You know when you have an idea to do something that seems like a really good idea at the time but then while you are doing it you think What the Hell was I thinking followed later by hey that was a good idea .... kind of. Well welcome to my everyday life.
So the plan was simple, run the Waterloo Marathon as a training run in preparation for Sulphur Springs.
This would be my longest run on road surfaces so far this year and I figured it would be easier if I had others to run along with. Its all in fun isn't it? I planned to do 15k at race pace then drop back to an easy run pace and just enjoy the ride. No worry about finishing time or actual pace just get my mileage in and enjoy it.
I got a drive up to the race with other longboat club members. Some were running the race for time others as training. Things got tough right from the start. Hello icy cold pouring race nice for you to hideout all week and make an appearance just before race time. Hey thanks for bringing you best friend Mr. Wind with you. Okay so with these kind of conditions I should be able to stick to the plan.
Race started out in Waterloo and then quickly headed out onto country roads. As soon as we got to the large open fields wind became a big factor and the rain actually started to come down harder. I started out running just behind my training partner Gregoire who was actually racing this one but then dropped about 100 meters back. One of the runners next to me gave me and odd look and then asked me if I had run Seaton the weekend before. As it turns out he was also running Waterloo as a training run with a friend of his. They were running about the same pace as I was so I did my first 15k of race pace chatting with them. I hope I didn't drive them insane but they are both much faster then me so they could have run away at any time. By the way if you see me at a race and I am driving you insane feel free to tell me to shut up.
I began to have some problems around 15k. It was raining hard, very cold and we were going directly into the wind. I had not worn any gloves and my hands were swelling up, freezing and not working very well at all. Why didn't I wear my gloves? What a moron! I began to worry that if they didn't warm up I might end up not finishing this race. Imagine not finishing a marathon because of your hands, talk about stupid.
Then suddenly at about 20k it stopped raining and we turned putting the wind at our back. Within 5 minutes my hands were fine again. This section of the course took us off the paved country road we were on and onto a gravel / dirt road for the next 5k or so. It was okay to run on but a little muddy.
Soon enough were were back on a main road and then out onto the side of the highway where the wind became a huge factor. For the most part it was unsheltered running with 40k winds hitting you from the front and side. Yikes.
I was keeping my training plan and was staying at my proper pace but I was mentally drained. The marathon is small (150 people) and I was alone from 15k on. At 32k I went over to the darkside. Its funny how that can happen all of sudden. I ran 53k the weekend before and never came close to going over to the darkside but suddenly here I was in negative thought land. Why did I run this? Why don't I just pack it in at the next aid station. Running distance is really stupid. I hate this Shit. Does anyone really need to run this far?
I was however still running well which made this mental meltdown even more perplexing. I decided to down a gel and just think about the next KM. This seemed to work and soon I was gobbling up the final few KM and headed into the finish.
Finishing time 3:48:16
Not bad given the conditions and actually my second fastest marathon time ever even though I was not actually racing it full out. I think that tells you how far my training has taken me in over the last year.
This race was pretty good except for the weather. Decent organization, nice medals and shirt and really awesome volunteers. I don't think I have ever seen a race with so many water stations.
Next up Pick Your Poison 50k trail run this coming Saturday