Needless to say, I was feeling a touch nervous at the thought of running a race, even if I wasn’t “racing” it.
Instead of our typical Saturday morning run, we decided to get together to run the MEC Race 2 at Nose Hill Park as a training run. It’s a great way to get some racing miles under our belts, practice fueling, and run in a different area of the city.
With the race starting at 9am (hooray for reasonable start times!) I was up at 7 to eat some oatmeal, drink coffee, and get ready. I had planned on running errands after the race, so made sure to bring a pair of sandals and a different top with me. That said, I was still running late and when I got down to my car realized I didn’t have my wallet and needed to go back up to my condo to get it. Whoops.
I made it to the start by 8:30 and had plenty of time to grab my bib (second hooray for race day pickups) and get in line for a nervous pee, and then we all grabbed a photo before making our way to the race warm up.
The 15k race was set to start at 9:00, with the 10k at 9:10, and 5k at 9:10. The course was an out-and-back for all distances with water stations every 2.5km (at the turnaround points) with water and nuun. The course is almost entirely uphill until the 3km mark, then levels out (for the most part) and is then nearly all downhill for the last 3km (since that’s how out-and-back courses work).
Two years ago I raced this same course, so I knew the start would be pretty challenging, and then it would level off. My goal for this time was to run it easily, keeping my heart rate on the low-side for the entire race. I’ve had a few blood pressure readings on the higher end, so I’m working to keep my heart rate in check (also why I’ve stopped using nuun daily as I’m working to reduce sodium while waiting for a 24 hour blood pressure monitor and lab results) while running.
That’s it. Happy pulse, happy blood pressure. I estimated I’d likely come in around 1:45, but really had no idea just how reasonable that was considering the layout of the course and the first half is significantly more difficult than the last half.
5km split: 36.59
7.5km split: 53.40
10km split: 1:12.20
(2nd 5km: 35.80)
15km split: 1:44.50
(3rd 5km: 32.30)
(2nd 7.5km: 51.30)
Hm. So I think I did okay hitting that totally arbitrary 1:45 goal 😉
And thanks to the downhill at the end for the help with negative splits.
I felt really good the whole race, I never felt like I was struggling the breathe, and happily walked up the hills in order to conserve energy. (But, for real, running up a hill only to feel totally winded at the end is silly. Heck, I was able to walk up as fast as, or faster, than people running – it’s okay to walk!). I love running downhill and will let me legs fly, so I was able to make up quite a bit of ground and even squeaked out some sub-6 minute kilometers, which is something I haven’t seen in a really long time.
A few hundred meters before the finish I saw the Lole ladies and they cheered me in.
Then it was time for a jumping photo and off to run some errands.
Saturday was quite a busy day, and I fell into bed absolutely exhausted, but woke up on Sunday feeling good with hardly any soreness from my runs. My legs are doing really well, but I’m being cautious as I don’t want to push too hard until I get my blood pressure sorted.Recapping a windy, yet fun @mec 15km in Calgary #runyyc Click To Tweet
Do you ever use races as training runs?
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