Saturday, October 21, 2006

BC Cross Country Champs

Well, the race was fun.
I was in Race #12.

It was a perfect day and a beautiful course. A great event put on by the Prairie Inn Harriers, and with lots of friends out cheering, I set a personal best.

33:52. The course was measured and is verified, so I am pretty happy with the run. A huge thanks to Trevor, Adam, and Yoda for motivating me when I need a kick in the ass to run faster.

And the road hockey after was a lot of run as well.

Have a great weekend.

What is Cross Country without the mud?

Hey Sportsfans!

A beautiful fall day has somehow wedged itself between the rainy days that so often dominate the Victoria autumn. The BC Cross Country championships are being held in Victoria this year, and, against Darwin's best intentions, I have decided to enter.

Cross country was a glorious time in Ontario. In elementary school, upon coming second to Mike Slean in our area meet and then both he and Brian Stewart (who I later met up with again at McMaster and is now a radiology resident, so I should Dr. Brian Stewart) would beat up on me at our Durham regional finals. I ran throughtout high school as well, sitting with a walkman at the back of the bus listening to Zepplin as we were transported around the Durham region to run in different races. While the courses differed, there was always the smell of mulch and the colours of the midrainbow to connect us. Careening through Trillium Valley or Dagmar Ski Resort was amazing and helped to foster my love of trails.

Today will be my second foray into the world of the provincial cross country champs. There will not be mulch nor forest. It is being held at a high school where we will compete on a two kilometre loop. The race is 10k long, so that means 5 times around the loop. The loop traces its way around three soccer fields and a baseball diamond. I have described the race to friends as track on grass. There are no real hills and the course is all grass, with some gravel. It is also being attended by the fastest runners in BC. Suffice it to say that if I will be coming home quite humbled. However, after watching the Reynolds cross country team that I am helping coach
do so well, I really have no reason not to put myself out there. I am coming off personal best times, and while those times are not near the 30 minute 10k times that the likes of Jerry Ziak will be running, every so often it is good to run against people above your level to see where you are at. It is also fun entering a race where there is no expectation and where I am going out to with the sole purpose of having fun!

You can check results here....

Look for me in Senior Men's race. Near the back. All grassy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Race is run

The cold, wet day didn't enliven the spirits of many, but it did not hold back many people from having breakthrough days. People like Nik Southwell winning the Half-Marathon, Adam Campbell running his first marathon, girlfriend alongside on a bike cheering whenever she could, and finishing under 2:30 for third place, and Steve Osaduik, breaking the course record and serving notice that there are two great marathoners coming off the Island (Jon Brown nothwithstanding).

Myself, I ran well. I went out conservatively, hitting my pace after two kilometers. I ran through 5k well, maintainting the split I wanted. Between 5k and 10k, I was running with a couple of people and keying off them. They were great, but I found that I was 15 seconds slow when I got to 10k, so I pushed from there. This is where things get tough.

7k later, one gentleman I was running with, Arturo, who is a very accomplished race walker with a 33 minute (or faster) 10k to his credit, passed me. At 10k, I knew I needed to be faster, so I had picked up the pace. I went for it, leaving Arturo and the other man, Tom, behind me.

Had I stayed with Arturo, I might have finished even faster, not having expended extra energy by running on my own. Regardless, I left the my race on the course and for that I am happy. Arturo pulled me through some tough sections around 17k, and ended up finishing about 20 seconds ahead of me.

1:15:48 is my official finishing time. A new Personal Best, which I am happy to have reached. I would have loved a 1:15:00, but that is a little optimistic still. My finishing time is more realistic.

I am looking forward to some base training and some trail racing now. A successful season has come to a close with new PBs in the 10k, half and full marathon. I am appreciative to all the race organizers, run leaders, friends, family, and training partners that allowed me to have such a fun season.

See you in the trails!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Race Morning

The toque is on, and the rain falls gently - at least that is what the internet says (for confirmation I will have to open the door).

Today is the last "real" race of the season for me and it has been a great ride this year.  Off a solid base training phase over the last winter, I have run better than I have ever run before.  A new PR in the 10k, a new PR in the marathon, and today, if everything goes well, a new PR in the half-marathon.

75 minutes is not even a movie.  I hope to cover 21.1km in that time.  It is an ambitious goal, but the mileposts along the way have been favourable.  I am going to run on feel, while keeping an eye on my splits.  3:33/km is what I need to hold.  A 17:50 5k, a 35:40 10k, and then hold.  Aracade Fire is cheering me on from within the computer, as I finish my pre-race routines.  

Wake Up before the alarm
Turn on music
Check weather
Eat half a banana
Double check laid out clothing
Get dressed
Drink Water
Pack race line kit
Drink water
Eat a Clif an hour before the race
Jog to start line

The toque is on.  The rain still falls.  Last time I set PR at the Royal Victoria Marathon, it was a cold, rainy day.  Things are looking good from over here.  Time to open the door.