This morning I ran the Lasalle 10k (the writing of this blog time travelled holy crap). Other than an initial wet bike ride to my car (its a whole other story) it was a dandy day to race. Conditions were pretty good, not too cold, not too hot,no wind and no sharks.
The warm up went well, I did about 15 min of very light jogging, with a quick bathroom break. I changed into my racing gear, (after bathroom break, and washing my hands) but kept some layers on to keep warm right untill the race started. I jogged over to the start and did a long surge, maybe close to a 1min. John usually has us do a 2min cruise test just to fire up the legs, but I didn’t have the time as it was getting close, so I settled with drills and strides. The last time I raced on the road was exactly a year ago at Lasalle, so I forgot how busy it gets right before the start of a race, and how haphazard it can be. It was pretty difficult getting the strides in, the entire road was full of people jogging to the start. In retrospect I should have gone to another side-road where it was likely more quiet and easy to get my warm-up routine in without dodging people un-awares. Next time. My strides felt sharp and smooth, the second time wearing these new flats I got, the Mizuno Wave Universe , it basically felt like paper rapped around my feet, with flames rolling back along them. I lined up with my club, my team, my boys. We stood at the front of the start line together as an impressive and scary pond of baby blue, set against a larger pond of boring less intimidating colours. Montreal Endurance, the Train was ready to roll.
I looked around and knew that there were at least two guys I would be rolling with, that I would have to fight to beat. Gun went off and I immediately got out front. I didn’t want to get caught behind anyone that would trip me up, or get elbowed, so I just went out hard. Everyone settled in behind me content to run on my heels. We went through the first kill in around 3:04. I suppose its somewhat accurate, but the kill markers were all over the place later on in the race so I’m not 100% sure on all the splits and what they really meant. I continued to lead through 2k in about 6:22 I think. At this point I felt pretty smooth, and comfortable. But the split startled me abit, I didn’t think I had slowed down that much, and none of the guys behind me had really shifted up alongside me from slowing down. But upon hearing it, a pushed the gas a little. I was frequently checking the large pack of guys behind me, to see who was there. I could make out Said, Menard, two unknowns- one guy with a hat, the other guy had no hat (this is how I was keeping track of everyone during the race), my team-mate Simon Driver, and some other bodies out of the corner of my eye that I couldn’t make out but knew where starting to struggle. At around 3k I think Said started to realize he had some competition, so he put in a solid quick surge to really try and break up the pack, he basically sprinted for about 150-200m. I stuck to him like glue, I didn’t even let the smallest gap form, sending him a message. One of the unknowns who turned out to be Philippe Dupuis did the same, hanging out right behind me, (I may have been right behind him, its hard to remember what exactly goes on in these races sometimes). So we took off from the other 3 or 4 guys for 500m or so, but when we started coming up to the 4k marker Said basically slowed down to a trot, and I was back in the lead, sort of tugging everyone along, and then the others caught up, Le Porho, and Menard. Menard actually could have been there all along, I’m not sure. What the important thing to take away is, at this point Menard decided to take the lead, so I cuddled up to him and as a solid group of fast moving skinny guys we came up to the 5k split in 16min flat or so.
Now, I dunno. I hadn’t done alot of 10k work so I didn’t really know if at that point I was running 32 flat pace, but those kill markers were all over the place, so that was probably off. I have to say, hearing 16 flat, I was slightly disappointed, it was a good day to run fast, and best case scenario I was hoping for sub 31. I wasn’t devastated or anything, I still wanted to win. At around 6k Menard just swerved off to the side and onto the side-walk and came to a stop. I checked behind me, and the others were starting to fade. It was just the three of us.
Phil decided to push, and Said and I lined up behind him. I was starting to feel all the surging in my legs, and couldn’t make any other decisions then just hanging on when it happened. When we got up onto the boulevard again Said gave in another surge, and again we lined up single file holding on. When we all settled back in after the surge I clipped his foot or leg with my foot or leg. It happens in races. But it can lead to face planting. It happened acouple times, but I wasn’t doing it on purpose. Anyways, he didn’t like it very much, sorry man. When we came up to 1k to go, we where passing the huge mass of people at the rear of the 10k race, Said and Phil decided to dodge and weave into the crowd, why I don’t know. Most people had no idea we were coming and were all zoned up, there were quite a few close calls. We were dodging baby carriages, people shuffling sideways, people swinging they’re arms to music, it was a war zone. When we came around the last turn I knew the finish was about 400m or so away, a long dead sprint, but I also knew I wasn’t feeling peppy, so I started my long grind for home coming off the bend. I took the lead, but Said and Phil were hanging on. I pushed and pushed, but they stayed. Around 200m to go, Said punched hard, and I couldn’t respond, but Phil did, matched him then kicked hard 100m from the finish, taking the win. 5 second separated me from first. I finished with 31:36, a new person best! I finished happy, but annoyed I hadn’t tapped into my so called ‘track speed’.
Either way, it was a solid rust buster, and a good sign. I was having trouble about a month ago with not being able to really train because of some foot problems. I seem to have figured it out, but its still pretty sensitive and requires alot of attention day-to-day. I still managed to run faster than I’ve ever run for 10k so that’s a positive. There were even whispers of the course being a little long, but John is right to say not to get too greedy.
On the other hand, I did get my allotted amount of cookies, that I allotted to myself. I was greedy.
Its either I’m greedy about cookies, or I’m greedy about training. The latter can get me into trouble. The former, I just end up drinking a lot of milk, nothing wrong with that.
Stay tuned folks.