Category Archives: Road Racing
It seems that every year, by the time I finish the Road2Hope (first Sunday of Nov.), I am so burnt out that I simply can’t be arsed to write up a race report. Even last year when I had a major PB and only ran the half, I simply vegged and my motivation to do a write-up was nowhere to be seen. As such, I still feel obligated to post this (horribly late) for posterity sake.
Road2Hope Marathon – 42.36 km – 03:50 – 5:26/km pace
What a mixed bag this race was.
On the bus ride to the starting area, a chatty dude from Windsor sat down next to me and happily talked away the entire trip. It wasn’t a bad thing, he was quite nice, but one of the last things he said before we left the bus was how much he hated wind while running…I should have seen the foreshadowing but hindsight is 20/20 so…
The first 20km flew by and I stuck pretty closely to the 3:45 pacer until he stopped to use the washroom. Right around that time we hit the significant downhill and I was determined to use it to my advantage, but Murphy did his best to throw a wrench into the works. As we turned onto the Red Hill Parkway, the cold wind coming off Lake Ontario became a massive headwind which negated some of the advantage. I probably pushed too hard on this section trying to bank some time, and when the 3:45 pacer passed me at 33km I was kicking myself for not racing smarter.
I ran a pretty decent race; hitting most of the tangents, fueling well etc., but ultimately I didn’t have enough fitness to hold my position. My right leg (glute, groin, hamstring quad) had been barking since the 15km mark and by the time I reached the mid 30’s I was in some serious pain. My lower back joined in the pain parade as well, but the major contributor was my feet; they were simply aching, and I’m not sure why. My feet hurt so much that I seriously considered taking off my shoes and running barefoot at one point, but quickly realized that was desperation talking. Finally, I knew things were a train wreck when a lady in a puffy winter coat passed me at the 37km mark and I couldn’t catch her…the shame.
This race was still a PB by a couple minutes, but I wasn’t really happy with how I ran it. My mental game was ok, and I thought my fueling was decent, though I felt hungry at the 12km mark, and had finished all my gels etc. by the early 30’s. I thought I had carb loaded effectively the days before the race but something was definitely off.
It’s all in the books now (especially with this significantly delayed race report), time to move onto new challenges.
Looks like this year’s Road2Hope race weekend in Hamilton is quickly approaching, and I should probably talk about it since it’s become a yearly tradition for me. To be honest, the race has kind of snuck up on me. My training has been pretty good despite (or maybe “because of”) using a lighter training plan and incorporating more rest & cross training. Regardless, I’m feeling pretty good and looking forward to race day.
For the past two weeks I’ve had a friend of my wife join me for my long runs, she’s in great shape but mostly focuses on short-medium distances. She’s MUCH faster than me but has no experience over the long haul so it’s been mutually beneficial (she pushes me, I keep her even-keeled for the long run). She’s never run anything longer than a 10km race and even our longest training run (12.4km) is well short of a half marathon, but she’s decided that she wants to run the half marathon this weekend with me despite all this. Unfortunately, there’s a problem: I told her that I wanted to run at a steady 5:15/km pace, which I THOUGHT was a 1:45 half marathon…unfortunately it’s not. It’s actually a 1:50 half marathon pace. Not a big deal right? Welllll…after finding my mistake (math was never my strong suit) apparently she’s still married to the idea of a 1:45 race. It’s more aligned with the pace she’s used to training at so I see where she’s coming from, but I’m not so sure. Moreover, I’m not sure if I’m reluctant to jump on the faster pace because I’m scared to push through/hard or because I’m trying to be responsible veteran racer and trying to keep us both from blowing up.
We’ve had some great paces on our training runs and I’m right on the cusp of making the move to the faster race pace in my own right, but right now I’m in limbo. SO: Do I push for the faster pace and hope for the best or hang my hat on the race plan I setup 2 months ago when I didn’t know how I’d feel on race day?
What would you do?