Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fleet Feet Monte Sano 15k

The Numbers
I ran a 1:01:39 which is a 5 second PR (I guess that still counts as a PR). That was good enough for 15th (of 412) overall and 2nd (of 30) in the 35-39 Age Group.  14th overall was 59:49, so I wasn't close to catching anyone.  14th overall also happened to be 1st in the 35-39 Age Group.  Overall results are available at the HTC website.  The young runner I mention in the first 5k of the report below was David Gunther, a 14 year old.  He set a state age record at the race.  I met him and his parents after the race and he was a very nice young man and was happy with his race.  He should be!

I wasn't sure I'd run this one.  I wanted to. I mean, I haven't raced since Cotton Row, and I needed to toe the line again. But my daughter just had a tonsillectomy, and I wanted to be sure she was recovering well before I committed to a race.  Well, she's done just GREAT since the surgery, so Leigh and I decided late last night that I'd get up and go sign up on race day.

I was running a little late as usual, but was able to get most of my pre-race routine done and even registered in time to get one of the last shirts.  Thanks to Mike O'Melia, Fleet Feet, and all the volunteers today.

I did a 2 mile warm up with a random runner who happened to be Eddie Blankenship.  He ran the Duck and Run 5k and actually won the masters honors there.  He was telling me what a great time he had at the race before I even let him know I was the race director.  AWESOME!  I'm glad to know so many folks had such a good time.

First 5k
The race was just a little late getting started, but it was no big deal to me. I scoped out the competition, and picked out who would be the lead pack, the next pack, and the group I should be in.  I definitely started a little quick, with the second pack, but backed off quickly.  I saw Timothy Pitt who has been running strong lately and was running about my pace, so I decided to stay with him for bit.

I had an hour in mind, but I knew an hour would be a challenge on this course.  I hit the first mile, an uphill mile with a turnaround, at 6:20, well on pace for that and still behind Tim.  I felt really good, but there was a long way to go.  I passed a really young runner (maybe 15 years old or so?) at the scenic overlook just before the 2 mile split.  I ran mile 2 in 6:25, still on pace.  Just after mile 2, I passed Tim and clocked mile 3 in 6:24.  An hour will be tough!

On to 10k
On the way to mile 4, the course starts to growl at you a little.  Along the way to mile 4, I passed Emily Hardin.  I am not in her class.  She's a tough runner who regularly wins, won the San Francisco Marathon, and who looks like she's jogging when she's running a 6:00 pace.  I asked her, "Is this a marathon pace run? Are you OK?"  She had just finished doing a 40 mile Rim to Rim run in the grand canyon.  Ahhh. That explains it.  I absolutely admire her and know that she's the top female runner in North Alabama.  She wished me well as I went by.

Mile 4 was a miserable 6:40 and the wheels were coming off.  I decided that I couldn't make up 15 seconds in one mile, but if I'm tenacious I can make it up before the end.  Well, there was nobody challenging me and nobody in reach.  Mile 5 was 6:36 and mile 6 was 6:37.  So much for making it up a little at a time.  Here, I lost my focus and really didn't run well.

The Last 5k
At all the turns here, I would sneak a peek over my shoulder. I knew that I was losing time because my splits were just too slow, but nobody was really close.  Mile 7 was 6:43.  I have no idea why I didn't just gut it out and run faster.  Mile 8 was 6:44.  Again, the pain of exertion comes down to three words, "Suck it up!"  I didn't.  I exerted less.  After mile 8, I looked over my shoulder and noticed the young guy that I passed early gaining on me.  I knew that at this point, I would have to come back (which I was kinda doing) or they would have to run  much faster than they had been to catch me.  So I ran a little harder in the last 1.3.  I ran closer to my pace during the early miles.  Nobody caught me, but they weren't too far behind.  Mile 9 was 6:37 and the 0.3 (actually 0.4 by my watch) was 2:27.

This was also a very lonely stretch.  After Emily in the fourth mile, I didn't see another runner (except on the overlapping portions of the course).  I could have used some motivation.

I finished 1:01:39 which is a 5 second PR.  It's a personal best 15k, but it wasn't my personal best and I know it.  Not bad for shaking the race cobwebs off, though.  I know that I need to work harder, especially on the track.  I felt like I could have maintained a 6:35 - 6:45 pace for another 3 or 4 miles, but I don't think I could have run any faster.  Weird, I know.

I'm going to mix up my training a bit after RCM.  I'm going to spend more time on the track working on speed.  I'm going to do drills and 5k pace and faster more often.


Getting My Words Out said...

Great job Eric! Why are you waiting until after RCM to do more speed work??

reachdown said...

I'll be doing track work leading up to RCM. So, I didn't mean that I won't be doing track work before then. But my training schedule is pretty set and I don't think changing it 10 weeks into an 18 week program is wise. I've been leaning heavily on Advanced Marathoning. That has been great and has gotten me to where I am now. However, I'm feeling a bit plateaued and I think it's time that I mix up my training to a Lydiard style approach with more shorter faster work to see if I can climb off this plateau.

Rick said...

Good race Eric. You didn't look like you were dusting off any cobwebs. You ended up a bit ahead of where I was hoping to be (sub-62). See ya out there!