Out of the gates running.
The spring racing season has officially commenced! I’m pleased with my first race at St. Patrick’s Day 5K, and it feels even better to start things off with a win. I tend to feel a bit trepidatious when it comes to the shorter races but this one was a good indicator that training is moving along nicely.
Race morning greeted us with rain-free skies — a refreshing change to past years. I practiced the breakfast I will be using for Around the Bay 30K (this weekend) and went through all my usual long-race preparations — essentially using it as a dry run for things to come. After a pre-race activation session at Petersen Wellness Clinic (so helpful to wake up sleeping muscles!), we headed to the course. A 5K warm-up on the course, drills, a couple strides and I was ready to go.
The gun went off and during the downhill start I glanced around to see that Hilary Stellingwerff, Regan Yee, and I had formed a nice trio. I felt comfy and the pace didn’t feel to hot so I kept myself in a position to possibly go after the mile prime (an extra $150). Hah! Yeah, right. I knew immediately I didn’t have that second gear needed to battle it out with those two speedsters so I hung back as they sprinted ahead. I went through the mile in 5:02, a second behind Regan and Hilary. At this point I knew that I should make a little push as they recovered. Over the next 3K I aimed to focus on continuing to run strong, knowing I could always push through the last uphill 1K. From 4K to 5K my legs were certainly burning as I climbed up Pipeline Road toward the finish — it definitely seemed like the never ending hill. I rounded the final corner and crossed the line in 16:27, the fastest time I have run on that course.
Post race I jogged down to Beaver Lake for a workout of 5x1K before the 5K cool down. The repeats felt controlled and my legs felt strong. Later in the evening I capped of the day with a 6K easy run to finish off my week at 140K. I’ve had several big weeks in a row and this was my biggest week since beginning my build from zero miles in mid December. There is still lots more work to do but I am very happy with how things are progressing and how my body is feeling on a day to day basis.
This Sunday is Around the Bay 30K — it’s a race that I often have nightmares about. The course is tough, unforgiving in the latter stages as your legs fatigue over the rolling hills, and it’s always bound to have inclement weather. Nonetheless, it’s a good way to callous the mind and test how things are on the endurance front. This will be my fourth time racing it, and I hope to finally break my 1:50:4X, but in reality this race is more about position than time so that will be my first goal.
I will be approaching this race in more of a rested state than the 5K so I am hoping my legs appreciate this! Sunday I had an easy 28K followed by a nice day off on Monday that only involved an easy 1h40 spin on the bike. I’ve continued to maintain my one day off running per week by supplementing it with a bike on the trainer. I believe this has only benefitted me, especially since I was starting back from scratch. This week my Wednesday workout consisted of 6x2K on the roads and the body felt fluid and smooth. The rest of the week now will just be easy runs and then it’s go-time!
Here are some pictures from this past weekend and I will return with my war stories from Around the Bay!
^ Some great shots from the weekend courtesy of Keith Dunn, Manto Nakamura, and BC Athletics.