Double header.

This past Sunday I raced another 10K on the road.  The Times Colonist 10K, just seven days after the Sun Run 10K, is held in Victoria, BC.  I was excited to be back for this one after taking the win last year and thoroughly enjoying the course.  It’s certainly not as fast as the Sun Run, and can be windy in the latter half of the race — but I was up for the challenge and hoped to race hard again. 



I wasn’t sure how the legs would feel after racing hard at the Sun Run and also having workouts on Wednesday and Friday, nonetheless, my race goal was to go out hard through the first 5K and then either back off or keep pushing depending on my split.  If I had a chance to target the course record of 32:56 then I was going to push.  I estimated that I would want to go through 5K in close to 16:25 for that to be a possibility.


Race morning we woke to no rain and minimal wind — probably the best it can get in Victoria!  I certainly felt a tad fatigued during the warmup and my breathing felt more laboured than usual from the humidity (or fatigue hah!) but I was eager to get going.



^ Striding off the line (pc: Victoria News)


At the gun we headed out and soon turned right where we then faced an approximate 2K-long uphill stretch.  This stung, my quads felt fatigued, but I kept pressing.  I had an eye on my kilometre splits and thought I would be nowhere near fast enough.  16:40 through 5K definitely indicated the record would be out of reach so I eased off the gas a bit and found a more comfortable rhythm. 


Onwards we strode, but as Dallas Road veered west I immediately felt the wind.  Certainly not as strong as last year’s gusts but it doesn’t take much for me to feel slowed.  At that moment Jim Finlayson pulled up beside me and indicated to tuck in behind him and another guy.  We had a pack of four for a couple of kilometres and I decided it was best to remain here in the wake than to forge ahead or slow more and fight the wind on my own.  


As we approached the 8K marker I started to feel antsy and decided to push ahead.  I still had some guys around me which was helpful as we pushed each other to the finish in these last few kilometres.  My 8K split was 26:46, indicating we had remained steady, barely slowing at all the last 3K.    


Just before 9K the course begins to make several turns as it snakes through the neighbourhood roads toward the finishing stretch.  If you don’t run the tangents at this time you can run much more than necessary so I kept my eyes on the lead cyclist to ensure I was running the shortest line possible.  As the finish line neared I was actually surprised to be so close to my Sun Run time.  I finished in 33:20, a perfectly even race with a 16:40 first half and 16:40 second half, and only nine seconds slower than Sun Run.  On this course I think it indicates a slightly better performance which I am pleased I was able to do with a short recovery leading up to the race.  All signs continue to point to more pbs!  


In the meantime it is almost go time.  Again.  Saturday I race a half marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana and that will conclude my three week streak of racing.  Temperatures look warm but that shouldn’t have too much of an effect since the race commences at 7:30 am.  I’m hoping for a new personal best — it would be nice to better my 1:11:45 from 2011!  I’ll certainly update you with how it goes:) 


^ Crossing the finish line in 33:20 (pc: Times Colonist)


^ I swear I didn’t stop my watch at the finish line — I trust they got my time;) (pc: Victoria News)