Sunday, January 27, 2008

Robbie Burns 8k Race

Last night I had a hard time going to bed. I tried to rent an On-Demand movie but they didn't have "Chariots of Fire". Luckily, "Armageddon" was playing on a commercial-free station and I only saw it 20 times, so I watched it again! My new favorite line in the movie: "HE'S GOT SPACE DEMENTIA!!!". Just great entertainement.

For those who haven't read my previous posts (which is everyone), my target time for this run was 38:40, which is a pace of 4:50/km, or 7:30/mile. This is the fastest pace I've run in a race, a 5k on December 30th. And I had run hard. I figured that if I can sustain it for 8k, I could live with that result.

This morning, I got up at 6 am to drive to Burlington, Ontario, which is about a 50 minutes drive from my house in Toronto. My bag was packed and my running clothes were downstairs so I wouldn't wake up my wife and kids. I had an envelope of instant oatmeal and a black coffee for breakfast, got dressed, jumped in the car, hooked up my iPod (containing 2 episodes each of Planet3rry and 'Dump Runners Club').

We had some light snow last night but the roads were clear, as was the course. I got there pretty early and drove the course to scope out the hills. It was pretty darn flat. I picked up my kit at 7:45 and got dressed.

I met Marty, from We had exchanged messages on buckeyeoutdoors and decided to meet. Everting is weird. Everting (to evert), a term I picked up in a William Gibson novel, happens when cyberspace projects in real life. Marty and I chit-chated a while and then he went on to meet a friend of his.

The weather was just about perfect, 0C and no wind. I decided to only wear 3 shirts without the outside shell. Looks cooler! I had my recorder, which I turned on for my French podcast (

The race started and what more can I say? I gave it everything I had. I went a bit faster than the pace I had picked, but just by a bit, and I felt like I could handle it. My splits for the first 3k were about 4:45 and then we started going slightly down hill and the remaining splits are between 4:33 and 4:40. I was just friggin' flying! On my way, I blew my 5k PR out of the water by 25 seconds with a 23:30. I got a side stitch in the last 500m but I still managed to summon some kind of a kick at the end and pass a few people suffering worse than me.

Final time: 37:46, a full 14 seconds better than my ultimate best case scenario. What a race.

I was 191th out of 608 finishers. I was 154th male out of 333. And I was 30th out of 48 in my age group (40-44). That's a harsh age group. I think I'm going to have to win by longevity.

Now this new time means that my VDOT is up two notches, from 40 to 42. My quality workouts will go from painful to excrutiating. For example my Threshold pace will go from 5:06 to 4:56/km.

1 comment:

Jodi said...

That's so cool how runners come together in that way!