2014 Sooke 10k

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2014 Sooke 10k

Postby BC » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:23 pm

Leading into this race was a big week. Just one week before it was a PB Merville 15k and one of my best race results. That was followed by an intense week of training which included a 32k run on Wednesday, including 12k at marathon pace. So between the training volume, the intensity, and Sooke itself not being a fast course I didn't know what to expect on race day. Nonetheless my hope was that I would be able to PB, and I had 3:35 pace as a mark in the back of my head. After not seeing a lot of the usual crew at Merville, it was fun to see lots of people out for the Sooke race. I did a good 4k warmup with Doc and Clay, and managed a quick hello to family friends Rob and Linda before heading out to the start. Once again the plan was to go out strong, but not start too hard.

The gun went off and everyone took off with a surge. Lots of the guys seemed to be going out very fast and I consciously tried to hold back. Even so, the first k went by in 3:27. Oops! A little fast, but we'll manage. At this point a gap started to open up, with Clay pulling up with a pack in front of me, while I settled in with Richard Light. We both chuckled that we were once again in the exact same position. I heard some heavy breathing behind me and turned to find none other than Jerry Loeb! The team from Merville is back! I had hoped that Clay and I would be able to have a good duel in the race, but he was well ahead and I knew that I would just kill myself if I tried to catch him at this point. So I settled in and ran shoulder to shoulder with Richard. Before long, he tucked behind me and so I was alone breaking the wind and looking at a large gap up to Clay. 2K was 3:41. I kept pushing and by 3k I had opened up a bit of a gap on Richard and Jerry. The downhill was nice but I don't think I closed the gap on Clay at all. I resigned myself to not catching him and tried to concentrate on my breathing. In Merville my breathing had felt easy and relaxed, but today it didn't have any flow at all. I knew what I wanted to do, but somehow my body just didn't want to relax into my breathing. With the downhill at 3k, my split was 3:28. Another good downhill to 4k was 3:27. Somewhere in this stretch Nick Patenaude pulled up beside me on his bike and asked if he could analyze my running gait. It was pretty funny as he pulled out his camera and filmed me for a few strides. “Hmm. Major heel strike. Nice long stride though...” I had to chuckle as he went flying on to cheer on other on the course. Now on the flats at the bottom of the course I was basically on my own. I held on to a 3:38. As I hit the turnaround, I thought about giving Clay the “I'm watching you!” but it seemed like I was too far back for it to be even funny. Running back to 6k I suddenly realized that I was gaining on Clay. I was pulling up closer and closer as we got to the aid station at 6k, when he came to a full stop to get a drink. I couldn't believe it and took it as a sign of weakness, pushing on ahead and up the hill. I suddenly felt full of confidence that he wouldn't be able to catch me. I also thought of Happy Jaycox here, as the last time I raced Sooke this was almost the same script that had played out! 6K was in 3:36. Now just ahead of me and rapidly closing was a triathlete friend of Clay's. Instead of thinking about Clay trying to hunt me down, I focused on catching the guy in front of me. Sure enough, once I hit the hill I switched over to a fast cadence and short stride and moved by him decisively. 7K went by in 3:37. Up the next hill to 8k I was able to hold on for a 3:47. Now it was just 2k to go and I could see Hugh Trenchard distantly in front of me. My breathing was suddenly feeling relaxed and good, and other than my legs feeling tired and heavy I felt surprisingly good. Again I tried to concentrate on closing the gap on Hugh, rather than think about the guys trying to catch me from behind. I held steady and slowly closed the gap down, hitting 9k in 3:25. I was beat, but I knew that with only 1k to go that I was looking good. I kept concentrating on just closing the gap little by little, and by the corner into the finish line I had closed to just a few strides. I almost gave up pushing in the last stretch, but then in the back of my head I realized that this might be my only chance to beat Hugh in a race. So I pushed hard at the end, not a real sprint by probably my best effort of the series, and with a final surge I was able to just nip him at the line. Crazy! Final k was in 3:24 for an overall time of 35:32 and a new PB. Definitely a race that I am proud of. Interesting that I had two such different race experiences in back to back weeks, but I feel like they are two of the races that I am most proud of. Merville felt like the mythic race where everything goes well and feels good, the kind of race that you always hope for and keeps you chasing because you know that every once in a while it is there for the taking. Sooke was a race where I worked hard and persevered, and was able to hold it together to a good finish in the end. The kind of race that is like a rallying cry to make you push on even though you don't want to.
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Re: 2014 Sooke 10k

Postby WayneC » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:28 am

Nicely done BC! Definitely a race to be proud of. There is nothing like running on the edge and being able to push it right through to the end. A great confidence booster to know that you have been there.
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