Thursday, July 9, 2015

Canada Day Duntroon to Stayner 8K Race Report

I have not been happy with my leg speed recently.  Training is going well, I am hitting 65K - 80K except on recovery weeks, so I should be able to maintain a higher speed during the races...  But not yet.  The solution is all too obvious - I need to incorporate some speed work into my training regime.  Wednesday seems to be a logical choice as I run with Lee Anne and we normally take Thursday off.  Friday is a long run.  So, the Duntroon to Stayner 8K Canada Day race happened to fall on a Wednesday this year.  The race is free and close to Creemore.  Perfect!

Lee Anne is training for the Massey Marathon and wants to run it fast.  A marathon is basically a warm-up for Lee Anne.  She normally runs more than a marathon on Friday and a marathon on Saturday.  Yes, every week of the year, unless she has a big race on the Saturday.  I live with a person who thinks 25K is a short run.  People say I deserve her.  People who are not very nice.

On the way to Duntroon, we discussed race strategy.  I like to keep things simple (please exclude living with someone who runs 7,500K per year) so I suggest that we run our normal (painfully) slow pace until 4K, then gradually increase speed until we are bleeding out the ears.  What could go wrong?  I forgot to factor in Lee Anne's approach to "extremely short" races.  8K will fail miserably to make her legs tired.  Never mind that Lee Anne will be running back to Creemore after running to Stayner.  My normal starting pace is slower than 6 minute kilometers.  Let's say 6:30 for arguments sake.  So why is Lee Anne's form dwindling into the horizon at one kilometre?  I up the tempo, in a futile attempt to stay with her.  Please understand that neither of us are moving very quickly, but I like to warm up slowly for the first 15K, before ramping up.  2K into the race and I am breathing hard; Lee Anne is no longer pulling away from me, but I am certainly not reeling her in.  At 4K there is no point in speeding up because I am already approaching a 5 minute K.  I had hoped to be at a 6 minute K at this point, in which case I could "speed up" to a 5:30 pace!

Something strange is happening.  I used to run fast.  In fact, when I played rugby, I was somewhere near a 4.6 second 40 yards.  At 6K, my cardiovascular had finally caught up to the pace.  I am still behind Lee Anne, but either she is slowing, or I am gaining.  I don't think she is slowing much.  With 100 meters to the finish line, I draw even with Lee Anne.  There is no need to surge past her, but I am very happy that I could sustain a good pace over the last 2K.  Our finishing time was 41:xx for 8K.  I no longer wear a Garmin, but in order to compensate for the 6:xx kilometers at the start, we must have run at a 4:xx pace for the last 2K!  We were both quite happy.

Then reality set in.  Lee Anne would run back to Creemore for a total of about 23K (adequate mileage considering the speed work, according to Lee Anne) while I ran back to Duntroon to pick up the car.  Just a note to those of you in your late 50's / early 60's who are attempting speed work for the first time since the 1970's...  Running 8K on trashed legs is uncomfortable.  Seriously?

Another "first in a long while" was my back-to-back run last weekend.  In order to train properly for the Haliburton 50 miler, I need to run some B2B's.  Two days after the Canada Day race, I ran 31K with Lee Anne on the Friday (she continued after I stopped) then 25K on the Bruce Trail with friends Nancy Chong and Dawn Hamel on the Saturday.  Nancy and Dawn are about halfway along running the entire Bruce Trail.  The 25K took us 5 hours.

The Limberlost Challenge

TLC is in 2 days.  I am running the 28K as I have a date with the Dirty Girls 12 hour race the following week.  I am looking forward to the shortest race so far this year.  I am hoping to open it up a little and see what the legs will do.  Yes, I only have 2 speed work sessions this year (this decade...) but I am hoping to push hard for the entire race.  Although realistically, at Limberlost, maintaining a leisurely pace requires quite the push!

I have no recent pictures, but the totem pole is almost complete and has been moved to the laneway, where it will be erected.  It is difficult for those of us who have put so much effort into making the pole, to realize just how incredible the totem appears.  It is nowhere near as majestic as the western poles, some of which are 5 feet in diameter.  Our pole averages merely 1 foot in diameter, but at 35+ feet tall, it has a presence.

Down to the short strokes leading up to the Creemore Vertical Challenge.  The prizes look amazing (Lee Anne is becoming quite the potter again) and even the finishing medals have appeal.  60 prizes for a race capped at 250 is probably ludicrous, but we have had fun making the pottery and maple syrup this year.  Perhaps in future years, some form of pragmatism will evolve, as we are spending about 6 weeks each making the prizes...

There seems to be some interest in the CVC from afar.  There are people signed up from Scotland, England, Dubai and even Nepal.  The 50K men's record holder Calem Neff has signed up, which is fantastic.  Last year, Mike Tickner came within a minute of breaking Calem's record.  Mike was 42 minutes ahead of second place.  If Mike had someone to run with, I feel he could have fared better.  The young women from Nepal was in the 2004 Olympics, so this year could be interesting!

Hope to see you at  Limberlost!

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