All right let's start this post by talking about how I have been beating myself up over "distance" running. It seems anything over 21.1km has plain old kicked my ass. Heading into The Bay I have run 3 races over the half distance and blown up each and every time. Now with each of them I could point at one thing or another but the one common thread on each of them was not properly fueling. I mean sure I would have a big old pasta feast the night before but THAT is not carb loading. I took some advice from a friend and started monitoring my food intake with My Fitness Pal and purposely did a week long proper carb load. What a difference this made.
I also went into this race with a solid race plan. My best race to this point was my half in Hamilton where I negative split and PB'd. I was able to negative split because I went in with a plan and stuck to it. Kept my pace back in the start to allow for a really strong finish and less chance for a blow up.
So the plan was to run somewhere between 5:40 and 5:50 per km to 15 and then pick it up to the hills. Based upon how I felt either hold on for dear life or push through for a strong finish. As well the plan was to take my time at water stations and get gatorade and fill my water.
I started with the first 12-13km at an average of about 5:35/km. A wee bit faster than plan but I was feeling really good. This is when Christine caught up to me. I started running with her and she was running 5:20/km. Felt good so I ran with her for 3km or so. Stopped to go pee around 15km and then picked it up to catch up to her. Was running just under 5:00/km and took me to about 20km to catch her. Said hi and considered slowing but was feeling strong at this pace. Kept pushing it under 5:00/km all the way through the hills. Had a brief hello with Myron and also spotted Richard out on the course on Plains Rd. Made my way down into the valley and low fived the little guy and yelled "Time to turn it on" and motored the rest of the way down the hill. Got to the monster hill, lowered my head and started running. Didn't even notice Eric until he cheered me as I ran by. Got to the top of the hill and was pumped with where I was. At this point last year I had been walk running for 3km and my IT band was killing me. Right about here is where the 3 hour pace bunny passed me, last year. This year I looked at my watch, 2:21 and just over 3km to go. Not only was I going to smash my plan for 3 hours but if I held this pace I was going to beat 2:40! I was really feeling the tank reaching the empty point but knew I could see Copps and I was 15 minutes from being done. Time to hunker down, suck it up and run it in. I passed Sherry coming up to the last water station and tried to cheer her on. Kept pushing on and keeping the positive thoughts rolling. The closer I got to Copps the easier it was to keep the negative thoughts out. Rolling in to Copps is a great way to finish and I knew I had just achieved something special. I had conquered a demon.
A few stats:
1 - 56:16 (5:38/km)
2 - 53:06 (5:19/km)
3 - 48:23 (4:50/km)
1 - 1:24:33 (5:38/km)
2 - 1:13:12 (4:53/km)
1537 of 6118 total runners
1151 of 3171 males
190 of 454 35-39 males
Next up - Get Phil 2hours in his first half and then on to tri's
See ya on the road!