Tag Archive for Cash Store Financial Freedom Run for Diabetes Research

#wfpshalfmarathon – personal race report – how did I do? Just haven’t earned a new PR yet

This post is a race report more about how I did on the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services Half Marathon than about the race itself.  For my report on the race see here.

So some previous milestone race times for half marathons this year:

2:20:34 – Disney World Half Marathon – Jan 12th, 2013

1:56:16 – WPS Half – May 5th, 2013

1:47:14 – WFPS Half – Oct 19th, 2013 – my 5th half marathon this year (also have done 2 full marathons this year)

As an aside I just realized I think I just qualified for Half Fanatics Neptune level with 3 half races from Sept 2nd til Oct 19th – I have to go double check that…

5.5 months for a 9:02 improvement on my half marathon time between WPS Half and WFPS Half.  The Disney World Half finish time doesn’t really give a good indication of where I was physically because of all the delays, etc ran into in the first half of that race – maybe 2:10 is where I should have ended up on that one?

I was quite happy with myself when I hit under 2 hours in May on the WPS half marathon as it represented that I was back in the range of where I used to average when I was younger and in better shape.  It meant that I turned a corner and was back in a better place health wise and I had a new good base to start moving forward.

I trained hard through the summer and even though I said I wanted to hit my personal best, I’m not entirely sure I thought it was possible.  But then I hit 1:49:54 for the Cash Store Run for Diabetes Research half marathon on September 2nd and I realized it actually was possible and I started training even harder.

Hitting 1:47:50 for the Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon on September 22nd validated that yes indeed it was possible to catch my elusive 1:46:11 from 2002.

Unfortunately I think that even though I trained hard a couple things bit me during the training period that made race day a toss up when it didn’t need to be:

  1. I didn’t get as much weight to come off as I wanted – I wanted to drop at least 4-5 pounds from the last race to this one and I didn’t manage that (only about 1.5 pounds were lost in the end).  It looks like I can attribute not losing the weight to the week and a half I was doing double runs (morning and night).  I was so tired and wasn’t able to adapt my sleep cycle quickly enough and compensated for the lack of sleep with carbs, bad, bad carbs.
  2. I didn’t do enough speed work or didn’t push hard enough on the speed days – again this can at least partially be blamed on the double run days – I was too tired to push as hard as I should have been able to during the training sessions.

So that meant I went into the race knowing it was going to be close and it was going to be about technique and drive and any glitch could cause me to miss my goal time.  I made myself a realistic pacing chart that I thought I could run that would also give me a bit of buffer but I still knew that it was going to be close.  That definitely played a factor in my head going into the race and in the first few miles of the run.

So come race day I was nervous – probably more nervous than I have been at a race in quite some time – but I knew I had to rein in that nervousness so I didn’t go too hard at the start and lose it at the end.  To fight that I decided to follow the 1:45 pace bunny hoping to use their experience to keep my energy in check.  But there was a bit of glitch there – I figured I would run each of the 3 miles at a 8:10 pace or so then speed up to the 8:00 pace I wanted to do the rest of the race – the pace bunny did the first mile in 8:35 – so I was already 25 seconds off pace in the first mile! Crap!  I should have known better – I should have run my own race right from the start.  Not upset with the pacer here – more upset with myself – I knew I should have done my own thing and I second guessed myself and that is really what cost me in the end.

I think the pace bunny then realized that he had gone too slow and heavily picked up the pace to get back on track – I did the second mile in 07:45 and he had already almost lost me.  This meant I was back on track after 2 miles but the nervous energy I had been hoping to hold in reserve for later was burnt up.  And the 3rd mile which I had intended to go slowly on as well was now bumped up to the average pace I intended to start running after that mile was run – so I had to move up to a faster run earlier than I had planned.  At the end of 3 miles I was on track but had burnt up some of my reserves I was trying to hold onto plus now had to fight the mental game earlier than I intended.

I held my pace pretty strong and was running my plan well and was on track until about mile 8 or 9.  It had started a light rain and then a rain / snow mix about the halfway point of the race which lasted about a mile and a half.  That started to soak in and I was starting to feel a bit of a chill and I saw miles 9 and 10 start to slip – not bad but 5-8 seconds per mile I couldn’t afford.

Mentally I think I started to implode during mile 11 – it was about 25 seconds off pace – at this point I knew I wasn’t hitting my PR without being able to almost sprint the last couple miles – and with the cold and the energy reserves already spent that wasn’t going to happen.

