Friday, September 4, 2009
Sunset Shuffle Race Report .... Last Months Training
Sunset Shuffle Race Report
Thursday August 27th was this year's version of the Sunset Shuffle. I have to confess that this was one of my favorite races last year and so running it again this year was a no brainer (yeah, yeah insert smart ass remark right here). This is also one of the 2 races that my running club puts on every year. Unlike the Longboat Island Race in September, club members are allowed (actually encouraged) to run it.
What’s to like about this race? Just about everything. The course is located on Toronto Island and its flat and fast. It's an odd length at 6k so if you haven’t run it before you are probably getting a PB. It’s also small with the race capped at 200 runners and has a very laid back feel to it even though once again this year the field was amazingly fast. After the race there's beer and hotdogs, just what a runner needs after a hard run.
Got up Thursday morning and packed my running gear. Since I work right downtown and the race is a 7pm start, there was no point going home beforehand. At last minute realized that we had no bug spray. Last year the only thing that I didn’t enjoy about the race was the mosquitoes came out to feed once it got dark so had to have the bug spray this year. Kim said she would pick some up at lunch so no problem.
Got off work and walked over to Kim's office to meet her before heading down to the Island ferry. We managed to get there and on the 5:45 ferry just before it left. Got to the race and picked up our numbers with lots of time to spare. Did a good 20 minute warm up and then headed to the start line.
My race plan for this run was supposed to be a bit different. I didn’t do any kind of taper. Okay that’s not totally true I ran 10 miles instead of 12 the night before. I had planned to run fast but not all out, maybe around 10k pace. The reason for this was that I was going to be running back to back 5k and 8k races an hour apart the next week. Those were to be target races for me to try and PB in so I didn’t want to end up hurting myself or burning out my legs. I promised George who was going to pace me next week that I would take it easy. I believe he was skeptical from the start... LOL.
It also didn’t help the plan much to have fellow Longboater Rob C. trying to lure me into running it faster. "Don’t worry about it you got plenty of time to recover" and "you should be able to crush last year's time" although encouraging words, they are not helpful to sticking to the plan. It’s kind of like inviting your alcoholic, celibate friend to a keg party at a strip joint... something is bound to give.
Lined up at the starting line and as soon as Too Tall Tony blew the starting horn we were off. Race conditions were perfect, no wind and cool maybe around 18 degrees. I started out very strong, felt really good and was running way too fast. I began to make a conscience effort to keep it reined in at least a little. Hit the 1k mark in 4:03 (instead of the planned 4:30ish) but felt really good. Still that’s too fast for me even racing full out so I tried to pull it back a bit more. I noticed that fellow club member Rob K. was just a few feet ahead of me. Rob is much faster then me so I made an effort to get a bit more in control of my pace or I would pay for it later.
I hit the one mile mark in 6:45 but was now running a very hard but doable pace so just began to focus on staying steady. The run around 10k pace plan was completely out the window.
Was running really well and caught up to Longboater Andy M. right around the 3k mark. I expected to pass him but he sped up when I moved along side of him so I matched his pace for the next minute or two. I finally decided to push past him so I surged a little pushing the pace which Andy then matched. The next thing I knew he was pushing the pace with a little surge of his own. After that it was on big time, so much for taking it easy. I pushed, he pushed back and we had our own little race going for the next couple of K's.
This went until the last few hundred meters of the race. Even though I was redlining big time I saw one person a few seconds ahead that I thought I might be able to catch. I somehow found a final kick and picked it up at the end picking off the person in front of me and fending off Andy.
Finished the 6k in 25:44 (6:56 per mile pace). Actually hit the 5k mark 30 seconds faster then my 5k PB so was very happy with the time. Kim also ran very well finishing in 37:06.
We had hotdogs and beer post race and were very popular. As it turned out the bugs were out again and our giant can of bug spray appeared to be the only one on the Island.
Last Months Training Stats.
Here are my August Training Stats
Days run: 23
Days off: 8
20 mile runs: 4
Trail runs: 8
Races: 2 - 50k and 6k
Total Miles 252