Well, what do you say after a perfect race? Yesterday was the Chilly 1/2 Marathon and I had set a goal of a new PR at 1:45 for the 21.1KM. To hit this goal the target pace was 4:57/KM which I figured I could do comfortably for the entire race. The first KM was bang on at 4:57 and kilometer 2-4 were 4:54. After that I just kept getting faster and ended up with a 4:44/KM pace and a 1:40:02 finish. Not bad considering my Robbie Burns 8K pace was 4:37/KM. I have now successfully negative split two races in a row and even in training have discovered how to pace properly. It just clicked after reading Quit Banking Time: A Case Study in Proper Race Pacing
The race started well and I lined up very close to the front. It seems people don’t self corral themselves very well as I was in the front of the 1:30-2:00 corral and was surrounded by people talking about hoping to break 2 hours. It doesn’t matter though as the roads are wide, closed and the crowd thins out pretty fast. In fact the large group for the first 4KM probably helped keep me in check. I also stuck next to a fellow who seemed to be on a perfect 1:45 pace so rather than have my eyes glued on my Garmin I just ran next to him. He is the guy next to me in the photo Lisa took. Lisa is my
official photographer wife and we have a knack for spotting each other during the race. This is the first race I can remember where I didn’t see her in the crowd. I was in a zone.
It was cold but warm. There was a decent North wind but most of the run was sheltered. I had started with a toque and windbreaker but found Lisa with my gear bag just before the start and took off the jacket and switched to a running hat and was glad I did. I was comfortable the whole way. Just after the 4KM mark I stepped up the pace a bit. I let go on the downhill sections and pushed harder on the uphill sections and saw a steady stream of 4:4x splits. I hit the 10KM in 48 minutes (a 10KM PR too) and at the turn around was on pace for a 1:42. I felt great and thought I could hit 1:40 so I kept pace and pushed a bit harder. At the 18KM mark I thought if I pushed a bit harder I could hit 1:39:xx and kept going. As I rounded the last corner I was at 1:39 on the nose and just over 250M to go so I went all out. Uphill finish, into the wind, full throttle and I crossed looked at my Garmin and saw 1:40:4 and hoped I started my Garmin early or stopped it late. It wasn’t to be. I blame the wind ;)
I saw the official time of 1:40:02.9 and was thrilled. I felt great. I wasn’t in any pain. No injuries. I even felt great later that night with a 1hr trainer ride. Oh and I crushed my old Chilly 1/2 record of 1:52:07. The best part is I think I could have gone a bit faster. I was controlled throughout. I fell like I could run that pace after a 1.9KM swim and a 90KM bike.
After the race digging into the TrainingPeaks stats I found some interesting information.
- rTSS – 178
- IF – 0.98
- Pa:HR – -1.39%
What does that mean? IF means intensity factor and rTSS is your run Training Stress Score. In other words if you were to run at your threshold speed for one hour your IF would equal 1 and rTSS would equal 100. So I pretty much ran at threshold for the entire race, nice! Pa:HR indicates heart rate to pace decoupling. In otherwords if you ran that hour at threshold and your pace and HR remained steady Pa:HR would equal 0. Generally speaking, if an athlete’s decoupling is consistently 5% or less for steady-state aerobic workouts, then his or her aerobic endurance is sound. (That’s a quote from TrainingPeaks, I am not that smart). And a negative Pa:HR? The endurance is there!
What this really means is the training is paying off. I am getting faster. I can hold that speed longer. And I am not a crumbling heap of pain and soreness at the end. Had this been an “A” race I have no doubt I had extra in the tank to take it to another level. Unlike last year I did not go into the hurt locker. I ran strong, controlled and comfortable and this was just the boost I needed to get through the next 8 weeks until Knoxville.
You can view the entire race metrics and details on my TrainingPeaks page.