Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race report: Fall Classic Half Marathon

Date/Time: November 21, 2010, 8:39 am (delayed)
Weather: minus 5ish with a few slippery patches and light snow.
Distance: Half Marathon
Chip time: 1:29:06 (4:13 min/km pace)
Age Group: 9/104
Overall: 28/1008

Ah the Fall Classic, it should be better known as the winter classic this year. This must had been perhaps the coldest of the cold Fall Classics I’ve done over the years. The surprise elements of snow and some patches of slippery ice also decided to crash the party this year.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with my time. Didn’t quite PB or even PB in this particular race; however, given the circumstances I managed to pull off a respectable time no less and was super close!

For me, this race was more for adopting a new running technique with the Newton Terra Momentus (here’s a link to a review of the shoe: a good read for those interested).

My soft goal was to go 1:28 and see how far I can keep up with Mr. Liam Harrap this year (last year I got dropped at 5k the first turnaround), but REALLY I really had absolutely no idea how the new shoe and technique would perform in a half marathon race. I’ve only used the shoe in 15ish casual training outings and maybe just a couple intervals speed workouts.

I’ve been cautious with this particular shoe because striking the ground with less surface area is painfully painful from a blister perspective (apologies for my comments, if they offend if not all the Newton lovers out there). I’ve been getting so many with this shoe!!!
I think the whole idea of forefoot and its link to barefoot running is still foreign to me. I didn’t quite get the scale of hype about it, until I saw practically everyone in the leading pack of the Ironman Canada wearing Newton Runners.

I’m more of a mid-sole striker, and really have adapted into it. My Racer ST4 Brooks running flats has always been the PB missile of choice this year.

Okay now for the exciting race details.

Writing this report two weeks late, I guess it won’t be as fresh as newly laid snow (oh yes, pun intended). It was great to see so many people doing this race I knew from the triclub. I wanted to keep up to Liam because he is so steady and fast. He is that person who can run as patient as you and can run that extra 10 second pace faster- a DEADLY combo for the perfect pace buddy.

The race was delayed 8 minutes for some odd reason. In the triclub office during a pre-race gathering, Liam and some other girls particularly called me out for being just WEAK. I guess I just was wearing too much clothes.

Shortly afterwards Liam intelligently recommended ditching the leg warmers entirely and just going with short shorts. On hindsight, what a great suggestion, but then the downside you wouldn’t have been able to see how ridiculous my attire was (fitting with the road conditions obstacles we had).

We held about 4 minute pace, but deep inside something just didn’t feel right for me. My left leg warmer falling down was the least of my problems. The penetrating lug of the Newton shoe just pounded into my layer of cold skin. It was just unbearable at the 5K marker. For those keen and interested, please scroll down to the photographical illustration at the bottom of this post.

Looking at Garmin, I just ended up taking the rest of the race gingerly at around the 4:12ish pace, which was my blister’s tolerable pain threshold. A few runners passed me, and that was perfectly fine.

I finished at around 1:29:10 gun time and felt awkward walking the blister out. I did manage to quickly crash fashionably late into the triclub Sunday’s swim workout and get a solid 500m swim and to ease up the pain in a nice dip into the hottub. This was probably the best decision I’ve made all day.

Special congrats to my pace buddy Liam for holding pace and posting a very impressive 1:24:43 and big congrats to Matt Reeve from the triclub finishing 3rd overall in the 10K race! Very impressive results along with many other notables.

My splits from Garmin

km Pace
1 3:59
2 3:59
3 3:51
4 4:15
5 3:53
6 4:14
7 4:14
8 4:20
21.1 4:12

As UNCOOL as this might be, I think most people would enjoy this! =)

A MANblister! I did you the favour of not going for a zoom-in shot. =)

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