I am a little late writing up this race report. Last Sunday I ran the Portland Trails 10K, but then went to a “Building GeoDatabase” course for work in Massachusetts. I think the title of the course sounds about as exciting as the actual course – pretty dry.
The race was a good one for me. I set a PR! I have had a good 2007 – setting a 5 mile PR, a 15K PR, and now this 10K. The 15K was the first one I had ever done, so that was easy. I have done a few 5 mile and 10 K road races though.
Portland has a pretty nice trail system in the fairly large city. Check them out here: www.trails.org.
Due to some damage to a section of the trail, the course was modified this year. The last mile was pretty much up hill! They should have turned the loop course around so the last mile would have been down hill.The goal for this race would be to run it in less than seven minutes per mile. That was my 5K goal back in 2001 – 2002, so I have made some nice progress. There were quite a few people at the race – 676 people finished, but I snuck right up front and had a nice start without having to push, dodge, or get around every one. Mile one felt pretty “easy” and it went by in 6:56, so I was right on pace.
The course is a loop around Portland’s “Back Cove.” Because of the size of the race, I ran with someone all the way around. Not the same person though, many people started too fast and passed me at the beginning. I had fun though, passing quite a few at the end. I didn’t have to speed up to pass people, as they were slowing down. Mile two was pretty uneventful, and covered that mile in another 6:56. Talk about even pacing!
The course wasn’t blocked off. There were walkers on the course, who did a pretty good job of getting out of the way. Mile three was about the middle of the 6.2 mile course, and I ran that one in 7:03. I was a little bummed to see a 7+ mile, but thought I was still “racing” pretty well. They had the kilometers marked, and I remember seeing 21:40 at the 5K point. I would have been happy with that 5K a few years ago.
OK – mile four was when I noticed I was in a race, and started to feel uncomfortable. I tried to do that old trick and speed up. What the heck, it may work. It didn’t really though. I kept running hard, but my pace actually didn’t speed up, even though I thought I was running harder. Mile four was the same as mile three 7:03. Kind of funny isn’t it? Mile one and two were both 6:56, and mile three and four were both 7:03. It doesn’t take much to amuse me I guess.
Mile five and six are the last two miles of the race! I was reeling people in, but not because I was picking up speed. I actually slowed down a couple seconds. Mile five was in 7:05. I remember being disappointed to never getting under seven minutes with the effort I was giving out. Passing people may have made me think I was going faster than I was.
Mile six was the new part of the course. And the stupid last mile had an extremely long hill. I hate those hills at the end of races. Even with the hill I was a little faster than mile five, covering mile six in 7:02. I am very happy with those miles in the race: 6:56, 6:56, 7:03, 7:03, 7:05, and 7:02. Lots of people think that is the best way to run a race – run hard, but even. The last .2 miles were covered in 1:31. I had a good kick at the end. If I ran that same pace over a mile I would have run a 6:12 mile!
The time on my clock was 43:36. The official time (found here:
http://www.coolrunning.com/results/07/me/Sep16_Portla_set1.shtml) had me at 43:39. Either one comes out to an over all mile pace of 7:02, so I just missed my sub seven minute pace. It gives me something to shoot for at my next 10K.
The next race is October 7, 2007 the “Sportshoe Center Maine Half-Marathon” http://www.mainemarathon.com/
Thanks for reading! I hope all is well.