January 15, 2009

Getting Ready to Race

This Sunday I am racing in a 10km in Langley, BC. It’ll be my first race of 2009.

A month ago I ran in a 10km race in Dronten, the Netherlands, on a flat course. It was a windy day which was noticeable during the second half where the course ran through some exposed areas of the polder.

While I felt good throughout the race and put in a solid effort, I wasn’t willing to dig that extra little bit. But I was tired enough after my 40:26 effort.

For Sunday’s race I am willing to push that extra little bit. A year ago I did this race for the first time and finished in 39:51. It was a 33-second PB and the first time I broke 40 minutes, something I’d dreamed of doing for a long time.

I have not been able to run faster since then, though I came pretty close (39:55) on a course that was a bit hillier and had lots of twists and turns.

The Langley course is perfect. It turns right after about 150 meters before turning left after another 300 meters or so. From there it is a big rectangle, during which you hang right another three turns and finish by turning left for the final 150 meters at the place where you started.

The first 3 kilometers have a slight upward incline. I remember looking at my watch a year ago and thinking that my 4:10 to 4:15s didn’t quite do justice to the effort I was putting in.

Being unhappy with the pace I saw on my watch during my first three kilometers I decided to simply stop looking at it. Instead, I focused on catching the men in front of me (there were no women ahead). It wasn’t until the final kilometer that I checked my watch again and was stunned by the time as I quickly did the math and realized I was on track for a personal record.

I’m excited to test my fitness on this course that allowed me to achieve such a monumental goal for the first time. As an added bonus, my partner Tim is racing too. He’s just six weeks back into Ironman training. Hopefully we’ll be able to push each other.

The weather forecast for Sunday’s Chilly Chase is great: dry, sunny, 5km/h wind and 9 degrees. If you're thinking about doing this race, I highly recommend it. Everything about it was absolutely fantastic last year.

Here’s the link.

No comments: