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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Race Recap: 2012 McFarlan Rowlands DOWNTOWN 5K

Most of the London Runner Distance Club!

I'll kick things off by apologizing for not writing up a race preview, so here it is folks:

I'll skip all the boring stuff and just tackle what my goals were. I've been running really well lately (workouts and all) and I had a great season opener in February, at the Really Chilly Road Races, so I had high hopes for this race. I've been wanting to crack 16:40 since late last year, and I figured that would be a great goal to aim for this time around.

Then I had to go and run a stellar time trial in mid March, running a solid 15 second PB, and then my whole world got turned upside down. I figured I was in 16:40 shape (for 5km), but the results from the time trial indicated I 'should' be able to crank out a 16:15 for 5km. I could hardly believe it, you know, to just lop off 25 seconds from my goal.

So we started doing 5km work at that pace. 3:15/km it was....k after k, I put in the work, and I began believing. And that is what lead to the following goals:

B Goal
So, my B goal is to clock a sub 16:30. I cranked out a 16:57 just a month (or so) ago, and now it's time to improve. 

Goal Time: Sub 16:30 (3:18/km)

A Goal
My A Goal is to crack 16:15, and this is a realistic, but ambitious goal. Everything has to line up for this to happen, but I'm confident and know I've done enough hard work in the past months to warrant this goal.

Goal Time: Sub 16:15 (3:15/km)
So that, folks, is what I was aiming for. Best case scenario, 16:15 and in my mind, that's the only scenario.

So fast forward, to 24 hours ago, and I'm warming up, doing drills, snapping pictures (famous people always take pictures, right?) and toeing the line for my 2nd 5km road race of the year. The starting line was an absolute mess, with teams of young kids vying for prime start line real estate. Did some of us chirp 8 year olds? Who knows. Maybe, maybe not.

3........2........and we're off. We didn't even hear '1', or a gun, or a horn. We just went. Ah well. As usual, the start was a frantic dash, and I settled into my goal pace 500m into the race, and then the metres just rolled by. The pace felt right, but I had to mentally will my legs to maintain, not like those perfect races where your legs just do all the work themselves.  Km after km I kept rolling, I worked with club mates, passed a few that were having an off day and was passed, just shy of the 3km mark by a vicious Leslie Sexton. She was literally possessed and passed me with such determination that I instantly felt emasculated. Luckily it didn't shake me up too badly, and as the splits from my race show, I was as steady as could be throughout!

I ended up 12th overall (up from 16th last year) and ran a lifetime personal best for 5km on the road, 16:29! It was a 40 second improvement over last year's edition of this race, and even though I didn't nail my A-Goal, I still had a stellar outing and can't beat myself up over it.

My sister also snapped some great pictures throughout the race, feel free to browse them below.

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