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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Race Recap: 2012 Really Chilly Road Races

Well, the first race of the season is behind me now, and I can breathe a sigh of relief and find contentment in the results I posted this past weekend.In my race preview I laid out my goals, and in the very last sentence said I hoped I could squeak in under 17:00.  Well, I did!  I ran 16:57 for the distance, and finished 5th overall, behind 3 of my club mates!

The weather was amazing. Calm skies, a gorgeous sun and bone dry roads. Everything was lining up perfectly.

The horn sounded at 9:45 sharp and the runners were off. Right off the start I found myself with my fellow training partners, and not many else around me. By the half km mark I was joined by a few other ambitious fellows who would later on fall off the pace we had set early in the race. By the 1km split I was feeling great, and saw that my watch read 3:19 for that split. All was well, as I continued to forge on down Dundas St, into the residential area between Dundas and Florence.

The 2nd km was also a breeze, and the slight uphill, and tight turns in the residential area resulted in a 3:23 split, still well within reason. My 3rd km was yet again, a 3:19, but as I worked my 4th I could feel my legs starting to tie up a bit, and the head wind did not do anything to help my case. I trudged down Florence street towards the Agriplex, and I clocked my slowest km at 3:25. The final km of the course has a harsh turnaround, an up and down (the only REAL hill of the entire course) and we finish in the Agriplex to the roaring applause of the crowd.  I finished strongly, with a 3:21 for the 5th km, but it turns out my Garmin's km splits didn't match the course's, so there is an extra 6-7 seconds to my final time that I wasn't expecting. Ah well!

All in all, I'm very satisfied with this kind of result so early in the year. I'm full of confidence, and I'm clearly fit. It's time to keep putting in the work, and trust the work. It's that simple.

Here are my splits according to Garmin

Full results are here:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Race Preview: 2012 Really Chilly Road Race

Well, it seems I've been so caught up in doing the daily work that my first race of the year crept up on me without me noticing. This coming Sunday I'll be racing the 5km road race at the annual Really Chilly Road Races in London (Ontario). I raced in the 10km edition last year, but frankly, I don't know why I did. I dislike racing anything longer than 5km, so this year I'm doing the logical thing: racing 5km.  Also, I had a very unpleasant experience in the 10km last winter, feel free to read all about it (including graphic evidence in the post) in my race recap from 2011. Quoted from my race recap last year:
I'm pretty sure that from now on, if there is a 5km option to a race, I'm opting for it. Screw these painful 10km road races, at least when they are XC races the scenery is enjoyable.

So, it's now 2012 and I'm geared up for this weekend's race.  I'll be bringing out some new racing flats, the New Balance RC152, and with the confidence I've built up since the new year, I'm hoping for a solid outing come Sunday. So now it's time to play the goal game...

B Goal
So, my B goal is to clock a sub 17:10. I cranked out a 17:10 last April, as my first 5km of the year, and I'm confident that I am as fit if not fitter at this stage of the year.

Goal Time: Sub 17:10 (3:26/km)

A Goal
My A Goal is to crack 16:50, and this depends entirely on how I respond to the pace required to accomplish this goal. 16:50 is approaching my seasonal best of last year, and I remember just how much I had to dig for that one. Am I fit enough this early in the season to repeat that effort? Will the weather cooperate? Who knows....but I know how to find out.

Goal Time: Sub 16:50(3:22/km)

So, in order to succeed at these goals, I need a game plan. I've decided that the first 2km will be a touch conservative, at 3:24/km - 3:26/km pace and the 3rd km will be a few second faster. Then I'll have to gauge how I am feeling, and that will tell me how I should attack the last 2 km. If all goes well, I'm hoping to dip below 3:20/km in the last 2 km, and squeak in below 17:00!
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