What a gorgeous morning for a run! Okay, yes, I'd prefer if it was warmer, but hey, one mustn't complain about low plus temperatures and blue sky. I didn't even have to wear my mittens!
I had a good 20 minute warmup before the run. My heartrate seemed a smidge high, but I had just taken a couple of 'hits' off my inhaler so that likely drove it up a bit. I met up with some of the gang and then it was time to line up.
Finally, people up ahead started running - time to go. I'm not good at seeding myself so I was a bit back and had to wind my way up to where people were running my pace. That sounds funny. 'My pace.' I mean, seriously, what the hell is my pace?! I just run by feel. If my legs can, I get them to take wee steps very quickly. If they can't, I just beg them to take wee steps as fast as they can go. LOL.
I didn't train for this race, in the sense that I have done no speed work to date. My focus is on IMCDA and building an aerobic endurance base. I was pretty curious how this would play out today. Also, I was on the bike for 2.5 hours yesterday so I wasn't sure if my legs would be feeling that or not.
Everything felt pretty good for the first part of the run. At about the 2.5 km mark you start to ascend a long hill. My thoughts were to keep my step light and keep my pace going, and that's what I did. After the long hill there is about a 100 m recovery and then a short, yet steep climb. I was feeling great through all of this.
As I descended down towards Stanley Park a gal said 'doing great, almost at the halfway mark!'. Huh, so far so good. I had hoped to pick up my pace a bit at the halfway mark. At least that was my unplanned plan. There was an elderly woman in front of me as we ran past Stanley Park. I giggled to myself cause I thought a) I want to be like that when I'm a 'wrinkly' and b) I really have to get ahead of her. LOL. It's not fair!!! I'm younger I should be able to run faster. YA RIGHT!
When I ran past the 5 km marker the volunteer called out 27:30-something. Okay, I am on track to be somewhere around last years time. Also, I passed the grey hair in front of me. Cool. Then the stitch hit me. NUTS! It was in my ribs on my right side. Well this sucked. Nothing you can do about that but run it out, or stop. There was so no way I was stopping. Instead, I slowed my pace slightly, but kept pushing on. I find that if I focus on my breathing sometimes it will go away. It was then that the grey hair passed me. Son of a...
I saw a few of the speedy Cochranites heading back as I made my way to the turnaround. This is the one spot where you can get a water. I wouldn't even think of it because at the pace I was running I would hurl it up for sure. The grey hair in front of me did stop; however, so I took full advantage of this to advance myself past her!!! LOL.
The stitch had faded a fair bit so it was time to pick up the pace again. At this point I was wheezing quite a bit and starting to feel some fatigue. Nothing horrible though. There was a guy running in front of me and I thought I just want to keep pace with him. If I can do that I think I'll be ok.
Near the 7km mark is when you hit some rollers. This is why I love this course, because it isn't flat. You have two good hills at the start and when the fatigue kicks in and you are sooo close to the finish you have to deal with a couple rollers. Very sweet.
I kept saying my 'fast' mantra 'Jack be nimble, Jack be quick'. This never fails to keep me going. At the '1 mile to go' marker they called out 46 minutes. I tried to do some math in my head - I secretly wanted to get in at 52 minutes. I realized pretty quickly I couldn't pick up my pace enough to do that....I wasn't actually sure what time I would make it in. I was starting to wheeze more and the stitch was back and making its way up into my shoulder/neck area.
Finally I was back on Elbow Drive and headed to the finish. I had this rhythmic breathing/wheezing thing going that must be driving the few around me nuts. I tried hard to pick up my pace for the last bit, but couldn't.
Clock time: 54:41 minutes. Susi's Suunto time: 54:22 minutes. Both times are a personal best. Okay, only by 17 seconds (clock time), but dammit, I'm going to take it!! LOL.
I realized some valuable stuff today. First, I can get a PB on legs that did a 2.5 hour bike the day before. Nice. Second, I can get a PB after doing no speed work yet this season - I'm getting stronger! Suhweet. Third, my average heart rate during the race was 166 bpm - this is approximately 10 bpm slower than what I normally run a 10 km race at. I told IG all this after the race and said 'I think that's a good sign, right??' Apparantly it IS a good sign. It means all that running at a low heart rate is paying off and I'm making some gains on my aerobic endurance. This is VERY VERY cool.
Gotta love it when you start to see your training pay off....let's hope I keep improving and all comes together on June 22....
Peace out my friends.