My lack of speed work showed up on race day in Saanich however on the new for this year 8K course. It's an out and back with small hills but the day was dominated by brutal wind and rain. Of course all of the 400+ athletes had to fight in the same conditions so it was an equal playing field. I started off at a 3:36km which was a little too fast and a pace I knew I couldn't keep but my basic plan was to run hard and reveal my weak points. Essentially I wanted to know where I was starting at. I managed sub 4 minute pace for 4 of the 8 kilometres on the course and thought I'd be able to pick it up on the last kilometre. At 6k a local athlete I know passed me and I was able to keep him in sight but couldn't get back up to his shoulder. At 7k I planned to kick, but simply had nothing in me. I was passed by 3 men in my age group in the last km and finished with a 4:02 and 4:10 in my last 2k. I was thankful it wasn't a 10K race.
I'm not terribly surprised about my result (32:11) which landed me 8th in my age group and 84th overall. I actually cringed openly about doing 4 minute km pace while driving to the race start. I haven't been running that fast in a long time. My best 8k time is 29:50 in 2016 at the same race, but different course which was a 3:44 pace per kilometre. That's a significant difference, so I'm looking forward to the improvements as they come.
Those improvements may have to wait however as I haven't run for nearly a week after catching the flu. I'm not normally one to catch colds or the flu but I guess my luck ran out as pretty much everyone I know was hit with the same illness. The next race in the series is in 3 days, the Cobble Hill 10K and I doubt I'll be lining up for it. If I do I'll be performing no better for certain. I'll leave it up to whether this persistent cough goes away.
It's been a rough start to the year in terms of health, I had a fall while trail running a few days before the 8K race piercing my left palm with a stick requiring 6 stitches and now this flu. In addition I'll be scheduled very soon for kidney stone surgery so my big plans for racing may be in jeopardy before I begin. Either way, I'm thrilled to be getting these stones out that I've had for a few years despite having to go through surgery. There may have to be a lot of adjustments to my expectations but that's ok, we'll just roll with it.