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RACE RECAP: Casablanca Classic 8k – Nov 7, 2015

casablancalogoLast race of the 2015 season in the books, but it almost didn’t happen.

Thursday morning, 2 days before the race, I had my usual strength training session.  In that session, deadlifts are involved and it just happen that this week was max load week, before the deload week next week.  My first session on Wednesday with squats went great, deadlifts on Thursday, not so much.  I had did 4 “warmup”, progressive sets.  My last set goal was 8 x 255 lbs.  First 3-4 reps felt good, but by 5 & 6, I could feel myself getting fatigued and losing focus.  The last 6 inches on the 6th rep did it.  I felt the pain in my lower back.  No popping or anything, but I knew it wasn’t good and would be for this.  Well, the next 2 days I spent laid out on the lazy-boy popping pain & NSAIDs.  I went for an emergency session with Victoria Van Helvert Massage Therapy Friday afternoon.  By Friday evening, I still wasn’t sure I was going to run the next day.

Saturday morning, I got up, my HRV said I was good to go.  My back was still sore/stiff, but felt better.  I decided to take a ride to the site, at the very least to get my t-shirt.  I still brought all my racing gear just in case.

Once I got there, I picked up my stuff and felt energized.  I “suited up” and ran a 3-4 min warm up.  There was no pain while running so I decided to go for it.

Based on the Crystal Beach 5k result of 29:55, I adjusted my original goal for the 8k from 50 min to 48 mins.  But, because my back was messed up, I wasn’t expecting to reach 48m, not to mention the windy conditions.

The weather for the race was perfect – Partly cloudy, 10°C, with a 10-15 kph SW wind.

Race Bib
Race Bib

Race started on time at 10 AM.  I started mid pack and had to fight my way through slower runners at the beginning and was actually pacing myself a little too slow.  Once I got in a rhythm I slowly increased my pace, kept an eye on my heart rate, and worked the wind to my advantage whenever I could.

Around the 5k mark, I literally got a 2nd wind.  My paced picked up without my heart rate or PRE changing.  I rode that wave until midway through the 6k mark.  Then it got hard.  Even at this point I was at an average pace 6:04 which would have meant a 48:24 finish time.

But, when I passed the 7k marker, I still felt good and increased my pace – significantly.  And the last 500m, I dropped the hammer and passed a couple more people.  To my surprise, when I crossed the line, I looked at my Garmin and it showed a 5:57 average pace and a 47:36 finish time, which is 24 secs faster than my ambitious goal time of 48 mins. :)

Results Summary:

Official Chip Time: 47m 36s
Average Pace: 5:57 min/km (9:34 min/mile)
VDOT: 32.1
Overall Placement: 120 of 174 (69%)
Age Group (M40-44): 11 of 11 (100%)
Race Weight: 251.4 lbs
Official Race Results: CLICK HERE
Garmin Data: CLICK HERE

 

So now what?  The plan is to continue to build the run base, and start the bike base later in December.  The next planned race is February 15 2016, the Grimsby 10k.

Doesn’t look like I can plan to do this race next year as it appears not to be coming back in 2016.  Unfortunate because it’s a nice distance and a nice spot to have a race.

Pre-Race: Casablanca Classic 8k (2015)

casablancalogoIt’s that time of year again – the Casablanca Classic 8k race presented by the Niagara Running Series.

Last year, I ran the race untrained and suffered immensely.  I finished with a time of 56:17, which put me last in my age group.  At least there’s only one way this weekend’s race to go and that’s up.  I’ve had a solid 13 weeks of run training leading up to this race this year, which means a significantly better performance.

My goal is a 48 min finish and based on some analysis and my recent submaximal efficiency test, I believe it is doable but it will certainly be challenging.

The weather for this Saturday’s race is looking perfect; a mix of sun & cloud, temps around 8°C, although slightly windy with 20 kph winds out of the west.  Most the of course is ran in a SW/NE direction so there will be opportunity to take advantage of some tail winds.

Following the race, I have a 30 min stretch session with my great massage therapist, Victoria Van Helvert.  Full body massage follows on the Monday.  😀

Stay tuned for race recap!

RACE RECAP: Crystal Beach 5k – Oct 10, 2015

CrystalBeach5kWhat a fabulous day for a race.  Sunshine, cool crisp fall air, no wind, and a great crowd and a great organized race.

