Monday, April 30, 2007

Race Recap

I've done four races so far this year, and haven't reported on any of them. So here's a recap.

Really Chilly Road Races, February 18, 2007
Temperature -11 C
Road Conditions - Poor

This is one race I said I would never do because the weather is so unpredictable in February. This year was no exception. I woke up race morning to a heavy snowfall. If it was Christmas Eve, everyone would have been overjoyed to see those huge snowflakes coming down. I drove to the race site and saw the course was covered in 2 inches of freshly fallen snow. Not exactly ideal race conditions. I was there early enough to do a warm up run, but missed my group, so I decided to just to scout out the start line and get a handle on the road conditions. I eventually met up with Joyce and Pat who had done the warmup and they told me the roads were in terrible condition. This was not a day for a PB.

I decided to take it easy and just enjoy the run, but something always comes over me in a race, and once we started, I had to try to catch the people in front of me. Everyone was running slow because it felt like we were running through sand. The race course is 2 loops around Fanshawe College. It's very boring because the scenery is much to look at. Anyway, I finished in 1:04:14, one of my worst 10K times ever, but still good enough to place third in my age group and get a medal.

There was lots of food to be had in the college gym after the race, including coffee and nice hot chili. All in all, it was very satisfying and I will do that race again. Here I am showing off my medal for hubby when I got home.

Around the Bay 30 K Race, Hamilton, Ontario, March 25, 2007
Temperature +3 C
Road Conditions - Good
This is another race I said I would never do because of the unpredictable weather that time of year. My friend did it two years ago, and the weather was terrible. So also told me about this huge hill at about the 26K point that is so steep you have to walk it.

I decided to do it this year because coach says it's good practice for Boston. I didn't have any goal finish time in mind and thought I would just go and have a good time. I took the bus that Runner's Choice sends each year. It was fun to be on the bus. Coach kept everyone entertained.

The weather report was sunny and high of 12 C. Perfect running conditions. I was going to wear my capris and a long sleeve running top, but I took my jacket as a precaution, because being near Lake Ontario, it could be a little breezy. When we got off the bus in Hamilton, we're all saying, where's the sun and why is it so cold? We then spent the next half hour deciding what to wear. I stuck with my first option and went without a jacket, but I did wear gloves.

I started out running with Joyce. We were going at a nice even pace, but not too fast. It was going to be easy to keep up that pace for 30K. Pat and Ally were behind us, but when Joyce stopped to retie her shoes they caught up. So we ran with them for a few miles. The first half of the race is really flat, but once we got into Burlington, the rolling hills started. We were running in a beautiful neighbourhood in Burlington - big houses backing onto Burlington Bay. I just couldn't figure out why anyone would want to have such a nice house with a view of Stelco and Dofasco across the bay, but what do I know?

I always take hills as a challenge and I refuse to walk them if I don't have to, so I started to give a little more effort at this point. Joyce has a bad knee and didn't want to risk an injury, so she fell behind. Pat was still with me and Ally had shot up ahead. I kept motoring up and down the hills, and eventually caught and passed Ally.

Soon enough I came to the huge hill everyone had been telling me about. It was big, too. As I approached it, another runner told me that they videotape people running up the hill and broadcast it at the finish line inside Copp's Coliseum. There was no way I was going to let those people see me walking up that hill, so I put my head down and ran it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Once I reached the top, it was flat and I was only a couple of kilometres from the finish line.

I finished in 3:07:09, but I know I could have broken three hours if I had given it a little more at the beginning of the race. Anyway, it was fun, and I've got another medal to add to my collection. I'll definitely do that race again.

Downtown 5K - Good Friday, April 6, 2007
Temperature -7 C, Windy
Road Conditions - Fair

I do this race every year. It's the first race in the Runner's Choice series. It's flat and fast and last year I did my best 5K time ever in this race.

This year was a different story. Once again, I woke up to snow. It was a very cold blustery day, not conducive to getting a PB. I ran it in 25:28, not good at all. I was just happy to get that one over with and go home to my warm house. Enough said about that one.

Spring Run Off - April 28, 2007
Temperature + 9 C, cloudy, light misty rain, mostly calm with some light winds
Road Conditions - Good

This is another race I do every year. It is race two in the Runner's Choice series. I PB'd it last year with a 51:12 finish time.

This year the running conditions were perfect. The rain held off - it was just a little misty. I had no excuse not to have a good race, but for some reason, I just didn't have the speed. I finished in 53:44, over two minutes slower than last year. I blamed my other poor finish times this year on the weather conditions, but didn't have that excuse this time. I need to rethink my training and do something to improve my speed. It was good enough to finish 4th in my age group, but I want to place in the top three.

The next race is an 8K on June 24. I'm going to work on my speed and see if I can pull of a 40 minute race. Stay tuned.

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