Well that didn't go according to plan. So after posting how great training was going, I ended up getting food poisoning or something soon after. I was gassy and bloated all day Friday and my abdominals were sore and achy on Saturday. I had tried to do a short recovery run, but called it quits after about 200m. It felt like a side stitch, but at recovery pace. Started to worry how the heck was I going to do 30k on Sunday. I had thoughts about not going, but with the entry paid for and a hotel room already booked and too late to cancel, it was going to seem like a waste. So I made the drive to Hamilton. At the very least, I figured I'd have to do a long run anyways so I might as well do it in Hamilton.
The weather forecast looked bad, but looking out on the morning of race day, it wasn't so bad. There was no snow, clear skies and it didn't seem too windy judging by the smoke stacks on the tops of buildings. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to wear shorts or pants. If I were racing, it would have been shorts, but if I was going to treat this as a long run, I wanted to be somewhat comfortable. Still not having recovered from the food poisoning, I was pretty sure this was going to be a long run, so I ended up wearing the pants.
So left the hotel about 20 minutes to race start and jogged to the starting line. The abs were feeling okay during this short jog so I started to reconsider whether I wanted to just treat this as a long run. In the end, I decided that I would start with the 2:15 pace bunny and adjust on the run.
I lined up behind the pace bunny and the race starts. For the first little bit, I was running at the right pace. Unfortunately, the old nemesis, the HR spike reared it's head about 4 minutes into the race. I ended up doing 4 miles with the pace bunny, but then decided to shut it down once I got to an aid station where I could try to get the HR to calm down, which it didn't. I then spent the next 3 miles walking and running in the hopes that the HR would reset which it finally did a little after 7 miles. With the silver medal now out of the equation, I just wanted to put in an honest effort the rest of the way. Miles 8 to 13 were run at a steady effort at between 7:35 and 8:00 min miles. During mile 14, the HR spiked again which just luckily coincided with another aid station so I took another bathroom break, grabbed some water and started walking. The HR reset pretty quick this time and I was able to run the rest of the race without incident trying to maintain a HR of about 160 which ended up being at about 8 min/mile pace. Increased the pace for the last km to about 7:15 pace just to get some more HR information.
Finish time of 2:28:13 chip time. For more detailed tale of the tape, you can get more information from the Polar stats.
Here's the wacky HR. Starts out fine and then about 4 minutes jumps by over 30 beats per minute. Looks to have reset at about the 50 minute mark where it remains steady until the 1:40 mark where it spikes again and then resets pretty quickly after a brief stop and walk where it remains okay for the rest of the race.
I was glad to have worn the pants. There were occasions during the first 4 miles where I felt too warm but this was with a tailwind doing 7:15 pace. Those thoughts quickly went away when we finally hit the wind.
So I guess the silver medal will have to wait for another year. They're bringing the dreaded Valley Inn Road hill back next year so that may not be the best of things for a silver medal attempt, but I'm fairly certain that I wouldn't have been able to hold the required 7:15 pace for the whole way. Occasionally during the race, I got abdominal pains. Not quite as painful as a side stitch, but just enough to bother me and make me think about slowing down. I've never experienced this gassy and bloated feeling before and am still trying to figure out what caused it.