Monday, August 3, 2009

Race Report: National Captial 5K

I raced the National Capital 5K on Saturday, which was part of Somersault's annual run series. There were a number of different events on Saturday including a 10K and Olympic-distance duathlons and triathlons.

The course was a hilly out-and-back on a bike path that follows the Rideau River near Hog's Back Falls. Saturday morning was sunny, foggy and humid. At race time it was 20C with 83% humidity. The weather in Ottawa's been horrible over the last month and most athletes (including me!) haven't had the opportunity to really train in hot or humid weather.

The grassy parts of the course at the start and finish were sopping wet, thanks to all the rain we've had. Course marshals warned us ahead of time to watch our footing so we wouldn't end up getting covered in mud. I started off a little fast, but the run out was mostly downhill. It was quite pretty: we ran through a forest next to the river and you could hear the gushing water over the sounds of the runners. The course wasn't overly wide, so we ended up running almost single file and it was really hard to pass other runners in certain spots.

I did end up walking at the 2.5km mark to take some water and then again at another point for my puffer, thanks to the humidity. The uphills on the way back were quite challenging, but I enjoyed it as there aren't many hills for me to train on near me. As I approached the finish line, I had to make a couple flying leaps over muddy water on an uphill to avoid getting soaked!

I had enough left in the tank to overtake the person ahead of me (you can see her behind me in the photo), to finish in 31:23. It wasn't as slow as my first 5K, but definitely not a personal best. But, I wasn't running this race as a personal best. I ran it for fun, for some experience with hills and to find my motivation to run again. So far it seems to be working!

My next 5K is on Sept. 20th at the Canadian Army Run where I'm going to try to break my personal best in the 5K of 30:08. I've set an August exercise goal of running three times a week, excluding ultimate frisbee games. I've also committed to a 5K training program for intermediates on I think all this should be enough to get me back into the running groove.

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