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Around The Bay – See!! Told you I Finished!!

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment

… and one last post about the Around The Bay race from last weekend, because I’ve never been on YouTube before (at least not that I know of), but apparently there’s a video of me crossing the finish line (around 35 seconds into the video, or right around 4:06:00 gun time on the clock above the finish line)

(okay, it’s not really an exciting video, but it’s all I’ve got for a Friday afternoon post)

Happy Easter Weekend Everyone!

– DO’G

Race Day: Around the Bay

March 25, 2013 3 comments

AroundTheBayLogo

Sorry this post is a day late – I like to do my Race Day recaps right after the race, but sleep and food seemed a bigger priority yesterday.  Also, bad blogger me for not taking any photos on Race Day.  Won’t make that mistake again.  So we’ll have to make do with a few camera phone pics taken by the cheering squad.

Camera phone shot of me, pre-race, courtesy of the Cheering Squad!

Camera phone shot of me, pre-race, courtesy of the Cheering Squad!

I survived.  I think that’s about the best way to put it.  The Race Day event was a lot of fun – my wife ran with me, and a few friends came in from out of town (and even brought cheering squads with them!)  It was fun to have a crew around.

I live only 2 or 3 km from the race start line, so we decided to walk to the start (rather than try to find parking closer).  Great decision at the time – lousy decision once the race was over.

The race had a ton of runners – a much bigger even than I’d ever been part of.  I heard at one point there were 11,000 racers (individual and relay), but the number of finishers suggests maybe a few of them didn’t make it to the start line.  It was still a lot of people.

The race was a bit sluggish getting off.  There’s almost 4 minutes between my chip time and my gun time (meaning from where in the crowd I was standing – and I certainly wasn’t at the back – it took almost 4 minutes from when the start gun went off for the crowd to shuffle and surge forward through the starting line).

My goal time was 4:00:00, which I thought might be a bit aggressive, but might as well try to push myself.  Most of my running team was shooing for times closer to 3:15:00 or 3:30:00.  Yet, for some reason when the race started I ran with them and stayed right on their heels for the first 2km.

My 10km checkpoint time wasn’t too bad – 1:11:29.8 – about 90 seconds off my Personal Best 10k time.  Which would be great if this was a 10k race, but I still had another 20 to go.

My 15km split was 1:49:03.7 (by the way, the race winner ran in 1:35:44.1 – the race was won 10 full minutes before I was half done).  I did the math and knew I was in great shape to meet my goal.  My 20k split was 2:30:06.6 – almost exactly on the same pace as my Half Marathon time from last month.  Again, a little quick math told me I had 90 minutes to run the last 10k.  I was going to kill my goal…

… and then the wheels fell off

The race is notorious for the hills in the final 1/3.  I had trained for them (sort of).  I knew that part of the route well.  I was ready for them.  But I wasn’t ready for them after a full half marathon distance, at race pace.  I crashed!  I think I walked pretty much the last 9km (with the occasional shuffle for 100m or so to remind myself I was still in a race).  Kinda disappointing, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

I was able to shuffle across the finish line in a time of 4:02:48.1.  373/377 in my age group – 3352/3426 Male overall.  Only 2.5 minutes slower than my goal (which, to be fair, I thought might have been aggressive at the outset).  I kinda have to be happy with that – although it would have been really nice to have been 3 minutes faster.

2 more finisher's medals for our wall... and some pretty sweet race shirts!  'Cause that's why we really do this...

2 more finisher’s medals for our wall… and some pretty sweet race shirts! ‘Cause that’s why we really do this…

I felt a little guilty last night that I didn’t have any real photos of my own for this post (Bad Blogger, Dave!), so I took a quick shot of the finisher’s medals and race shirts my wife and I got from the run.  The race did well by us that way!

After the run my fellow runners, Cheering Squad, and I went out to a freaking far away local Southern BBQ restaurant.  It was pretty good – I’m sure not as good as real Southern BBQ (Note: some day I need to get down to the southern US to try “real” southern BBQ), but it’ll have to do for Ontario.  It’s fun to celebrate with the crew, although that probably was more calories than I needed, even after a run like that.

So there we go – another race in the books.  I’ve run a 30k race.  I’ve run the 119th Around The Bay – the race that market’s itself as “Older than Boston”.  Next up for me is the Sporting Life 10k on Sunday May 12th.  I’m looking forward to turning my training from Running Far to Running Fast… though I may wait a few days to let my legs recover before that training begins…

– DO’G

 

Around The Bay – Perspective

March 19, 2013 1 comment
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Photo from the start line of the 2012 Around The Bay Race

Image from the Around The Bay Facebook page

T-minus 5 days until Race Day.  To say that I’m nervous is an understatement.  I got one last long run in this weekend – a 25k effort that was a lot more painful than I expected it to be.  I feel like I’m playing the waiting game a bit at this point – the anxious waiting game of counting down the days until race day.

Not that I’ve done a lot of races to date (4, to be precise)… but I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous leading up to a race before.

Okay – I think it’s time for some perspective.  It’s time to remind myself why I’m doing this in the first place…

I’m not a runner – at least I don’t consider myself a runner.  I’m a triathlete.  As a triathlete, I have to run.  And I’m a really lousy runner.  Up until 6 months ago, I would have said I was even scared of running.  Scared I would hurt myself.  Scared I would embarrass myself.  Scared I couldn’t do it.

But I love triathlon and I want to get better.  So this winter I signed up for some running races to make sure I kept running.  In November I ran my first 10k race.  Last month I ran my first Half Marathon.  This coming weekend I’m going to attempt my first 30k.  If nothing else, I’ve accomplished one thing:

I’m no longer afraid of running.

I can do it!  I can run.  Okay – I can’t run fast.  But that will come with time.  I can run.  And after this race, I’m so fucking done with these long runs!  Seriously!  20k+ is insane far!  I know a lot of people like long distance running – I applaud you, and would love to hear your race stories over a beer.  But right now, I need a break from long runs.

After this race it’ll be April (well, close enough).  It’ll be spring.  It’s time to re-focus on the upcoming triathlon season.  It’s time to return to my 5k and 10k runs.  It’s time to start working on my Fast instead of my Far.  I’m actually really looking forward to re-focusing… but first I need to get through this 30k race.

I found this blog post from Simcoe Fitness Seeker courtesy of the Around The Bay Facebook page.  She does a great job of having a little fun with the race, and asks a few fantastic first-time-Bay-racer questions (and props to the first commenter who answered her questions!).  Read it!  It’s Fantastic!!  Reading it is really helping me to calm the race week nerves.  This weekend I’m going to go out and have fun.  I’m going to finish this 30k race.  It’ll be slow, and kinda messy, and I’ll probably hurt a bit after, but I can do it.  I’m not afraid of running.

– DO’G

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