Blog #102

I went down to Lynchburg Virginia this past weekend and raced in the 40th edition of the Virginia 10miler, I hadn’t really planned on doing this race, but the assigned workout was a hard 9miles. Lynchburg offered a 10mile race in which I could run with other people and maybe pick-up a little cash to boot. Some may call this road whoring, I call it strategic economic advancement.

Before I headed down to Lynchburg I did a little research on the race. Initially I was a bit apprehensive due to the hilly nature of the course. I am a gangly son of a gun and I tend to lack power, and thus hills generally kick the crap outta me.

I also noted that the finishing hill had been given a name: “Birdsnest Hill” While that name itself is not very intimidating, the simple fact that the hill had been given a name scared me. Generally if the hill warrants a name, then said hill is gonna be a ball buster.

I managed to push my fears aside, I figured that the added benefit of having people to run with would outweigh the difficulty of the course.  I had also found this video on YouTube featuring the 1975 race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxnZRm-WT50 Rodgers and Shorter rolling that sucker together! So cool! I obviously had to do the race.

I woke up bright and early on race morning and drove down to Lynchburg. It brought back sweet childhood memories of waking up early on weekends and travelling to various races all over southern Ontario with the Family. I was feeling quite nostalgic. Reminded me of reasons why love this sport and how lucky I am to be living this life.

I arrived in Lynchburg, collected my gear and settled in. For my warm up I jumped on the route and ran out and back on the first/last 1.5 mile stretch. I wanted to get a sense of the course. When I finished that little jog it was safe to say that I was intimidated. You see, for the duration of that 1.5mile jog out on the course I failed to reach any sort of flat spot, it was downhill the whole friggen way! Geez louise, this sucker was gonna sting.

I quickly formulated a plan for my run. My primary goal was to get in a solid, consistent effort. Key word was consistent, I could not afford to do anything stupid and risk blowing up. That’d ruin the purpose of the workout, and just put me in a hole for future training.

I figured that I’d just chill out at the start and let the opening two miles happen, not run too hard, just try to find a flow. I was gonna have to gauge off effort, because pace is irrelevant whilst flying downhill. From miles 2-8 I wanted to roll the tempo effort at around 5min/mile. Then when I hit 2 to go I was just gonna have suck it up and make it to the finish. Pretty simple plan if ya ask me.

I mentioned before that I was really looking forward to running with some company. For this event that company came in the form of about 30 East African Runners. Seriously, of any race I have ever run this had the most Kenyans and Ethiopians I have ever seen. The race had offered up cash bonuses for hitting certain times, this resulted in what seemed like every African runner in the Eastern United States converging on Lynchburg for this glorious event. It was a cool scene, I love racing these road warriors.

The gun went and immediately a swarm of runners just took the eff off. After 400m I was in like 40th place…and getting dropped with every step. I wanted to give chase, but had to check up and remind myself of the plan. I tried to find my flow.

I hit the mile in 4:36, the pack was 4:28. I settled in during the 2nd mile and came through 2 in 9:30. I was hoping for some company, but I was all alone well off the back of a big lead pack. I was okay with that though. I have been in this game a long time folks. I knew well enough what was about to go down. I just had to relax, be patient and let it happen

Sure enough at right around the three mile mark it began. Slowly but surely, one by one runners starting falling off the lead pack. The Africans are very, very good runners, but they are also fairly predictable.

I may have adopted the fade from the front strategy, but the Africans were born into it, molded by it. They didn’t learn pacing until they were already men, and by then it was nothing but a hassle. They simply run until they implode, and on this day it really helped me a lot! I spent the last 7miles simply running down one straggler after another. Really helped me to keep focused and pushing.

I ended up executing my plan pretty well. After hitting 9:30 at two miles I rolled the next 6 between 4:57-5:03, then when I hit two to go put the head down and ran up that big ole’ hill. I finished in 49:48. I was actually pretty happy with that. I had come into this race on the tail end of a big block of training, the legs were very tired and still managed to get in a good effort and go sub 50 on a very rolling course. I also won $200! Great little Saturday in Lynchburg if I do say so myself.

Thanks so much to Bret and everyone else involved in putting on the Genworth Virginia 10miler, such a fantastic event.

Feeling good early, getting into that groove.

Man, that last hill really hurt!

 

Things have really turned around folks. I have hit a really good training block and my legs are starting to feel good again. I had a really good session of 3km repeats yesterday and now just one big workout to go until we hit this taper.

I’m going to get into the taper a little earlier than usual and I’m also gonna cut back more than usual. I’ve rolled this Toronto build up on fairly tired legs. Thankfully though I have still managed to get in some high quality work and improve my fitness from where it was in Moscow. It’s been a steady consistent grind.

