I figure if I didn’t get something up in the next day or two I wouldn’t bother in the end. So here’s a brief summary of my race:
Things were going well through 30km. We were on, or slightly ahead of pace up to that point. The pacing was good throughout the race. Maybe a little overzealous at a few points early on, but nothing crazy. Our last pacer bailed at 28km. Gillis took control at that point. I was still feeling good but wasn’t getting excited as I knew there was still a ton of ground to cover. My big concern from about 15km was a tight left hamstring. I was waiting for it to go at any minute.
I started to feel the burn all over at about 32km with the gradual climb along Queen St toward our final turn around. I was just staring at Gillis’ back trying to hang on. I started yo-yoing off the back right around 32km but kept surging to get back up with Eric. I lost contact around 34.5km. I still thought I was on for the Olympic standard at that point. I was definitely tightening up, but wasn’t totally rigging.
By about 36km, when we hit the worst of the wind I was hanging on for dear life. The stretch along Eastern ave seemed so long and daunting. I tried to stay focused but was panicking about how quickly I was losing ground on Eric.
I knew by about 39km that the standard was out of the question. I started looking back. I was going so slowly I expected a ton of guys to start flying past me. I regained a bit of focus past 40km knowing that I was going to be able to make it to the finish and even tried to reel in the guy in 5th. I couldn’t gain an inch on 5th place and was in complete survival mode at the last mile or so just trying to run in a straight line. I had a check at my watch at 400m to go and gave myself a bit of a pep talk and dug deep to try for sub 2:13. I got there and was relieved to be finished, but obviously very disappointed.
It was a great day for Reid and Eric. They are two of the best ever in this country and they absolute know how to get it done when it counts, the sign of truly great athletes. Eric was so focused out there and once the pacers dropped gave me a few shouts to encourage me to stay with him. And as I said to Eric at about 20km into the race “F@%! Reid is an absolute baller”. I don’t even know what that term means or why it came to mind. But, that guy is full of confidence and throws down the results to back it up.
I’ll hang my head low for a few more days, but ultimately know that the race wasn’t a complete disaster. If that Olympic standard wasn’t dangling in front of me for the past 6 months I probably would’ve been satisfied with the result.
As of now I have no firm plans for another attempt at the standard. I hope the powers that be will recognize the strength of my performance and provide me with the support to continue to train with the focus and intensity I have the past year or so.
You can watch a replay of the CBC coverage here.