Friday, 28 November 2014

MEC 5k Race #8

7 weeks of 20k per week, all at easy pace to recover from overtraining and multiple minor injuries saw me line up for the last MEC race of the year. The start/ finish was at the base of hill which is towards the end of my previous race, the Harvest Half. 
The choices were 5, 10 or 15. 15 would've been a guaranteed PB, always a temptation. I went for the 5k, to give myself my first speed work since early October. Some icy patches and my general condition made me decide that sub-21 minutes would be a successful day. 
Rich was aiming to get his first sub-20. He knew not to wait around for me, I wouldn't be getting close to my 19:18 PB. 
What would we do without the wags? We would freeze, enjoy race day less, and have no-one to take pictures of us goofing around. 

I wore the gopro using the "chesty" mount. While there were plenty of screengrabs, I'll only race with the head mount in future. The camera swayed from side to side, making for a dizzying picture. Plus the straps gave me moobs.

Quick warm-up and race time.

First item of business was clearing the kids before the first corner.

I wore running tights for this race. I usually only wear them under track pants when it's super-cold. It was almost shorts weather, but perhaps my inner-extrovert wanted to make a statement with the tights. Not sure what exactly. "Look at my over-cooked chicken legs"? "I want to join the ballet"?

With me being very tentative over any patch of ice, Rich moved ahead.

Passing a couple of overly-quick kids, I saw I was in 4th. I have had many finishes in this position, either overall or AG. Running at a quicker pace than I had run in 2 months, I was upholding a tradition.

I felt quite flat before the turnaround, and decided to run at about half marathon effort rather than the usual breathless 5k effort.

This is all part of my route for every weekend long run, always a pleasure.

It was warm enough to take off my gloves with 1k left, cruising in my rather solitary 4th.

Rounding the final corner, I thought: "I'll throw my gloves in the air at the line." It seemed like an obvious celebration to the end of the season at the time. I came in at 20:58, so mission accomplished. 

The boy in grey, below right, finished in just over 30 minutes. An elite future?

Speaking of elites, Rich got 19:50 and "will never do a 5k again".

A good, though quiet race. The road to "Studio 54" starts here.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Welcome to Studio 54

Well This is Freezing
Winter appeared very quickly last weekend. Despite not liking it as much as notwinter, there's the pleasure of overcoming the conditions. 
..and then my teeth froze.
...and then my phone froze.
From my new plan's strength training session, there's an even bigger challenge: doing the above without arching my back. To me there's no such thing as a "bird dog", so it's a suitably impossible name. At the moment, I'm doing just the legs, with the eventual aim of doing the whole thing without toppling like a tree or having the silhouette of a drunken camel. 
It was the 25 the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall recently, a reminder to all, but especially perhaps runners, that all manner of barriers can be surmounted.
Remembrance Day is also our wedding anniversary. Here we are a few months back, in a serious attempt not to take ourselves too seriously. 

Next challenge
So this happened: 
Not having decided once and for all to do the marathon again for Calgary 2015, and having almost entered for 2014, when the Ultra 50k was offered once again I jumped at the chance. I then slipped on some ice after the jump. However, I get knocked down, and I get up again, 'cause you're never gonna keep me down. 
I did the Calgary Marathon this year in 3:15:44, at 4:38/ km pace. I feel that 50k in 4 hours - 4:52/ km - is realistic, yet also quite ambitious considering my problems with extra long distances. I thought "project 50-4" would be a good name, but then another title suggested itself:
Excited crowds gathered outside New York's venue in excited anticipation. 
This longest ever distance for me will bring me back to that first time experience and make running new again. Starting now, I will blend my way into my training program.