Race Weekend is here once again. Since I took up running it has become one of my favourite weekends of the year. It is certainly my favourite running event of the year.
In Ottawa we are fortunate to have a great event that is both the largest race weekend in Canada and largest marathon in terms of participation numbers. If you have never run one of the races I recommend doing so. It is a great experience.
Back in 2006 when I did the 5 km race it was the event that started to get me hooked on running. For the past 8 years running the marathon here has become an annual tradition.
Once again this year I am fortunate enough to be able to run the marathon. In addition, perhaps starting a new family tradition during Race Weekend, my daughters will be running the 2 km race with their grandparents.
Tomorrow afternoon I will make make my way to the finish line to watch the end of the 2 km race. Sunday morning I will be up at the crack of dawn to run the marathon.
Unfortunately this year our first heat wave of the year has coincided with Race Weekend. Hopefully we will get a break from the forecasted highs of over 30C (86F). If not my plan is to dial back on my pace and get myself to the finish line in the best shape possible.
I know I previously mentioned I was. Not planning to do another race before Philadelphia. That plan changed slightly last week when I ended up registering for a 5 km race. This is a race I did two years ago, the last time I ran Philadelphia. The race is part of the charitable campaign at work so it meant I got to leave the office at lunch to go race.
As I said, I was not planning to do another race but since it was part of the charitable campaign at work and I didn’t think a 5 km would disrupt my marathon too much I checked in with my coach for his thoughts. The other reason I wanted to do this is because I set my previous best time in the 5 km in this race two years ago and I felt I had a good chance of beating it today. My coach was supportive for all of those reasons.
We could not have had a better day for a race today with blue skies and 20 degree weather, almost unheard of for this time of year. After a brief warm-up I was ready to get going. I managed to line-up close to the front of the pack so I would not have to fight through crowds to get up to my intended pace.
I managed to get off to a good start and soon felt like I was in for a good race. I have not yet looked at my splits on my Garmin but I think I managed to maintain a relatively even pace throughout the race, hovering around 3:45 per km for the most part. By the time I hit the third km I was pretty confident I was going to set a new pb.
Two years ago I finished in 19:01. Today I managed to cross the line in 18:28. I am quite pleased with the result and feel it is another sign that my new training routine is paying off.
Week 10 of my 16 week training program is nearly complete.
My total mileage for this week is down a bit because this week’s long run was actually done last Friday. However, it was another strong week of training.
For a speed workout this week I had my first session of Yasso 800’s. On Tuesday I completed 8 Yasso 800’s with an average time of 3:04. If Bart Yasso’s theory is accurate, and I hope it is, that would mean I am in shape to run a sub 3:10 marathon. We’ll see what I end up with when I run 10 Yasso 800’s in a couple of weeks. That will be a better indication of where I am at.
This week I also managed to compete in another race and set a new personal best in the 5 km distance with my first sub 20:00 result in a 5 km race.
I still have a runs left this evening and tomorrow morning. As it stands I have currently completed 46 km this week. My remaining runs will leave me with a total of approximately 70 km for the week.
Week 11 kicks off with a 22 mile, 35 km, run on Sunday!
With six weeks of training left I know have approximately 500 km, 310 miles, left before I hit the streets of Philadelphia in November.
How did your training go this week?
Today was my latest race. The Wellness Challenge is a 5 km race that is part of the federal government’s United Way campaign.
In addition to getting out of work over the lunch hour to support a cause it gave me another chance to get in a race before the Philadelphia Marathon.
It was my first time doing this race but certainly not my first time running the course as it was along the Ottawa River Parkway.
My goal for today was to see if I could come in under 20:00. The weather today certainly helped as it was sunny but a little on the cool side. Fortunately there wasn’t a strong wind as you can often run into along the Parkway.
I managed to line up close to the front of the pack. I got off to a quick start and managed to maintain a pace of under 4:00/km througout the race. I felt good throughout the race and knew by the time that I hit 3.5-4 km that I was going to reach my goal finishing in under 20:00.
I am not sure if I slowed down or if the guy was just going that fast but as we turned the corner to head back to the finish line in the parking lot another runner sailed past me with about 500 m to go. I didn’t catch him but I did pick my pace again for a final sprint to the finish line.
The end result was a 19:01 chip time, good enough for 20/690 overall and 18/316 men. The time was a new pb for me in a 5 km distance.