Michelin Tire Trot: 2019 and What Counts as a PR?

I actually really thought about not doing a race recap for this one and just running the race, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve been ‘racing’ with the older folks the last couple of weekends. But also running lots of hills a bit faster than in previous years in between to try to break that 5k PR of 29:12 I set for myself in Hantsport a few yers back now. Spoiler alert I didn’t but I did come close. So we will go through all the regular race recap stuff but also what I did differently to go for the record and some musings on what you can count as a PR along the way, or at least what I do. Also how did I feel about missing the goal by 18 seconds? Spoiler alert not that bad.

A bit about the race: Michelin is one of the bigger employers in a few smaller Nova Scotia towns. In those towns they do a lot to give back to the communities and the tire trot is just a small part of that. Officially it’s part of the plant’s health and safety week. Michelin walks the walk in Bridgewater since they were a big part of building the new  sports and recreation facility there Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (LCLC) which is where the race starts and is a beautiful facility. There is a 5k and a 1k kid’s race and it’s on the trail in town. Its part of the Trans Canada Trail so it’s nice and groomed and crusher dust not roots and rocks. You don’t even need to have trail shoes for this one.

PR stuff: Since I’ve been there twice before and my mom and stepdad were supposed to run this one together I thought maybe today was the day. The weather has been unseasonable cold and the course was pretty flat although it does contain a total of 3 hair pin turns. Even though my stepdad sat this one out due to injury I let mom go on her own and when for it. During the kids 1k which goes before the 5k I took off and ran a slow 1k warm up while that was happening. Which is something I’v never done before and I do think it helped me start the race fast.

Parking and weather: The race takes place leaving from the lower corner of the parking lot and far away from the building which means there are tonnes of spots. This year there were a lot more allowed to register than last year so there was an overflow parking lot down the road. We got there about an hour before and picked up out bibs and visited the restroom. This year the weather was amazing about 20 C with pretty much no wind and very, very sunny. 

PR stuff: If I was feeling it on the day I was going for it and I was that day. I got up at my real race time about 2 hours before I had to leave so I could digest, obsessed on more than the cuteness AND performance of my outfit and was a little nervous. Which was not the case in the previous couple of events I participated in. Since it was an in and out though I did take it a point to focus on the runners coming at me after I turned so I could give my mom a high 5.

Course: This course is hella flat save for a bit of a hill at the start and since it’s an in and out the end. For the most part it takes place on the crusher dust rails to trails. Each year they let a few more people participate which is smart to keep growth manageable but being free and a part of the Run Nova Scotia series it’s very popular. When I told my mom I was going for the record here she pointed out that she thought the course might be a bit crowded for that. I really doesn’t seem to be even with 400+ runners this year. There is a water stop right around the half way point just so you know.

PR stuff: Perhaps you’ll say that I’m lying to myself here or maybe even cheating but when it come to gun time, chip time and watch time. But I’m willing to accept the data from wherever gives me the record. Sure that’s watch time usually but I figure since it’s my record, just for me, and I’m not an elite runner it’s all good. If you’re wondering a hardliner would tell you it’s gun time only.

Cheer squad: Pretty good this year although at the end I was having none of it. My injured stepdad acted as race day photographer and scoped out a spot at the finish line pagent moms would be jealous of. My mom too was really pushing for me to abandon her and go for it on my own which was cool and left me pretty much guilt fee. Honey stayed home although I think he was a little sad not to come. I pressured him to stay home mostly because I want him there for other bigger races coming up. Also don’t tell him but I’m saving those points for him to hold the bum bag when the trainees are away in the fall.

PR stuff: So here’s how the race went down. I was targeting a 5:45 pace even though it was pretty hot and sunny. I decided to race in just my bra and running skirt which by the way are great for attaching numbers to. I was slightly ahead of time for the first couple of km, but not worryingly so. That PR was in sight until well after the turnaround point though. The last km really zapped me though and by about 4.2 km in I knew it could still be close but I had likely missed it. My knee was fine, the heat didn’t really get to me and my vibe was on point. It was just really hard and I couldn’t quite get there that day. There’s always another day and another chance to get it done.

Logistics and support: The logistics on this one are great the on course support it minimal. The race check in, timing, parking communication and all that is awesome. On course there is one water stop at the turn around point which is great and really all that’s necessary. It can be very hot or very cold here on race day so if you think you’ll need more carry some with you.

PR stuff: When I crossed the line, or about 25 m before I was pretty much done and I just walked. I don’t even think I acknowledged my personal photographer, grabbed a bottle of water and then sat in some shade for a couple of minutes. I probably should have chilled and jogged for the sake of sportsman like behavior in retrospect but… Then I went back out at the end of the course and ran in with my mom when she crossed the line.

Race goals: It’s been a hot minute since I had any of these but I was in it to win it this time. I was targeting 5:45/km which would have brought me in at 28:45. But that would allow me to be a few seconds slower. Really 29:11 would have been great too. 

I’m pretty happy but the lady in front of me is WAY happier!

Swag: For this one, keep in mind it’s free you get a sweet two sided medal this year and a bib with chip timing and safety pins. Did I mention it’s free. Also post race there are all sorts of treats like bottles of water, granola bars and the like. Plus one lucky participant will win a set of 4 new Michelin tires. Not me so far but that’s pretty neat too.

Results:

Time: 29:41

Overall: 157/432

Category (F 30 -39): 17/75

Shoes: Asics Gel Cumulus 19

And you know what I’m pretty happy with that! (PS my watch said 29:29)

Looking back: I want to do this one every year because one it’s free and two I’ve done it since the first year and I’m so rarely in on things at the ground level. Am I sad that I missed the record this time? Nah not really being this close proves that it is possible in the near future. Perhaps on a cooler day and a paved course. Also while you can PR on this course and people do it’s did its not the easiest place with those turns.

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