As promised I'm going to write a race report/recap here on my blog. I hope to do this through the season to better analyze and reflect upon my races.
Thoughts on the Hypothermic Half Marathon.
The goal of this race for me was to pretty much treat it as a long hard tempo effort but to also get a feel for where my areobic strength is over the longer distances right now. I consider myself to be more of a 5km-10km runner and that's my primary focus for the next 3 years until I hit my 30's. But living in Newfoundland the Tely 10 (10 mile road race) becomes part of ones identity as a runner and we get judged on our 10 mile performance so like it or not I've got to work on my strength. I'd like to poll the running community and ask them if they are more impressed by a sub 2:00 minute 800m performance or a sub 60 minute Tely 10. I'd say 99% would say the sub 60 minute tely....yeah, don't ask. Anyways, I need to be better over the long stuff. So I figure making sure I'm in 69 flat half marathon shape will ensure I at least run something respectable in the 51's or lower this year for 10 miles. I entered this race and wanted to come through the half in 1:11:00 under control and negative split the race. I say come through the half marathon in 1:11:00 because the course was measured long, granted it was advertised so we knew this beforehand which was nice. They did this to have the start and finish at the same location. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6077673 - link to the course map and distance.
So I knew the first 5 miles were uphill and into the wind before it would level off around donovans industrial park and I would get some shelter from the wind. So the idea was to try to keep the effort steady and run 5:30's if I could until I got past the hard spots. I ended up running the first mile bang on in 5:31, but the second was a little slow at 5:46 and then I followed that up with another 2 mid 5:30's and a 5:42 for the 5th mile. After I got in around the 8km mark (just before the 5 mile point) I got onto the section where the turkey tea 10km is run and I started to roll on some flat stretches and began to click off 5:15's feeling controlled and smooth. When I came out of the park I got hit with a cross wind, it wasn't ideal but certainly not as bad as the start. the last 10km of the race felt excellent. I was running 5:10's for the most part and actually came close to running a personal best on the final 10km, I'm going by my garmin so it might have been off by 5-10 seconds but I think it was around 32:16 for the final 10km and 4:57 for my last mile.
Having the ability to start under control and then gradually turn the screw and drop the pace is something that took me a long time to learn running here in Newfoundland. Most of the "competitive" runners here go out way to hard with the idea of "hanging on" and intimidating the other runners. I fell victim to this until I started reading about training and began competing away. I've now learned it's ok to let people go, negative splits produce the fastest race times. If someone runs away from me and doesn't come back, it just means they are a better runner which is fine, if they aren't I'll pass them as they slow and I begin to pick up the pace.
So I ended up coming through 13.1 miles in 1:11:13, and I came through the finishing area in 1:13 flat. By my watch the course was maybe 580 meters long, but again, this wasn't about running a fast time. I'm sure I can run under 1:10 right now on a flat course. This was about going out and executing a plan and getting stronger as the race progressed.
Looking at where I am right now fitness wise compared to this time last year is pretty surreal. I remember wondering if I should pull the trigger on a plane ticket and asking Alan Brooks for a spot on the elite start list for the yonge street 10km having done no workouts just running mileage. The first workout I did last year was February 23rd and it was 5X1 mile with 3 minutes rest, I averaged about 5:21. It wasn't pretty. Compare that to last Tuesday tempoing 5 miles at 5:00/mile pace (on a treadmill with 0% incline so equivalent to 5:12/mile). It just goes to show what consistency will do for ones running.
I'll attach some race clips and a picture bellow.
Also as I mentioned in my weekly post be sure to check out the new shoes Saucony released on Saturday, some awesome updates to already incredible franchises, the Mirage, Virrata and TypeA.
I'd like to share with you guys my favorite shoes that I've been enjoying over the winter months. During this time of the year we are out on the pavement all the time and it's not always good to be wearing something too minimal and lightweight. I've been in the Saucony Cortana 3 for all my easy miles on the roads when it's not slippery and wet, or when it has been greasy with slush and snow I've been in the new Kinvara 4 Gore Tex. It's really awesome to be able to head out and run through whatever knowing your feet will stay warm and dry.
Lastly when I'm not running I've been rolling in a pair of Saucony Grid 9000's. These are such a rad shoe to just toss on with jeans and a t-shirt and roll out for the night. Check them out to show your running style after your run is done.
Pic of my 3 favorite shoes for this time of the year, in front is the grid 9000, the vizipro orange shoe is the gore tex Kinvara 4 and the slime green is the Cortana 3.
Alright, that's it for this post. I'm working on a piece I'll post about heart rate training. I've got it just about finished off so expect it later this week.
Thanks fine people,
Keep your sticks on the ice,