Monday, July 13, 2015

Spring Road Racing and a Duathlon!

This spring I did 4 road races a duathlon and they all get to share one blog post (because I am behind like ususal!).

Chick Chaser Awards
Up first was the Chick Chaser 5 miler in March.   I have done this race a couple times before and it's a total blast!  I didn't want to go too hard here because I had one more track meet to go the week after.  I settled into a fairly comfortable pace (after those 3000's on the track it felt so nice !).   My goal was to do the race in 32 minutes and average 4 min/ km.   I was a bit behind with one km to go so I kicked it in nice and quick to finish the race in 32 minutes and a fun second place prize too :)

Early in the race with Lindsay Winters (photo cred Jordan Bryden)
The next race was the Glencoe Icebreaker 10km at the end of March.  This is not a fast course with a good size hill and some false flats but I was feeling good from running track and really felt I could run 39 minutes on this course this year.   I went out waaay to fast, but it felt good so went with it.  I was doing this race with my training partner Willie and we stuck together for the first 3km and then he pulled ahead slightly.  I kept
him in my sights all the while thinking about my goal of 39 mins.  I caught back up to him around the 7km mark and the two of us worked really hard together ( and deeply in the pain cave) to try and hit our goals.   He edged ahead of me at the very end and I was thrilled to come away with a small PB and a time of 38:57. This also gave me 3rd place overall for the ladies!  It was a great race early season race for me!!!

Up next was the Calgary Police Half.  I was feeling really good going into this race and had set a goal to run it in 1:29 despite the tough course and uphill finish.  Off the start of the race I was running in 6th place and settled in behind Andrea Glover, a super speedy marathoner.  I kept her in my sights and passed a couple ladies to move into 4th around the 7km mark.  I was feeling really good at this point so decided to pick up the pace and try and catch up to Andrea.  I caught her around the 9km mark and settle in at her shoulder.   We caught second and first place and the two of us had moved into the lead around the 16km mark.  I was still feeling really good so at this point decided to stick on her shoulder and see what the rest of the race would bring.  With about 3 km to go a found myself a few steps ahead of her and decided to make my move at this point.  This is also around the time the course starts a climb to the finish.   I dug in and worked really  hard to not slow down in the final kms.  I was able to hold pace and win the ladies division of the race in a time of 1:27:57 just two seconds off my half marathon PR.  I was absolutely thrilled with this race!  Everything clicked.... you could call it a zen race!

Leoni, myself and Hillie after the race
I have some bad luck when it comes to my ankles.  I joke that I like to sprain my ankle every two years....   so this year was the year, and 6 days before the Sylvan Lake Sprint Du I sprained my ankle getting out of my truck....yup!  I'm that coordinated!   I gave it some good rest and did some swimming as pull only and some easy cycling when I could do that pain free.  I still really wanted to race at Sylvan Lake so I braced it up and decided to run the first run (only 3km), bike as hard as I could, and only run the second run if I had no pain.   The first run was pain free, I was up at the front with some younger guys, it felt great!   Up next was the bike and I put the hammer down and rode it pretty darn quick!  I avgerage 39km /hour over the 26km!  I got off the bike and went out on the run.   I passed two runners ahead of me from an earlier heat and realized I was in front of everyone, even the men!  I worked pretty hard in the last 2-3km of the run to hold the guys off and crossed the finish line in first overall!  So much fun and almost pain free :)

Just one week after the Syvlan Lake Du was the Calgary Marathon 10km.  This is a flat and fast course and was a PB for me last year.   I knew I was faster than last year based on my times from the Police Half and Glencoe so I set a pretty lofty goal of under 38:30.  I went out too fast (again) and may have burned my legs in the first km.  I struggled!  It might have been the effects of the du the week before had taken their toll or having had missed some key run workouts while the ankle was healing.  Either way my legs were not happy during this race.  I struggled to hold my goal pace and decided to modify my goal for a 39 min run.   I struggled to hold that pace as well.  It was a tough day for me and finished in a time of 39:18, good enough for 4th overall and first in  my age group.

And that catches me up to end of May!  Up next race reports from Wasa Lake and GWN!