Thursday, March 4, 2010

Peterborough Half Marathon Report or a Brief Moment of Insanity

Peterborough Race Report
Have you ever heard the saying that the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over again but expect different results? Well sometimes that's me with racing. Every once in a while, maybe 1 race in 10, I find myself living out this definition. I guess its my body reminding me to smarten up, you would think that extreme pain would ingrain lessons learned deeply but with me not so much. I'm the kid that shouldn't leave the house without a hockey helmet. Read On.

Kim and I were both looking forward to this race. I hadn't run a half marathon in quite awhile so I expected to PB. Fellow Longboat Gregoire Bonhomme was kind enough to pick us up and give us a drive to the race. In return I own him beer, now that's a sweet deal right there. On top of that the race start was 12:30 so we didn't have to leave for the race until 9:30 am. It so nice not to have to be up at 5 to race.

I had been worried about the weather all week with a big storm coming in on Friday and Saturday but by the time Sunday arrived the Chicken Littles at the Weather Network had been proven to be premature with their "the sky is falling", apocalyptic weather forecasts. Thank goodness I though I might actually have to wear a hat.

We got up to the race in plenty of time and met up with a bunch of other club members, picked up our race kits and got changed. The racing conditions were fantastic, sunny and 3 degrees. I decided to run in shorts, no hat, no jacket... sweet.

I should also mention that this was a really well put on race. Great facilities (YMCA), great volunteers. These guys know how to run a race right. I was so glad to have picked this winter half over the Chilly in Burlington especially given the problems I have had with VRpro races and the Chilly last year.

Race goals were simple, top goal to run under 1:37, middle goal sub 1:40, low end goal to PB. I knew my proper pacing, had my strategy, what could go wrong. Yeah right, where have you heard that before.

I started out well or so I thought at the time. On reflection I started out well if I was a much, much faster runner then I actually am otherwise I started out way,way,way (add some more ways in your head and just keep going)fast.

I had planned to put in 4:40kms to start and then pick it up a bit later in the race. Man what the heck happened to that plan. First to KMs were in the 4:15 range, oopps. I reined in back in a bit and at 3KM was running at 4:30, which is still too fast this early on but hey I felt good. Sure my heart rate was already right at threshold pace but I could just pull back some if it started to creep up, besides I was feeling good. I could hear the tiny voice in my head telling me to easy up and stick with the plan but I just pushed it deep down inside where it couldn't bother me anymore. Sometimes, like today, that voice sounds just like Peter Griffin and who the hells going to listen to that guy anyway.

The course itself is an out and back, very flat, very fast. I hit 6KM in great shape hitting all my readjusted on the fly splits that were for a much faster runner then me. I looked at my garmin.... oh oh, HR was above threshold and now steadily climbing and by the time I hit 8KM I knew I was in for a difficult ride. What was I thinking. I mean its not my first ever race and we all know that the longer distance races are all about pacing properly. What a butt head. I could hear Peter Griffin laughing and I imagined him saying "told ya" over and over again. I had a good time going but was now having problems maintaining pace, legs felt great, lungs were on fire and only 13 KM left to go. Yikes!

The rest of this race became an exercise in pain. As I slowed down from lack of oxygen I could see my time bleeding away. Somehow I was able to maintain at least some sort of pace. At 18KM I tried to speed up some but soon was coming up with new and ingenious ways to combine every curse word that I know. I come from the East Coast so I know a lot of them.

We passed the 20KM marker and then turned onto the final straight away which was somewhere around 800 meters from the finish. I could see the finish but man was it a long way away. I ran and ran but it didn't seem to be getting much closer. I checked my HR which had long ago pushed into 400 meter track work out range (98% of max). As I pushed I remembered how Roger told me about how he had passed out just before the finish line at the Bread and Honey and woke up in an ambulance. I contemplated this to help keep my thought off of my lungs which were no longer burning cause they had become scorched to a crisp. Legs felt great tho.

Then I was at the finish. I somehow managed to surge at the end passing two people just in front of me.

Post Race
Ended up PBing by 4:40 minutes but if I had run this race properly I would have been quicker. I figure I lost about a minute off my time by being foolish. Good lesson that comes at a great time with a month to go until ATB. I am sure I will remember this lesson forever (HAAAAHAAA as if).

This is a really great race. I will do it again for sure and highly recommend it. They know how to put on a great race that's for sure.

Also a big congratulations to all the Longboaters at this race. Lots of PBs and top finishes in individual age categories including Roger Moss (5th overall) and Rob Campbell (7th overall and a new club record for the 50 -55 age category). To check out how everyone did as well as what Roger had to say about me in particular be sure to go to his coaching blog. Its worth the trip.

Final Results
Time 1:38:45
Place 101/513
Age group 14/39
Pace 4:42


  1. Great race! PB'ing is always sweet.

  2. Congrats on the PB, Chris! Thanks for suggesting this race... sounds like a good one and I may consider it next year since I am not a fan of Chilly myself. (though I am running this weekend)

  3. A PB and a lesson - great race!

  4. Another gripping report and congrats on the PB!

  5. As always you make me laugh and laugh!! But not at your amazing finish ... what a great PB!!!! Sounds like you had a great day, scorched lungs and all :)

    Oh, and that link within widget is pretty neat.

  6. Congrats on a speedy race and you PB!!! Awesome!

  7. Congratulations on running a PB. Very bad ass.

    Love how insightful you are, that you don't seriously attempt to tell us you will learn from this race. Ah, honesty, above all else:)


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