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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Race Report: Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Walk

The Race

5k in downtown Toronto. Big race with lots of goodies... technical shirt, a pair of gloves, and beer and chili at the finish! Not bad.

My Race

First, a big peeve of mine... why do people who are slow (or even walking) insist on being right up at the front for the start!? It's a chip timed race, if you're not going to be finishing in at least sub 25, you shouldn't be rubbing elbows with the guy in the singlet that weighs 110 pounds soaking wet. I had to seed myself further to the front than I maybe should have been just to be in front of some people who clearly weren't going to be fast... grumble!


At the start line, they announce that the course is short due to construction, so I'm already a bit cheesed... in the end it probably wasn't short by more than 50m, if that, but it put me in the mindset that this one wouldn't really count.  (Update - per the organizer, it was actually perfect, they moved the start line back to account for the other change!  So it counts!)

I started well, kept my pace within myself. It starts downhill, then immediately has a noticeable uphill, so I just kept things even and close to target pace. As expected, my Garmin lost its mind once we got into the tall buildings - but there were no kilometer markers! I had no idea what my pace was, I felt OK but just had to hope I was still on pace.

At the turn-around I was at 10:10... so sub-20 was looking like a tough task.

I tried to pick up the pace a bit, and thought I had done so for a bit. Still, it was tough to tell, Garmin was hosed and no kilometer markers, I was just running with what I had and hoping it was good enough.

Somewhere near the end I looked at the Garmin again and the distance said 4.5km, and almost exactly 18:00... if that were actually accurate, I only needed to hold 4:00/km pace to the end and I'd have my sub-20!

I tried my hardest to get a finishing kick going, but by this point the fatigue had really built up, and the finish is on an uphill... I realized pretty far from the line that I had further to go than I figured, and once the clock hit 20:00 I knew it was gone. I trudged to the line for a 20:30.

In the end, Garmin showed 5.15km... I think it's wrong though, it went crazy a few times.

Drank my beer, ate my chili, drank another smaller beer and headed for home.

20:30 (chip), 70th/1546 overall, 27/219 M30-39

It's a personal best, but still 30 seconds off my goal... I just don't seem to have the mustard to find that little extra for sub-20. I thought being a bit lighter and doing much more speedwork (intervals especially) would have really helped, but I'm only marginally faster than last year at best.

So back to the drawing board, need to figure out what training I can do to find 30 seconds! It might just take the right day when everything goes perfect from the time I wake up... but I will get there! It's just 30 seconds, that's just one commercial.


Anonymous said...

Ah, you're so close. Once the temps warm up that'll be good for quite a few seconds. For 5 km you need lots of speedwork so that a 4 minute km is pretty comfortable. But I'm sure you knew that.

You will do it. Good Luck!!


Jon P said...

Thanks Brian! A 4:00 km feels pretty comfortable now, at least at the track... :) The problem is I have about 3 of them in me before it starts feeling very uncomfortable! But yeah, I'll keep plugging away, may need to refine my training a bit and get it done.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jon. I should have mentioned that we rode together a few years ago when there was an informal ride around the "Halton Hilly Hundred" course. I think it was your friend that put it together, I just showed up.

Anyway, 15 or so years ago I could squeak under 20 minutes on the right day. I'm no coach, but I used to do either 10 x 400 (I can't remember the times) or 5 x 1000 in 3:45 - 3:55. I don't remember how long the rest was. I could run faster, but not for 5 of them. Once I could do five it was just a matter of getting the right race day. The courses always had km markings, and on the days I could do it I was even but usually a couple of seconds behind at 4km km. I'd do the last km under 4 minutes to squeak in. If you (or at least me) go out just a little too fast you're toast and die a horrible death out there!

I'll keep checking in.


Sean said...

Hey Jon, keep at it and you'll hit the 20 minute mark. If you've hit a plateau in your interval training is there anything you can do to change things up a bit?

You know, if a 4:00/km feels comfortable you are already doing a heck of a lot "right". Solid work.

Boris T said...

So close Jono! That course can be a bit deceiving it got me last year.

runwuf said...

belated congrats! so when is your next attempt? got pictures of that pair of gloves?

Jim Orr said...

I was involved in the organization of the 2011 Achilles 5K, and I can assure you that the course was not short. Due to the construction, the start/finish line was moved back far enough to make the course a true 5K. It was carefully measured several days before the race. I guess the race announcer didn't get the memo. I didn't hear him make the announcement, otherwise I would have told him to make another anouncement correcting himself. Looks like your PB counts.

Jon P said...

Cool, that's great news! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finding out the actual distance. This was a PB for me so it's good to know it counts. This information should go out to everyone who registered. BTW, I was 10 seconds behind you.