Posted by: Tina | June 23, 2011

Longest Day Road Race 2011 – Race Report

A perfect race: run 5km and then eat cheesecake.

Last Friday, I ran in the Longest Day Road Race at UBC. The 10k distance was part of my 2011 race calendar but with training off track due to my bike accident, I ran the 5k distance. I thought it would be a good way of gauging my fitness baseline since I’ve downgraded my first triathlon of the season to a sprint distance in July.

My official time was 22:28. This is respectable and slightly faster than what I expected, although I always hope to surprise myself with a super fast time. Overall I am pleased, especially since I haven’t been doing much run training, let alone speedwork, over the last few months.

In the morning I almost bailed on the race to run a fast 5k at lunch, but I’m glad I didn’t. The race situation really kept me motivated to run at race pace. After falling into a pace I could hold, I worked to keep pace with certain runners and keep certain others from passing. I was obviously doing something right because my coach asked me to record my heart rate during the race and my average heart rate turned out to be 179, with a max of 194 (eek!). My new heart rate zones, based on the measurements in this race, are much higher than before. I obviously have never before been able to replicate race conditions in tests to determine my “true” heart rate zones.

This race also showed me that I’m probably not cut out for long-distance running. I loved how the kilometres peeled away so quickly. Even during a 10k race I often feel deflated when I get to 5k, knowing I have to do the same distance again! The 5k distance is perfect.

The Longest Day Race is big enough to feel like a real race, with some serious competitors racing for prize money, but also small enough to be casual and fun. You get amazing food as part of your entry – BBQ, salads, and strawberry cheesecake – and event proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Next year I’m going to bring the kids to run the 1mile kids’ race beforehand, and try my hand at the 10k distance.

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