Around the Bay Race Report

on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Woke up in the morning and the weather was not too nice. It was pouring rain when I left the hotel. Headed over the Copps Coliseum (hockey rink, former future home of the Nashville Predators) to meet up with some of the Running Maniacs. With about 15 minutes to go, I headed outside and was standing under an overhang trying to get a garmin lock and thinking I was crazy to run 30km in this weather. I positioned myself just ahead of the 2:45 pace bunny and then we were off. Plan was for 5:27 /km

First 10km splits are as follows:

1 05:12.1
6 05:23.2
2 05:17.4
7 05:17.1
3 05:15.8
8 05:20.6
4 05:28.0
9 05:20.4
5 05:24.1
10 05:25.9

So most of the first 10 km were too fast and I had built up about 1 minute of banked time by the end of 10km. I was trying to slow down, but everyone was passing me including the 2:45 pace group which didn't make sense. They would stay ahead of me for almost the entire race. I think I ended up passing them for good at about the 26 or 27km mark. Anyhow after 10km I really needed to stop for a pee break. I hadn't drank that much in the morning, maybe a glass of water with my morning bagel and another glass to wash down a gel about 10 minutes before the start of the race. But I had drunken quite a bit the day before. Had a beer with Yumke the night before, but probably over compensated trying to dilute the alcohol that evening and was paying for it now as I really had to go. Not knowing where the portapotties would be, I spotted a garbage dumpster with some people doing their business behind it and ended up joining them. Not sure why I ran the little loop there. Guess it wasted a little bit of time. It was only a very brief stop, a splash and dash, i guess.

I continue on my way, trying to maintain even splits but I was having some problems with the garmin. The rain was constantly causing the garmin to toggle away from the pace screen because of the touch sensitive bezel and I had a hard time bringing back the right screens. I eventually ended up using the lock feature to disable the bezel and then things starting working better.

11 05:47.3
16 04:57.2
12 05:19.1
17 05:52.9
13 05:24.4
18 05:29.5
14 05:26.3
19 05:39.0
15 05:52.1
20 06:41.0

So it would turn out that the splash and dash wasn't quite enough as I started to feel the need to go again at about the 15 km mark. For the next couple of km I would be looking for a place to go but we were cruising through some pretty nice residential areas and I'm sure they wouldn't have liked someone relieving themselves on their property. Finally just before the 20km mark, the relay exchange station appeared where a whole slew of portapotties materialized and one of them was empty. I lost about 1.5 minutes, but it was worth it.

Now the extended break had put me about a minute behind pace and so I spent the next two km trying to get back on pace. Unluckily for me this was on a portion that went up, then down and then up again. I kicked it up a notch to get back some time. By the time I hit the 23 km mark, I was only 1 second behind pace.

21 04:52.7
22 05:10.7
23 05:25.1
24 05:25.2

I thought that if I could maintain this pace, I would be good to the end, but the pace started to get faster again. Around the 26km mark is where this big hill is. You approach it from across the river and you get a direct visual line on what the climb is going to be and it's sort of daunting in the distance and it looks like quite the climb. I put in a moderate effort going up the hill and took my camera out in order to get a pic of the grim reaper cause this is where I thought he was going to be. After all it makes sense to have him at the top of the big hill. Nope. Instead, I was treated to a guy dressed in a superman costume. Even better! I wanted to take more pictures during the race, but it was raining so much that I didn't want to risk getting my camera phone any wetter than it already was.

25 05:16.7
26 05:26.2
27 05:08.1
28 06:22.2
29 04:39.1
30 05:20.8

So finally did get a picture of the reaper and his sidekick between the 27 and 28 km mark. He stands just outside of a cemetery and has little signs by the road inviting people to rest. He's been a bit of a tradition in the race and it started many years ago. BTW, I think the 28 km marker was long and the 29 one was short as the time for the splits was way off. So ended up finishing at a leisurely pace and the final time was 2:43 flat.

Video tour of route

My Garmin route

So learned a couple of things. Have to remember to start off slower at the beginning. I can run with a camera phone. I was thinking of trying to do this during Boston. I still am not sure if it will be possible. The rain at this race actually helped a bit because it forced me to wear a jacket which had a whole bunch of zippered pockets which is easy to store a camera in. I have a 10 mile race this upcoming weekend and I think I'll try to run with it again but using a holster instead. I tried running this with a bottle of gatorade, but realized fairly early on that I didn't need it as the slower pace did not cause me to exert myself in a manner that required lots of fluid intake. Though this could also be due to the fact that it was very wet. Overall, I had fun and enjoyed myself. The race was a bit fast, but did provide good pacing experience for me.


Vava said...

Great report, and I can't believe you were able to take pictures while running at that pace! Amazing stuff. I high-fived the Grim Reaper and asked him to "take me now!" when I went past, but to no avail. I had to finish the race. I'm hoping that next year I will be able to show up at the starting line without any injuries and actually race this thing the way you did. Congratulations on a great time!

jen said...

Congrats!! Great race, I would love to do that one someday. I am also a fan of the term "splash and dash" Well done out there.

I'd love it if you carried the camera at Boston! I am not nearly coordinated enough to do that. I'd love to see your pics. :)

Melanie said...

my superman friend! LOL Great pics along the route. I had planned to bring a camera too, but with the rain, decided not to bother. Awesome race report, and I was expecting the Grim Reaper at the hill too :D

Audrey said...

hey! i'm glad you had a fun race!! it's so ON for Boston!!!! you're ready!

Sonia said...

Great report Francis! I can't believe the Grim Repear had a friend this year! And i missed this =( oh well next year....

the 'splash and dash' made me giggle! LOL

Splits might be all over the place but you were strong! Solid performance as always!

Reluctant Runner said...

Congratulations on an excellent finish! The conditions were really challenging on this race -- not sure if even splits were possible, given how different various parts of the course are.

I love your pix, too!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on a good race with tough conditions.

I'm glad you appreciated my support on the hill. It was wet and I was freezing cold but the smiles on the runners' faces when they saw me was well worth it.

Mike aka Superman