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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Race Preview: 2011 McFarlan Rowlands Downtown 5K

Wow, it's finally almost here. My first goal race of the year, the Downtown 5km (in support of the London Abused Women's Centre).

Last fall I blew the doors off my 5km road race goal (obliterating a sub 20:00 goal with an 18:02) and since then I've been training diligently, recovering and getting stronger with each passing week.

There have been some minor setbacks, but I've been able to consistently put in the hard work.  Money in the bank people, money in the bank.

Well, it's time to do my first withdrawal.

My confidence needs a great effort this Friday, especially after the GI issues I suffered at my last road race, the Really Chilly 10km Road Race (race recap can be found here).

Steve the coach asked each of us to come up with two goals. Setting two goals allows us some breathing room if after 2-3km we feel like we're not going to be in it for our best effort we can simply hold on for dear life and still hit our B goal.  The question becomes, what are my B and A goals for the race?

So last fall was my triumphant return to the road and frankly, the sheer leaps in improvement I made likely won't be seen again.  Kind of sad to think of, but the thing is, the better you get the harder it is to continue to shave minutes off your personal bests on the road.  My all time best effort on the road came before Y2K when I clocked a 16:48ish on what I felt was a slightly short 5km road course. I think that was the last road race I won actually.

So with that in mind, I'd obviously love to set an all time PB tomorrow, but I feel like that is slightly unrealistic of me. Keep in mind this road race is a fast and flat 2 loop course, and frankly, there are no actual hills.  This should certainly help keep my overall time down.

B Goal
So, my B goal is to clock a sub 17:40. I know my most recent PB is a hair over 18 flat, and logically, I should shoot for a sub 18:00 effort, but I feel that I am much stronger than I was last fall, and unlike the Springbank course which is slightly rolling throughout (though I do enjoy the first downhill km), the downtown course is completely flat.

Goal Time: Sub 17:40 (3:32/km)

A Goal
My A goal is a little more lofty, but still reasonable. I wish I could say I'm going to run a lifetime PB, but I'm not even going to go there. For my A Goal, I'm aiming for a sub 17:20 effort. On paper it sounds feasible, but when I think of the kind of pain that separates my B goal from my A goal, I'm a little intimidated.

Goal Time: Sub 17:20(3:28/km)

In the end, I know I am capable of going 17:30 for 5km, and I can't recall ever running a completely flat course in the past, so who knows, I may dip under 17:20 or the cold, rain and wind might push me into the 17:40 territory. I don't care.  In the end I know I'm capable of something under 17:40 and possibly as fast as 17:20. Now, if I tip over 17:40 I'll have some questions to answer, but I won't worry about that until I have to.

Hopefully some of our road running superstars step up and deliver some amazing performances, London Runner and Runner's Choice have put up a $150 purse to any club athlete who breaks the club senior records at the race!

Wish me luck tomorrow, and hopefully, just hopefully, Spring will arrive just in time for the gun to sound.

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