I was feeling confident on the morning of the race and had an "A" goal of an 8k PB as well as a "B" goal of beating my course record. The race starts with 2km of slight downhill and my plan was to start fast and try to bank some time. I did a 3:29 and 3:34 km to start the race then settled into a more conservative pace. Kilometre 3 is uphill and I slowed to 3:47. That would turn out to be my slowest pace of the day with a 3:42 average race pace and a 29:50 result which was 1:28 faster than my best on this course and an 8K PB by 1:12. The race ends in an uphill kilometre capped off with about 100m of sharp uphill on the driveway into the Saanichton Fairgrounds. It's a tough finish and having been familiar with the course I kept expecting to struggle, but troubles never came. I finished strong feeling like I had enough left in me to carry on for a few more kilometres. My time earned me 5th place in my age category which in this field of runners isn't too bad. I do hope to improve on that placement over the next races in the Vancouver Island Race Series.
Lastly I'm reading a new book right now called "How Bad Do You Want It" by Matt Fitzgerald. I've felt for a long time that the weakest part of my running has been my mental game and I've spend a fair amount of time working on it. Some of the guidance in this book came in handy on race day. Generally I feel my past performances have fallen short of my fitness levels largely because I've mentally underperformed. I intend to fix that and this race was a good start.
Next up is the Cobble Hill 10K race this weekend where I feel I should be able to keep my 8K pace for the slightly longer distance if all goes well. Of course each race day is different, you can't control weather, your stomach or just that days energy. I do have high hopes though. My PB on that course is 39:37 and my 10K PB is 38:03. I'll be sure to report back.