 and in 4th place overall, first age group. ouch. It felt worse than the marathon I had run here 1 year ago to the day.

Still I am happy overall. Not every race turns out to awesome, and while the time wasn't what I wanted, my overall placing was good and I still finished in the 1:25 bracket. So back to training for something better next time!

Thanks again to the organizers. And now onto a month+ of racing. Bring on November and rest!

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