Saturday, June 13, 2009

That Dam Trail Run

"That Dam Trail Run" was great, it was a very well organized event in a really nice venue. The run took place at the Pittock Lake Conservation area just North of Woodstock, Ontario.

I arrived as is usual about an hour early at 07:30 am. It was a nice morning with lots of Sun and a pleasant 14C. Picked up my race number and shirt, not bad for a $30.00 race. After I was ready I bumped into Tracy aka Mini T and Rabid Chipmunk as well as Larry aka LX2RUN from the Running Mania Board. Tracy had a shoulder for me to cry on at Sulphur Springs when I went off course so it was really good to see here again. Larry is from Woodstock, this was the first time I had met him. Before the race started the Mayor said a few words and welcomed us all to Woodstock. They are very proud of their trails and we genuinely happy that so many were out for the Trail Race.

The race started at the North End of the Dam. I didn't have a solid race plan but it I kind of had an idea that the trails would be very runnable. I went out the first few Ks chatting away and keeping around a 5 min pace. The trail was not technical at all , hard packed crushed gravel a couple of meters wide , no roots , no rocks and it was flat ..... well I shut up in a big hurry and started to run and I didn't look back. I got progressively faster the further I went.

First 3K YAK YAK YAK _4:51, 5:04, 5:04....the next SHUT UP AND RUN 4:54 and 4:41.

5K down, 16K to go . I was starting to think that I could beat my only other 1/2 the Soctia Waterfront last fall ... it was 1:44:48. Then the head games started , I running in my new END trail shoes on a trail , lots of twists and turns runnable but still gravel with a bit of sand , a tiny bit if mud and a root or two thrown in!

6-11 K were 4:46 , 4:55 , 4:41, 4:42, 4:38, 4:40

OK , I was half way! The AVG pace was ever so slowly ticking down on the Garmin. I was still feeling good , I kept telling myself " make it hurt... I am not running to my potential unless it hurts" Well it didn't hurt so I pushed harder , I figured I would get 2/3's under my belt at the current pace then pretend the last 7K is a 10K race .... I was getting excited.

12-14K were 4:35, 4:29, 4:31

OK the 10K race started a bit early , last three ks were fast ... how long could I keep up the pace .... it was starting to hurt a bit but I was feeling strong and continued with the plan. Passed 14K and tried to pick it up but it didn't seem to work , I felt like I had gone too fast too soon and was starting to slow down.

The 15th K was done in 4:46 ... yes I was slowing.

With 6K to go I was really feeling like I was slowing , and I was! I had a GU Gel with me , I wasn't planning on using it on the short race, not necessary .... just slow me down. Well I was slowing down anyway so I Gelled , two gulps and it was gone ... washed it down with a bit of GU 2O but I didn't have enough left so I made my first visit to an aid station and drank a half a glass of water.

With the Gelling and Water break the 16th K was done in 5:00.

I knew that if I held the 5:00 pace I had enough time in the bank to PB but after the last 2Ks I wasn't sure if I would even be able to do that.

I caught a glimpse of some other runners in front of me, a few hundred meters ahead... I had a target. Pushed really hard and managed to pass one fellow, I figured he was fading and I felt like I was surging.

17th K was done in 4:33 .... back on track! Guess that GU really works... but I know I probably really didn't need it ... whatever!

In the 18th K I passed another runner and I had my sights set on one more. Early in the race there was a young fellow way out in front. I remember thinking that I would probably catch up with him later in the race ... and I did. At 18K I caught him and then pulled out to pass.....

18th K was done in 4:33... got to love the target!

The 19th and 20th K were very memorable. For a full 2Ks I ran shoulder to shoulder with the teen. When I tried to pass at 18K he matched my speed. This really go me going , I was pumped ... loved it, the race was on! When I let up the pace he did , when I went faster he matched it. I had one huge advantage over the kid, he was rocking to his iPod , I was listening to him breathing. He was already labouring when I caught him at 18K , when I went faster he really started to have a tough time getting the o2 so I played with him. I would speed up to an unreasonable pace , he was right there with me. I would let up and let him recover a bit ( me too ) then do it again. This went on for 2Ks!

19th and 20th Ks were done in 4:36 and 4:35

I kept thinking how cool it was that this kid was pushing me and I wondered if he felt the same way!

At the 20K mark there was a small trail section with roots and a bit of a hill... Hasta la vista BABY! I was off like a dart, I didn't look back and the kid was gone! Pushed , pushed , pushed and even sprinted the last 100m.

Finished the last 944 meters in 4:04 !

Garmin said 20.94 K in 1:38:49. Its 106 meters shy of 21.1 but I ran the tangents and there was allot of them! The GUN time was 1:38:50 , this is a new PB for the half mary, I beat last years Scotia time by almost 6 minutes. I placed 11th out of 80+ runners

I was really happy with my END Trail Shoes , this was the first time racing in them. 6 days ago I did a 3 hour LSD on the treadmill in my Saucony Paramounts. The blisters on my little toes were so bad that I couldn't wear any shoes for two days! The END's have a roomy toe box and they were the only shoe I could tolerate. I had been experimenting with them last week on the trail and I was pretty happy with the results but I didn't have race day confidence in the footwear yet. Well I now hold the ENDs in very high regard , they rock. No blisters , feet felt great and I am sure that their light weight contributed to my success toady! And an honourable mention goes to the GU ... the go fast gel really works wonders!

The awards were simple, top three men and top three women. The overall winner came in around 1:31. There was a barbecue and lots of entertainment but I had to get home. Took a little detour to hit MC Donald's for my favorite post race meal ... 3 Cheese Burgers and a Giant Coke!

1 comment:

Vava said...

Fantastic race and PR - congratulations!