It would have been pretty easy to give up at this point and just settle back into a slower speed but I surprised myself and was able to start to push hard again.  The last 2 miles were a touch better than I had planned but nowhere close to what I would have needed to make up the lost time.

In the end it was still an extremely respectable time and was better than my last race so the process of improvement is continuing.  I made some mistakes in the training period that cost me and had a few glitches during the race that contributed to the miss but over all I am pleased with myself.  I was able to get myself back on track and follow a plan during the run and I was able to push through a period where I wanted to shut down to push hard on the last 2 miles of the race.

I see lots of positives from my performance on the race – and I think that is why I am not feeling massively disappointed with missing my PR – I can see that I am still getting better and that record will fall – I just haven’t earned it quite yet.

Official time – Run for Diabetes Research half marathon – 1:49:54 – best since 2002 – 2nd best ever

Just 3 minutes 43 seconds off of my personal best – now my personal best was in 2002 and I was 8 pounds lighter than I was Monday morning – so even though I did not catch my personal best it was definitely a victory on my path to getting back in shape.

I was 223 when I woke up the morning of the race and 220.5 when I finished and then 222.5 this morning.

I did have a 30 minute training run planned for tonight but decided to give it a pass to rest my legs a bit after the hard push yesterday.  I will give an extra push tomorrow on the treadmill to get some of the miles back and continue training.

Next race is September 22nd (just under 3 weeks) – my goal is to push the weight down over the next few weeks and keep pushing the speed training.  I want to be faster again on that race – based on how I felt during this race it should be possible with some weight down, the right circumstances and the right attitude.

After that I have another race on October 19th (just under 7 weeks from now) – I need to keep pushing the weight down and train hard for this one – the ultimate goal is to hammer past my personal best (1:46:11 – 2002) with this race.

This means I have to get 30-35 seconds faster each week – even a 2 pound weight loss per week would probably get me there or close – so I think this is achievable – but will mean I need to work my ass off and get my weight under control.

There will conflicts between life and training with the kids getting back in school and all of their activities but I will find a way.  Breaking my personal best on the half will be a fitting final paragraph for the chapter I started in September last year – then it will be time to figure out what the next chapter is.

Run for Diabetes Research half marathon – unofficial time of 1:49:58

Whoohoo – did not hit my personal best (although if you back calculate from the 13.4 miles my Garmin showed for the race I was pretty damned close) but was at least 6 minutes faster than my time for the WPS Half Marathon back in May!  Nice.

Weather was fantastic for the race – felt cool at the start line but it got warmer quickly but never too hot – fantastic sunny day for a strong run.

Race seemed pretty well organized – considering their size I was surprised to see there were pace bunnies but they had them which was very good.

The race was scheduled to have the half marathoners and the 10k runners start out at the same time but they made a last minute decision to delay the 10k start by 15 minutes – good for the halfers but I could understand if any of the 10k runners were upset.  Because of that change though the line up at the starting line was pretty sparse and it was easy to get out and move pretty quickly.

I did start out too fast but I had a fair bit of nervous energy that I wanted to take advantage of before I settled down into a more normal pace.  Because of that I spent the first 5+ miles ahead of the 1:45 pace bunny before those folks caught me up and passed – I was kind of expecting that so it didn’t bug me at all as by that time I was at a good solid pace I could maintain for quite some time.

I continued to push pretty hard until the 1 hour mark to make sure I hit over 7.5 miles in that hour and I did – Garmin showed 7.55.  After that I settled in and continued to push to maintain over a 7 mph pace.

It was interesting to run into the 10k runners along part of the course but things were spread out enough that it wasn’t an issue and the volunteers / course marshals were doing a fantastic job directing runners to their correct route (they had highly visible coloured duct tape on each racing bib that told them which race the runners were in).  I had concerns going into the race but in the end they were unfounded thanks to the volunteers.

The volunteers at the water / Gatorade  stops were really good as well – at some of the locations where there were runners coming from 2 directions they were running out to make sure they got runners going both ways – excellent job folks!!

One thing I found to be a bit of a problem was the lack of mile markers – if you were watching you could see KM markers painted on the road but nothing in miles that I saw.  Now Canada is metric but I have always done my training in miles for a variety of reasons and I run with my Garmin in miles as well – now my Garmin said 13.4 miles at the end so it was a bit off of the official distance / markers but being in miles I didn’t realize that – it made the last mile and a half a little tough as I tried to figure out my pacing.  This isn’t really a complaint about the race as the site indicated that there would be km markers and some mile ones but making them more visible would be nice.

Now I mentioned earlier that the 1:45 pace bunny passed me as expected and it didn’t bother me but what did bother me was the 1:50 pace bunny passing me around mile 10 and disappearing – I finished in under 1:50 and he had to have been 2-3 minutes or more faster than me at the end.  I understand that the pace bunnies have a tough job to do and I appreciate the work that they do and the fact that they volunteer to do what they do but it is a bit disheartening to have them blast past you when you are on track to finish around when the time they are marked for – you start to question your pacing and your plan – not something you want to have happen about 3/4 of the way through the race.

It was nice to be able to push at the end and I got near 10 mph for the last 0.1 miles or so – felt good to finish strong.  At the end there was another runner that was just ahead of me that gave me a very good lesson in always running your own race and not trying to compete with those around you.  I will write up that story in another post.

Finished up – got my medal (not particularly flashy) – got a bottle of water (seriously sponsored by a funeral home and cemetery…no seriously) and did the 3 minute walk to my vehicle and headed home.  I didn’t stop to check out their massage tent or after snacks as I just wanted to get home and have a shower.

All in all a good race – well organized from what I could tell and I was able to push strong.  If I wasn’t carrying an extra 4-5 pounds of beer weight from the past week or so I probably could have been 2-3 minutes faster and come damned close to my personal best.  In the end – I learned a few things and have some solid confidence to really push the training and the weight loss over the next 3 weeks for the Rotary Club half marathon coming up on the 22nd.

To take list for Run for Diabetes Research

So about 10 hours from when this gets posted I will starting off on the Run for Diabetes Research here in Winnipeg – time for a quick check list for the morning to make sure I haven’t missed anything:

  • Running socks
  • Running underwear, compression shorts and over shorts
  • Running shoes with timing chip already attached
  • Nipple protectors…it will be chilly at the start
  • BigGoofyRunner technical shirt
  • Hoodie – for before the race
  • Running hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Armband for phone
  • GPS watch
  • Headphones
  • Running belt with bib attached
  • Disney pieces of magic and Pokémon card
  • Water bottle belt and water bottle
  • 2 small fuel bottles with flat coke
  • Running fuel candies – spearmint leaves – in ziplock bags
  • Kleenex – in ziplock bag
  • Wipes – in ziplock bag
  • Course map
  • Towel – in the van
  • Coke – in the van for afters
  • Extra water in the van for after and for clean up
  • Some cash

So the race will start a little chilly but will warm up quickly – kind of makes an interesting set of circumstances to plan for – long sleeve? Short sleeve? Jacket?  In the end though I have decided that due to the nature of the race I will be going with a short sleeve shirt and brave the cold at the start line for a little bit before starting the run.

Basically the race isn’t particularly far from my house and won’t be a very big one (something like 230 half runners? Tiny race compared to the Disney races) – I should be able to park within a 5 minute walk of the start line so I will stay nice and toasty in the van until I need to toe the line.  So I should only need to deal with the cold for 10-15 minutes before I get moving and according to the forecast it will start getting warm pretty quickly over the next couple hours so I will be appreciating the short sleeve by the end.

Plus if it feels cold after I have finished, it will be a short walk from the finish line to my vehicle as well so I can get warmed up.

I will reevaluate tomorrow morning but that is the current plan.

I need to run strong tomorrow – I would like to be very close to my personal best (1:46:11) but with the little weight spike in the past week I will take any improvements over the WPS Half time in May of 1:56:13.

Now – time to relax and then get some sleep.

#trainingrun – Sept 1st, 2013 (Sunday) – 2.78 miles in 25:40 – last run before race tomorrow

225 when I woke up this morning (bloody hell) and 224 after the run.

Weight spiked due to eating out for lunch yesterday and then a big supper last night plus a few beer.  Having company is killing my diet (need to work on that).  Company has gone home as of today so after the race tomorrow I can concentrate on getting back on track.  Weight should come back down a few pounds today I suspect which would be goof for the race tomorrow.

If I have to find a positive from the weight gain I could at least say that I should be fueled for the race tomorrow.

Run today was outside – nicely it was a little cool out but still nice enough that a short sleeve shirt worked and I was able to work up a bit of a sweat on the short run.  2.78 miles in 25:40 – took it easy as I just wanted to get the legs stretched out and check a new running shirt to make sure it is going to work for my race tomorrow. (more on the new shirt in another post coming up)

I had hoped to spend a fair bit of time relaxing in the pool today to stay limber for tomorrow but it seems like it will be a little cool today for that but I will look at that again later in the afternoon.

I will probably do a post a little later on my thoughts and getting organized for tomorrow’s race – the Run for Diabetes Research.