Before leaving for altitude, the idea of running the Victoria Track Series 10,000 was thrown out in the open. We figured it would be ideal to find a race after the 10 day window back at sea level and the 10,000 was pretty much the best option. A flat race, though mentally challenging.
During altitude, I was still wavering back and forth as to whether or not I wanted to run it. It wasn't the distance I was worried about, it was simply the amount of laps in the race (25). It was also due to the fact that it was a mixed race with people running anywhere from 30-40'. In essence, I was afraid of being lapped 4+ times by the leaders including my own coach.
Average runs following altitude, not to mention some slower workouts post altitude compared to pre altitude, I decided to commit and just go for it. I sent my confirmation to Chris hoping that I wouldn't regret it.
Saturday was a long day. The race didn't start until 8pm down in Victoria. It's about a 90' drive south so I had all day to wait around until I finally left shortly after 4:30pm. Long weekend traffic on the way down was a joy, especially because the police tend to be out in full force on holiday weekends.
I arrived down at the track shortly after 6pm and just hung around chatting with people. The sun started to go down and it got cold. Not to mention there was a decent wind going through the stadium. By the time I started my warm up after 7, I was literally shaking from being cold. I even warmed up in a thicker jacket! Thankfully, once you start moving it wasn't too bad overall.
Shortly before 8pm we were on the line, big names included Kevin Friesen, Matt Clout, Jerry Ziak, Sean Chester, Bruce Deacon, Craig Odermatt, plus Natasha Fraser, Marilyn Arsenault, Lucy Smith, Katherine Moore and Kristin Smart for the women. In fact that was all of the women, 6 total.
The gun went off and soon I found myself in a pack with Katherine and Kristin. We stayed that way for a few laps and then Kristin fell off pace. At about 3km, I passed Katherine and hoped that she would follow me as she graciously took the lead for the first bit. I figured it was my turn to lead for a bit. I am not sure how long she hung on behind me, but it soon became quiet.
Slowly the laps ticked off. It only took a few laps for the leaders to lap me for the first time. I concentrated on keeping pace but really had no idea where I was time wise. I attempted to take km splits; however, that lasted until 4km, then I lost track of where the km's were. I guess I should have just taken lap splits. Oh well.
I remember just wanting to get to half way and once there, I wanted to get to single digits. Once I hit that, I concentrated on getting to 7.5 laps which meant 3000m left (a race I have done many times as a teenager). Then I concentrated on 5 laps left, at which point I heard 29:11 for 8km and I thought to myself. Sweet a nice 20 second personal best mid race. As I came around with 4 laps left, Kevin Friesen lapped me again right at the line as he was finishing in 30:39.
After that I concentrated on each lap, 3 laps left. When I came around with 2 left, the official looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. He had no idea how many laps I had left, which didn't surprise me as he hadn't given me a lap count since about 16 laps left. Thankfully I kept track myself. I came around with 1 to go and it was announced that I was finishing. That would have been real nice; however, I would have finished around 35' and as nice as that would be, I am not in that kind of shape (yet). I kept going and feel as though I picked it up my last lap and even gave a pretty decent sprint to the line to finish in 36:20 for 4th female.
Turns out I ran a 24" personal best from my April 10km at the Sun Run (net downhill) which was 36:44. I was happy, but honestly wasn't spent. I feel as though I worked hard, but I wasn't nearly collapsing at the line or gasping for air etc. Did I have more? Hard to say. I do know that I ran alone from pretty much 3km, other than me either getting lapped or lapping someone else. I will take it and I know that 35:xx is within reach.
Unfortunately, the miscount of the laps did end up harming some as there were a few who ran only 24 laps, 1 who is pretty sure he ran 26 and another who says for 3 laps they thought it was their last lap. The results are off for some but are listed here.
I was pretty nervous going into the race only due to the fact I didn't know how I would find the 25 laps round and round; however, it honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I felt strong the entire time which was encouraging! Congrats to winner's Kevin Friesen (30:39) and Natasha Fraser (33:44).