This past weekend I ran the Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal, my first Canada Running Series race of the year. I flew in on Friday evening and it was great practice to try to get the body feeling good and adjust to the 3 hour time change with a short lead up to the Sunday morning race — an especially good simulation for Ottawa Marathon as I will have one extra day in that instance. This past weekend my goal was to try to run fast, knowing that my legs might not allow for much, I was hoping for the best. If I felt fresh I was prepared to push it and if not then I would aim to run faster than marathon pace. Here’s how the race played out:
0-5K in 16:58
This section of the course was rerouted to include several kilometres on gravel, probably slowing things down a bit, but regardless I knew that it was going to be a tough day right off the bat. My legs felt heavy, my stride felt long, and things just felt hard. So, knowing that today was not going to be a pb day, I switched gears and focussed on just keeping a steady effort and securing the win.
5-10K in 17:33
Half of this section was a big headwind as we looped around the Olympic Basin. I was on my own with no one to tuck in behind — this seems to be a recurring theme from my spring races — it was in this section where I began to settle into a steadier rhythm.
10-15K in 17:39
Not much had changed here. I connected with another runner and it was nice to have company as we worked through the long stretches of wind together. I felt secure in my position at this point, noticing that 2nd place was at least a minute behind at the halfway mark.
15-20K in 17:36
At this point of the race I was thinking about a recent workout I had done during a long run which included 2x6K intervals off 1K jog. It was comforting to know that I had only 6K to go and certainly I knew I could do that!
Finished in 1:13:43 for 17th overall and 1st female
The finish line came quickly and I was surprised to see my time. Obviously I had taken my 5K splits along the way but I hadn't bothered to pay attention to my overall time or my ETA. I had just assumed that because my legs felt so tired I was going to run much slower. I was elated to come in much faster than marathon pace — despite not getting a pb (it was my 4th fastest half marathon time), it inidcates we're on the right track. It was just not a day that everything clicked and that’s okay. The stars can’t always align.
^ Keeping this moving along the Bassin Olympique (p.c.: Canada Running Series)
^^ Another action shot coutesy of Tribe Fitness. Happy to keep my streak alive at 3-3 (p.c.: Canada Running Series)
When I look back at the the week leading into the race it’s easy to see why my legs may not have felt super peppy. Despite having a couple short easy days on Friday and Saturday, I had run my longest long run workout the following Sunday totalling 38K. Following that, on Wednesday I had completed a workout of 6x2K on the roads. With Ottawa looming in the distance it’s okay for a half to feel hard at this point — the goal is to feel fresh on May 28th.
Next up is the Times Colonist 10K in Victoria this Sunday. I am expecting it to burn more than this past weekend but I am glad that it will be over quicker. It will be nice to not have to travel far for this one and I am looking forward to trying to better my 10K personal best. Catherine Watkins and I will be heading over together for this one so I know it will be a fun trip. Stay tuned for that recap next week. Thank you everyone for the positive feedback and congratulatory messages — this spring is certainly off to a great start and I really appreciate all the support!
^It was great to catch up with some Lancer Alums this weekend. I was able to meet up with Josh and Tanis Bolton and other fellow running friends for a shakeout after my long flight. We ran up Mont Royal and Tanis captured the pictures of the skyline and our group. The following day I also connected with former Lancer Stephaney Hortian -- it was such a treat to see these faces again!