Monday, April 14, 2008

Sooke 10k - April 13, 2008

After spending the weekend with the family at Kemp Lake, I thought it would be convenient to do this race on the way back into town.
Over the past week, I have been feeling pretty good. Having said that, the week prior I was out for 6 days and in physio after tweaking my back severely.
Therefore, I didn't really know what to expect. I made it my goal to simply improve on last year's time of 39:02, which would definitely place me somewhere in the 38's. It still seems a little odd to me that I train as fast and as hard as all the 37 minute runners, but I cannot seem to hold that pace for more than about 4k.
After the usual warm-up, I placed myself on the start line and scoped out my competition. The usual suspects were there, minus a few. It didn't look like the biggest field to me for some reason. Anyways, the race started off well for me. I wanted to go out quickly, but definitely not too quickly. It would kill me later to rip off a 3 minute k from the outset.
The Sooke course starts off flat, but then goes slightly uphill for the first 2k. By 3k it is flat, but the road is windy as heck. Great race to practice tangenting. At the 4k mark, there is a monster hill down, and then by 5k it is flat once more. The next 5k are coming back. All the downs now become ups.
I was determined this time to run my own race. I was not going to let others dictate my pace. For this reason, when I saw Gary Duncan speed ahead, I let him go. After the first k, my split was 3:36. Perfect. Right where I wanted to be. And it looked like I saw in about 20th place as well. At the 2k mark, my split was 3:50. Again, a good split considering it is mainly uphill.
I seemed to hold my pace well until the downhill section. By this point, a few people had passed me, but I was alright with this; I was running my own race.
At the bottom of the downhill, I must have slowed down. In typical fashion, I slow down around the 5k mark, as my body seems to want to find that endurance pace. I gave in and let my body take in another 1.5k of slow endurance running. I needed this to gather steam for the huge hills that lie ahead anyways.
When the monster hill finally came, I was determined to speed right up and catch the people infront of me. As the hill came, I sped right up, and so did the people infront of me - it seems they had the same idea! As I hit the 7k mark, another guy had been hot on my heels and he eventually passed me. I said to myself enough is enough, and I stuck to this guy. I think he was surprised by me sticking around. It was now clear by the time we hit the 8k mark, that this guy and I had really uped the tempo. I checked my watch. It basically told me that I needed a crazy finish to go under 39 minutes. However, it was mostly downhill, and I knew if I could blast until the 9.5k mark, the cheering of my family could pull me in.
And that is basically what happened. In spite of my best efforts, the guy eventually dropped me, but my pace was enough to get me to my family in decent time. As I approached them, I could hear them screaming for me. And not just the adults either. Little Teagan and Griffin were cheering just as loudly as the rest in the crowd. As I rounded the last bend, they was slight hope that I could re-pass the guy who was infront of me. I was now in a full sprint to the finish line. As I crossed the line, I saw the clock at 38:59.
It was a good race for me; a time to be pleased with at this point in my training. With most of my efforts now on endurance rather than speed, this is a solid result for me. It wasn't a PB, but the Sooke 10k course is hardly a place to do that. It was a slight improvement off last year's time, and it sets me up very well for the upcoming TC 10k in 2 weeks.


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