Friday, 29 May 2015

Ottawa Race Weekend - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

-Ahh not bad I ran a 10k in 32 min


Above is an excerpt from my hilarious twitter account that I advertise way too much (that's @cyresy_10 by the way). Where does this quote come from? Well, yeah. From EVERYONE. I guess nowadays 10k just doesn't cut it. Don't believe me? Just walk into the nearest Running Room and you'll know what I mean. Just hang tight by the water bottle belts and intermittent tales about 'mile 21' or 'Meb what's his name who won Boston that one time' will resonate with the flow of an old-time nursery rhyme. The most popular distance in running is attracting more and more runners by the year, and in consequence, 10k's are not cool anymore, 21.1k's just half impressive, and you may as well just walk down your driveway and grab the mail if you were planning on running the 5k. Yeah, somehow, someway, running longer must be becoming easier because the marathon is becoming mainstream. So to all who contributed to the ubiquity of the question, 'Why are you going all that way just to run 10k?' here is my answer. I'm not running to finish it. I'm running to finish it fast.

And I started fast, so I was half right. More on that later.


The trip itself was a blast. I don't know of any other university XC team that is tight enough to set up a massive rendez-vous in the nation's capital, veterans and rookies alike. Even after two years, I often take a step back and realize how lucky I am to be a part of this X family, and it is something I never take for granted. Us maritimers were beautifully hosted by the locals who showed us the city and gave us food and shelter when we had run out of money. Couple insta pics validate how much fun we had because, of course, if no pics are taken, did it really happen?

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Some post race tourism

On another note, it was awesome to experience the professionalism and extensive organization of the race itself. From the race expo to the elite tent, this event exhibited a level of know-how like I had never seen. Believe it or not, PEI had never held a race quite this big. We soaked it all in by buying running apparel and meeting new people at the expo and also by taking full advantage of the free banana tray in the elite suite. 

Speaking of meeting people, I need to return a shoutout. This one goes to the guy behind the blog and the Saucony running kit, David Freake. You had a nice fast one in 31:53 and I didn't see you once on the course, so it must have been ballsy! It was great meeting you and learning from you this past weekend and I really look forward to racing again in the near future. He is definitely worth the read - strong insta game as well I hear. 


So this is where I talk about the race. Ok, so 32:21 is still a PB, and I don't want to sound ungrateful because the running Gods don't like that, but I was shooting for faster. After a 15:03 5k and a 49:13 15k, along with many good workouts hinting towards something more like 31:30 to 31:45, I was left somewhat disappointed when death entered my legs at 6km. The last 4km were painful and brutal and made me want to quit running in its entirety. I went to the well and got buried with the donkey. Looking back now, I can only tell myself that what I had all spring, I didn't have on that day, and that's ok. If I lay it out on the line 10 times out of 10, and I only get what I want out of my effort 8 or 9 times, I still like my odds. 

So why the bad day? This may have been the most important race of my spring, my best shot at a huge PB. Maybe I tapered too much. Maybe I didn't sleep or drink enough. Maybe it was something else altogether, but I won't beat myself up about it. The positives of this trip vastly outweigh the negatives, and I'd rather win than make excuses so I'll drop the pondering. However, this weekend made me realize how weary my body has become. Having barely taken any real time off since November, I think it's time for a short break. 

On a more positive note, shoutout to Cal and Neuffer, my 2 roomies for the trip who both dipped under 32! Looking at a time like that should make you both feel super pumped for XC, as I am!


Photo credz to Liz MacDonald

Hey ya can't always look good

Onward, upwards and a bit to the side


  1. Ha! Love this. Congrats on stilll a really good time

  2. Thanks for the shoutout brother! Just the beginning for you. You'll be going after sub 31 at that race next year my friend.

    Keep that stick on the ice.