Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Goodlife Victoria Marathon | October 12, 2014

Chip Time - 3:11:07
Overall - 86 / 1565
45-49 - 14 / 116
M - 75 / 791
Shoes - Brooks Pure Flow (Red)

I had put pretty big expectations on myself for this race. Having run a strong PB of 3:04 in May at BMO Vancouver Marathon I was hoping to build on that and really wanted a 3:00 on the books. Mostly, I was working towards a vaunted velvet smoking jacket. Sigh. (see below)

As if on cue, the last speed training session 10 days prior to the race I managed to tweak my hamstring. Unexpectedly this was on my right leg, which had not bothered me at all. Being that last year at this time I wiped out and surfed on my ribs for a few meters, this didn’t seem like much of a setback. Fortunately some physio and taking it easy for a few days helped to settle it down.

Race morning I was feeling good. I hadn’t picked up a cold and my body felt mostly injury free other than the usual aches and pains. The weather had cleared up from the previous days’ rains, a nice temperature and not too windy.

I went out with purpose, aiming to keep a consistent 4:15 pace. I felt good to start and fell in with a few other guys that were also aiming for 3 hrs. I probably went out too fast for this course, erring on the side of a little quicker than 4:15 pace rather than slower. We ran together for a bit before breaking off at a water station.

This course is not “hilly” per se but it’s a rolling course that doesn’t let up. The climb up past the golf course was enough to start dropping my pace. I never really did settle in to a comfortable pace, other than a few sections that were probably descending a bit. By the halfway I was “just” on pace but I knew that it was going be challenging to keep it up. I had forgotten that the turnaround was a couple km’s past the halfway point and this was a little tough as there’s something about heading back that can give you that kick.

By 30k I was 2 minutes behind pace and unfortunately I didn’t have anything left in the tank. I was fueling well and drinking fortunately but to no avail. By 33k I was about 5 minutes behind pace. I knew at this point it was just becoming a rescue mission, getting to the finish. It really was a classic case of the last 10k beating me up as I desperately watched my pace per km climb. (A quote I just found from Reid Coolsaet's coach “There’s 35 km — and then there’s the second half of the race” - Dave Scott-Thomas)
It was great to see Alan and Melissa around 37k and have Alan offer to run me in but by this point I was really in the pain cave and chose to suffer it out alone. Many times in the last 7 or 8 km I had to talk myself out of walking. I really just didn’t want to see the 3:15 go by me at this point. “Just keep moving. You can salvage this if you just keep moving.”

I felt almost as bad as I did 3 years ago coming into the finish line, but fortunately this time I was 34 minutes faster! A 3:11 is my second best time so nothing to complain about. (Last year I was itching to even get near 3:15).  It was great to see my brother Colin and nephew Evan at the finish line as well as the awesome BRC crew, Emma, Jan and Greg 2.0!

Race Post-Mortem

I think the biggest thing going against me in this race was that I never did get my mileage back up after my 50 miler in July. August was busy with family visits and travelling and I didn’t even get 300 km’s in. September I missed some mileage from injuries and just barely scraped in 300 km’s. Compare that to my 3 months of near 400 km per month running leading up to Vancouver. I was likely training a bit too fast, not adhering to my zone 1 on the long runs, and maybe not enough long runs. I also fell off my daily core and strength routine a bit.

Near the finish - End the suffering!
Sums up how I felt. (w/ Colin) Photo by Emma

BRC represent! w/ nephew, Evan - Photo by Emma

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