Saturday, June 15, 2013

Longest Day 10k 2013

I remember running this race last year for all the wrong reasons.  Going into it with very little training due to a calf injury. Then feeling my achilles tighten half way around the course, so having to slow down and very disappointing time. Then limping away after the race and not able to run for weeks after.  Very frustrating.  So I was hoping for a much more positive experience in 2013.  

I have been running pretty well this year and so far, touch wood, no injury problems.  I have managed to shed a few pounds and get some good speed and endurance into my legs.  Therefore, I lined up at the start line optimistic of a good race. 

It was a warm sunny evening as we set off to run the first of the two 5k loops.  Due to construction, the race organisers had been forced to run the race in the opposite direction to normal. This meant that we had to run up a long hill instead of down it, made worse because the course also detoured off the road and up an even steeper climb along the sidewalk path.   

I was really focused on controlling my speed in this race too after the mess I had made of my pacing at the Vancouver Half Marathon in May. So I was glancing at my Garmin on a regular basis throughout the race.  The first lap went by smoothly and to plan.  The climb up the hill came just before the halfway mark and it proved to be quite tough and slowed my pace down. However, I crossed the halfway line at 21mins 12 secs.  I felt good and was running well.

As I started the second lap, the field had spread out and I found myself running alone, no other runners nearby.  I really like it when this happens.  I seem to relax, just focus on my running form and get in the zone.  I felt strong the whole way round the second 5k and then gritted my teeth and pushed as I climbed up the big hill for the second time. 

I kept pushing all the way to the finish line as I was really hoping to break 42 minutes.  However, I crossed the line in 42 mins 07 secs.  Dam that hill!  Still, I was pleased to run a good time and a solid race.  I was also pleased to note that I ran a negative split too, with my second 5k loop being quicker than my first.

The post race BBQ was fantastic and chance to catch up with a few PRR members who had run, volunteered or spectated.  All in all, a far more enjoyable experience compared to 2012.  Now onto the Scotiabank Half Marathon next weekend.  

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