Last year’s Miles for Music was my first race of more than 5k. It wasn’t a great race for me, despite the time being pretty impressive. I wasn’t particularly used to running that far, and I went out too fast (my first 5k was 21 minutes, as was the second 5k, but it quickly went downhill after that). That race took a lot out of me and I wasn’t good for much the rest of the day.
This year was going to be different. I have been getting better at pacing, and the plan wasn’t to get caught up in the speed. Also, I had volunteered to be a bike lead for the new 5k (the race is supported by my club – RVRR – and was created, and is run by, 2 club members), so needed to be able to do something useful after the race (and I wanted to join the after party at Harvest Moon in New Brunswick – I didn’t make it last year because of how I felt).
Although I wore my Garmin, I was trying not to look at it too often. I did at the start to make sure I wasn’t going too fast (although, of course, I was, as it’s easy to get caught up in the initial scramble). The course had clocks at each 5k point, so that provided a handy gauge and I used that more than my watch.
As I got further into the race I was more and more happy with the way I was running, and my splits were around the overall pace I managed last year (I didn’t think I was going to be as fast as last year, but didn’t think I’d be too far off), but something happened a bit before the 11 mile mark and I suddenly felt like my legs were giving up on me. I pushed through, but lost quite a bit of pace in the last couple of miles, finishing in 1:30:58 (over 90 seconds slower than last year): Garmin run data.
The reason for this fade at the end was undoubtedly due to my stubbornness about not taking on water or nutrition during the race. I hate taking on water from those cups at the drink stations as I always seem to choke on it. I just thought I could push through and make the distance with nothing during the race. That is going to change after this experience. I guess I just need to learn how to drink from the cups without losing too much speed, and I need to start using Shot Bloks during longer races. I know I will have to do this in a marathon, so I’ve got to start somewhere and I might as well use the races this year to practice.
Shortly after I finished the family arrived as they were going to take part in the 1 miler. It turns out they thought I was bringing their numbers with me, but I hadn’t, so they had left them at home. I got on the bike and rode home to get them (it was only just over a mile away and it was quite a reasonable cool down).
When I got back I decided I needed to find someone to “volunteer” to run with my daughter (I didn’t think my wife would be able to keep up with her while dealing with our son even though she had the Chariot carrier with the jogging kit – it’s a bit big to weave in and out of people). I had intended to run with her, but had volunteered for bike lead on the 5k without realizing that both events happened at the same time. Luckily Angela, who was volunteering at the race, stepped in (in case you’re reading this, thanks again Angela).
Watching the 5k from a bike in front was great. Two runners went ahead fairly early on, with a 15 year old (Ryan Siegel) out front for the first half. Shortly after Billy Foster (aged 16) caught up and eventually passed Ryan for the lead, stayed ahead, and came in with a time of 16:47 (the 3rd place runner was about a minute behind).
Near the finish for the 5k, the 1 miler crowd was still coming in (they must have started a little later I think) and I saw the family there. I went over to be told that Rebecca had run the whole way without stopping (which impressed me), but then I was told she did it in 8:25 even with having to weave in and out of people for a while at the start (which did more than impress me – I was stunned). Anyway, I wrote about that yesterday, so won’t go on about it too much more I promise.
After heading home for a quick shower (during which I noticed a blood blister on one of my toes on my right foot – never had that sort of issue before in those shoes or socks, but now I think about it, I had noticed that my right shoe wasn’t tied as tight as my left, so perhaps that’s all it took), I headed over to Harvest Moon in New Brunswick for a few drinks (another bike ride, but again only about a mile away). Apparently more teams joined the after party last year, but it seemed like it was mainly RVRR folks this year. Still, we had a great time and it was a perfect way to finish a good day.