Sunday, 24 May 2015

Reality Hurts - Cdn Armed Forces Running Championships 2015

Prerace with my best buddy!

So today I raced the Half-Marathon at the Ottawa Race Weekend. The Ottawa Race weekend also serves as the Cdn Armed Forces (CAF) Running Championships. I finished in 1:17:42 which was good enough for 1st in the CAF, 2nd in M30-34, and 10th Overall. I was satisfied with the overall result, given my lack of training over the last 6+ weeks. 
Receiving the Gold Medal from BGen Pelletier, Cdn Armed Forces Running Patron!

To be honest the last 6 weeks have been very frustrating due to a lack of training and have been a constant mental battle. The lack of consistent training was the result of three events: 1. we welcomed our 4th child, Abigail Grace, into the world on 31 March, 2. I was the Race Director for the St Albert Road Race on 19th Apr, and finally 3. spent 1-15 May deployed to the field on exercise. During that period of time I managed very little training. It’s pretty frustrating when you know you’re not at the level you know you were at last year…but life goes on and it’s a constant balancing act between family, work, community participation, and training. Sometimes you feel like you're failing and it simply sucks. 

I was fortunate to be able to travel to Ottawa on Thursday 28 May with our son, James. It was a great opportunity to have a father/son weekend and also an opportunity for James to spend time with his grandparents (my parents). During the weekend I also had the opportunity to spend some time at the Expo with the crew from A-1 Imports (distributor for Compressport Canada) – it’s always great being able to give back to my sponsors and supporters.

The actual race was just ok. I knew I did not have the same running speed/fitness as last year and realistically needed to have my sights set on an attainable goal. I had 3 goals. #1 break my time from last year (very optimistic), #2 match my time from last year (attainable), #3 run sub 1:20. At the gun I went out hard (intentionally to get away from the crowd) for about 400m then slowly attempted to settle into my race. I was running ~3:30/km for the first 6kms and knew this was simply too fast for my current fitness level. I mentally lost the race at around the 6km mark…I knew I was over extended. Thankfully there were a few kids out on the course looking for high fives and I used that exchange as an opportunity to refocus. Wearing the Canadian Forces Singlet also always helps to keep going – I’m not just representing me but also the men and women of the CAF. I dropped the pace to 3:40-3:50/km and figured I would just do what I could to make it to the end…I managed but it was a brutal struggle!
To the finish!

There was nothing pretty about today’s race, but sometimes you just have to gut it out. Reality sometimes hurts.