Sunday, August 9, 2009

Running up that hill.

Yesterday, I ran a 5-mile race on Mount Royal with my sister. Usually, I'm not that into spending money to run a route I can run for free, but it was Val's birthday and I thought it would be fun to run in the same race. I had practiced the route with her on Thursday and told her that she could clearly go faster.

It turned out that 5 miles is slightly longer than the 8 km we had practiced on. Despite this, Val managed to shave off almost a minute from her Thursday time.

For me, the challenge was to go as fast as possible on the uphill section without running out of steam before the second half of the race, which was all downhill. As is typical with these races, the order of runners sorted itself out in the first couple of minutes. I felt good, as I could see the lead group of runners pulling away for a long time before I lost them. I don't think a single person passed me on the uphill section. As I came to the turnaround at the top of the mountain, I saw the leaders and was surprised to see there were only a handful of them. Somebody shouted to me and the others nearby "Let's go, top 10!" and I realized I might actually be in the top 10. I was surprised and very motivated as a result. After the turnaround, I was behind 3 guys that I could see. Three of us passed the other, who was taking very short strides ont he downhill section despite being quite a tall guy. After that, I focused on staying with the pair in front of me, a guy in an orange shirt and one in a blue shirt. We were running at the same pace, not catching anyone else and with no one catching us. I was a few meters behind and the two of them were together. At the 6 km mark, the guy in blue dropped off the pace and it was just me chasing the guy in orange. I managed to keep up with him and pull alongside him. I was truly enjoying this moment of race strategy, wondering who would make a move first and whether the other would be able to counter. This is something you don't get out of a training run! The guy made his move with about a kilometer to go, and I could not follow at the increased pace. I was hoping that he had moved too early and I had an ace up my sleeve: I had practiced sprinting the whole last section of maybe 400-500 meters at the end of my run to see if it was possible. I caught up to him before the last bend and then turned it on on the last stretch, passing him and keeping him behind me. I crossed the finish line tired, but not completely dead. I was happy with my performance, speed-wise and strategy-wise too. I knew I was probably in the top 10, as no one had passed me and as there were only a handful of runners milling about in the finish area. I talked to the guys in orange and blue. The guy in orange was not overjoyed, but we spoke a bit. The guy in blue was in a good mood and we talked about his plans to run the New York marathon this fall. When the results came out, I found out I was 6th out of 106 runners. This is by far the best finish I've ever had in a running race. I know that these Running Room races are not of the highest calibre, but I was still very happy. I was not on the podium in my 30-39 age group, as there were three others in that age group ahead of me. The guy in orange was in the 50-59 group... impressive. The race winner destroyed us all with his time more than three minutes faster than mine. The fifth place guy was 40 seconds ahead of me, so I had no regrets about not catching him... 40 seconds is a lot. All in all, I am as motivated as ever to continue my training for the Orford half-marathon this fall and plan to go on a run this afternoon to complete my minimum mileage for the weekend.

Sorry, no car news then!

Cool cars spotted:
Ferrari 360
Ferrari F430
Ferrari F575
Ferrari 599
Porsche 914
Porsche 996 GT3Austin Healey 3000
Porsche 997 Turbo
Bentley Continental
Aston Martin Vantage
New BMW Z4
Mercedes 500E (I want one!)
Audi RS4

1 comment:

  1. That's amazing!!! I'm so proud of you :-)
    Wish I could have been there for support (and running)