I pow-wowed with my coach Michelle, and she suggested I use the run as a way to gauge where I am, kind of like a time-trial. This race was meant to be a way to check in and gain some much needed training perspective as we move forward into the winter/spring race season.
Let me just say that the weather was obnoxiously cold. It was -15C, and felt like -20C. There was also some serious wind happening. So my feet were numb to start the race, and breathing was also slightly painful. Luckily the streets were clear, and at 9:30AM we were off.
I made the mistake of lining up too far back. The start line was informal, so I placed myself kind of in the middle of the crowd, thinking my placement seemed about right. But when we started I found myself doing a fair bit of bobbing and weaving for the first couple of kms. I eventually found my pace and found some space and just went ticking along. Since this was a time-trial I tried to keep track of my kilometer splits for coach to look at an analyze post-race. My first 4km were pretty consistent
1km - 5:36
2km - 5:51
3km - ??? for some reason my watch missed this one
4km - 5:42
I felt good moving into the second half of my race. Michelle suggested that I try to push the pace here, so my goal was to start picking up the pace a bit. It was moderately successful until I hit the lake front. Once I started running across the lake I found I was struggling more with my breathing - likely complicated by the wind. I started coughing and struggled to catch my breath. I kind of stayed on pace, but lost it a bit. I finished strong though.
5km - 5:23
6km - 5:50
7km - 5:44
8km - 5:04
I finished 45:47, which is about what I expected. As always, I would have been happier if I was slightly faster, but given the weather and my lack of prep for this one I was generally pretty happy with my time. Coach said she was really happy with my race performance. And after reviewing my data, we have a pretty good indication of where I am fitness-wise. So here is what we learned from today's 8km race...
- I was able to run a comfortable, smart race, but the fact that I was able to drop the hammer in the final kilometer probably says I could have put out a stronger effort sooner. There was more in the tank.
- I was able to maintain my fitness over the off-season/holidays - WIN.
- My form is improving. I was less tense on the course today and my stride was a lot more relaxed.
- My pace is creeping closer to my half marathon goal pace, and I am on track training wise.
- It is time to increase my mileage and push harder.
What is your favourite kind of race swag? Have you ever done a time-trial?Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,