Another 2 races down. On Saturday Aug 27th I had the privilege of racing the Toronto Women’s Only 5km. This is an inspirational event attended by 800 other females with the goals of fitness, community and friendship. Cory Freedman – the race organizer – did an incredible job yet again. She even got the weather to cooperate. I had hoped to go into this race, do a short little tempo and cruise to a win in ~20 min. This was not to be. A couple of girls who I know well and trained with in the past were there to race. I tried to stay in the game without smashing my legs, knowing that I was racing again on Sunday. I went out in a comfortable 3:40 for the first km and stayed patiently steady for the rest of the race. I had forgotten all my bio-feedback devices, so I was running purely on perceived effort. I actually found it very liberating. I definitely recommend doing this once in a while!
I was surprised to cross the line in 18:45, good enough for third spot. My legs did not feel bad and no soreness materialized later in the day or even the next day. I did take an icebath which always helps, but the lack of fatigue and soreness was really interesting to me. I have not been doing hard workouts back to back because I have been working and studying a lot this summer. Training hours and intensity are the lowest they have been since 2003! I guess ‘hours spent in the sport’ are finally paying dividends. I also made sure I ate proper recovery foods and rested for the rest of the day. I guess ‘experience’ and ‘not liking the feeling of sore legs’ also counts.
The next day I got up for another couple’s challenge on the Toronto Island. The happy estrogen from the day before was gone. On Sunday the testosterone was back on and this time I got ‘manned’ badly. I was going to used a word that rhymed with ‘chicked’ as in when a girl beats a guy,but decided to be politically correct.
I have watched Mike do this race 3 times, but have never participated myself. The bike course always scarred me – It is a 12 km loop from one end of the island to the other. You have to do the loop 3 times. From a spectator perspective it always looked crowded. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bike course was great. The Multisport team did a bang up job of spacing the waves. The water temp was another story; I wish they could have done something to heat it up! Lake Ontario had ‘turned’ during the week and the water was barely 17 degrees. That is ear hurtingly cold. I found the swim tough to get going even though I had tried to warm up thoroughly. I had a good start, but I found myself swimming alone at about 400m which didn’t make me happy, but there was only one other person around me and he seemed to be swimming WAY off course, so I decided not to draft off him. Once on the bike I felt good. It was hard due to my lack of high end efforts on the bike (well, okay, my lack of biking in general. The race was one of 3 bike rides in a two week span). Today again I was going mostly on perceived effort as I didn’t have my power meter. I tried to keep my HR around 170 which I know is about threshold pace for me. Mike flew by me around 15 kms and I tried to stay with him, but he really didn’t like me hanging off his wheel. He accelerated and dropped me. That man can push high wattage! Out on the run I felt great. I couldn’t believe that I was running with such ease after a race the previous day. I was running well, but not well enough to make any dents in the time Mike had on me. I still pressed on as hard as I could keeping the mantra of ‘anything can happen’ in my mind. In the end, Mike (and another GIRL!) beat me by about 3 minutes. I was not even close this time. My only consolation is that I wasn’t as sore as he was for the next 3 days 🙂 I am prepping myself for better this coming weekend at the MSC Olympic in Wasaga. I have a secret plan….