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Niagara Running Series

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: Grimsby 3k Road Race – Feb 27, 2011

Well, the first official race of 2011 has come and gone, and it’s off to a great start!  The weather this year was almost identical to last year for the same race…perfect for a brisk morning race.

I was up by 6:45 AM, did my usual thing and left for the venue with Mrs. Fat Guy, and Mr. Fat Guys mother, also know as the “Cheering Committee”.  We arrived at 8:15 AM, picked up my bib, got changed, and warmed up with a 1k run on part of the race course.

Up the hill at the start.

At approx. 9:10 AM I lined up at the start line, in front to make sure I didn’t have to dodge slower runners.  The start horn went off at exactly 9:15 AM.  The first 300m was on a slight uphill, and snow covered road.  Once passed the right turn at the top, it was asphalt/slush combo.  I made the mistake of starting off too strong, and my pace was somewhat downhill from there until the last little kick at the end.

The last 500m is a decent uphill and it took alot out of me.  I was surprised that no one was around me though at that point.  Rounding the last corner going to the finish line is a slight snow covered downhill and I pushed with whatever I had left.

When I crossed the finish line, I was totally spent, but extremely happy.  Not only did a meet my aggressive goal of 14 mins, I smashed it, finishing in 13:46 which is almost 3 minutes faster than the same race last year.

Crossing the Finish Line

After a little walking around and stretching, and got changed and waited for the posted results to see if I actually won anything. Approx. 30 mins later the results were posted and there it was; I had won my 40-44 Age Group and by a significant margin. 2nd place was almost 3 mins behind me. My time also placed me 24th out of 127 overall!

Here I am with my “Gold” medal.

Here are the Official Results.

Overall: 24 of 127 (19%)
Age Group (40-44): 1 of 4
Official Time: 13:46.0
Avg. Pace: 4:36 min/km (7:23 min/mile)
Race Weight: 208 lbs

Here is all the data from my Garmin FR305:

Next on the race agenda: The Hamilton Around the Bay 30k…the oldest road race in North America.  I have quite a few run miles to log in before this race in less than 26 days.