The 2014 Around the Bay 30K race was a special one - it was the 120th running of the race. It is the oldest race in North America. The race, for the first time ever, had a new route for the first 10K portion. The new portion included a few more hills which certainly added to the challenge.
The other cool thing about this race is that it finishes at center ice in Copps Coliseum (or whatever it's called these days). It's a perfect finish because it's not cold, it's great for family and friends who are spectating, and for reconnecting with them afterwards. The above pics were taken the day before when it was a lot quieter. 9000 runners would be taking part.
And for 2014...2014 was a tough one for me. Leading into the race I had some injury issues. Over the past couple of months I had been dealing with a calf issue that would cause me stiffness and pain in my right arch. At first I thought it was plantar fasciitis but I have had that in the past and it did not feel like it. I had limited discomfort in the mornings and it was usually fine for the first hour of my long runs - it would only start bothering me as the duration of the run increased. Once it would start I could do nothing to alleviate it. Strange. I raced the Chilly Half Marathon in early March and it didn't bother me at all - I finished that race in 1:44.40 on a really cold day. I met all my goals for that race and felt good. In the following two weeks however the arch issue was noticeable but not painful. It would be most noticeable when going uphill - it must be something about the angle of the foot and ankle I suspect. Anyway, I went through the first 10k in just over 50 minutes, right where I wanted to be. However, once I got to around 12K my arch felt in spasm. It was weird. It remained like that for the next 6K. Once the hills started on North Shore it got worse. The other emerging problem was my left quad - my gait had changed and I was incorporating my left quad more to take pressure off my right foot. This was going to become a problem. I managed to get over the first few hills albeit with a short stride. After that I was no longer able to climb without pain so from 9K out I was walking the uphills. At this point I did not want to do more damage yet I wanted to finish. So I sucked up my pride and played it smart - not always the easiest thing to do! As the remainder of the race unfolded my left quad became more and more locked up. I was disappointed initially but, upon reflection, I was happy to gut it out. It was a tough winter this year so the race was critical to get my butt out the door to train. It ended up being a beautiful sunny day despite the dumping of snow the night before. My finish time was 2:42.30, my second slowest ever!! I have posted 2:18 (much younger then), 2:27/2:28 in 2010/2011 but it's been 2:36/2:42 the last couple of years. Arrgghh!!
I'm now on rehab mode - new shoes, strengthening, ice, massage, you name it - I'm on it! I don't think the Bay will be on my list for the foreseeable future. I may do a relay but not the full 30K. I may, at some point, do the race as a training run only with ZERO racing involved but not for a while. I'm definitely looking forward to getting out on the new bike and building bike fitness - oh yeah I should probably start swimming as well! Ironman Lake Placid is 12 weeks away!!!! Come on Spring!