The Cedar 12k road race was the 8th and final race in the Vancouver Island Race Series. I did 6 of the 8 races, only missing out on the Sooke 10k and the Harriers Pioneer 8k. With swimming and cycling being my biggest priorities this year, I felt like the race series would take care of a lot of my hard training runs. Plus, you can never replicate the effort you can give race day versus a normal training day. Not willing to defer from my triathlon training program, I wasn’t going to taper for any of the races in this series. Doing running races on tired legs I find is the closest thing you can get to what it’s like hitting the run course in a triathlon.
The Cedar 12k race takes place just south of Nanaimo, which is perfect for me. Only being 30 minutes away, I didn’t have to leave my house until 9:45! I was extra tired and sore race morning, feeling like I had the start of a cold/flu. A big week of training after racing a 10k last weekend, was starting to show itself. After a quick breakfast, I started to come around and felt like most of the sickness was above my shoulders, so off we went to the race start! Typically, if a cold is just affecting me from shoulders up, I should be ok, but if I feel it in my lungs, it’s nothing but rest until it’s gone.
My wife and I arrived at race start, picked up my package and hung out in the gym until 10 minutes to go until race start. I did a very short warm up of only about 4 minutes and lined up at the start line. Right from the start there was a group of 4 of us who ran the first 4 or 5 km together. A little after the 5 km mark, Nick Walker (overall series champ) broke away from us and no one went with him. I was stoked that mentally, I was willing and ready to bury myself to challenge him, but unfortunately my tired legs would have no part in it. I ran with Mark Cryderman (who is a beast on the downhills) until roughly the 11 km mark, at which point, I felt I could give that last km some extra juice and try to hang on for 2nd. I opened up a little gap on Mark and barely edged him out for 2nd place. Sad I couldn’t challenge Nick, I was still happy to be running 3:27/km over a tough course on tired legs. Usually, sub 3:30/km pace in triathlons will put you near the top, which is the goal. The Cedar 12k course is an out and back with some long steep uphills and downhills, mixed in with a couple of rollers. Not an easy 12k course and definitely benefits someone who is good at working the hills.
As soon as the race was over, I did a short cooldown with one of the competitors and headed straight to the car to grab my recovery fuel. I mixed a bottle of water with Hammer Nutrition Recoverite and drank it quickly. For those races and especially training sessions that I forget (or can’t) for whatever reason to take my Hammer Recoverite, I always feel like a bag of crap the next day. I’ve used it enough and forgot to use it enough that I can say with confidence that making sure you get in your recovery immediately post workout is important. Especially for you triathletes out there who are doing multiple workouts a day, recover, recover, recover!
After chugging my recovery bottle, I headed inside to attend the awards ceremony. I have to say, my wife and I were amazed at how youthful some of the older age group runners looked. There were athletes between 60-80 years old who looked 20+ years younger! It was great to see everyone happy to get their awards. A big thanks to the race crew, volunteers and sponsors. Next up for me, Woody’s half marathon and then FINALLY triathlon season!