Monday, May 7, 2018

MEC Race 2 - Citadel High, Bring on the Hills!

So I'm a little late getting this blog post up, but I finally have a little time to sit down and compose while I am travelling to a conference.

MEC Race 2 was a couple of weekends ago now, and while I was originally not planning on racing it, ultimately I did. So it is now 2 for 2 in the series I didn't plan on racing except for 1 race later on in the year.

The race does fall at a good time, as I like a 5K Spring race to break up the boredom of training and give the legs a real test (no matter what you do, a tempo run is never a race).

As is usually the case, this race has "fun" weather. Being a top of rather large hill,it is usually a windy affair and cold. This year, for a change, it was actually warm. Of course it was also raining. Can't win them all I guess. Racing in the rain is fine, standing around and waiting kind of sucks. I wore my Salomon rain suit, which is stunning and light enough that I could do my warmup run while wearing it.

Sadly, the Fort this year was mostly off limits to racers. We usually race the Ditch (dry moat), stairs, ramparts and around guns (canons). Construction limited us to starting and finishing inside the Fort and mostly doing a road race. Oh but the hills, this is a hilly affair! 2 loops of hills for the 5K racers, 4 loops for the 10k racers. I did the 5K.

So I warmed up with a single loop and close to 3km. I opted to run in my training shoes (some new Brooks Launch) as I felt my racing flats were not grippy enough for the tight wet corners I would be tackling. While heavier, they gave me a little more confidence.

The 10k racers went off 5 minutes before us but soon we were on the start line. Bam (yup, they use a rifle to send us on our way) and we were running. I really tried to hold back at the start and fell into abut 5th or 6th place. Our group took off, away from the rest fairly quickly.  As we approached the first of the big downhills, I had worked into 4th place and was feeling the effort. We were not heading out slow.

Even with a 5 minute headstart we soon were running through the back end of the 10K race. It wasn't too bad, but there were a few dicey moments.  As we started up the big hill on the far side of the course, I found myself in 3rd. I pushed hard up this hill in an effort to hold my place. Really I was running harder than I could sustain for the whole race, but we had formed a decent gap in the process. Ultimately I looked after the race and found our first kilometer was done at a 3:18 pace. Ouch.

Here I am finishing up lap 1. My lead over 4th had grown.

As lap 2 started my grasp n second had fallen away. Fourth place was a decent bit behind me, but knowing it was Drew didn't leave me feeling safe at all. He is fast. So I had to keep pushing hard. 

The rest of the ace was dodging people, pushing too hard up hills, and knowing that the race as 5.5 km and not 5, so making sure I could actually finish it. 

As I finished lap 2 and headed to the finish line, I did feel slightly safe. My watch beeped, telling em that 5km had just been hit, so fir the first time I looked down. By the time I looked it was at 18:20, so wow, that was faster that I had thought. 

I finished strong, with a time of 20:05 and an average pace of 3:39. That third was a had effort and I was pretty happy considering the hills.  Here is my heart rate graph:

The red line shows how the heart rate just hit a peak, then climbed from there.

Next up, Bluenose. 
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