To answer Nothington’s question: I can’t remember the last time I didn’t regret my first line. One thing I can’t regret is the race, Around the Bay 30km in Hamilton Ontario. I put on my Mizuno Sayonaras and went out and tried to give it all that I could by running the race without having a solid goal pace. Let me tell you folks, it’s very settling to go into a race and just playing the cards that you are dealt.
Before I jump into breaking down every inch of the race (kidding), I can say that I felt pretty confident going into this race, I felt really good about my last few training sessions and really, the entire build. Still, I found that I learned a lot during those 30km.
This was the 120th running of the Around the Bay race which made the whole event very special and attracted a very deep field. I am NOT meaning to knock last year’s runners but there wasn’t a very large gap between 3rd place and 8th place runners this year. Wouldn’t have minded a little less gap and had a solid pack of 6 running North (into the head winds), but hey that’s a different story! I digress.
The atmosphere at these large races is something spectacular. If you have never been in a big race (5000 participants plus) get out there and do it. It is an interesting experience—there are a lot of different characters.
Bang! The gun goes off at 9:30am. The weather was much better than I was expecting. I roll through 5k just south of 16min. I am feeling pretty good at this point. Stay the course was my only thought at this time. Then we started to hit the added rolling hills. The course was changed this year which resulted in some hills added to a previously flat first 15k. Next, I found I was running into a head wind and more rolling hills, including the Canadian heart break hill.
By about 9km I had thrown out my game plan. This is when it pays to be an optimist during a long race. You can only benefit from positive thinking. Negative thoughts may creep in when you aren’t hitting your splits and it’s not going your way. I was able to gain mental strength from conquering this difficult section of the course so that I felt able to surge at the end when, finally, there was some downhill and the wind was at my back. When I analyzed my race, I found that I had one of my better pace pickups during these last 3km. It felt good to be able to push the pace after such a taxing race.
Also, saw a couple friends during the last 500m. My friend Linden ran the 5k that day, but stuck around to watch me finish. This guy is a beast! He and his fiancé Sam were cheering HARD and he was snapping some killer pictures! Thanks guys!
Looking back on the day, I feel that I can keep my head high. I learned that I am able to reassess my goals on the fly and can stay positive throughout a challenging course.
Now, I am shifting into 10k season. The Toronto Yonge Street 10k is next for me.
P.S. The Blue Jays baseball team needs all of your support!