Sunday, October 18, 2009


I am back from the Oasis Zoo Run/Canadian 10 km Road Race Championships. I am somewhat satisfied with my run.

I arrived in Toronto Thursday evening and went out to dinner with 3 of my good friends from Grad School. It was wonderful to see my friends again though there was one issue. I had a migraine. I have had very few migraines the last few years so I was a little concerned. I took a large dose of Motrin and cut the dinner a little short. Upon arriving at my hotel my roommate was ready for an early night which suited me just fine. I fell asleep (the best cure for a migraine) and woke up feeling much better. Friday I went for an easy run and managed to find a track to do some drills and easy strides. I felt a little sluggish which I took for a good sign. I went Downtown Toronto in afternoon to do some shopping and exploring which was quite nice although very cold. I had a quiet Friday night and was in bed early to get ready to race.
I was woken up early Saturday morning when my roommate got up at 5:55, 2:55 PST. I stayed in bed an extra 1/2 hour then quickly got dressed and went down to the lobby for breakfast. Breakfast did not start until 7 am so I went back up to the room, packed my things, then headed back down to the lobby, luggage in tow, to get myself a bagel and coffee. I was a little panicked as the elite bus was leaving at 7:15. Thanks to a very efficient server I was ready with time to spare.

The organizers had a nice and warm bus for the elites to travel to the race venue at the Toronto Zoo. In front of me was Simon Bariu, Dylan Wykes a few seats back, Olympians Eric Gillis and Malindi Elmore were there as well as all the names in Canadian distance running. To be honest I felt a bit like an outsider amongst all these National Team Members. They were all very friendly but I still felt a little weird. The funny thing was that I was not that intimidated.

I started my warm up and felt good despite the lack of sleep from the night before, the time change and the bone chilling cold. I did a little loop in the zoo to get a feel of the finish. I checked out the billy goats, Siberian Tiger and the Zebras then headed back to the bus to get into my race gear and complete my drills and strides. Again I felt really good. Everything felt light and easy and relaxed. I was not really that nervous and was enjoying myself. We were marshaled to the start line, the horn sounded and we were off.

I went out with the lead pack as the first kilometer was a slow 3:06. The pace revved up for the next 4 km as I split 5 km in around 15:30 as per John's split. After the first km the field of elite runners stretched out and there were several groups to run with. The first 5 km did not feel that fast and if anything they felt totally controlled and good. I felt fresh and was able to run relaxed and free with a few guys close by to chase. The second half of the course had a lot of turns and hairpins and even a set of stairs. The second half was more of an effort as it is in every race. There were a group of us working together. There was a good battle between a few of us although I came out on the losing end. At one point with about 2 km to go I put in a bit of a surge and had a couple of guys on the ropes but I did not push though the surge and secure my lead. Instead of pushing at the crest of a hill I settled into my stride and lost my momentum. The guys pushed on and I fell back. I did not fight to get them and coasted the last km. I finished 17th.

I am disappointed I did not push into the end of the race. I did not have the balls nor the concentration to push through to a top 14 finish. I was passive while racing which is not something that usually happens to me. I can attribute this to a few things. First, I have not raced against a strong field since July. Second, I have not pushed myself to that 'special place' while training and my training has been a bit chaotic and third, I was too relaxed. There was no fire in my belly. I treated the race more like the accomplishment without realizing that it was a race and a great opportunity to do something special.

I am still pleased with some of the people I beat and how close I was to besting some big names in Canadian running. I am getting closer. As per usual BC Athletics also did a wonderful job with the organization and my new uniform and warm-up pants are skinny. They make my legs look like twigs. I love them! The race was very well organized as well and us elites got some nice perks. A very good experience and I hope to go back.

I will take a lot from this race. I have figured out how to do the time change. I am going to stay on BC time and just get up super early on the day of the race. I was not tired for the race at all and actually felt really good. I also feel like my taper was good as well. I was fresh on the start line and felt physically good for the race. The major issue for me was mental. I am not worried about this. This race lit the fire. I can see where I should be and I am kicking myself for not getting there. That is the fuel I need.

The rest of the weekend was splendid. I went downtown after the race and relaxed, had a great dinner at a cozy Italian restaurant with delicious food and great wine then went to a grungy hipster bar to celebrate a stranger's birthday. After only 2 hours sleep, a long flight and an easy run I am beyond exhausted.
Next race is BC Cross Country Championships in Stanley Park on Halloween. Hopefully I will have my balls back!

Happy Training!


  1. Good work Jay!

    You're running with the fastest in the Country. That is just plain cool.

    You can be proud of your athletic accomplishments Jay.

  2. Congrats on 17th place finish, very impressive even if it wasn't your goal!