I have no clue what pace I’m supposed to be doing May 25th during the Sulphur Springs 25K Trail Race. I’ve had the opportunity to run a few times with the Soiled Sport Trail Group and each time I learn a little bit more about how to stay upright and in control on the trails.
Forget about the trails and hills, my concern is a total lack of preparation for running 25K. My weekly running averages out around 30km. Since I didn’t have to work on Sunday, and my wife was working , so I wasn’t blowing off Mothers Day, I decided I would test myself against the clock in a small local event.
Mountain Equipment Co-op has started a series of low cost races. For only $15 they will give you a bib, start a clock and let you run a marked course without a huge crowd and more smiling happy volunteer faces than I have ever seen at one event. Now if they could warm up the weather …..
Let’s be honest, I should have run the 15K race but I was watching the weather forecast. If there is any one theme on this blog it is how I abhor cold and wet weather. The forecast for Sunday morning was both – cold and wet. So I registered on Friday after work for the 10K and prayed the rain would hold off until later in the day.
For me, it was cold. Bless the people running in shorts and t-shirts. Before the start, the wind chill was below freezing. I dressed warm, with the option to unzip my jacket if I had to. Even my ears were covered. If you look at the picture over on Three Cheap Runners, you’ll see two of us had the right idea for how to dress.
There were about 100 people on the starting for the 5, 10, and 15K. It was a 5K loop course so you can do the math. I got to do two loops.
Our start button hooked through the parking lot entrance and up a hill to the main road through Fanshawe Park Conservation Area. North about a kilometer, and then south across the dam to the park gates and back to the public beach parking lot. The wind was westerly so you got a taste every time you came out from cover. The dam crossing was particularly windy and the volunteers had no shelter and the biggest smiles and encouragement for everyone passing their way.
|10K Tempo Run|
As usual, I went out too fast, dialed back and tried to get in to a rhythm. Around 4km I was able to settle in for a bit, Richard from the London Pacers/Soiled Sports went past me at 6km and we spoke briefly. His encouragement was simple, remember to “Treat it like a 10km tempo run.”
I took off my gloves just after 6km and played with the zipper on my jacket a couple of times when the sun made brief appearances but never over heated with the wind being so steady..
Eventually, I figured that holding a 4:50min/km pace would be win for the day and the conditions. I managed a bit better with a 4:45 pace which is well off my 10K pace but is close to my middle distance (15K-half marathon) race pace from last summer. People commented I looked steady and comfortable. It didn’t feel either. I’m a much better warmer weather runner.
Today, I can tell how tight I was with the cold. It’s going to take a couple of days to get rid of the aches and niggles. Let’s hope May 25th is better weather or I’m in big trouble.