Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bling Bling weekend

The weekend started out with what felt like a sub-par performance at the Calais International 5 mile road race where I managed a 35:42 where my goal was to go sub-35. On reflection a top 10 finish and 2nd in my age group with some 'bling' to show for it made it a lot easier to take (just kidding). This is a great event with two international border crossings over the 5 miles but the course is tough with hills that take the wind out of your sails and never let you get in a proper rhythm. It's never flat with either up or down and you can never quite get your breathe properly as your either battling one hill or trying to recover a tiny bit on the downhill bits. A friend who is also a local coach who sometimes helps me with my training was also at the race and he took a bunch of nice pictures for the race including a few in my new 'shorts'.

The weather was near perfect with temps in the low 20C range and only a slight wind. I was a little late getting to the race start and had only about 10 minutes to do a short jog for a warmup before we were sent off . Here I am, as I did battle in the early miles with these 2 runners would would eventually finish just ahead of me. The guy just out of the picture was my age group winner and the younger runner kept running into my line and rubbing elbows until finally pulling away.

Looking at my Garmin data after the fact is always interesting especially when questioning yourself on giving the proper effort on the day. Looking at this you'd have to say yes, but is it really possible to give 101% or maybe I need to readjust my maximum heart-rate a notch or two!? It certainly did go straight up and stay there for the duration although the end results were highly variable as seen in the next plot.
You might also get a kick out of my paces which were all over the map and generally followed the contours of this brute of a course (hills remember). Paces from 9 to 6min/mile while going at full throttle is crazy. Eventually the suffering ended and I got to hang out with the other runners and collect my little piece of hardware.

However, schmoozing after a race can also cause other problems which helps to explain the 2nd trophy above. My fast running friend Ozzie mentioned another race on the next day at the Pleasant Point native reserve which happens to be just a stones throw from where we do our Boyden long runs. A few emails to Andrew and we were 'on' for my 2nd race of the weekend instead of a longer run. In fact this event was only 5 miles from where Andrew lives so he got to sleep in today!

This time there was plenty of time for a warmup, as Andrew and I met up 1.5hrs before the race to get a few (5-6) miles in. Surprisingly my legs felt totally fine despite the previous days race. After our little warmup we signed up for the race and went out for yet another 1 mile jog instead of standing around waiting. Eventually the little race (only about a dozen runners but who's counting) was on and I struggled to keep up with Andrew and Ozzie over the 1st kilometer. Eventually I let them go and struggled on, now in 3rd place, while trying to hold onto pace. There were no footsteps behind so it was just me against the clock and my watch and I finished the 4 miles in 27:37 with a slightly better average pace than the day before.
The Garmin analysis shows more of the same highly variable pacing and hills but these hills were much flatter than those of the previous day (only 20-30 ft). I'm still amazed at how well the legs held up and was even more pleased to accept my 3rd place trophy. The morning was finished off with some nice chocolate cake, blueberry pie and coffee before heading home.

It was a great weekend! Hope yours was as well.

10 comments:

Trevor said...

For some people, a ten minute warm up period is an eternity! I see the boarder camera was taking pictures of your snazzy new Canada "shorts". Congratulations on your hardware!

Thomas said...

That's quite some catch for one weekend!

Trevor, these are not THE Canada shorts - apparently they only get aired on momentous occasions.

And no, you cannot get to 101% of your maximum heart rate.

Michael said...

I love the shorts! Congratulations on your racing this weekend, well done!

DawnB said...

well done Mike congratulations!!

Scott Brown said...

Great to have been able to snag a weekend like that Mike. Such run packed weekends don't come that good that often.

Ewen said...

You crazy Canadians! Nice back-to-back racing Mike, and a bonus bling haul. Yes, think the max HR needs to go up a tad - if you sprinted hard up a hill at the end of a race you might get near 100% - 98 or 99 maybe?

Nice shorts, but not nearly as scary as Scott Brown's ;)

Andrew said...

Great to run with you on Sunday! You almost caught me!

Grellan said...

Congratulations on the new shorts Mike and the bling of course.

Did you know that the guy chasing you in Calais was in your age group and that you both were battling for first spot.

Arcane said...

I'd gotten so use to the old shorts. Nice and symmetrical and looks like the flag. BTW, where did you get the Canada sleeveless-T?

Love2Run said...

The 'old' shorts may yet make another comeback if I can sneak them out of the house.

Grellan- you can see him 1/2 in/out of the picture. Didn't know his was in my AG but his grey hair gave me an idea he was. Still couldn't catch him...