Sunday, August 18, 2013

Midsummer Night's Race 15K

My second time running this race and I wanted a bit of redemption from last year. I spent last year's race feeling sick to my stomach, finishing at 1:53:31 with a overall pace of 7:35/km. Like last year, I wanted to use this race to see where I'm at for my fall half marathon. A few weeks ago, my goal time was 1:47 but with the training I've been doing, I decided to go for a 1:45 finish time with pace of 7/km.

My husband and I trekked out to the island. We got down to the ferry docks around 4:15. I figured I had an hour and 15 minutes before the start of the race, that should be enough time. Wrong. Joined the giant line up of racers and waited. And waited some more.

Finally got on a ferry just after 5. I put on my sparkle skirt, pinned on my bib and got my fuel belt on while on the boat. Got off the ferry at 5:28 (feeling really bad for the 30K people who started at 5:30), found one of the girls from my clinic that I was going to run with (she got down to the docks at 5 and managed to get onto the same boat), quick bathroom stop and went on a search for the start line. Some signage on the Island would have been great. Volunteers were directing people over the bridge - half of which had 5K runners coming over it, the over half was mostly blocked by a van. Finally found the start line a couple of minutes after the 15K had started. I had no hope of finding the 1:45 pacer so just got in and went.

Turns out I was smack in the middle of a bunch of walkers so did a whole lot of people dodging for the first kilometre. The paths were generally pretty narrow and there was often runners going in both directions. At one point on the course there was 15K people on the right going one way, 15K people on the left going the other and the 30K bike escort yelling to clear the centre for the 30K leaders. Throw in a bunch of pedestrians, baby strollers, beach goers and some quad bikes for extra fun. Good times.

Yay! I saw a photographer so did crazy "I love running pose/face".
The scenery on the course was beautiful. I do regret that I didn't take any pics on my walk breaks. We hit all kinds of different terrain - pavement, I think there was some gravel, sand, grass and what I am now calling The Boardwalk of Doom. The boardwalk started around the 10K mark and went on for almost 2K. Bouncy wooden route. You would hit a board that looked nice but it would sink an inch or two. I saw one woman just ahead of me trip and cut up her arm. Luckily a bike aid cam to help her pretty quick. Just before the Boardwalk of Doom, volunteers were yelling to watch out for the posts - little series of 3 or 4 posts at the start of the board walk about waist high. Impaling oneself right in the gut at that point in the race would have sucked miserably.

Enough about the course issues - back to my run. I felt really good for the majority of the race. Me and my clinic buddy were keeping up 10 & 1's with an overall pace of just under 7min/km. I did have to stop quickly to retie my shoe as I could feel some blisters forming (they're not pretty). We were hitting the route markers just under where we needed to be for a 1:45 finish. Around 12K I said I'd never felt so good on a race (which was completely true).

Yay! Still hamming it up for the photographer!
Than I hit a bit of a wall just after 13K.

I'm still working on where the wall came from. I probably didn't have enough of my Honeystinger chews. I was drinking mostly nuun and not straight water as my fuel belt bottles had heated up and so my water tasted like plastic (think I'm going to get some new bottles).  Might have been the time of day. Might have been mental, I'm not sure. The mistake I made when I hit the wall was not sticking with my running buddy but taking an extra walk break and telling her to go on. I am regretting that now as I think I could have pushed through it better if I had someone with me.

I kind of struggled through a kilometre. I tried to shake it off, said to myself "just run". I came around the bend and saw the finish and  just needed to get it done.

I managed picked it up for the last 500 metres as I just needed to be done. I crossed the finish strong having no idea where I was with my time goal since my garmin was acting up.

I finished with chip time of 1:45:05 so I'm pretty happy (if only I hadn't stopped to tie my shoe!). Overall pace of 7:01/km This is 30secs/km faster and 8.5 minutes off  of last year. 15 secs/km off my best half marathon time and I still have another 8 weeks to go with my training. I'm feeling confident I can hit my 2:30 half in October.

Post race, the line ups for the ferry were ridiculous so my husband and I went for a drink and some food in the hopes that the line would clear up a bit. Didn't really happen so after a 50 minute wait, we finally got on a boat to leave.

Overall a good night with some snags. I love this event still but if its on the Island again next year, I might skip it.