My knee ended up back to normal by last Friday (March 26th), after the day off and then a few short easy runs. In essence, I ended up being somewhat tapered so the plan was to jump on the line for the Dave Reed 5km race in Vancouver. I headed over to Vancouver on Friday and stayed at my sister's place. We went out for dinner once I arrived to a Japanese place and as my sister stated "you are a picky eater so I am pushing your boundaries" or something along those lines. I likely swore at her stating any other day was fine; however, I wasn't up for trying new foods (new to me at any rate) the night before a race. I tried a few things that she ordered, but some things turned out spicy and spicy doesn't work for me as it comes back to haunt me.
Anyways, I attempted to go to bed at a decent time, but still had a pretty crappy nights sleep. Maybe it was not being in the comfort of my own bed or maybe it was her lovely cat. ;) Before I knew it, morning had come. We headed over to Stanley park getting there just after 8am. Picked up our race numbers, to which my sister swore when she found out we were in the same age group (20-34) due to it being the BC 5km Road Championships (she is 2 years older than me).
I found my coach just as I was planning on heading off on my warm up, so we went off together. It was a bit different of a warm up for me. To be honest a bit faster than I usually warm up and it also included walking in the middle of it, not to mention it was about half the time I usually spend warming up. I headed up to the car and dropped my gear before heading over to the start.
It was cold to start with, but I didn't notice it too much while running. A VERY cramped start line as it was on the seawall. A smaller race with only 216 finishers, but the start line probably fit maybe 8-10 people wide.
It was a rough start, with one guy falling up in front (no idea if he got back up and finished) trying to avoid the water drains on the seawall as it became even more narrow.
It was flat for just under half a km before it looped around a corner and up a hill. It is always fun to hit the hills right away, then again, I'd rather it right away then at the end.
At the top of the hill, it went down briefly before turning to the right and going back up for a bit. The course had LOTS of corners and I don't really consider it all that fast of a course. If anything, Bazan Bay a few weeks ago was a faster course (in my opinion). I was on track for under 18 min until the 3rd km where I fell of pace a bit. Not too far though, but then my 4th km ruined it. We hit the wind along the seawall for the 4th km and I didn't realize that I had slowed as much as I did.
At this point, I was passed by a young runner which now put me 3rd female. For some god awful reason, I never even tried to go with her. I just let her go, which is a stupid mistake I realize now. I guess at the time it just felt like she went by me with no effort so I figured I had no chance. Looking back I wish I had thought more positively and at least tried to go with her because I think if I did she might have pulled me out of that awful 4th km split.
I think it was in the final km we went around this light house, which was VERY narrow and hard to keep speed through. I picked it up in the last km, but it was too late. I had fallen way off pace by letting my mind slip and finished in 18:25 as 3rd female. A 6 second PB, but not what I am capable of running (I'll get into that in a minute).
The 2nd place girl Tanya Humenuik was 18:09 and I should have at least been up there with her if not in front. First was Malindi Elmore (see photo below), 2004 Canadian 1500m Olympian, who easily won in 16:33, which was likely a stroll for her. Oh did I mention she had lazer eye surgery just over a week ago? Malindi and I go way back as we used to race each other as kids in the BC Summer Games. She always did kick my butt though.
While I didn't race was well as I could have, I have to send a shout out to my coach Matt (see below), who won the race in 15:06 which might I add is also below his real potential. Strong race, but I know he is faster than that on a good course!
Lastly a shout out also to my sister Heather for running in her first race in awhile. She did pretty good considering her running has been inconsistent due to health reasons. PS. told you I would put the photo in the blog!
The reason I say I am capable of running much faster is because I ran a 3km time trial on the roads just over a week before the race. While I went for it hard in the time trial, I figure I could have completed another 2km. Probably not as fast, but even if I slowed over 20 seconds per KM for the last 2km, I would have been around 18 flat. It wasn't just this one workout that I am basing my thoughts on either; however, on the actual race day, I just didn't have it.
After the race, I headed straight to the ferry terminal and caught the 12:30 ferry home, which left a few minutes late, getting me into Nanaimo at 2:15. I got home at 2:40, quickly got changed and was at work by 3:05. Rushed day. By 11:15pm when I was off work I was tired as can be. Here are some photos of the journey home.
Waiting in Horseshoe Bay while on the ferry waiting to leave