Saturday, 12 December 2015

Sandcastle 10k 2015: New Course, again!

Another stale post: 

From June, 2015. Saving these posts and not sharing them is kinda like hoarding. At the time I was busy with my M.Ed and the thought of taking the time to organize photos, edit and craft a post was not high on the priority list. I look to the blog as a bit of therapy--to hash out thoughts and feelings, put them into words and record them to read for another day. The problem with the blog is that it is being usurped by social media like Instagram and Facebook which make it very easy to share to as many people quickly. That, and for the fact that I have no sweet clue who my readership is--it seems like since I don't know if it being recieved or read rather than just clicked on, my motivation wanes. It appears that there are many from Russia, China, Germany, and the United States when I check the analytics. Thanks for reading from afar. 

But the purpose of this was not to get people to read it. It was to have a bit of fun, to preserve some of these exploits for my kids, and to be able to look back on what I have done, and where I have come from.

This year's Sandcastle 10k road race in White Rock saw yet another change to the course, keeping it entirely within White Rock, rather than the fast downhill point to point that started in Surrey at Crescent Elementary school and snaked down to the beach.

For the last 9 months, I have been running a route in White Rock on Monday evenings in the sun, rain, wind, dark, and light. All conditions have been braved on my training runs. I knew this new course like the back of my hand--no surprises here at all. Having said that, the course is a brute--serious climbs that lead to the highest point on the course at Johnson Road, after running up the Hump, Stayte, and Thrift.

Knowing that there was 152 meters of climbing over the 10k, I had hoped to race for just under 40 minutes knowing how those climbs would really take it out of a runner. But like all things race related, when the pedal hits the metal, stupidity and speed can take over, and that survival instinct of "take it easy" gets shut off in my brain.

I warmed up on the Promenade, not even able to run much faster than a 4:50 min/km. I thought my race may have been over before it began due to the fact that felt slow. Lining up I met Chris Barth's girlfriend Tracey, and we chatted and caught up about all thinks running. I took my place and examined the competition. 11 year old boys: check. 3 fast looking women: check. 1 short Kenyan male: check. Follow him, as long as you can.

That following of the race lead was over in the first 400 meters as he took off like a shot. I ran in second place, well beyond my abilities, and was caught up by Tyler Ginther, Jen Moroz, and Lisa Brooking. We ran the Hump and made it to East Beach in short order. Tyler pulled away, followed by the two ladies. The gap had formed, and I was pulling up the rear. Soon enough, Larry Lorette and Stephen Ptuka caught me. Stephen took off, and Larry, and I battled up Thrift. I managed to gap Larry, and pick up Jen just ahead. She was doing a run/walk up the hill, and we played a bit of leapfrog all the way up.

Cresting Johnson Road, it was a fast downhill on the other side of Thrift. I could see Stephen ahead by about 20 seconds. I tried to close the gap, but to no avail. Jen and I ran shoulder to shoulder along North Bluff Road until she put a dig in on me. I could not close it back, and knew that Larry was hot on my heels.

At 8 kms, I was ready to throw in the towel. But that is negative self talk trying to bring me down, and I stayed strong, knowing the downhill was right around the corner. 1.5 kms to the finish, all downhill along Marine Drive. I could make up some time here by lengthening my stride and running with reckless abandon.

I could not hear Larry behind me, but I dared to not look over my shoulder. Running scared, I pushed as hard as I could to the finish, closing out with a sprint to the line.

38:28. Mission accomplished.

On this tough course, I could not be happier. I have not been running hard lately, no tempo or long runs, no track sessions. Just plain old running. I still have my fitness from a couple of months ago, and heading into summer, I am excited to keep running and get ready for Victoria come July and August, much stronger for the work from the first half of the year.

Some more summer races to come, this is just the beginning of keeping myself sharp, balancing my bike and run, and finishing up my M.Ed at SFU.

6th overall
2nd in grouping 20-39
1st in age category 35-39

A good day for a run, swim in the ocean, a cash prize for placing, and a draw prize to boot!

Thanks to RD Tina and the Semiahmoo Sun Runners for putting on a great event on a beautiful June day!

I heart running!!

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