|Start of the 2014 Pride and Remembrance Run 5K. Photo: John MacMillan|
I've always enjoyed this race and this year was no different. In fact, with expectations of running (really) fast not really there, I was much less anxious and enjoyed the experience much more. I ended up racing pretty well and finished in 3rd place in a time of 16:27. I followed my teammate Dave Clark for almost the entire race but just managed to draw even and move by him in the last hundred metres or so. More importantly however was that Black Lungs Toronto maintained top spot in the team category competition. Congrats to all the Black Lungs who ran and came out to pace and support our crew!
|Black Lungs DC and DW being paced by DCL and MDF toward the Pride 5K finish. Photo: Kevin Gough|
|Sprinting for the finish. Photo: Alistair Munro|
A short time later, I nervously watched as the Dutchies took on Mexico in the Round of 16. In the end, and despite a less than convincing first 60 minutes, they got the result they (probably) deserved but I was still sad to see Mexico bow out in the very last minutes due to a questionable foul and subsequent penalty kick. Onwards to the quarterfinals against the tournament's dark-horse, Costa Rica...
On Monday morning, Melinda and I drove to Ingersoll to spend some time with my family. I really can't say enough about how much I enjoy being at "home" and out of the big city (we left about the same time our utterly embarrassing and downright disgraceful 'mayor' Rob Ford was making his return to city hall). Among other things, we cruised around in a convertible, ate pancakes at Oma's, enjoyed a delicious BBQ at Barry and Shielas' and watched Jurassic Park on a big screen and under the stars.
To kick off my Canada Day celebrations on Tuesday, I made the short trip to Embro, ON for the Highland Games 10K Road Race. There we were met with somewhat contrasting conditions: overcast skies with gale-forced winds, yet warm temps and crippling humidity. The race began at 9 a.m. and it started off hot (in more ways than one). I ran the first K way to fast (chasing some hot-headed high-schoolers in the 5K) but quickly settled into a not uncomfortable pace and also found myself with a clear lead. The skies grew darker by the minute and right around 3K the first drops started to fall. Within seconds, a light rain had evolved into a outright downpour and it wasn't long before I was soaked from head to toe. I glanced at my watch to see 17:25 at the 5K mark and figured I might be able to hold on for another five and finish around 35min. The rain continued, and perhaps even intensified, for another few K before it stopped altogether around 8K. It was only then that I realized the winds, that again begin to howl and were hitting me hard and head-on. Those last 2K were a battle but I managed to hold on and cruise into the finish taking first place comfortably and dipping just under 35 (official time of 34:58).
|Showing off my hardware and firm stare at the Embro Highland Games. Photo: Melinda C|
Following this, it was much more eating and drinking to celebrate the holiday followed by a reluctant return to TO.
With those shorter races now over, the months of July and August will be primarily aimed at marathon training for STWM. This will mean a few more weeks of speed training before a big emphasis on endurance building. On July 13th, I'll do a "fun run" at The North Face Endurance Challenge Half, which is the same day that the Dutch should be crowned World Cup Champs!!! Lots to look forward to...