Training and touringMy Mum and Dad were here the past week for a visit. Among other things, Dad and I ran together a couple of times and also lined up for one of the MEC races on the final day of their visit.
First run was on a Sunday, and the altitude in Calgary, 1,000 metres, was a little tough for him, though he finished up ok. On their last visit here in 2007, I was the old me and huffed and puffed to keep up.
Tuesday, I took the bus to the gym, did my core stuff then ran 10k home. It's the first time I've done this "duathlon" since May, before the marathon.
A drive down to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump later on.
A trip to Fort Calgary for some history and Benny Hill-ing after that.
Thursday was weights and no run (/no fun) day, and Friday was a short 4k, including one at race pace. We had a drive around Kananaskis country later on.
During their visit, Mum told me about the time I got my sports badge as an 8 year-old in the cubs (Boy Scouts). For the 50 metre sprint, I was last. For the 400 metre "distance race", I went almost the same pace as the 50 and passed everyone with just over 100 metres to go. A shock result at the time, so Mum says. An early sign of my modest level of talent?
Saturday, 9am race. Arrived nice and early to get a parking space, which I thought would be tight (spot the Calgary race veteran).
PB was 19:25 up to that point. During speed sessions for marathon training I had thought that this was beatable, although I had only been 2 weeks back into training after light running on holiday in Asia, not to mention eating like an Emperor's entourage.
Dad does a local 5 miler each year (he's wearing the shirt), a 10 miler and has done several half marathons.
Today was his first 5k however. He predicted he'd manage about 27 minutes and change for a guaranteed PB.
The plan for me was to go with the flow for the first km knowing that it would likely be too fast, then keep it in the low 3:50s and speed up in the last k if possible. The course is an out and back next to the Bow River, slightly downhill for the first half. There's usually a north westerly headwind for the return direction too.
10k started at 9, with the 5k due to start at 9:10, which was changed to 9:05. Some kids (10+ I think) lined up in the front row, which they probably shouldn't, however this race series is not overly serious.
A busy start, and there was a runner with a shoulder bag/ purse (!) to get around.
The trip hazards/ kids tried to stay at the front, lasting about 2 minutes.
Counting those in front, which is a struggle for me even standing still, I guessed I was about 15th. At 2k there were 10k runners to pass.
The 5 minute gap between races would have best been left at 10 minutes for both 5 and 10k-ers. Frequent trips to the grass, and I overtook my first pacemaker.
The turnaround was tight, and the pathway full of the rest of the field coming the other way. This might have led to me and the 3 in front running on an adjacent pathway for a while and going a bit further than the 5k.
At race pace, the change to slight uphill was noticeable as well as a head wind of about 10 kmh. 3 runners in front slowed as a result, and I passed them within 2 minutes of the turnaround. I did quite a bit of satisfying overtaking for most of the race, not just kids and ladies with handbags.
Dad passed by in the other direction, thankfully 30 seconds before a glitch with my gopro stopped it recording.
Catching up the next lady (lots of quick girls in this race), she found a little speed when I got to her shoulder to overtake. The same thing happened about 30 seconds later, but the 3rd time there was no response. I felt like staying behind, though I knew this would involve settling for missing a PB.
At the 4k sign I had trouble breathing quickly enough, and now used the guy ahead as a target to stop myself slowing down. Blessed are the pacemakers. "There's the car park, almost there." "PB up ahead." "No more 5ks ever again."
I crossed the line in 19:18, a PB by 7 seconds. In another 7 seconds I was lying down getting my breath back along with 3 or 4 others. I shook hands with a few of the "leave it all out there" club after finding my feet. That's the thing with the 5k: lung-busting, but ready for action again after a few minutes.
The official time was 19:20, though I think the clock (started for the 10k and minus 5 minutes) was slightly off, so I'll go with my watch. It says I did 5.05k, so could perhaps subtract 11 seconds but will stick to 19:18.
Dad managed a 27:30, his predicted time. This race series doesn't do age categories (yet), nevertheless I declare him AG winner.
I was 6th overall, and 4th male. I have quite a collection of near podiums, but a PB beats a podium every time. Still, it's a good placing, not to mention I can't remember overtaking that many people.
Post race, we headed to Bow Valley Ranche for brunch. Bambi was superbly cooked, and it was a beautiful summer's day in Alberta. A great day overall before Mum and Dad headed home the next morning.