Well it’s done, my first “A” race of the 2011 season and for some reason, I have mixed emotions about it.

My day started off at 6:45 AM with my usual breakfast, then followed up with packing and getting ready.  Mrs. Fat Guy and Fat Guys mom were on board for the trip to the event.  We arrived around 8:45 AM which was 45 mins before the start of the race.  Plenty of time I thought, but I was wrong.  Because of the huge crowd of over 10,000 runners + their “support staff”, it made it hard to navigate to get to the bathroom for a final pre-race pitstop.  When everything was said and done, I had no time for a warmup as I had to head to the start line.

Here was my pacing strategy for the race:

  • Start to 4k -> 5:45 min/km
  • 4k to 19k -> 5:25 min/km
  • 19k to 27k -> 5:35 min/km (hilly area)
  • 27k to end -> 5:20 min/km (finishing kick)

That would have given me a 5:30 min/k average pace and a 2:45 finishing time.

Although I had a goal of 2:45 finish time, I placed myself near the 2:30 pace bunny hoping it would help with traffic, but it didn’t.  At 9:30 AM, the gun when off, but it was almost 3 mins before I even crossed the start line, and the first 2 kms I was mainly fighting traffic.  I wasn’t able to maintain my planned 5:45 min/k pace for those first few kms, but I made it for it in the following 2k.  Average pace for the first 4k = 5:43 min/k – A little better than planned.

After the first 4 kms, I fought to maintain my planned 5:25 min/k pace, but wasn’t always successful because of traffic, and the odd walk through the aid stations.  I felt good though and was having a good time.  My legs felt great to this point and I had no gastro issues.  I followed my planned nutrition strategy, and was on track.  Average pave from 4 to 19k = 5:26 min/k.  A little behind planned pace.

Around the 19-20 k mark is where the hills start.  I was already a little behind on my planned pace, but since I still felt good, I decided to push my pace a little through the section.  As I indicated above, my plan was a 5:35 min/k for this phase, but I tried to go with a 5:30 to make up some ground, especially on the downhills.  I was somewhat successful, but it came at a price.  I totally cooked my legs pushing these hills too hard.  It didn’t help that I had very little to no hill training.  Average pace from 19k to 27k = 5:36 min/k.  Again, a little behind planned pace.

The last 3k were simply, PAINFUL.  I had no juice left in the legs.  Felt like I was dragging around cinder block at the end of my feet.  I tried to maintain a 5:20 pace, but ended up walking 2-3 times in that last section which totally negatived any progress I was making.   This is were I lost all my time to meet my 2:45 goal.  Average pace from 27k to the end = 5:24 min/k.  Significantly off planned pace.

Bottomline: I finished, and whether I feel it or not, I actually did really well for my first time at this distance.  Some people that have done the race 2-3 times already are still slower, and they’re not carrying around 212 lbs of weight doing it either.  Had my training been a little more consistent, my weight a little less, and more hill training, I know I could have blown 2:45 out of the water, maybe even a 2:40.  Maybe next year. 🙂

Here’s the Garmin data for the race: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/75375350

Official Results HERE.

Results Recap:

Official Chip Time: 2:46:32
Avg. Pace: 5:33 mins/km (8:56 mins/mile)
Age Group Rank (M35-39): 226 of 413 (55%)
Overall Rank: 1997 of 5878 (34%)

Next on the race agenda:  Paris to Ancaster 60k Mountain Bike race on April 17th…less than 3 weeks away.  Given my bike training has significantly slacked off in the last couple months, I have some work ahead of me.