Monday, 14 April 2014

#TYS10k Race Recap

Sunday was the Toronto Yonge Street 10km. And I went into the race with high hopes. I had been running really well lately, and I had been feeling really strong, so I felt like a sub-50 10km was definitely a possibility. This was actually only my 3rd ever 10km race - it is not a distance I do often. And I know this distance is challenging one.

I had had a busy week, but I was feeling good on race day. I was running this race with the 2XU team so I met with my fellow teammates Angela and Jess pre-race to take our necessary team/triplet photos.

I started to get nervous as I made my way down to the start. The pressure to run a strong race was starting to set in. My run buddy JP and my coach Michelle lined up with me to pace me through the race. I shot off the line, and JP and Michelle were yelling at me to slow down. I calmed my pace down and was running strong for the the first few kilometers.

I am not sure if I was tired. I am not sure if I was over-dressed. I am not sure if I was slightly dehydrated. I am not sure if the pressure of performing got to me. Or if it just wasn't my day. But I couldn't control my heart rate. And I was reminded that running with a Robot Heart can be complicated. JP and Michelle were chatting and encouraging me all the way along, but I knew pretty early on things were just not clicking.

During last week's race I ran an average pace of 5:19/km, and I ran it comfortably. My average heart rate was 165bpm and I topped out at 171bpm only when pushing it up that massive hill. On Sunday my average pace was actually slower at 5:22/km, and I spent 41 minutes in zone 5 running with heart rate between 181-187bpm. My heart was not cooperating, my anxiety set in, and I could not push the way I had hoped.
Left: HR from Harry's and Right: HR from Yonge Street
I finished the Race at 53:33. Which despite not being the time I hoped, was still 7 minutes faster than my previous 10km PR from 2010 of 1:01:06.

Sunday ended up being a humbling race, and I was definitely frustrated. My legs were fresh when I finished, so I know on a different day I was capable of better. Sometimes you can do everything right, but heart rate can be unpredictable, especially when you have a robot heart to worry about. I know these types of races happen to every runner, but I definitely take it harder than most. For me it feels like my body has let me down again. And I get angry that my body isn't consistently strong, despite all the hard work I put into my training.My expectations tend to be slightly unrealistic in this department, so I am trying to take Sunday's race with a grain of salt.

Unfortunately my Heart Rate ceiling is set in stone, my defibrillator will fire if I reach 200bpm (and yes it has happened before) so I have to be cautious when I enter Zone 5. I also tend to get anxious when pushing the pace because of this - likely a contributing factor to my elevated Heart Rate. So Sunday wasn't my day, but I was still smiling when it was all said and done.

I spent the day surrounded by my awesome running community. And despite a tough race, I know I am making progress. With more time I will figure out what I need on race day and develop more strategies to keep my heart rate in check. I am chalking it all up to a learning experience, and focusing on moving forward. Coach agrees that despite my wonky heart, I looked strong. So we will reassess my pace and time goals for my next race.

Onward and Upward. Progress not Perfection.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten


21 comments:

  1. First of all, congrats on the new PR!

    I had a similar experience at a race this weekend. I had really high hopes for myself, and just barely missed them. Still set a PR but it's hard to let go of the original expectations you had. Luckily, you and I both love to set huge goals and attack them with full force so it's only a matter of time before we reach them!

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  2. From a positive point of view:
    - you smashed your PR. Like, big time
    - your legs were still fresh? I'm pretty sure lots of people would trade all kinds of things for that.

    Everything else can be worked on or will improve over time, I'm sure. Also, when getting anxious and thus raising your HR, try meditating a bit. Not in the hippy meaning of the word, just think of things that relax you, or focus on your breathing. But I'm sure I don't have to tell you how to influence your HR :-)

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  3. That is a great PR even if it was not what you wanted, hang in there, you will still continue to improve even with those limits, and your body will get even stronger as it gets used to running that pace. You seem to be approaching this the right way, and I look forward to seeing how you do in the future :)

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  4. It was SO great to spend the day with you! Even though the heart just wasn't cooperating, you persevered and hit an awesome new PR, and I'm SO proud of you!

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  5. I love peeking my nose into your blog to see how you are doing. I am always heartened to see your attitude. You own the disappointment, if you have to and then you move on. Good for you.

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  6. Chin up girlfriend, you ran a PR!!! Knowing you had issues early on you persevered and got it done! You are not alone in not running the race you wanted but there are many more to come. You are at least out there doing it! Don't get down, be proud of what your body CAN do! You amaze me every day! xoxo

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  7. Oh girl that's a bit scary. And I think it's SO easy to let racing pressures and anxiety build up and totally throw us off. I never wear my HR monitor any longer, but I know my heart is racing like crazy before a race and right at the start. Then you're pushing yourself harder too. But, you did great AND you live and learn and keep moving forward right? Hugs girlie!!

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  8. Congratulations on your new PR! You raced smart and while you didn't feel you had the race you wanted you should be proud of that. Don't give up!

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  9. Congrats on your new PR! Everyone has days where a perfect run isn't in the cards - no matter how bad one wants it or how hard one tries - so I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. You finish marathons and are training for an ironman - you are a superstar! Congrats again on the PR :)

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  10. Congrats! That is soooo fast! You have done so well to learn how to train and race hard within the constraints you’ve been given. ALWAYS be proud of that, speedy!

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  11. Congrats on your PR! Not every race goes the way you plan. If you finish, you are a winner!

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  12. Big hugs & congrats on your PR! It sounds like your body hadn't quite recovered from last weekend's race, or perhaps from some training this week? Either way, a new PR is a HUGE accomplishment, way to go!

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  13. Most important: congrats on your HUGE PR! That's amazing!!
    I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been ot have your heart just not want to cooperate.

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  14. That's a HUGE PR so congrats to that! It might not have gone the way you wanted but a PR is a PR! And you raced it smartly...that counts for a LOT. Be proud!

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  15. You rock lady!!! HUGE CONGRATS!!!!!!! I know the heart thing worries you but you are paying attention & you are an inspiration!!!!

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  16. Congrats on a great race... even if your ticker was wonky on race day. You are such an amazing woman and inspirational athlete! :)

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  17. Sorry you did not get the time you wanted, but it was still a great time and a PR. Hopefully next time you'll get even more of what you want out of a race.

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  18. Krysten, you are such an inspiration. I am so proud of you pushing through the pain. Most people would stop exercising if they were afraid of getting shocked, but only you would push until just before the threshold.

    You are a true athlete, lady.

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  19. Congrats on a new PR! :) Glad you were able to control your HR that it didn't reach 200 :)

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  20. I love you and your smile! :) Lets go for sushi! lol

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