Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Around the Bay 2014 race report

race goals - 

base: sub 2:50 (equivalent to marathon pace) 
stretch: sub 2:48:56 for a PR 
reach: sub 2:45 to qualify for corral placement for next year's ATB. 

After 3 consecutive crappy races to start out 2014, combined with the never ending winter, I was not confident with my training, despite my training paces getting steadily faster. None of the crappy races was entirely my fault due to poor training (snow & ice covered sidewalks, extremely cold temperatures, and again snowy roads) but it didn't do much for my confidence. 

So I wasn't feeling particularly peppy or awesome on race morning despite my adorable outfit. A couple of cases of mistaken identity while on the way to FIRST ONTARIO CENTRE - we saw a car on the highway that looked just like Robin's complete with Boston 26.2 sticker..Amy sped up and passed in the left lane, honking, we all waved only to discovered it wasn't her. Then a lady who looked just like Kathleen Wynne, but only from behind. 

Emma and I made our way to the open corral to line up in the very front, as the race organizers assumed anyone gunning for sub 2:45 would have corral qualification and the posted time for the open corral was 2:46+. 

I have to admit that I enjoyed (well at least didn't hate with the fire of 1000 suns) the new route. I really liked running past all the little restaurants and boutiques on James St. and I read a few complaints about the 'scented' Hamilton air. I'm probably oblivious to it because I live so close by. There were 3 overpasses and 1 exit ramp in the new section, which of course is more difficult than flat, but overall I felt like the new course was faster. Or maybe it felt faster because I ran the first 10K faster than ever before. I'll never know which one! 

10K split: 54:22 

Emma fell behind at about 8K, she caught up to me the first time but said she needed to take the hills slower due to a wonky calf. So for the first while, I looked behind me periodically to see where she was, but then I couldn't see her any more and was resigned to running the majority of the race by myself. I settled into a groove and the splits were all below PR pace (5:29/k). So far so good! 

Greg said he'd be at 18K. There was a huge crowd of spectators around there and I feared that I'd missed him, but he was closer to 19-20K. "I lost Emma 10K ago!" I screamed at him. "she's ahead of you!" he shouted back. WHAT?!?!?! all these questions flew through my head: how the hell did Emma pass me without me noticing? why would she be so nasty as to not even tap me on the shoulder or yell for me?! how did she manage to make up all that time? 

So I almost lost it right then and there. I'm on pace for sub 2:45 2/3rds through the race and I wanted to pack it in and go home. Then I had 1 sane thought - even if Emma was having the race of her life, why should that stop me from reaching MY goals, even if she finishes ahead of me? I took the first of 3 walk breaks after seeing my husband. After the race, I'm thinking Greg somehow mistook Nicole for Emma, or maybe he saw someone who looked like her. 

20K split: 1:48:48, which means I ran the 2nd 10K in, you guessed it, 54:22. Just call me metronome girl! 

I was one hurtin' unit for the last 10K. Blisters were forming on my left foot. I put in a few crappy kms. 24K was 5:44. Last year 24K also did me in..that km is flat, but comes right after all the hills. Weird though. I hit 25K around 2:13:57 and thought I only need to keep the pace under 6:00/km to hit my goal, but decided to run between 5:35-5:40/k. Made the last turn onto York and I wasn't feeling the downhill at all, but at least the decline kept my legs moving. My Garmin always shows the course a bit long and at the 30K beep the time showed 2:44:xx so I gathered everything that was left in me for the final kick. The clock read 2:47:xx as I finished so I didn't know I reached my goal until I got back to the stands and Irina assured me that I did indeed. 

Official chip time: 2:44:54 
Pace: 5:29 / kilometer 
Field Placement: 2072 / 6762 (30.6%) 
Age group: 35 – 39 
Group Placement: 115 / 491 (23.4%) 
Gender Placement: 629 / 3305 (19%)

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