Wednesday, March 28, 2012

St. Patricks Day 5km Race Report

**I wrote this out a day or two after the race and didn't post it. I am posting it now, but be warned, I have not read over it at all. *****

The weeks leading up to Bazan Bay 5km and after the race didn't seem to go as well as I had hoped. My heart rate seemed higher than normal and my breathing harder. The day after Bazan I began getting headaches. They didn't last all of the time, but only when I walked down stairs, got up from lying down or bending over. My head would pound a few minutes and then stop. I figured my iron was low again, so I booked in to see a Doctor. 

My original doctor has retired, then the doctor I normally see apparently moved out of town, so I was set up to see a female doctor from the same clinic. I went in and asked her to renew my lab requisition so that I could see what my iron was at. She told me that I would have to book a new appointment where she could go over my history to get to know me better and then she would decide whether I needed the test. Wtf? She looked at one of the results I had from early 2010 and proceeded to tell my that my hemoglobin was fine and that it didn't matter whether my ferritin was low. Oh and get this, before leaving, she states.... that I should look into getting my files transferred to her so that she could be my new family doctor. That had to be the funniest part of the whole thing. 

Needless to say, I walked out of her appointment fairly pissed off. I stopped at the front desk and stated that I had just seen Dr. D-A and then before I could explain what happened, the girl at the desk said "don't take it personal." Apparently this crabby old doctor has a reputation, which you can actually see online if you google her. The girl then told me that MSP would only allow one appointment per day so I would have to come back tomorrow and proceeded to book me in to see Dr.B who she figured wouldn't give me a problem. 

So back I went the next day and Dr.B was GREAT. He gave me a lab requisition for 2 years. Right after that I went back downstairs to the lab and had my blood taken. By 6pm that night, I had my results. Ferritin = 11 (15-180 is normal). While it isn't the lowest I have had it (under 5 initially) it was certainly much lower than the 22 I had in July 2011. Oops. Back on the iron supplements I guess. Apparently eating more meat simply wasn't enough. See Dr.D-A..... you are just a crabby old doctor and I will NEVER make you my family doctor. Thanks to Dr. B for getting me the test!

Even though my iron was determined to be low, which meant still struggling in my workouts, I decided to give the 5km another shot. I headed over to Vancouver on the Saturday morning 6:30am ferry arriving to Stanley Park at about 8:45 for a 10am start. I did not want to race when I got there. I was feeling groggy and off; however, I decided to give it a shot. In the warm up, I got to see the start and the finish. The start was downhill with a few sharp turns and not very wide. The finish on the other hand was pretty much 1km of hills. Oh yay, if I had known this I might not have bothered with this race. 

It was nice to finally get a proper warm up this time, including drills and not having to rush to the start line. Before I knew it, it was time to get on the start line and we were off. The downhill start resulted in a fast first km of 3:25. Oops. I had wanted to go slower than Bazan's 3:28 but that didn't happen. Of course after that I slowed. I pushed along and passed a few girls and then settled in. Katherine Moore came by me. I settled in behind her and just went with it. I think around 3km I passed Kristin Smart and we ran together for a bit before she dropped back ever so slightly. I wanted to give encouragement but at that point I was just hanging on. At about 4km we hit the hill. ugh. What a crappy finish. 

All of us slowed. Katherine was right ahead of me. I think I had just passed Lisa Brooking. The legs were dead and I knew my goal time was slipping away but there was nothing I could do about it. In the middle of the 2 hills, we had a short downhill before turning right and heading up again. In the end, Lisa passed me back right before the finish and I finished up 8th female (5th for the BC Championship) and 4th in my age group. I finished in 18:18. The time honestly disappoints me; however, knowing the course now, I believe I would have been under 18 without the hill. Should've, Could've, Would've right? 

It was a well organized event and most people who had run the course in previous years stated that this new course was definitely slower with the hills in the end. Not exactly the result I was looking for time wise; however, I feel as though it felt better than Bazan Bay so that was a good sign. All it did was renew my competitive side and make me want to run another race! Sub 18 you have eluded me for now.... but I will get you once my iron is normal! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2012 Bazan Bay 5km Race Report

I have a love/hate relationships with 5kms. I tend to lean more towards the "hate" side, but I am trying to teach myself to "love" them. The few days after the half, I dealt with some unexpected lingering knee pain. I took it easy for most of the week until the pain subsided. Thankfully it did. From there, I got back into training and ran a wicked tempo at Half Marathon pace. Some last minute speed type workouts came next, in order to fire up the legs so I could attempt the Bazan Bay 5km. 

The idea for the race would be to get a good hard effort. I had no idea what kind of speed I could find considering most of my training has been "half marathon" based. The week leading up to the race was filled with ups and downs. My easy runs felt okay, but the workouts were a bit blah. I thought things looked up on Friday when my easy run felt effortless, but that was short lived when my easy shake out run on Saturday was filled with effort. Both my heart rate and breathing were higher than normal. I shook it off thinking it was just a bad day. 

Last night I finally fell asleep around midnight and no lies, I think I woke up at least 7-10 times between then and 7:30am. On a side note, I woke up at 1am and it was quiet. I woke up at 3am and my neighbours were blasting their music. All I could hear was their base, so in went the ear plugs. Unfortunately this is a common thing. They seem to turn it on in the middle of the night (jerks). I woke up around 5am soaked with sweat. Lovely. I already felt dehydrated after slacking on those duties all week. I didn't need to sweat to make it worse! Needless to say at 7:30 when my alarm went off, I did NOT want to get up. 

Still, I thought I would make the best of it. I have had crappy nights sleeps before races and ran well, so I thought nothing of it. I ended up carpooling down to Victoria and unfortunately my ride arrived in Victoria later than I prefer. I think I picked up my number around 10:20 (11am race start) and started my warm up at 10:30. Considering I do a 20 minute jog before even attempting any warm up drills, I was running late. It was a rushed warm up that included only a jog and a few strides. Not my preference to finish my 20 minute warm up only 10' before the race, but that is what happened today. 

The race started and I had planted myself beside Care Wakely and behind Hilary Stelllingwerff and Marilyn Arsenault. All mega fast ladies. As we started, the timing mat actually slipped out under the first couple of people. I think I hoped over it to avoid falling or slipping myself. The race start was packed and there wasn't really enough room to get spread out before they careened everyone over to the left hand side of the road. I found myself struggling to find proper ground with jerks weaving left and right, nearly tripping people by cutting them off. At about 1km into the race, I yelled at some kid because he had nearly tripped me multiple times. He said sorry before taking off. 

My race was..... well a 5km. I had a hard workout and honestly it didn't go the way I wanted it to. I screwed up my pacing between 1 and 3km. I lost a lot of time and couldn't make it up. My legs just didn't want to go. Claire Morgan passed me just after 3km and I thank her very much for the encouragement, but my legs just would not respond. My last 2km were more respectable, but by then it was too late. 

In the end I finished in 18:03, which was technically a 22 second personal best though to be fair, I haven't run a 5km since March 2010. It is not what I am capable of and doesn't reflect my full fitness. I am relieved it was a Personal best, but not overly satisfied with the race. The 5km got the best of me today, but I will get my revenge. Till next time 5km.... till next time!

As a note, Malindi Elmore won the women's race in a smoking 15:48! Now THAT is fast! Full Results here