This race has been on my radar for a few years. It's about 3 miles from my home which is relatively close when you consider I live out in the boonies. I stumbled across it a few years ago while doing a long run. It's close to the entrance to a trail system I use for some of my longer runs that allows me to run a fairly long distance without having to worry about stopping for traffic lights. This race never really fit into my schedule though since 10k races on long run Sundays, a few weeks out from a marathon don't generally work for me.
The Backs in Motion 10k takes place at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic college which is a school for teaching chiropractic care, thus the name of the event. I decided to do this at the last minute to practice marathon pace. I still don't have a good handle on marathon pace effort and HR. The Around the Bay marathon pace was done with HR spiking. I've thrown in the odd 1 mile at MP effort since then but my HR seems very low for those so it could be I wasn't warmed up enough. I thought if I did 10k at marathon pace effort, I'd get a good handle on where my fitness might be at for the race next week.
The training plan had 12 miles on the schedule. Initially, I thought I'd run the three miles there, do the race and then run three miles back. However, I wasn't sure how much stuff they were going to give out as part of the race kits and I didn't want to have to carry that stuff home on the run back so I ended up driving there. Arrived there at about 7:30 for a 8:45 start. Had planned to get the bib and then do a 6 mile warmup and then do the race at marathon pace effort. Slight wrinkle was that when I arrived, the late registrants (ala me) didn't have bibs or chips yet and they were still working that out so I decided to just head out for the 6 mile run and hope they figured everything out by the time I got back.
One thing with the warmup was that I was trying to avoid the HR thing that has plagued me and so as soon as I started the 6 mile warmup, the HR was spiking.
|Spiking and then not spiking|
Got back and was thankful they had worked out the kinks and had a bib and chip ready for me. I was worried about having to line-up again but most people were doing the 5k race so no line-up to pick up 10k stuff. I had hoped to try and keep my HR up while picking up the bib and all, but as it would turn out, not good enough. Line-up at the start where there was no timing mat (only gun time), hopping up and down trying to keep the HR up and then the race starts.
The goal was to try and run this at 4:35 min/km pace (7:23min/mile) which would put me in just under 3:14 marathon shape. The first 2 kms are in a coned off lane of the road so it's a bit tight. I hit the first km marker at 4:17 and past the first mile mark at 6:47, even though this involves a bit of a descent, this was waaayyy too fast. Effort doesn't feel too hard though. Come up to the 2nd km and it clicks at 4:15. Also the HR spiked towards the end of the 2nd km. I could feel exactly when it happened as I was easing off the throttle, going down a hill where the HR jumped from 168 to over 190. I just decided I'd run through it and hope that it would come down. The third km is now in the trail system and hit the 3rd km at 4:19, but I think this might have been a bit short since the next km is bit long at 4:46. Together, these two average 4:33/km pace which isn't too far off what I was aiming for.
I ended up missing the 5km marker (not sure if there was one), but there was a bit of a wrinkle in that the turnaround point on the path wasn't really well marked. Apparently, there was a traffic cone on a little foot bridge that was the turnaround point, but there was no sign indicating that and no one there to marshal people. It wasn't exactly weird seeing the cone either because the foot bridges were made of wood planks and the cones could very easily have been there to mark areas of loose wood or holes in the bridge. Anyhow, I run a bit more and a guy in front of me starts to turn around yelling that he thinks we passed the turnaround point. I wasn't sure myself and because the start and finish don't involve the same route, it wasn't strictly an out and back course so I couldn't tell from the GPS. I knew that there were a few people still ahead of us, including the lead woman and since we hadn't seen her yet, I thought that we should keep running which we did for a bit and then sure enough the lead woman with a pack of a few other guys starts running towards us with her arms shrugging. Apparently they had run to the end of the trail and there was no one there so they headed back. We then turn around and start heading back ourselves. We ended up basically telling everyone that we pass that they should turn around since everyone had seemed to make the same mistake that we did.
The next marker I would pass would be the 6km marker which was 11:15 which was a two km (and change split). GPS measures this split at 1.48 miles which is 2.38 km which was 4:43 pace (7:36 min/mile) but this includes some slow down due to turning around and some WTF moments. From this point on the finish I manage to have locked down the right pace and finish with 4:36, 4:33, 4:37 and 4:27. I ended up talking a bit with a guy during one of the final km who had just run Boston. He asked me about Around the Bay since I was wearing the race shirt from that. I'm not sure if he was in the race or not. Hopefully not as I ended up passing him.
So in the end, I finished in 47:07
3km: 4:19 (short)
4km: 4:46 (long)
Further Race stat info.
Ended up getting some chiropractic care from an intern which included some trigger point release on a muscle in my back and a back and neck adjustment. I have no idea if chiropractic stuff works but I suppose it doesn't hurt to try. So I wander over to the gymnasium after where they are having the post race festivities to get some food (bagels and creme cheese, apples, pairs, yogurt) and check the results list.
7th overall and 1st in my age group! Not bad for a marathon pace run.
I think however that this should have been 8th overall since there was a guy who had run all the way to end of the trail who I ended up passing on the way back and he technically would have finished ahead of me if he had turned around sooner. He wasn't in my AG so my first place ranking for that is correct. I don't think anyone passed me after the turn around fiasco who shouldn't have been ahead of me so there was no being short changed on that.
I ended up wining a tube of biofreeze, a heating/ice gel pack and a gift certificate for "one free pair of running shoes with custom orthotics", from The Orthotic Group. Orthotics are generally expensive and I have flat feet so this might be actually useful to me. The certificate says "assessment and casting by senior intern only". I'm not sure what that means. I think maybe I can only redeem it at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College where it would be done by an intern as opposed to getting it done by a real licensed chiropractor outside of an academic setting.
So this was sort of fun. Not bad for $50 entrance fee. We ended up with a long sleeve tech shirt and a bunch of other free samples so it was worth it, especially if the orthotics thing works out.
Of course, the one thing I had wanted to do was to try and get some HR feedback from the MP run which I didn't get so I'm basically still clueless about where my marathon pace effort might be. Oh well. I need to decide soon which race I'm doing since online registration closes on Tuesday/Wednesday. I'm still not sure. I'll post some thoughts on that in another post.