May 30th 2016

Going into the Ottawa 1/2 I was hoping to run a low 1:11:xx or dip just under 1:11:00. I was ready to board the pain train early and ride it to the end. Unfortunately due to the extreme heat this past weekend I had to change my plan.

I decided to try and run completely even 5km splits. I figured this was the safest plan. Going out to hard could come back to bite me if the heat became a factor and leaving it to the second half was also a little risky with the heat as well.

My 5km splits were 16:53, 16:52,16:36, 17:00

Garmin  = 21.30km, 3:22/km, 1:11:42

Sport Stats = 21.1km, 3:23/km, 1:11:42
I was sure that I held 3:22/km avg pace the whole race. Between not running the best tangents and weaving between Marathoners I racked up a little extra distance (although .20km seem a bit much)

At the start of the race there was a pack of about 12 guys together for about the first 5km. One guy pulled WAY a head. I'd say at least 200m-300m.  Everyone let him go. I figured that there was either no chance in catching him or that he would just fall back to us in the later stages.  Around 8km at a water station I ended up pulling ahead of the group I was with . At first I was a little worried that they were just going to give me enough rope to hang myself but as the race went on and I heard people cheer for me I didn' hear any cheering for anyone behind me so I figured I was on my own  ( I refused to look back).  

I felt strong and controlled throughout the race. I dumped 2 cups of water on me and drank from a 3rd at every water station. It got to the point that I almost felt silly soaking myself but I knew that if I overheated at all there would be no cooling myself down again. If it were a wet t-shirt contest I would of definitely won.

Even though the first place guy was way ahead I kept sight of his guide bike and I kept telling myself bide your time and he will come back, just be patient, be a gangster like Desi Linden and keep your cool & hunt him down!  At the 19km mark I finally caught up to him! All I had to do was sit on him and time my kick right. 

I made my move with 400m to go. Unfortunately my kick was a dud. I finished in 1:11:42 a small PB and 2nd place. I am happy with the way I ran except for my last km. The first place guy was walked away by medics after he crossed and I thought to myself...if only I had pushed myself that harder in the last km maybe I would've won. It's disappointing to come so close to the tape and not break it. Looking back at the winners splits he ran the first half in  3:18/km and the second half in 3:28/km. I should've put the pressure on him when I caught up to him to try to make him fold.... should've would've could've?  

I won't beat myself up over it but I definitely won't forget this feeling and will let it fuel my fire over the last km of my next race.

AND for a good laugh I'll share this with you - At the start line I went to put my Endurance Tap in my pocket and realized that my shorts were on inside out! ... that was just the kind of week I was having.  meh.

Shout out to Aaron Cooper for toughing it out int he Marathon on a hot day and to Sandy Hilton &  Adam Cole for completing their first full / half!  

- Eric 

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