Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sun Run 2014: A new PB, but just off the pace I wanted

I have been a bit of a whiner with this one. Both pre and post race. Approaching these two weekends, the Sun Run and Marathon respectively, I posed a question to myself:

  • Is it smart to go balls out for the Sun Run this weekend, then try to PB the marathon next weekend
  • Would running hard and fast interfere with my taper, and have me in recovery mode instead of taper mode?
  • Am I over thinking this little fabricated first world dilemma of mine? 
  • Should I just go out and race both and be smart during the week with sleep and meals?

Race morning had me putting on my usual routine, 6 AM wake-up, out the door by 7, on Canada line by 7:30, at the race start by 8:00 am. Not many other souls were on Georgia Street by that time, but it filled up quickly. I met up with Hans Zimmerling, and we did a warm-up with some strides. A full cast of characters made it out to this one: Chris Barth, Tim Abercrombie, Ryan Hayden and his group from our corporate team were all at the start in the elite corral. Finishing my warm-up, the goal was to turn out 3:30/km's for the duration, putting me in for 35 minutes. I thought that to be a lofty goal, but hey, I set lofty goals.

The gun went off and it only took a second or two to get over the start line. Hans, Tim, and me ran down Georgia Street into Denman. We stayed fairly close together through 3k. KM 3 to KM 5 started to wear on me and I could tell that my pace was dipping every so slightly on the false flats. In fact, I do not really remember much from those two kilometres. Hans started to pull away from me here, and I let him go. I slowly climbed Beach Avenue up to the Burrard Bridge, passed by a spectating Alex Lea, and began climbing the Bridge. On the downward slope, my buddy Darbara caught up to me. We ran together from 6 to 8.5 when he slowly began to distance me slightly.

I went into a pretty dark place between 8k and 9k. The Sun Run, or any 10k, is a very short, very intense effort that is almost over before you know. Having said that, there is enough time for a runner to question why they are doing what they are doing. That happened for me in a short distance near the end of the race.

In fact, the Cambie Bridge, albeit uphill then with a nice run out into the finish, was a welcomed sight that snapped me out of my "Luke Skywalker in the cave on Dagobah" funk. I managed to get some time back on Darbara and close the gap to 8 seconds. Hans finished a full 24 seconds in front of me, with Tim "the Terminator" Abercrombie coming in at 35:04! And he is not a runner, he is a cyclist! And years ago, a triathlete! So I guess he is a former runner. He has an engine, a big engine at that! Chris Barth came in at 34:

It has been a long time since I did a Sun Run. I think the last one I did was in 2005 or so, in 45:22. Good enough to be the 1614 finisher across the line. Coming back to the Sun Run this year I had some high expectations for myself. As with any race, I tend to try and shoot for a PB. This race was no different--I jogged out 36:54 bettering my PB from last year's Sandcastle 10k by 22 seconds. Good enough to get across the line in 134th place. I missed my goal mark by over a minute, but that is for next time. I know how 35 minutes will feel, and know what I need to get there. Chris Barth told me back in the autumn to focus on the shorter speedier races, and it seems to be paying off!

This one was a very fast 10k race that almost does not justify the race entry fee for the time I am out there, but the competition, festivities and roads to run on were awesome! I will definitely be returning to the Sun Run next year. This is a very smoothly oiled monster-machine to be able to support 45,000 finisher.