Happy Wednesday friends and congratulations on making it to the mid-way point in the week!
I’m a bit torn today, see, I have a hair appointment and I love my hairdresser and am so stinking excited to cover up my greys (for 31 I have a ton of them!), buuuuut playoff hockey starts tonight. And, well, hockey.
I really am a “true” Canadian given my love of hockey. I will note that I don’t support Calgary’s team – sorry Flames fans……
I thought I’d do something fun today and recap the awesome 15k race from Saturday while also giving you a peek at what I ate to fuel and recover from the race.
Thankfully the race didn’t start until 9am and I didn’t expect a ton of traffic on the way, so I set my alarm for a leisurely 7am (I only wake up super early for races and flights – I like my sleep!), fed the Merlin and fueled myself up.
If you’re a runner, I’m sure you understand the importance of fueling with a pre-race coffee (not pictured). I also went with my standard pre-race fuel of Eggo waffles and PB.
I know Eggo waffles aren’t really the best for you, but they go down easy and digest easy, which is what is most important when it come to eating before a run!
I got dressed, gathered up all the stuff I was going to take with me for after the run (I was going to pop into Costco since I was near-ish) and headed out the door for 8am.
I only sort of knew where I was going, I knew where to turn off the main road and decided to wing-it from there. I decided the two vehicles in front of me where also going to where I was going (I had absolutely no rational reason for this assumption) and followed them. And?! They were. I managed to find a prime parking spot near the race start, parked and downed my Vega Energizer that I spiked with Beta Alanine.
I then looked up and saw the hill and….ugh. Hill. Hills. Lots of them.
This was the first MEC Calgary race that had sold out, with a total of 700 participants running in the 15k, 10k, 5k and kids fun run – how awesome!
With about 20 minutes until the start, I reasoned I should probably line up for a pre-race pee and maybe stretch or warm up or something. I really wasn’t looking forward to the hills.
Then I decided I was going to be too warm in my long-sleeved top, so I jogged to my car, took it off and hung out at the start line.
Five minutes before the start of each race, the Race Director leads everyone in a dynamic warmup, counts down, and away we go!
The course didn’t waste anytime climbing. Up, up, and up from the start. I really had no idea how I’d feel as I haven’t done much in the way of hill work this cycle, and I didn’t want to burn myself out with pushing too early on.
I kept my focus on maintaining and even cadence and even breathing as we started our climb. Before I knew it we hit the 2k mark and were in Nose Hill Park which is where we would spend the next 11kms of our race.
Then the climb really started. As we entered the park I could see runners up up up and away from me and knew I’d be climbing up there to meet them. Then I said screw it and started walking up the hill 🙂
About 3/4 of the way up the hill was the first water station at the 2.5km mark (MEC combines water stations and turn-around points, so we had a station every 2.5kms on the route) and I chugged some nuun to help me up the hill.
Once I was at the top, it was time for a few pictures of the amazing view, and then it was time to start running again. And soon I was passed by the leaders of the 10k race. I’m always amazed at the calibre of people in these races – they’re so speedy!
Thankfully after the big climb, the route to the next water station was beautiful and only slightly rolling, which I could handle.
I quickly grabbed water at the 5k mark and focused it on making it to the 7.5km turnaround where I’d be halfway and reward myself with a gel.
Again, the course was beautiful and I felt like I was able to maintain a strong pace throughout. I also decided I was going to start doing my long runs at the park instead of by the river near my condo.
7.5km split: 49.30
We ran down to the turnaround point, so this meant I needed to run up to get back. And up it was. I did end up walking at this point because I reasoned there was no point in forcing myself to run and burn myself out. I knew I only had 2.5km to go to the next water station and I decided I’d reward myself with some nuun and pictures at that station 🙂
5-10km split: 31.11 (elapsed time 1:04.46)
I pulled over for some shots and a panoramic picture because you guys the views were unbelievable. It reminded me of how lovely Calgary is (hockey team excluded, of course).
I knew I had roughly 5k left and was looking at a net downhill to home. I was also way ahead of where I thought I’d be given my lack of training over the past few weeks.
My focus was on keeping calm and focused and not pushing too hard……yet.
Before I knew it I was at the massive downhill section of the course and decided to just let my legs fly. I debated grabbing water at the stop and decided I’d take a sip on the fly and only managed to dump a tiny bit of water on me.
At the bottom of the hill I came across a fire truck and some fire fighters (hiiiiii!) and even got a high-five from one of them (I found out on Monday there was a brush fire in the park). I was feeling great so although I debating stopping to take a picture, I kept going since there was only 2km left in the run.
This is also where I start doing run math. I tell myself there are only 12 minutes left (assuming 6 minute kilometers) and just kept pushing – the downhills helped.
Given my math, I figured I could finish in 1:35 or quicker so I just kept pushing.
Soon I turned and saw the finish line and saw the clock ticking towards the 1:34 mark, so I pushed even harder to get in under 1:34.
10-15km split: 28.46 (my watch measured 14.94kms, so a tad short)
7.5-15km split: 44.02
Total time: 1:33.32 (10.01/mile average)
Holy negative splits!
I really have the elevation to thank for helping with the negative splits, but I’m so happy I came in under my time goal (I was expecting around 1:45 or so with all the hills) and felt awesome after!
I grabbed some more nuun and sat down on the grass (possibly not the best idea right after running, but oh well) and decided to relax in the sun before tackling Costco.
After a few minutes, I headed back to my car and chugged a Starbucks cold brew iced coffee with a scoop of Vega Performance Protein for recovery.
Then I did my Costco thing and cracked open some Aloe Juice and nibbled on a pastry on my way home.
Then? It was really time to refuel!
Lunch was a cold noodle salad that was mostly veggies topped with some shredded chicken and more nuun in my Vega mason jar.
And then I showered.
I left my Saturday pretty open as I wasn’t sure how tired I’d be from running, so I just relaxed on my couch and drank lots and lots of water before I decided it was dinner time.
I grabbed a ready-made meal on my way home on Friday and had leftovers, so it became dinner on Saturday.
Finished off with mango mousse
And cheese and crackers before bed.
Solid race. Solid refueling.
[Tweet “Recapping the fabulous @mec_calgary Race 2 and race day fueling #WildWorkoutWednesday #WIAW #runyyc”]
What is your favourite way to fuel/refuel when racing?
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