Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Bear Creek Park XC Race: 8km XC PB!

Bear Creek XC presented by South Fraser Track and Field went off today, marking my first shorter distance trail run since the Fraser Valley Trail Series, and Nadia's first footrace ever. The race was made up of 3 long loops and 2 short loops around the track, ending with an ambiguous button hooking course back onto the track for the last 100m, culminating in 8kms. The day was a good one for me, as it confirms I have recovered from the MYM 50, and look forward to cranking up the tempo runs through the winter. However, some other health concerns have reared up since the MYM.

So far this month (by the autumnal equinox today) I have managed to get in 38 hours of training and racing. Those hours are nearly evenly split between biking and running. It helps that twelve of those hours are the MYM 50. Although last week's cyclocross race was a bust, this week's cross country race in Bear Creek Park was much better. I don't know if I am getting better at running, and beginning to suck at cycling, but it appears that may be the case based on today and last week's result.

Last year, my CX season was off to a flying start. I was placing well and I could punch through the levels of pain to find new sources of energy to kick again and again--something that I am having difficulty doing this year when training on the bike.

Today at Bear Creek Park, I managed to start fast with the front group, remain steady on the run, keeping my kilometer splits within about 10 seconds of each other, save for the first km. The front two comprise of Drew Nicholson, 28, a beast of a runner, and 19 year old Travis Fraser of Douglas College, leaving us to a group of 5 to follow behind them. Having local fast veteran runner Rob Lang there was a bit of extra incentive to run fast, as I have never beaten him in a race before. Things went well over the course of the 3 long loops, as our group swelled, I dropped back to 7th or 8th, then tried to push ahead to make up some positions. Running with triathlete Mikey Ross, we paced each other trying to pick off those in front. With 1 short loop to go, and the family cheering, I kicked away from him and managed to gain sole position of 5th place, trying to run down a quick Darbara Ghuman, giving up on third place altogether. The last lap was quick, but not my quickest coming into the finish. I sealed up 5th, with a time of 30:46. Only 4 seconds behind Darbara. My fastest 8kms ever, running a 3:51 min/km pace.

Speed data and splits.
A bunch of other data from the race.
After running the Sandcastle in June, a race that I was quicker for, even with all of its climbs and descents, I seem to be coming back into form. But, cross country is different than road running, and although this course was pancake flat with an average of 6m of climbing and descending per kilometer, it is still off road. At times, I felt like backing way off and just resting due to the high exertion. The first km felt easy, the middle 4km  to 6km was a slug, and the last km was a good punch. With an 8k race, it is over so fast. I was running at the limit. I took 1st in my age catagory, in the 30-39, which is pretty cool, even though there was only 3 of us in that catagory today. This placing gives me 30 points for the series so far, and completing 4 more races with top finishes could have me winning the points series. Unfortunately, I am focussing on finishing DFL in every CX race this season, so winning the cross-country catagory for 30-39 is on the back burner.

Post race meal had me succumbing to the boysie's asking politely for golden arches, where we scarfed grease food. I went home spent and passed out from the intensity of the race.

As for those health concerns I mentioned at the top, I have been experiencing night sweats for the month of September. Perhaps a sign that I am overtraining, and not getting enough rest. My sleep at night is less than adequate at about 6 to 7 hours of rest on the nights before my early morning runs, and 7 to 8 hours when I have a morning off of running. Sleep is something that I love, and need more of in order to get quicker, stay healthy and feel better. Something to shoot for.

Gear notes:

I ran in my Sugoi notch short, Sugoi BC tank and NM compression sleeveless, along with my Sole socks and New Balance MT110s. Nutrition took the form of Oatmeal, water, 2 eggs for breakfast, a gel pre-race, sportlegs. Post race was a bottle of Scratch and some gummis before lunch.

Of note, Sean noticed my severe right foot heel pronation. The Asics are my gold-standard go to shoe. The NB 110s have been great, but perhaps not the perfect shoe for my pronation. I have not had any injuries due to the footstrike or pronation, but would like to prevent anything like that from happening. Even my Crossmax do not feel the greatest, with a bump in the arch, but with the right sock, they are pretty good for a high mileage trail shoe.

I am looking forward, oddly enough, to the rain and getting out my Gore Tex lined NB 910 trail shoe, and trying out a set of Gore Tex XT Wings for the winter.

Bring on New Brighton and Vanier!! CX season is underway, everywhere!