Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The 30th Annual Sandcastle City Classic: PB for the 10k!

A wet kick to the line. Photo credit: Paul Mathias 

The 30th annual 2013 Sandcastle 10k went off under cloudy skies that opened up and let wet loose just before the race began. It is a great due to the free beach parking, and the school bus ride up to Crescent Park Elementary School, and the finish line food. I began my warm-up at 8:30, taking a short 3k run to get the body settled and into the groove. I had a few butterflies before the start of this race, and the lack of preparation going into it became evident moments before the start. My goal for this race was to run the thing in the high 35 minute area. That was my dream goal, even though I have never come close to that before.

When I activated my watch, I wondered why my foot pod was not connecting. I realized that because I was sporting a new pair of Kinvara 3's, I had not transferred the footpod from my Sense Mantra's, and had left it at home. Also, I left my Garmin 200 in the car at the beach, so tracking the pace of this race was out. I did get a chance to track the elevation profile which, when looking at it, seems like it would be an easy run, but the numerous up hill kicks kind of take it out of a person.

It looks easy...but is challenging. Check the downhill finish

Instead of using a distance tracker to know my pace, I did it the old fashioned way, using ye olde lap button on  my watch at each km marker.

KM 0-3: I managed to run 3:33/km pace for the first 3. That was enough to burn off any sugar and glycogen.

KM 3-6: A bit of a flat drag race here, I lost contact with the group of 6 in front of me, and ran with Max Malard all along Ocean Park Road. It was a bit of a tough spell here, as I was running in 9th or 10th position, trying to make up some lost ground on the group.

KM 6-8: Enter the hills. Some ups and downs, I tried to make a move against Max. He sounded like he was going to heave a lung while I ran with him--he was a very loud wheezer/breather. I thought to myself that I was in better shape at that moment than he was, and that soon he would fade out. We were picked up by Felipe Edora, who was calm and strong. Our trio became a bit of a race within the race between us. We ran together, until the 8.5km, when I started to go backwards, dropping to 12th position. Those two stomped down the hill in front of me, and I was losing ground on them and the group I was trying to catch.

KM 9-10: All downhill, it was really tough to keep the legs moving go sprint down Marine Drive. But the run is short and blowing yourself up for a PB is worth it that late in the race. I could hear the footsteps behind me, so I kicked to the finish, with whatever I thought I had left.

37:18 for the 10k. It was a wet run for the short time we were out there, and a long morning for the long time runners waiting around at the finish for the event to wrap up, and for the awards to be sorted out.

I was so close to Paul...so close.
Although I am happy with the time, I did not give it all out there. I talked myself out of staying the lead group of 6 around the 3k mark, and with the two guys at km 8, when I should have bit the bullet and crushed the run. I let myself off the hook, just a little.

The Kinvara 3's were a fantastic shoe for this run. I think I have a new favorite road running shoe. I did not even think of them at all on the run, that is how comfortable my feet felt in them. They were a light, cushioned, 4mm offset shoe. I just have to wear them with a thicker sock to prevent blisters, and to build up the inside as my foot is a bit narrow for their width. All told, I liked this shoe. I may just have found a new marathon shoe to run in for October.

All the deets from the course. Save for my missing footpod.

Split KMs for the race. I didn't shut my watch off for nearly 30s after the finish.

Heart rate was consistent--straight up high and flatlined.
All told, this was a great day for a race. Cool temperatures, along with a bit of rain made for a perfect run. Thanks to the Semiahmoo Sun Runners for a great race in spite of the weather, and to all the volunteers for making it out on such a miserable June day. The skies turned blue after the race was complete, and we enjoyed a very lovely rest of the day!

On top of all of that, I managed to meet Tyler Dumont from Physiomoves, I had Johnny massage out my hip flexor and tight calf (thanks guys!), and meet Andrea (my cousin, Jolene from Saskatchewan's, her fiance's sister! Figure that one out!) and her boyfriend Cam-- It was great talking with Andrea and Cam about their race and finally meeting Andrea. I hope that the Roadhouse Grill was all that!

Next up: riding the Ironman Canada bike course in two weeks!


Kinvara 3, size 14 (loved them)

Sugoi Notch Short (as usual--top notch shorts!)

Brand Champion singlet (light and air-y)

Sole double protection anti-blister socks

Suunto T6C (without footpod)

Giro Havik 2 sunglasses, rose lense


A little bit of history: a slice of my life as a runner

My first 10k was the Vancouver Sun Run in 2000--the year that I became a recreational runner. I finished that race in a time of 42:43 minutes. I can remember feeling completely bagged, sore, and raw after that race. The 42 minute 10k was a place I hovered around for a few years, until I ditched the 10k entirely in 2004 and went out for the annual First Half Half Marathon, of which I did only one per year as a noob runner.

By 2009, I had tackled some trail races, but was split between bike events and a few running events. This was the year that I took up road racing and had 22 races under my belt for the entire season. 2009 was also the year that I began to understand cyclocross racing. Run races were still not an important part of the equation, although dropping that half marathon time was a priority.

2010 was the year of my bike crash, but also the first year that I attempted the Sandcastle 10k. I managed to run it in 39:36, achieving my goal time of a sub 40 10k. It was tough-- I was 39th overall, 4/9 in my age category. Those were the days when a 10k race would wipe me out for the rest of the day, and I would suffer for the next few recovering. That all changed in 2011 when I took on my first marathon, and began some serious distance and endurance training.

                                                   My 10k road races: A retrospective:

Four years in a row I have run the Sandcastle City Classic 10k in South Surrey/White Rock. Since taking up 10k races again in 2010 (my last one prior to 2010 was in 2005), I have steadily improved my personal bests. However, I do not run enough 10k races each year to see huge improvements. Annual comparisons are all that I have to see progress. I run many races each year, but they are all of varying distances. Below shows the chart of my finish times over the years:

2000               Vancouver Sun Run            42:43         754th Place

2001               Vancouver Sun Run            41:20         (These results are missing online, but I suspect for                            
                                                                                    2001 and 2002, they were within a few seconds)
2002               Vancouver Sun Run            41:13         (I have difficulty finding results for this year, too)

2005               Vancouver Sun Run            45:22        I do not remember this race at all. My chip time was
                                                                                  better that the finish time.

2010               Sandcastle City Classic       39:36        39th overall           4th   M30/34   3:57min/km

2011               Sandcastle City Classic       39:24        32th overall           4th   M30/34   3:56min/km

2012               Sandcastle City Classic       38:04        20th overall           3rd   M35/39   3:48min/km

2013               Sandcastle City Classic       37:18        12th overall           1/11 M35/39   3:43min/km

2014?                                                       36:30?

The downward spiral of my finish time results indicate to me that as I become a more experienced runner, my times are getting faster (duh!). That is quite funny to me, because I am getting older. I still have a few fast years in me. Hopefully another 25 or so, but I won't get my hopes up too high.

A one minute improvement per year since 2011. Perhaps in 8 more years I will be world class!