I ran in the Around the Bay race this morning, 30K circling Hamilton harbour. I drove down with some new friends from the Running Room but didn't see anyone I knew during the race. I did bump into another triathlete as I positioned myself for the start, she greeted me by name but I couldn't recall where I knew her from!
It was a cold day, damp and just above freezing, so the start was a chilly experience. Once the run got under way the temperature was actually pretty comfortable. Of course getting "under way" didn't happen until about the 2K mark because the road was too congested to actually run. I also found the last 4K a bit chilly, as we turned into the wind at that point. I debated with myself about what to wear, deciding in the end to wear a cycling top (for the pockets) under the give-away lime green race jersey, thin tights under my running shorts and a running hat. I wish I'd added some glove liners for a bit of extra warmth, but it worked out OK.
The run itself was pretty straight-forward. Checking my Nike+ graph of the run revealed that except for a slow ramp up at the start, due to both the congestion and the fact that I started my iPod timer a couple of minutes before the start and a similar dip at the end, because it took me a while to fish my iPod out and stop it, the chart was very flat. Even across the hilly section toward the end! The final hill had been talked up at the Sunday morning Running Room runs but proved to be merely "hard". My iPod was acting up too, freezing a few times before the race and starting to "stutter", as if someone was turning the volume up and down every second, in the last 5K. It also gave a poor reading of the distance, being off by just over 1.5 km. The time was too long too, because I chose to start measuring several minutes before the race began. Still, it shows the pattern accurately.
Finishing inside Copps Coliseum was a great experience. Warm and dry is wonderful on a cold day. I remember wandering about after the Toronto Marathon last fall having a really hard time recovering because I was cold and wet. It also felt neat running into the bright lights and finishing in front of the crowded stands.
So how did I do? 2:20:53. I'd been aiming for sub 2:30 and secretly hoping for a 2:20 run. 92 out of 487 for men in my age group. For me this race was really about getting a feel for longer distances in preparation for my planned Half Ironman this summer. I think I'm going to be OK.
We took our time driving back to Toronto, stopping for a "reward lunch" at a Wendy's. My traveling companions were all competitive track athletes so it was interesting following their conversations. Nice people, but a bit quirky!
Listening to: Polynesia by Mother Mother from Touch Up. (A Canadian "indie" band. Tough to find...)