Monday, February 18, 2019

Frostbite 5 Miler 2019 - Let's Get This Season Started

Well the first race of 2019 has come. So far this year I haven't really focused my training on much. I have been skating a bit and doing the regular triathlon stuff, but it is time to get serious. So up come the Frostbite 5 Miler, which wasn't really on my radar, but provided just what I needed, a jump start.

I saw this 8km event as a great way to assess where my fitness was for my 15km race in June. Last year I raced a 15km flat event with a 3:42 avg pace and hoped to do slightly better this year (though Bluenose 15km will be a tougher race for sure). So the goal here was just to attempt to hold my goal pace for Bluenose for the event.

I traveled in with Scott and Craig and after a super fast check in, we did some warm ups. We quickly figured that the conditions were near perfect for a February race in Nova Scotia. Just below zero, with a bright warm sun. Sure there was a cool wind, but the goal was to get moving hard, which would build up the old body heat. 

Soon we lined up, with a good crew of BLT Runners at the line.

Some instructions from our MC Steve Taylor and we were off. I took to the lead, though mostly to get to my pace and get past the first icy obstacle. From there I really wanted to focus on my goal pace more than racing for placing. 

But one kilometer in and I was still leading. I finally looked back around 2 kilometers in and had a sizable lead over second place.  So far I was slightly better than goal pace, which considering the larger hills were at the start was good and I didn't feel too over done yet either. A 3:32, then a 3:38 and a 3:40. Kilometer 4 saw me drift a bit. Perhaps it was the tight corners I'm not sure. I did have to go around a few people on the sidewalk and past a few icy bits, but nothing too crazy. I picked it back up and ran through 5kms at 18:15, finding some new speed.

I looked back just before I saw Tim taking some photos and saw no one.

It was after this that I think a long (though really gradual) hill and my knowing I had a huge lead with over half the race run, that I mentally fell into a bit of a funk and let the pace start to fall. I had warned Craig before the race that this might happen. Luckily I noticed it and then looked back and saw that Matt had begun to creep into my sight again. This was my slowest kilometer but it was a good teaching moment so I dug deep and found some speed again.

While I didn't hit my target in kilometer 7, there was a longish icy area that was a little hard to navigate and I had to kind of shuffle through, so I am fine with that. When I got past it and could open up, I found the speed to go below goal pace once again and finish strong, with a finishing kick Scott would be proud of, well below a 3 min pace. 

I crossed the line unofficially at 29:24 for the win and a pace of 3:41. Not quite my goal pace, but close and I have lots to work with now. 

I kind of had to sit down for a moment to take catch my breath. 

Soon the rest of the runners came streaming in. BLT Runners were well represented with Craig next in 5th, Steve in 10th and Scott in 11th. Everyone was doing great and at or above early season targets. I guess a little speed work doesn't hurt, though a lot can.

We waited until our last runner came in and then headed in to grab some coffee and soup, an awesome way to finish a winter race.

Races like this can be so iffy when it comes to weather. We got really lucky. But regardless of the weather, it is the event itself and the people hosting that make or break it. And Lakeshore did and awesome job. Check to race finish and course marshaling all went smoothly. Thanks so much for making it great.

Oh and on a side note, I became and ambassador for Nuun this season. It's a low carb electrolyte drink which I started using a lot last year. I'll probably chat about it later on in another post.