I ran my first race of 2010, and first race since Nationals XC in Guelph back in November, yesterday in Vancouver, BC at the Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8km. I finished in 2nd place a few seconds behind Willy Kimosop of Lethbridge, AB.
I was fairly pleased with the race. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into things. My training the past few months has been a bit up and down trying to sort out an achilles problem and survive the elements.
In the immediate lead up to the race I caught a bit of a cold. I had a busy week trying to submit some work for my M.Sc. thesis, and I compromised a bit of sleep a few nights to make sure I finished the work before I left for the race. I had a sub-par workout early in the week, likely because I was starting to get a bit sick. But, my workout on Thursday was decent, and I felt like I was coming around and the energy levels were good. My flight on Saturday went very smoothly and I managed to get in a long nap on Saturday afternoon and a good nights sleep before the race.
Anyways, in the race itself I figured I’d aim for ~3:00/km for the first half, and hopefully feel good enough to pick it up towards the end. I did pretty much just that, hitting splits of 2:58, 6:01, 8:57, 11:58, 14:57, 17:4?, and 21:57. Young Willy sat in behind me for most of the race. I was fine with that for the first 4km or so. I let him lead a few times but felt he was slowing down the pace, so went back to the front. I tried to break him just after 5km, I put in a fairly strong move, but he stuck with me. Because I hadn’t raced in so long, and wasn’t sure of my fitness, I didn’t have the confidence to continue up-ing the pace even more all the way to the finish to try and drop him. At 6km I took a bit of a rest, running the slowest km of the race, and then I made another move at 7km. But, again I couldn’t drop Willy. I tried to keep pressing hoping I could gap him, and I kept looking ahead hoping to see the finish line around the next curve in the path. But, when we did eventually get into sight of the finish Willy took off with a strong surge that I couldn’t cover. So, I had to settle for 2nd in 23:45.
I just didn’t have that extra gear to kick in hard over the last 400m. But, the pace up to that point felt pretty good, and I felt like I could have kept going at that pace for quite a while longer. But, the goal for this spring is to get much faster and feel comfortable at something closer to 2:50/km. Hopefully with some solid training over the next 4-6 weeks and some good 5k-10k specific track workouts I can get there……