Friday, March 28, 2014

Race preview: 2014 Around the Bay 30k

It's finally here. After all the days and nights of running through the dark, snow, ice, temperatures and windchills that no human should be expected to tolerate, less than 48 hours remains before the starting gun of the 120th anniversary Around the Bay Road Race.

I've done the work, even when it damn near killed me - with 224km already logged in March I'm set to break my prior best monthly mileage total of 236km by a fair bit, and with long runs of 26.2km, 29.4km and 32.3km I've certainly prepared for the distance. I've carved myself down to something approaching a decent race weight - I'm within 1lb of where I'd hoped to be, and about 9lbs lighter than my last attempt in 2012. I've tapered reasonably well, throwing down a snappy, hilly 10 miler last Saturday and then slashing mileage rather mercilessly this week. I took Wednesday night off completely, and have altered my morning strength workouts to focus more on mobility and stretching. Last night's easy 4k felt pretty good, and I've only got a little wee 3k trot left tomorrow to keep the legs loose. Tonight is, of course, the sacred No-Training Friday.

I have even restrained myself from stretching the definition of "carbo loading" to include "stuffing face full of cookies", though I will admit that toaster pastries have had some involvement. C'mon, they're like apple pie from the toaster. I'm not made of steel. I am, however, mostly sticking with slightly more nutritionally sound practices.

There is a new route for this year, which may or may not have an impact on times. I have no idea, as I'm not sufficiently familiar with Hamilton to judge.

There also seems to be some confusion as to whether we're running up Bay or James.
This map disagrees with the above.

Weather for Sunday is actually looking decently favourable - low just under the freezing mark, but sunny and climbing to 7c/45f by the afternoon. Not so cold that I'll have to wear a jacket, but not so warm that I'll start to melt into a puddle by the end, either. I know I'll probably dress on the lighter side so I start out cold, but I'll have to hope the temperature doesn't "under perform" or I may just freeze to death.

Then again, I made it through Horror Hill last fall in a skirt, so odds are my remaining winter insulation (ok, fat-assery) should keep me plenty warm. In any case, I'm bringing options so I can make a last-minute decision just before race time.

On the downside, it appears that I'm going to have to forego my traditional pre-race beverage. Having had great digestive success with eliminating all dairy from my intake, a quick look this morning at Tim Hortons' allergen chart shattered my dream of continuing to enjoy my pre-race Café Mocha.


It appears that I'll be ordering black coffee, possibly with an espresso shot. Fortunately, I've recently found this at a local grocery store, so I can make myself something a little tastier and higher-calorie on race morning:

It's just as delicious as it sounds.
Thanks Pacific Foods!

So, I've leaned out a bit, trained, and hopefully eliminated the need to...eliminate...while on course. While completely freaking out (because what else is taper for? I'm actually somewhat proud that three out of the top 35 Google image search results for "taper crazies" are pics from my blog), I'm probably more prepared for this race than I have been for most of the others I've ever done.

I didn't even break a toe last night at the pool, so I'm in better shape than I was for the only other race of 2014 so far. Hell, I've even scoped out maps and stuff to get us to the same parking lot we used the last time, because it was free and a nice walk through a park away from Copps Coliseum (now inexplicably named FirstOntario Centre) coupled with leaving a bit earlier, we shouldn't even have the same panic and nearly-missing-the-race-start as 2012.

Basically what I'm saying is that I really don't have any excuses for not making sub-3 hours on Sunday.

Well, other than the fact I kinda suck at this endurance stuff.

See you on the other side of the finish line!

1 comment:

  1. Sub 3 hours , no problem! Good luck and have fun tomorrow.


Go on, have at me!