Well 2014 overall has been the coldest on record in 20 years and the Chilly Half Marathon on March 2nd certainly was no different. Sara, John and I ventured out on this very cold day to officially get our 2014 race season underway.
As you can see people were bundled up. Race start saw a temperature, with windchill of -23C - also being near Lake Ontario it was very damp. Fortunately, despite significant snowfall overnight, it was clear footing over the majority of the course. My goals for the race were: to test out my liquid nutrition plus a gel, go around 1:45, and maintain a consistent pace. As I let Sara use my watch, my pacing strategy would have to rely on the 1:45 pace bunny and feel. As the race started I felt too cold and stiff to keep up with the 1:45 pace bunny so I eased into it over the first 4K while keeping the bunny in sight. At no point did the bunny get out of sight and I easily stayed within myself. The long section along Lakeshore to Burloak was steady but my face felt frozen and I looked forward to the turnaround with hopefully a change in wind direction. This was not to be. Coming back towards Burlington I felt good and I was passing many people, not by increasing my pace but by other runners slowing down. I never caught the pace bunny but figured I was in the neighbourhood of a 1:45.30 finish time. As it turned out the bunny ran a little quicker than 1:45 and my overall time was 1:44.40. So, overall, my goals were all met. My stomach felt great, I went sub 1:45 and my pace was consistent.
Cool finishers medal! Sara had a good day - she reported feeling surprisingly good. She ended up finishing 1:59 which is a great sign as she slowly makes her way back from the illness that plagued her a year and a half ago. John had a tough day with his breathing and finished it in 2:09. The combination of very cold conditions and asthma did a number on the Beast but, in true Beast fashion, he gutted it out. John will definitely have better days ahead! Once the race was done, Sara and I went directly to the Toronto Bike Show for some shopping!
Meet the new babies! (we've yet to find names). Sara and I got a sweet deal on the Trek Speed Concept 9.5. We went to the bike show to get the very best bikes available without breaking the bank and we met those expectations in a big way. Our current bikes are 10 years old and aluminum. We've now upgraded to the carbon age - we even got the two bikes for exactly the same price as we paid for our Cannondales from 10 years ago!
Sadly this is still what we have to look at for the foreseeable future - no riding outside just yet but we can't wait!!