The recovery continues
The 50k was something different, in its aftermath another different experience seemed like a good way to continue the recovery.
Summer's kicking in, though not all the time, unlike May 31's race itself, when it showed up early.
There's no shortage of speed however, and I certainly got a chuckle out of being in the lead on this segment on Garmin Connect. It makes a change from my collection of 4th places.
A different idea
I was asked and charmed into being a pace bunny at the Banff Marathon event's 10k distance back in April.
Through A-Chang and some of my videos, I am apparently a minor celebrity in Calgary's Chinese community. There's an social media grouping called the Dragon Warriors with whom I have a little involvement too. I amuse many with a level of Chinese good enough to make hilarious mistakes.
The general idea was to pace a group of 6 ladies to 60 minutes, a couple of them would probably pull ahead later on, and 2 others perhaps drop back.3 weeks after the 50k, it would be a way of enjoying race day without risk of injury and also a day in Banff with A-Chang.
A 9:45 race start meant plenty of time to get to Banff from Calgary. Fortunately the weather cleared a little by the time we arrived, forecasts had contradicted each other. Package pick-up was the day before, a little inconvenient if living driving distance away, though fortunately one of our group was overnighting.
I was going to run without jacket, but changed my mind just before the start.
Sadly, my gopro's battery had not charged properly and it cut off after 5 minutes. The only thing that didn't go well on the day.
I tried to sing a few Chinese songs, however while I might know plenty of lyrics, I don't know any consecutive sentences.
At the 5k mark by my watch (only marathon signs on course), 29:45 was the time. Keep it going, I said, maybe a bit quicker in a little while. We were joined for a few minutes by the young guy to my right, desperate not to finish behind girls in tutus. He didn't get his wish, as the pace started to gently increase. Chicked...
Jin and Rachel pulled ahead at this butt-photo point, around the 7k mark. Tammy and Li (in yellow in the photos) whom I stayed with were now going about 5:40/k. I didn't try to slow things down, just calling out actual pace while running slightly behind.
The course went under the second bridge before a 1k loop around to then cross it and a quick hop to the finish.
The incline up to final bridge looked steep, said Tammy. It was nothing, and the finish was right after, I replied. "Lean forward, push up it."
Sharp turn onto the bridge. "700 metres, as fast as you want." Already on target to get a PB, there was quite an acceleration. Looking down, my watch read 4:40/k. Had the Dragonflies all been following my advice, and adding tempos and speed work into their training?
It was PBs all round, I was told. Tammy took 3 minutes off hers. Jin and Rachel were a couple of minutes ahead, Li just behind with Xiao Yu and Jenny next.
I had merely slowed things down at the start, the result being that every badass Chinese lady in a tutu produced a good negative split to finish strong and fast.
My watch said 9.63k, probably because of loss of signal passing through clumps of fairly thick tree canopy. Still, a measured course, and all times stand.
So now I know what others mean when they talk about how rewarding being a pace bunny is. Using one's own experience to help others outdo and surprise themselves is simply magical.