I was already well on my way to signing up for 2015 races and starting on my training schedule for my spring events. While browsing running tweets one morning, I happened across a post on MichelleTheRunner's blog about a Christmas giveaway for an entry to the Tannenbaum 10K. I had heard about the Tannenbaum a few months previous, but since I had added the Monster Dash to my calendar--after what I thought was my last race for 2014--I thought it would be a bit frivolous to sign up. Buuut since this was a contest, I thought, ah, why not, I won't win anyway, and entered. Honestly, how could a runner resist given that the location was nearby, it was a route I knew well and that the hype and reviews for the race were really positive? Well, as you can guess, I won one a race entry! I should mention that Michelle had previously taken the top women's spot twice in this race, and the reason she wasn't racing this year--was because she was participating in her first 50M ultra that same weekend! Whoa.
All of this happened the week before the race. I admit I was feeling somewhat confident given I had already done eight races this year, and was just coming off of my training from the Scotia Half-Marathon. My schedule over the past month had consisted mostly of easy runs as I figured out my plan for the winter. I had done a few half-hearted speed sessions. But I wasn't worried. I really should have known better!
With this confidence buoying me along, I made only slight adjustments to my running schedule that week. And when hubby asked if I wanted to have sushi the night before the race, I thought, why not.
This was the first time I didn't have my usual salmon, brown rice and green beans as my pre-race dinner. I really should have known better.
Everyone began arranging themselves behind the pace elves. Given that my previous personal best was 59:36, I lined up a little ways behind the 55 minute elf. Yes. I knew that the pace was ambitious, but I thought I would give it a shot. I really should have known better. Having just read Andrew Chak's iRun blog post about how to shop for a race, I should have realized that I hadn't done the training to make this a PR race.
I started fast and kept going fast. I felt okay. As I approached half way point on the path on the Leslie Street Spit, I found myself wishing that this was a 5K race. I had managed to maintain a pace that was just seconds over my 5K PR. But when the 60 minute pace elf passed me at around the 6K mark, I knew at that my first half pace was not sustainable. I slowed and took a few short walk breaks during the last 4K, managing a quick last kilometer. I finished about 2 minutes slower than my PR 10K time. Sigh.
- Given that I hadn't been training for the faster 10K pace, I should have looked at it as an experience race than an opportunity for a personal record.
- I should have stuck to my tried and true pre-race dinner. Sushi always dehydrates me and running a race dehydrated is definitely not a good thing.
- I shouldn't have gone out as fast as I did. Although I was able to maintain it for 5K (which I do feel good about), I am left wondering if I had of gone out a bit slower if the results of the second half of the race would have been better.
Every race can be a learning experience. Always take time to reflect on what you did right, what you did wrong, and what you would change for next time.
My winter training schedule has been modified and I am happy with the variety I have on the calendar. There's more speed work, strength training and cross training on this schedule than the one prior to the Scotia Half. I feel like I will be in a good place to handle my spring races!