I did this race back in 2011, and in only 4 years, it’s improved significantly.  The goody bag was full of nice things like beer glass, drink glasses, and an embroidered toque!  Also can’t forget the free beer after the race when you present your race bib at Sneakers Bar & Grill just down the street from the start/finish line.

As far as how the race went, I didn’t know what to expect as far as my performance.  I had mixed emotions – I knew it would be hard as all short races are when done properly.  But my higher body weight was a concern, and far from perfect nutrition leading up to the race.  All of it mind games you go through before a race.  I decided to stick to the original plan of a 6:00 min/km pace for a 30 min finish.  Adjust if necessary during the race.

Horn goes off on time at 11 AM.  I placed myself mid-pack and it was a good clean start.  At first I just ran what I felt was a good pace.  The Garmin always takes a few minutes to stabilize.  I finally looked at the Garmin Average Pace and it showed 5:40 min/km and a heart rate already at 160 – yikes.  Backer’ down dude.  So I tried slowing a little and the heart rate stabilized around 161-162 for a few minutes, then started to creep up, which is normal.  My pace at this point was around 5:50 min/km.  I felt good and was thinking if things got too bad later I would have a small buffer to meet my 30 min goal.

By the 3 km point, my heart rate was clipping 180s and it felt like my chest was going to explode.  I was still sitting at a 5:50 min/km avg pace so I made the decision to walk for 30 seconds, bring my heart rate down.  Worked great and my average pace only went up to 5:54 so I was still on track.

Approaching the 4 km point, my heart rate was up to 185, so I again decided that I would take a walk break, this time 1 min.  My avg pace drop to 5:58 so I still had a buffer which was perfect.  So I dropped the hammer – a little too much – after just 300m my heart rate was pegged again and I couldn’t catch my breathing.  So another short 30 sec walk break, and again at the 4.7 km mark.  It was apparent at this point, my cardio was done, but luckily so was the race.

After the race.
After the race.

My run training has been consistent since Aug 21st and I was rewarded today.  Not only did I make my original goal, it re-ignited the fire of competition, even if it’s only with myself.  Now, lets hope my body doesn’t turn against me like it has in the past.

Results Summary:

Official Chip Time: 29m 55s
Average Pace: 5:59 min/km (9:38 min/mile)
Overall Placement: 205 of 493 (42%)
Age Group (M40-44): 14 of 18 (78%)
Race Weight: 256 lbs
Official Race Results: CLICK HERE
Garmin Data: CLICK HERE

 

So what’s next?  Assuming my knee survives this race (I’ll know in a couple days), I’m shooting for the same race as last year – Casablanca Classic 8k.  My original goal from last year was 40 mins.  Well, that won’t happen.  As per the Race Schedule on here, the revised goal was under 50 mins.  Now that I have my 5k race time, models predict a finish just over 48 mins at current weight and aerobic efficiency.  But with 4 weeks to go, both of those will improve so I think I can pull it off at 48 mins flat, which would be a 8 min improvement from last year.

Pre-Race: Crystal Beach 5k (2015)

CrystalBeach5kThe Crystal Beach 5k is this Saturday.  Although I’m considering this a C priority race, I also want to use it as a fitness benchmark for future training paces, and also to nail down my goal time for the Casablanca Classic 8k on November 7th.

My run training has been spot on and weekly mileage is up to 15 kms but I had a few bad nutrition weeks and therefore my weight is a little higher than I had hoped.  Also, I’m finding my aerobic capacity isn’t as efficient as I want it.

My original finish goal was 30 mins – 6:00 min/km (9:40 min/mile) pace – and I was thinking of revising for 31 or 32, but screw it! I’m going to push hard at this race to and shoot for the original 30 mins.  There might be some puking involved, or maybe a myocardial infarction, but dammit, I’m doing it.

Run Training Update

This is more of a note to self for future reference;

My cardio seems to be taking a lot longer to improve than I originally thought it would.  There’s documented evidence that once the extra capillaries are formed from past cardio training, it typically doesn’t take as long to reactivate them in the future – not compared to someone that was always a couch potato anyhow.

I ran over 35 kms this month, most in Z2 borderline Z3, and my average Z2 pace is approx. 6:55 k/min which is still really sad – it’s a fast walk for some people.

Also, 6 days ago I did a sub-maximal efficiency test as a benchmark starting point.  Result; 17% efficiency with an approx. VO2max of 44.  Retest is scheduled for Dec 21st.

Will keep track of these in the next coming weeks.