People keep asking me my goals heading into the race on Oct 20th. To be honest, I don’t know yet. A month ago I just wanted to make sure I got there alive. Two weeks ago I would have been happy with a PB. Now as we are getting closer and closer, I keep feeling better and better. Who knows man? Let’s just hope for a nice day on Oct 20th. I’m friggen excited.

Good luck to everyone with your training and racing. Victoria and Chicago Marathons next weekend! I have lots of friends running in both, can’t wait to see some sexy new PB’s across the board!

Cheers Friends.

 

-rob-


03
Oct 2013
AUTHOR rob
CATEGORY

Blog

COMMENTS 27 Comments

27 Responses to “Blog #102”

  1. DT says:

    Hey Robbie – looking fwd to following your mara – rip it up! Good luck :-) *fist pump*

  2. Sherlock says:

    Excellent news, Watson. I appreciate your tribute to Bane’s line “born into it…molded by it”. Your mental discipline will serve you well, young Jedi.

    • rob says:

      Good eye catching that BatMan reference, can’t get anything past you eh Sherlock? harharhar. Anyways, thanks for the continued support man, I really appreciate it.

  3. roomate says:

    Do your thing Bra! just make sure you come home!

    • rob says:

      You know I will my man, can’t wait to get home! Miss the Vancouver, we’ll go cheer the leafs and rile up some canucks fans when I get back. It will be glorious.

  4. 24 In The Rain says:

    hey i hear theres some type of small little bonus for a fast canadian time or something like that… good luck dude, rip it up

  5. fan of rw says:

    Man you’re getting smarter by the day. T-Dot is going to be your day homie.

  6. PR says:

    Tuned and ready to go.. Coach has given you some good work. I’m running the 1/2 & i’ll be sure to give you a holler some place on Lakeshore, if possible…Go get ‘em!

  7. dean nicholson says:

    you have come a long way since I watched you run the exhibition part mile loop with Reid and Eric. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. You have displayed a rare sense of humility that leads to growth and success. Keep up the attitude and very good things will come.

    You are a great lad and I am so excited for the things you are going to accomplish, very soon in fact.

    Make the Toronto run the best of your life. I cant wait to give you a man hug in Guelph the next time I see you.

    Go man go.

    Dean

    • rob says:

      Hey Dean, I remember that day! Thanks so much for the kind words and support. It really means a lot. Man hugs in Guelph for sure!
      Keep rolling Dean.
      Cheers.

  8. Anna says:

    Great job in Lynchburg, Rob, cheering for you at the STWM!

  9. Paul Roberts says:

    Robbie: Like the longer taper idea. Think it will really benefit you after a long year. You seemed primed for Oct 20th. That brother of yours has you ready to go. Good luck. BTW, love the new 1400v2 on your feet. We will promote it at NBL as the shoe the Robbie Watson runs in.

    • rob says:

      Hey Paul!
      Yeah, we figured the more rest the better after such a busy year. We will be ready to rock that sucker!
      Yeah, the 1400v2 in an amazing shoe! I’m going to be in London for a few days after the race, I’ll have to stop by to check out the store.
      Have a great one Paul.

  10. Carlene Alix says:

    Rob,

    Great job at Lynchburg! You are an inspiration! Keep running strong!

    • rob says:

      Thanks Carlene, appreciate the kind words and support. Also appreciate the advice, I will indeed continue to run strong! You do the same!

  11. Fergus says:

    Rob, when reading your blogs, I always relate to your love of running history. I was raised in London in the 70′s and my dad was a marathoner. We travelled often to races around S. Ont. too. likely the best memories are of the Springbank International RR.
    DRAYTON, Rodgers, Shorter… even Alberto Salazar as a high schooler!
    My pops was a 2:30 marathoner and was club champion 4 year in a row back then.
    Thanks for taking me back in time on this account of the Virginia race with Shorter and Rodgers!
    Good luck in TO!

    • rob says:

      Hey Fergus, no problem man, glad you enjoyed it!
      Guess where Rodgers and Shorter raced the week after this 75′ Lynchburg 10miler? Yeah, both were up in London at Springbank, Drayton beat em’ both!
      Must have been so cool to see those guys rolling in their prime. Our sport does indeed have such a rich and interesting history.
      Thanks again for stopping by the blog.
      Cheers.

  12. Dave says:

    Will be there doing the half, looking fwd to watching you cross the line.

    big fan of the blog, keep it rollin.

    • rob says:

      Thanks Dave, Good luck in the half, have fun out there! (but not too much fun, also make it hurt and get ugly if you have to)

  13. Marcus says:

    The hill is actually referred to as Farm Basket “Hill” because of the country store (http://www.thefarmbasket.com/) that lies at its bottom.

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