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2014 Merville 15k

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2014 Merville 15k

Postby BC » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:52 pm

Having just come back from two weeks of mountain biking in Moab and with a big week of marathon training in the legs, I didn't know what to expect for the race. I missed this race last year from injury after the Chuckanut 50k, so I knew that I should be able to easily beat my previous PR in this course. My ideal goal was to beat the 15k family record at 54:38, but I didn't know if I had enough in the legs to do it. The plan was to go out on that pace and see what happens.

Lots of the usual suspects were not around, so the front of the field definitely looked a little thin. After the race at Bazan I wanted to make sure I didn't start out too fast, so I consciously tried to ease back a bit off the start. By the 1k mark I had settled in behind Richard Light, with Jerry Loeb just behind me and Vince in the distance ahead. Richard has had a great season this year, so I knew that if I stuck with Richard I should be looking good for the race. At 1k I was 3:35 and just a metre or two behind Richard. Perfect! For the next K there was a gentle climb but we held a steady effort and finished 2k in 3:45. A little slow, but I knew that I had a small buffer. We were closing slightly on Vince, but as soon as we hit the downhill after 2k he blazed on ahead again. At the bottom of the hill was the flea market or something, and there was a van blocking half of the road. It was crazy! I watched as poor Derek had to decide what to do to get around the van, but by the time we got there he still hadn't moved! As we passed I called to one of the marshals, “Can you make him move!?!” I pulled up beside Richard and he called out something similar. Hopefully she didn't think we were being rude, but it was totally bizarre and unsafe! Richard pulled ahead of me by a metre or two again but I caught him somewhere before 3k. Around here Jerry caught right up to us and was drafting behind me. 3K was in 3:36. The flats rolled along nicely, and we hit 4k in 3:24. I saw my split and thought, “Boy! That was a little rich!” Almost as soon as I thought that, Jerry echoed the thought, shouting out, “That was a fast one!” Now we were running as a pack, with Richard and I shoulder to shoulder and Jerry drafting in behind. 5K went by in 3:37 for a 5k split of 17:59. My target was 18:15ish, so this was looking pretty good. Somewhere around here Mark Cryderman was out cheering, so it was cool to see him out on the course.

We kept rolling on the same configuration for 6k in 3:39. I felt surprisingly good overall. The legs had felt heavy since about 3k, but my breathing felt relaxed and strong. I did fight off a few stitches but it was really more like the suggestion of a stitch. All through this stretch it was great because I was running completely mindlessly. I was locked into Richard's pace and just concentrated on running relaxed and breathing well. We hit 7k in 3:43 and shortly after that Richard said that it wasn't his day and dropped to the back, drafting off of Jerry. Suddenly I was leading! What!?! This wasn't part of the plan! There were also some windy gusts here, but what the hell. I pushed on for 8k in 3:43. And then we saw Mark out cheering for us again! Totally awesome! We hit 9k in 3:42, and I tried to hold the intensity up the hill for 10k in 3:48. I could hear Jerry still hanging onto me at the back, but with Vince ahead in the distance it was more a race about time than placings. My 5k split was 36:46, just behind my target of 36:30. I knew that if I had a solid last 5k I could make the time up. My breathing still felt really relaxed and strong. The legs felt tired and heavy, but they felt manageable. I hoped so!

Down the hill was nice and fast, and felt almost like a freebie. I feel like I closed on Vince slightly here, enough that it seemed like a distant possibility that I might be able to catch him. 11K was 3:36. So far so good! I could hear that Jerry had dropped off the back of me now, and kept just focusing on running hard, breathing strong, and hopefully reeling in Vince. I kept closing and hit 12k in 3:33. Sweet! Just hold on for three more k! Vince was still just dangerously far ahead, where it was a distant possibility that I might catch him. I kept pushing on and hit 13k in 3:32. Good! Body is sore and tired now, but its only 2k left! The legs definitely felt heavy, but they had momentum so it felt like as long as I kept them moving on pace they would stick with me. I was working hard for sure, closing slightly on Vince. We hit the sign with the Crow on it (it's emblazoned in my brain from my first year running here with Frank) and I knew that I was close. Grit the teeth and keep pushing. Vince seemed to be pushing hard now too, and I didn't seem to be closing on him anymore. Oh well, keep trying! 14K in 3:30. After seeing the 14k sign, I knew that the downhill was just around the corner. Keep pushing! Before the race I had thought that maybe I would try my hand at the sprint but as I ran in to the final stretch I knew that I didn't have it in the legs. They just felt heavy and tired! I kept pushing hard, thought, and as I neared the hundred metre stretch I saw the clock ticking at 53:45. With a miracle sprint I could get under 54mins! But I knew that I just didn't have it and would be risking injury. I pushed through hard to the line with 15k in 3:18 for an overall time of 54:07. Super happy with the run, and excited to capture another family best. The final 5k was 17:37, so that was definitely what made the race. I also got 773 points for the race, which is my second highest points ever, behind my Bazan Bay race last year (776). So a great day, and very excited about the race.
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Re: 2014 Merville 15k

Postby WayneC » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:30 pm

Nicely done BC! I had you at 10 Km (my split was 36:30) and I know that you were running scared as you powered through that final 5 Km. Well deserved. Let's see, there is still the mile and the Marathon record in my possession. Wonder how long those will last? :cry:
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Re: 2014 Merville 15k

Postby Kiwi Keith » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:25 pm

"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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