April 19, 2011

10k PB - Really? (Vancouver Sun Run)

I ran my fourth ever 10k road race this past Sunday, and all of them have been over the same Vancouver Sun Run route. The good part about this is that I got a true gauge of fitness, though against a comparative time from five years ago. (my only road racing experience is 10k x4, 21.1k x5)

My previous Sun Run times
2004 42m18s
2005 37m51s
2006 36m36s

2011 36m07s

Don't bother trying to verify this online as I ran under an alias to fill in for an injured runner on a corporate team. In all honesty, had I had any idea that I might be fit enough to run The Sun Run a few months ago I surely would have signed up, and planned a better 72hr pre-race regime. In the end I got an email at the EXACT RIGHT minute on Friday night.

Following The Peterson Ridge Rumble 20miler on the previous Sunday I had a terrible week of running. I wasn't particularly sore, I just possessed almost zero energy reserves and I didn't even attempt a run until the Wed night, where I did a 10k mountain run as part of The Knee Knacker group. That went very average but the following morning's 10k run was the worst I'd had in weeks. I decided to sleep for over ten hours on Thursday night, and I was pleasantly surprised to bounce back with a very solid 21k technical mountain run on Friday afternoon.

I was suffering from a runners high, I got the invite, and I said YES immediately. Sure, I thought, I'D LOVE TO DO THE SUN RUN ON SUNDAY!

An hour later I was wondering what I'd agreed to. The very next morning I tacked on an additional 15km, 5 Peaks course scouting run, and ended up heading to bed on Saturday night wondering why I was so dumb sometimes.
(Seabus to the race start on Sunday morning)

I figured since I was running under an alias there was ZERO self pressure around a time being associated with my name, in fact I told the alias runner that he'd better buy me some beer or he'd be in for the slowest 10k time of his life.
(sneaking into the fast people starters chute)
(over 50,000 people lined up and ready to rock)

Even when the gun went off I was still saying to myself that I might not be racing the thing.
"Just run smart. Just enjoy the day. Just savoir being back running again."

I opened with a 7min flat 2KM split.
"Ok, ok, I guess we're racing this thing after all"

2KM till 4KM: 10k road runs SUCK!

4KM till 5KM: Why are so many woman ahead of me!??

5KM: Who put this G-D BRIDGE HERE, WHY is it so steep, and HOW is that girl passing me making this look so easy!

6KM till 7KM: Is there an ally-way that I can divert into, disappear from this race, walk home, and never think about this type of thing again?

7.5KM: Adam and Lauren Campbell SCREAM at me and jump out from the sidelines. It's enough to scare the shit outta me an hence triggers my fight or flight response and helps to propel me faster

8KM: The guy in front of me is old enough to be my Father. WHY THE F can't I catch him!

9KM: ARE YOU KIDDING ME, ANOTHER BRIDGE!

The wheels really did start to fall off as I hit The Cambie Street Bridge. You can virtually see the finish line from here yet my legs started to quiver. I had a vivid mental image scrolling though my head.

If you did any time in Boy-Scouts you'd undoubtedly remember the cars that you used to make out pre-packaged blocks of wood and race against other Scouts on a pre-made track. (I have a whole other story here for a future posting)
Well all I could picture was that I was in one of these blocks of wood and my two front wheels were hanging on by a thread. The singular pin wasn't driven in deep enough and the wheels were now an inch off the frame, a fraction of an inch from falling off altogether. I reached out, pushed the wheels back in place, and duct taped over the 'lugs'. Of course while I was doing all of this in my head the people around me promptly dropped me.

I crested the bridge and could see the finish. I figured the 'duct tape' would hold and the runners I'd been suffering with for the better part of the last five kilometers had all left me for dead. They had easily opened up a 100+ meter lead over me. As I came down and into the final finishers chute I looked off in the distance and watched the clock click over 35minutes. Early on I had allowed myself to believe in a sub 36min finish, and now it was all laid out in front of me.

I pushed harder than I had in the last five years, period. Since I had found myself in this exact same scenario in fact, during my 2006 running of the race. I got tunnel vision, both figuratively and literally, as I was pushing as hard as my battered body would allow. I caught and passed every runner that had left me for dead on the final bridge, but I didn't even care. I was fixated on the clock. I was staring through the finish line and hoping beyond hope that I could still crack 36minutes.

35.52 F@#K
35.53 ME
35.54 SIDEWAYS
35.55 I
35.56 CAN
35.57 TASTE
35.58 BLOOD
35.59 DAM-
36.00 IT. I
36.01 WASN'T
36.02 EVEN
36.03 CLOSE

In the end they took gun time anyways and my official time was 36m07s. I'LL TAKE IT! I mean I am truly, truly, ecstatic with that time given the circumstances. I think I have a 34mXXs in me before the end of the season though, and the funny thing is, I really liked the whole experience and I plan to do another one soon.

Last I heard, our corporate team won! Sweet.
GR

7 comments:

Mark Ryan said...

Always love reading your race reports Gary. Nice run, can't wait to see what you do at WS100.

Lauren said...

Hilarious race report, Gary! Any chance you pulled up sore after this one? I'm thinking fast running on concrete is a far cry from the squishy-surfaced mountains you guys run!!

Billy said...

Funny stuff man...can't believe how quickly you're running after being sidelined for so long. Keep it going Gary!

garobbins said...

Yeah I was a bit surprised myself on this one, not to mention that I DID NOT turn up incredibly sore after it!?!
My hamstrings were tight for sure but overall it was kinda like having a night of drinking and not paying the price for it with the hangover. Dangerous cause it's making me wanna do another one sometime soon...
Thanks again for cheering me on out there Lauren!

GR

Anonymous said...

Getting trounced by small women, geriatrics, and everything in between ... something I'm all too familiar with : )

Great write-up!

Melanie said...

That is freakin fabulous!! I've never run the Sun Run, maybe some day. I've enjoyed reading.

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