Around the Bay, 2014.

Around the Bay, 2014.
The Around the Bay race in Hamilton is a great event for me, for so many reasons: it has a great history dating back to 1894, there are very few 30 km races that exist, it is very close to home so I can sleep in my own bed and get there in 25 minutes, it is a great training goal to get you through the winter and/or prepare for a spring marathon, and it’s the perfect distance between a half and full marathon. Since moving to Brantford, I have now completed it seven times (’03, ’05, ’09, ’10, ’12, ’13, ’14), having missed three years when the kids were just born (Feb ’06, Mar ’08, Mar ’11) and two years when injured (’04, ’07). I haven’t done any other race as many times as this one. Kinda neat.
A week or so ago after running the New York City Half Marathon, coach Rick and I thought it’d be worth a shot at the Bay/Canadian 30 km record of 1:44:40, set by Lanni last year. Like many attempts at a record or personal best, the conditions would have to be ideal. They were not. 
For most of the week, the forecast predicted a high of 6 C with 5 km/h winds. Sounded good to me. But as it ended up, the temperature was around 0 C, which was totally fine but the winds were 25 km/h. And that was just too much. I gave a solid attempt and was running with a few guys for about 12 km with a 10 km split of 34:59. I am not great at remembering course layouts but did notice that there seemed to be more hills in the beginning with this year’s new route. Sure enough I was right. The first 10 km was totally different than other years. After about 12 km I was then solo for the remaining 18 km of the race. I decided I would wait for the 15 km mark before adjusting my game plan. So at that point with a time of 52:43 and the wisdom and experience of knowing the last hilly 10 km wouldn’t be any faster, I realistically decided to go with the “solid effort” finish. My last two 10 km splits were 35:49 and 36:25. Not pretty.
Approaching the Bay was very different than any other year because I came at it from lower mileage; I wasn’t training for a marathon so only averaged about 125 km/wk for the last 4 months. And with the brutal winter we had, I wasn’t able to get in those regular solid medium to long runs outside at a decent pace. I was 10 seconds slower than my 2012 PB and wished I knew because I likely could have found 11 seconds, somewhere! Not a great start for setting personal bests in every distance again this year since I won’t do another 30 km race. Oh well, the focus was strength and speed in the shorter stuff and hopefully that will happen. Next race I’ll look it up my personal best time before hitting the start line.
So it’s back to the 5-21 km distance races for the next several months. I welcome the change of racing a bit more than normal while keeping the mileage low. It will be a bit more fun as the extra racing will replace a few workouts. And I like having a bit more energy without logging the additional km’s required for a marathon.With five races in six weeks, recovery will be extremely important.
I’ve already been back to the gym for an hour in the pool and an easy 20 km at 4:24/km on the treadmill. The cold that I started to get Friday seems to be a bit worse so I’ll need to get to bed early this week.
A huge shout out goes to Dan Way for his excellent race yesterday. He played it safe, knowing Boston is his big goal, and looked super strong and fast while he flew past me while we were climbing up the last big hill. 
I’ll do one workout on Wednesday in order to recover from the Bay and prepare for the next race, Harry’s Spring Run Off 8 km. 
Enjoy the pictures, which tell the rest!
Nothing better than a sweet face greeting you at the door upon your return.
Not sure which I enjoyed better – this mocha with a peanut butter cookie on the way home or a piece of chocolate birthday cake with a glass of milk later.

I’ve always enjoyed speaking with John Stanton. In 2009 when I was picking up my packet for my first marathon after having the boys, he said many women do well after pregnancy/childbirth. Boy, was he right (; Today he told me about how I’ve been a great role model to kids and moms. Thanks, John! I hope to keep it up!

Sarah Nagy (3rd), Krista DuChene (1st), Lisa Avery (2). Way to go, ladies.

Chit chat with the radio folks.
Hill-climbing. Again. Photo by Jane Curtis.

Action shot around 19 km . Thanks, Bethany and Road Rebels for the photo and cheering me on!

Regardless of your time, it is really special to break the tape! Photo: Rick Mannen.

My Around the Bay ritual – get there early to find a decent parking spot, stay cozy and rest while people-watching, warm up, shed clothing, and jog to the start.

Around the Bay and Seth’s birthday are often the same weekend, which is special. Isn’t the look on his face priceless? Our family birthday season is now over – January, February, March, March, March!

I did think about this M&M Nerf chocolate cake while running up the monstrous hill. And it was delicious.

One comment

  1. I could totally run 30k at 3:30's with the thought of that cake to keep me going. Brilliant.

    Anyhow, congrats on the win and best of luck with the races coming up. Inspiring stuff. 🙂

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