Sunday, February 10

Cedar 12k

“I decided to go for a little run” - Forrest Gump

I’m disappointed, I think.

Last year I ran 42:32; the race calculator suggests 42:22 based on my recent 8k, neither were to be.

I warmed up with Stefan under blustery but warm spring conditions and after returning the gym to change into my racing kit, I was feeling optimistic about the event; I was quietly confident. I ran well here last year on what is a tough and very hilly route and decided last night to aim for 42:00, 3:30/kms.

I started out smooth and after cresting the first sharp hill not more than 400m after the start, I found myself in amongst an experienced group of ten guys. I heard Mark, the owner of a local running store, telling his brother that they were well placed and to follow me (this brought a smile to my face given that both of them can, and have, run the pants off me).

We split the first two kilometers a tad fast but I wasn’t too concerned given the start is predominantly downhill. At 4k I was feeling great but unhappy with the recent splits and decided to throw in a 100m surge, bridging up to the solo individual in front (with the intent of working with him). I was devastated then when reaching said individual, he gasped that he was finished and wished me all the best. Bastard! At this point, I was running alone under dark heavy skies, in the rain, and leaning into a fearsome headwind… I eased up and waited for the group.

At 7k, Mark and his brother went to the front and steadily turned the screws shattering our group into pieces and leaving me with nothing but some dental floss to hang on with. I found this ironic as two kilometers earlier I had asked whether anyone wanted to bridge up to the next group, what was I thinking? The rest of the race was completed on fumes.

3:26 – race anxiety, not too concerned
3:28 – predominantly downhill, still not concerned
3:36 – steep long uphill
3:36 – although the hill is finished, still climbing
3:23 – downhill coupled with a 100m surge
3:40 – hold back for group
3:39 – gradual uphill rise
3:25 – Mark and Shawn drop the hammer
3:33 – the group is shattered, I’m redlining
3:46 – large long hill, not having fun
3:33 – regain rhythm on false (uphill) flat
3:39 – grass finish, longer than last year

Although I didn’t achieve my goal, I had fun “racing”. It’s not that often I experience running in a tight group during a race and I thoroughly enjoyed the mental and physical aspect of racing, the gamesmanship and occasional camaraderie. Still, my nemesis beat me and this is unacceptable.

I still feel a lack of strength with my running and I’m tempted to up the mileage. Still, with a spring marathon over four month away, and my propensity not to handle well prolonged periods of high mileage… I wait.

Training:
Friday: day off (unscheduled, pints with the boys)
Saturday: easy 1:02:54 with clinic, 5xstrides
Sunday: 1:25:00, Cedar 12k 42:49, 3:34/pace, 14th OA, 4th AG

11 comments:

Lawrence said...

Good race. It may be not the time you wanted, but well done.

"leaving me with nothing but some dental floss to hang on with. " -- great line, I'll have to use that one some time.

Chris said...

If it is any consolation to you I looked at about 30 runners, or more and The Nelsons I think are the only two with improvements. Everyone else were down averaging 10 point loss over Cobble Hill mostly, but some obviously didn't run Cobble. I was 14 down...maybe it was the 4km of headwind.

Mike said...

Good on ya' for toeing the line and giving it a shot. Sounds like you felt good early and might have burned a little too fast and too brightly, but I did the exact same thing at my 10K a few weeks ago.

Recover well.

running private said...

Nice race, I like the fact you have a running nemisis. I had one last year and just couldn't beat him - the closest I got to was a second off him. I think I'll have to find a new one this year!!

Grellan said...

Like the dental floss thing. At least with dental floss there is something to hang out to however tenuous.

Only 10 seconds outside your fitness predicted time is very good particularly given the undulating course, the headwind and your play with the pace.

My 5k PB yesterday was 14 seconds the wrong side on my fitness predicted pace based on a recent 10 miler.

Jarhead said...

The mention of a nemesis has piqued my curiosity! I've scoured the results and ran each of the thirteen names above yours through my nemesis detector but it came up blank???

Eric said...

Nice racing, excellent report. When you mentioned your nemesis, I immediately thought of this.

Cheers!

Michael said...

Lawrence, feel free.

I do believe I used a little too much fuel, too early on in the race. Still, I had fun doing so and only wish I a) had been stronger or b) was skinnier so that I could run through the wind with less resistance.

The nemesis, I love it, I even enjoy saying the word, it evokes a sense of deep-seeded bitterness that brings a smile to my face. Thanks Eric!

Brad Cunningham said...

It seems like Sunday was a day to go out hard and suffer. I know EXACTLY what you were feeling.

Love2Run said...

Eric's link was great but your race report was even better. I'll bet you can't wait for the true spring (I know it's tough living on the west coast). Must be almost time for something else too...

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