Monday, 30 March 2015

Around the Bay 2015 race report

The upcoming spring race season will show whether or not Maffetone training has a positive effect on lowering my race times. Regardless of the outcome, MAF has taught me that running is not always about the pursuit of fast times, and that tuning into your heart rate, your body and your environment can bring great satisfaction.  - Me, in Parvati Magazine, March 2015.
My goal going into the race was sub 2:45, with the bonus of a PB if I managed to go under 2:45 by more than 6 seconds.  

There was a great turnout for the pre-race meetup.  I don't think the entire group was ever in the same place at the same time.

photo stolen from Irina.

I actually started in Corral C for the first time ever.  If you remember, in 2013, Sam and I just blindly followed the mob out of Copps, right into the open corral and it was too late to get into Corral C.

Goal pace was sub 5:30.  
5:29, 5:29, 5:28, 5:34, 5:36
Emma caught up with me, we chatted a bit about how the 2:45 and 2:50 pacers seemed to be completely insane.  Digression - this isn't the first time I've thought the ATB pacers were waaay the eff too fast in the early going.  I agree that a small positive split is the smart way to run ATB, but you're supposed to run even splits as a pacer!

5:27, 5:38, 5:34, 5:25, 5:37
I ran the overpass hills Robin-style, that is, short strides, EASY EFFORT and bombed the downhills.  I fell behind Emma but I thought I'd catch up.  Last year, some of my fastest splits was coming through the tunnel onto Beach Blvd.  Not so much this year.  I didn't feel mentally focused.  My feet felt like they were putting in a surge only to continuously see 5:3x pace.  

5:29, 5:35, 5:35, 5:40, 5:44
I felt great at 5:35 pace.  I could either take the fast train to Pain City and fight for the sub 2:45, which was iffy at best at that point or I could hold the pace and finish strong.  I'm sure you can figure out what I decided to do.  There was a nice pick-me-up seeing Kim and Paul at the relay exchange point.

5:38, 5:38, 5:39, 5:35, 5:45
Keeping steady heading onto Northshore.  Saw Greg and Bryden twice.  Greg said it was nice to see me smiling instead of screaming, "I FEEL LIKE I'M DYING!"  Legs still felt good on the hills, running easy uphill, fast foot turnover on the downhill.  From the weather report, I was expecting a headwind here, but there was none.

A photo posted by Patty Scott (@runningskirtsnmanis) on

6:02, 5:56, 5:50, 5:54, 5:45
Started with a slow km on the Incline of Death leading up to Lasalle.  Then the steep decline past the apartments and felt confident staying slow and steady on that final hill.  I wouldn't say I blew past people but at least it looked like it sucked less than for many around me.  10 second walk break here. I didn't really need it physically and I prayed it wouldn't fuck me up mentally.

5:45, 5:51, 5:55, 5:33, 5:55 (← I'm sure that final km is screwed up by the loss of satellites going into the building)

Made it over the 2nd Incline of Death on the final part of Northshore.  Another 10 second walk break.  Then I remembered the feeling of smooth easy running that I had practiced on my final run before the race, tried to kick it in gear and got nailed with the nasty headwind.  There went my race plan, as I planned to ride the new big downhill past RBG and gut it out until the final downhill stretch past Dundurn.  Making the turn onto York, the headwind was even worse, but I picked up my cadence anyways.  I suddenly became aware of a small prickle on my stomach and saw that one pin had opened and was stabbing me in the gut.(another digression - anyone notice that the safety pins are all shitty and loose now? I long for the nice firm safety pins from the good ol' days! now get off my lawn.)  I tried to repin the bib but my hands were pretty cold and it was impossible to do without slowing down.  Then I lost the damn pin anyways.

Flappy bib, flap flap flap.
Running into the shadow of Copps, I finally caught sight of the 2:50 bunny just steps ahead of me, hence my theory of the positive split race strategy.  The clock juuust clicked over to 2:50 as I finished.

Flapping towards the finish line.

Although I am very happy with sub 2:50, but would have been fucking ecstatic over sub 2:45 and/or a PB, I feel like my 2015 season is already over, with no BHAG on the horizon, when in reality it's barely begun!  In previous years I have always used ATB as a springboard to a May marathon.  I need more challenges this year and I have laid the groundwork for some new non-speed related adventures/goals which I will discuss in future blog posts...

post-race booze and ALLTHEFOOD with Sarah, Maggie and a few other people.  The dude is Wilt, I just added him on DM last week and he turned out to be super cool and nice! Also, he swears by MAF.
A photo posted by Patty Scott (@runningskirtsnmanis) on

A photo posted by Patty Scott (@runningskirtsnmanis) on


  1. Nice work, Patty! I'm feeling a little weird myself about not having a spring half marathon to follow up ATB. Just seems wrong somehow.

  2. Great race Patty even if you didn't make your goal. It was a tough day out there. From the weather to the headwind in the last 5K. It's a tough course regardless of how well we train, that's why we all keep coming back. I was 6 minutes off my goal time too but very proud of how it turned out. Whenever you can keep a race together and cross the finish line strong, especially when you are not on goal, that's a good day! Good work out there!!

  3. Great report Patty and it was nice to meet you. It is a tough course and I think you did great, really good time. Congratulations on a strong finish.

  4. Great, smart race Patty. Well done to keep it in check, not have an ego and enjoy a great run and result. To go under 3 hours here is still a huge thing for all of us, IMHO. You'll need to update everyone about your evolving spring plans now!