Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Around the Bay 30K Race Recap

I was looking forward to running Around the Bay for the second time, but not sure how it would pan out as it was only 2 weeks before my goal marathon. I have fallen off the track with my training and was still deciding the night before my race plan. In the end I decided to run it at a comfortable pace and figure out how I would gel and hydrate for my marathon. I was to start tapering after this race.

I have run this race 4 times, but this is only the second time running the full 30k. I was happy to hear that they had removed the killer hill at the end this year due to construction in the area. But it turns out that it would still have some hills to give us a workout.

It was nice to get there early and find awesome street parking.  I had only slept 3 hours as the baby as I was up all night with a teething, whinny toddler. I almost slept through my alarm, so needless to say I was rushing out the door. Luckily, I had a laid out  my outfit the night before as the weather was going to be ever changing.
Flat Alice

There is no bag check for the race so I didn't carry my phone to take any photos during the race, so no photos until the very end.

One Last Selfie

I was a bit freaked out because I had always ran this race with my run buddy K, but she is on sabbatical from running, so I felt quick naked and lost without her there with me. With the nervous knot in my belly, I headed over the the First Ontario Centre to stay warm and find toilets. This is a bonus to starting and finishing by the huge building - INDOOR TOILETS!!! and lots of them.

I got into my coral with all the 'regular' runners and we were off.  The weather was overcast and a bit chilly. I kept thinking in my head if I had over dressed, but it was too late now.

I placed myself between the 2:45 and 2:55 pace group and hoped for the best. I had never been able to run under 3:00 for this race and I was determined to do it this time. I was not feeling positive as I knew I was undertrained and not in the best shape.

I decided to go out and try to stick with the pack and warm up the legs. I was feeling good and was going a bit faster than I had wanted.  I didn't have a race plan and decided to run comfortably and test the legs for my upcoming marathon. 

I was getting into the groove and was happy to come up to the 10K relay exchange point coming up the ramp to see all the spectators and fresh runners ready to go. I checked my Garmin and kept on trucking along.  First 10K split was 54:32. This part of the race is very scenic with the on both sides of you as you run. I had decided to not carry water with me during this race and try to see how I would do with the water stations. I was looking forward to the next relay exchange point at 15K and seeing the lift bridge meant that I was halfway done. 15K split was 1:23:29. All I could think about was I cannot believe I have to run another 15K. I decided to take a gel at the 18K point, which in the end turned out to be too late.

Still feeling good, maybe a bit overdressed :(
I had been feeling pretty comfortable for the entire race. I had no urge to pee and my legs were still working. The rolling hills started as we were coming up to the 20K mark and the winds seemed to have picked up as well. My 20K time was 1:52:35. As I ran past the half marathon point, I started wondering how in the world I was going to run a marathon in 2 weeks. It was a low point for me during this race. I knew I only had 10 more kilometres to run for this race, but the negative thoughts just kept on pouring in.

I was thrilled when I ran pass the regular turn off to head towards the infamous Valley Inn hill. It didn't seem to matter because it seemed like there were no stop rolling hills. My pace was quickly slowing and I couldn't figure out why. I knew that I had been running at a comfortable pace and not much faster than I had been used to. As I hit the 27k mark,  my calves started to cramp up. I knew that it was most likely because I had taken my gel too late. My legs were burning and yelling at me. I had to stop and walk which probably made it worse. I didn't want to walk pass the Grim Reaper, so I forced myself to trot by him, to hear him tell me that I was doing better than the guy that was just a few steps behind me. With those words, I knew that I had to keep running and finish running and not walking.

Turning into the Finish Line
At that point, I saw the 2:50 pacer pass me, so I knew that I was still in reach of a sub 3:00 finish. When I finally saw the 29K mark, I was so relieved. I knew the race was almost over. The last kilometre seemed to go on forever. I turned quickly into First Ontario. I love the quick finish with the steep downhill ramp into the arena.

Crossing the Finish

When I finally caught my breath, I was happy to see that I had finished under 3:00. It was a course personal best for me. Overall, it was an decent race for me. Looking back now I see all the mistakes and areas where I could have done better.

I will have to take may gels earlier for the upcoming marathon and really battle my mental demons. Not having running buddies or a network of people supporting you is really tough, at least for me. I will go into Paris trying to stay positive and enjoy the race and city.

Gun Time -  2:57:45
Chip Time - 2:55:08
Place - 2863/7277
Gender - 993/3423
F35-39 - 172/25

What goes through your mind when racing?

How do you deal with those negative thoughts?

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