Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Saint Patrick's 5k, let it snow

The Resolution Run on December 31st at 6pm had much better weather than this.
Still, it marks the end of waiting season, and the beginning of running season, even if spring has forgotten to show up.

A-Chang's favourite part was seeing me in my new Puma top which I picked up in Tokyo. If only they stocked the same stuff as in Asia and Europe, instead of the "shoplifter's uniform" Canada seems to get.

-12 was the temperature, with gusts of wind at 30+ km/h. It had been snowing for a few hours before gun time, with 1-2cm on the ground. Bad weather doesn't bother me all that much, but it was nice not to be doing the 10k. For race day I want to do your best, but regardless of the shape you're in, the weather owns you.

The snow certainly owned me as I hadn't brought my Salomons which would have gripped much better. As it was, people surged past me at the start. My legs were turning over at 5k pace, but I wasn't going that speed. Not a single step I took was "true". Is that foot-spin or leg-spin?

Towards the top of the initial hill, I passed a couple of teenagers who decided to walk (!) and another couple of runners. After the first turn at the top, I found myself running in lots of space, gently round the 120 degree left and downhill. One volunteer called out "go camera guy!", which gave me a flashback to that other meteorologically challenged race, California International Marathon last December.
On the next right there was Neil, the ace photographer, lying on his side - a great angle for making as all look like giant strong runners. "Does my gastrocnemius look big in this?", etc. The next corner had the course heading due north to the turnaround. The snow now blew almost parallel to the ground right in my face. Pull your hat down I said. You won't be able to see, I replied. That's healthy inner chatter.

On the way back I was slowly gaining on the next guy, so made that my aim. An AG podium might be possible if I pass him I thought. Just before rounding the last corner, I went past then battled that wind again on the home stretch.
22:06, and glad it was over although pleased to have given it everything among runners laughing in the face of adverse weather. 17th overall out of 281, and good enough for 2nd in my age group just like last year. Conditions give no clue as to my current fitness, but speed work of late suggests possible PB given better weather on the day.
Next up is the big push towards the Calgary half at the end of May and the aim of getting into the 1:25s.

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