Sunday March 30 marked the opening of the spring races for this year, it also marked an opportunity for me to gauge whether I would be on pace for my goal race which is the Ottawa Marathon coming up in May. Around the Bay is the longest distance race I have competed in since October. This winter was brutal for outdoor training, the ice, snow and extreme temperatures hindered any opportunity I had to really hit the pavement in prep for ATB. I looked back over my Garmin Connect account to notice only 7 outdoor runs between December and February…3 of which were in Florida and on very flat terrain.
My training schedule had me running 3 consecutive weekends of 30km. Around the Bay was not a goal race so the schedule did not adapt to much knowing I still have to work towards 12.2km more before the end of May.
This winter I spent a fair amount of time receiving physiotherapy for a nagging hip injury but in that treatment I was learning about the importance of flexibility and strength training. Very thankful for Paul and Essential Physiotherapy for getting me race ready. My final two training runs were on Hardy Road…just running up and down those hills…that was the real key to getting a PB.
The race itself was great…the sun was shining and even though I had shorts and a long sleeve compression shirt I was overdressed for the elements.
The first 10 km were slower than I wanted but it was really hard to break free and find some open space to run without worrying about runners in front of me slowing me down. When we hit the first set of hills the crowds began to separate. I completed the first 10 km in under 48 min.
The most impressive part of this race for me was the stretch of 20-27 km that were filled with rolling hills and of course the climb up Heartbreak Hill. I managed to sprint up most of the hills but kept my pace to under 5:00/km up Heartbreak hill made the turn down the home stretch and picked up the pace passing a number of people.
I was very happy with a personal best of 2:21:14. Around the Bay in 2012 was the first long distance run I had ever completed and did so in a 2:52:37. I manage to drop 30 min off of that time as well as 6 min off of a 30 km practice I had done back in August 2013. Most of my long run times for 30 km this year were 2:43:00.
Next up -Ottawa Marathon on May 25, 2014
Check out the Race Stats.