Today was an exciting day for me! I have never been or taken part in a time trial so I was eager to experience it. For those that have never experienced a time trial, usually the racers are staggered at intervals starting from the slowest (from previous day’s race) ending with the fastest. This means that you can track other folks down, and will get passed at some point by some faster runners. Today’s 15k time trial was an out and back course. I was questioning would I push to catch up? Would I get a mental blow when passed by others? The course is very very flat so you can see the runners ahead of you for long stretches, and there is a turn-around at 7.5k so you can see the runners catching up to you. I was also curious how my legs would feel after yesterday’s half marathon.
I spent most of yesterday resting my legs after the half. I did all the necessary chores, and then settled in to watch golf. My afternoon snack consisted of some zesty cheese Doritos, and a large glass of nuun. I also felt it wouldn’t hurt to throw a fresh pair of procompression socks on. Dinner included some chicken shish kabobs, and freshly shelled peas (which I did while lazily watching golf). I totally took advantage of this down time as I have to work for most of the week and will not have this luxury.
I woke up this morning and took a tentative step out of bed, my legs felt surprisingly good. No weird aches or pains, muscles feeling fairly recovered…this might actually be ok. Relaxed with my coffee, surfed the net, and headed out to Conestogo. Today was brought to you by the colour orange and of course I had my nails painted to match (its good luck you know). I said hello to a couple of the runners I met yesterday, and wandered over to the start line. The weather was absolutely perfect, high teens and clouded over. The humidity made it feel mid 20’s but it truly was ideal. As usually the race was impeccably organized by the RunWaterloo team, as the runners seamlessly began to head out. I love the runner community in Waterloo! Each runner would approach the start line, and each time they were sent off everyone clapped and cheered for them. It really is a great way to start a race and gets you pumped! My timeslot was 8:28am, and as I approached the start I actually felt relaxed (who knew). A quick countdown and off I went!
One of the things I have begun to learn while training for this event is that I love running in Waterloo Region. I generally tended to stay in the small box that is my neighbourhood, or would venture out at the cottage. While training I began to run in the surrounding areas and fell in love with routes such as Wilmot line. It was the same with this course. Mind you, it helped that it was flat so what is there not to love? I loved running in the country seeing the farms and crops. I think my happiest place was when we hit the gravel road. I was waving to Mennonites, and just taking in the scenery. Conestogo is one of my favourite little villages, and I always tell my husband if I could move anywhere it would be to that community.
Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that I was lollygagging on the course. I managed to run a mean pace. Well, for me anyways. I learned the time trial can be good and bad. Being ADHD I have trouble at times seeing “past the moment”. This means that I was determined in this moment to catch folks, and push myself. I don’t know at this point if I will pay for this come tomorrow at Bechtel, but it was a fun ride. It has been a while since I pushed myself to run at a 5:00/km speed but I managed to do this today clocking in at 1:15:21, 5:01/km. I negative split the course, and completed under 5:00/km for the last 5k. For the first 10km I wanted to stay at minimum 5:15/km and did this. I know that generally I am a negative split runner (I always start too slowly), and can usually push the last 5k of a race. My goal was at least to stay at 5:00/km for the last 5k, and I managed to exceed this. It’s incredibly hard to not increase your speed when you see that large finish line in the distance.
I was very happy with my time today. I don’t have really anything to compare it to since I have never done the event before, but against my practice runs I seem to be doing pretty good. I managed to gorge myself on some delicious eats (the apricot bars were ridiculously delicious!), and then had to head back home. Unfortunately I need to put in some work hours this week so needed to be in by noon. Don’t worry I have recovery taken care of. Some procompression on under the pants, and some nuun in the purse! Tonight I may have an Epsom salt bath just to relax the quads. As for tomorrow? I have told myself that I would like to keep a 6:00/km pace on the course. I plan to take it nice and easy, and then get my massage at Dearborn Health in the afternoon. I took tomorrow off from work because I know it will be a doozy!
Happy Trails (excuse the pun)! And see ya all tomorrow 🙂
p.s shoutout to my girl Amy for attempting to come out to the run today! You were there in spirit ❤
So I know, blogging has not been my forte this year. I could come up with a plethera of excuses but really I have just been lazy. I have not however, been lazy with my running. Waaaaay back in January I signed up for the ENDURrun. It has always been a bucket list item and this year all the stars aligned so that I would be able to do it. This is an 8 day, multi-day staged event that covers 160km. I figured it was a great time to come back to blogging! Over the next 8 days I will blog about the courses, the day, and the crazies that I get during the week as I try to complete this event. To get an overall sense of the event, you can got to:
As a bit of background, I have been able to consistently training for this event uninjured for the past 2 months *knock on wood*. I am going into the event confident in my mileage, but not confident in handling some of the terrains. Here is the breakdown of each stage:
1 – Sunday – 21.1km half marathon of rolling country hills
2- Monday- 15k flat time trial
3- Tuesday- 30k trail run w 48 hills (6 loops of 5km)
4- Wednesday- 16k hill run (and we aren’t talking tiny)
5- Thursday- rest
6- Friday- 25.6k Alpine run (takes place on a local ski hill)
7- Saturday- 10k flat time trial
8- Sunday- 42.2k marathon of rolling hills
Whew! I am tired just writing that! My concerns are the 2 trail runs as I did not do much trail running in my training. I figure I will cross that bridge when I get to it. To say I was nervous and slightly excited this morning is putting it mildly! I went through all my race day rituals. I am one of those typical “head case” runners. I need an hour to wake up, have my coffee, and just relax before any run. I also have rituals. One is that I need to have my nails painted the colour I am wearing whenever I race. Today’s colour was green. Along with this I need to have a pre-race picture. The pre-race picture comes from my aunt who always felt it was good luck. Now it has become ritual, and today it was a pre-race selfie
It was a little strange because my bestest dude was not there today, and I don’t really know many of the runners except through social media. Many of the runners know each other through local running clubs or groups. Towards the end of the day I was fortunate to meet some of my social media buddies, who were really welcoming and friendly!
The weather turned out to be perfect, and my legs were anxious to get it underway. They had spent months running on tired legs in preparation and had spent the week resting and preparing. I likened it to drinking an extra large cup of coffee every day. I had overwhelming energy! Quick and awkward countdown, and we were off! I am fortunate to be quite familiar with this 1st stage course as this was my 4th year running it. Bestest dude and I have been a guest runner at this stage for the past few years. I knew that there was lots of hills and that I needed to be cautious with my energy. The route consists of a 13k lap followed by an 8k lap. I knew right away that I was going to have a good run. In fact I worried that I was running too fast in the first 10k. I have been training with times around 5:30/km for my runs. This race I was clocking 5:15. Every once and a while I would slow down to a 5:25 because mentally I felt I should, but my legs wanted to run faster. There are some great flat sections in this course where you can settle into a groove, like the Grey Silo golf course path. I felt strong on the hills and I attribute this to Wilmot line training and the cottage. I wore my hydration belt for this race and I am glad I did. This allowed me to bypass water stations, and keep myself replenished with nuun water. Along with 2 vega gels at the 8k and 16k mark, and my fueling was spot on. At 13k I was clocked at 1:08, and had 8k to go. The sun was much more of a factor on the second half of the run which had very little shade, and also made for a very salty runner at the end of the day. Managed to push up the hill at 5:25/km, and fall into a pocket for the last portion of the race. I have a mantra that I say in the last 5k of every race “I can do anything for 5k”. Cleared the last 5k without dipping slower than 5:10/km, with a finish time of 1:50:18.
I was very pleased with this result, and it ended being an ENDURrun half marathon PB for me. My only worry is that I have made a rookie mistake in going out too fast on the first stage. I am not in competition with anyone on the course, just myself, so running this fast wasn’t exactly necessary. Strangely, I felt that I had lots left in the tank when I finished this race. I am hoping this transfers to tomorrow. Tomorrow is the 15k time trial which fortunately is flat 🙂 The body feels good with no niggles (potential injuries), minus one bloody toe 😦
So overall, it was good day! We will see when the lustre wears off and the mental game starts but right now I am taking it stage by stage! Run the stage you are in! Oh and the cutest part? I came home to this card sitting on my counter from my mom ❤ How awesome is she?!?! Now time for golf, nuun and Doritos! T