Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Race Number 6 - Guelph Downtown Dash

At this point of my running and training I felt somewhat like a seasoned runner.  In addition to setting a goal of running a half marathon I was also determined to run a 5k in under 25 minutes.  I really felt I could do it.  I had increased my training to run 5 or 6 days a week and had incorporated a lot of speed work into my training.

I had also started to use a Nike Sport band for my training.  It calculated my distance, speed, time and calories burned.  I loved it.  The only problem was it had to be calibrated.  I tried to calibrate it a few times, but it always seemed to be a little off.  It seemed like no big deal at the time.  I would just subtract 500m or so from my runs. But the longer my run, but more it was off.

The day of the race, the weather was overcast, but not rainy.  I work in Guelph and drive on half of the route everyday on my way to work.  I had decided this race to use my sport band as a way to pace myself through the race and come in my goal time.  I figured if I ran a 4:40 to 4:50 minute per km pace, I would still be running slightly less than a 5 minute per km pace given the discrepancy of my sport band.

The race started and we all to off.  I continually referred to my watch to measure my pace staying within the 4:40 - 4:50 range.  I felt great.  I thought I should have felt a bit more tired, but I was in the "pace" I should have been, so why push it.  I didn't bother trying to push myself until I thought to myself that maybe I should check my time at the 4k mark.  My time - 22 minutes and change.

There was absolutely no way I would be reaching my goal time.  I had two choices at this point 1) continue at the pace I had been running or 2) make up for as much time as I could.  I opted for two.  Every frustration I had felt about my watch came out as I ran that last km.  I ended up finishing the race in 26:20.  At pb, but not by much and definitely not under 25 minutes.  I was pissed.  But I learned that I could not trust "technology" during a race.  The only time indicator that matters in a race is what your watch tells you at each km marker.  Even if a course is not accurate and slightly off, if there is a clock involved your watch, sport band, mi fit or gps means squat.

The other thing I learned was that a man can out run a bus during a race.  Here is Rick beating Guelph transit.  He also set a pb in this race.  (Btw - he has since beat it.)


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