Hatley Castle 2016

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Hatley Castle 2016

Postby WayneC » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:27 pm

Well, that was a good day. I have been struggling with a hamstring tweak and had some pretty sketchy running for the last few weeks. I had a very mediocre Half Marathon last weekend, but gave myself a pass due to the conditions and the tight hammy. Things were settling down though, so I hoped that today would be better.
Hatley is not known for fast times due to the very hilly course which also includes some trail running. For this reason the boys and I planned to use it as a training run sandwiched between a long warm up (12 Km) and a long cool down (10 Km). I also did not taper for the race, doing a speed session on Thursday, as well as running both Friday and Saturday. (I needed to try out my new NB Zantes) I wanted to get a good intensity in and hoped that I would hold together for the whole race.
The downhill start on a narrow road is always a little crazy. I purposely started slower than usual. My plan was to stay behind Les and Larry, who seemed to be hanging behind in previous races only to blast by at the end. I slowed down until I saw them and then tucked in behind Larry, with Les just off my shoulder. The first Km at 4:00 flat was the slowest first Km I have run in years. Larry and Les both pulled a little ahead and I tucked in. I eased in front of Les at about 2 km as Larry was starting to pull away. They both pulled a little ahead as we went up the steep hill at 3 km. I was starting to talk to myself already at this stage not to let them go. I closed the gap again and then went by Les at 4 Km. Larry was a few strides ahead, but again added to his lead by a few seconds as we hit the next hill. It was downhill after the turnaround and I mentioned to shorten the distance to only a few seconds before hitting the trail through the woods. Again he pushed hard on the last uphill and I had to work hard to go with him. Two Km to go and he had 6 or 7 meters on me still. Crap! I knew he was trying to drop me as we passed a number of other runners. Danny (wounded though he was) was in sight and we were closing fast. I was almost to the point that I would have been willing to settle for second but managed to ignore that negative thought and hung in there. :evil: I knew that Larry had a good kick (and I did not) so if I had any chance of beating him I would need a good lead going into the last stretch. We hit the steep downhill and I let it go. Almost reminded myself of Frank Graham. My legs were flying at 220 strides per minute according to my Garmin, and my arms were flailing. I caught Larry half way down the hill and kept on going, barely in control as I hit the sharp corner. Feet, don't fail me now! I hit the flats and tried to carry the speed as long as I could. Still 800 meters to go and I was gassed. I had no idea how far Larry and Les were behind me, but I focused on closing on those runners in front of me. Where is that finish line?! My legs were rubber for the last 100 meters, but I kept pushing. And wouldn't you know it, nobody came by me. :) The last 2 km were 3:46 and 3:40! :shock: I turned after crossing the line and there was Larry, only 1 second behind me. Yowsers! That was close. Les was only another 10 seconds back.
Felt pretty good and happy with the effort. Grabbed some grub, and then off for the cool down.
Time of 32:21 was about the same as last year and I was first in my AG. It's coming. The legs are a little stiff, but I did not hurt anything. :D Looking forward to the Half.
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