One nice thing about this blog is it is easy for me to see my last race was August 22 2009, almost one year ago. The time of that race was 21:08 (6:50 pace), and I felt I under performed. Today’s time was 22:46 (7:21 pace.) That is a lot slower than last year, but I feel good about today’s time.
I have only been running slowly. 10 minute miles with occasional 9:30’s, but often even slower than 10 minute pace. So to be able to have nice splits today – 7:19; 7:21; 7:32; and then :33 for the last .1 miles – nice. Check out the elevation of the race:
That makes me feel good about the splits. It is a tough course, mostly uphill. If you compute the last 1.1 miles to get a mile pace, that comes to 7:21. The last .6 downhill miles helped, but I ran pretty much the same pace from start to finish.
I bumped into the Dostie’s waiting for the race to start. They gave good clues about the course. There are three hills on Middle Road, though you may think the second hill is the last one. You can’t really see the last one until it sneaks up and BAM, there it is. I think I may have been holding back early, but heart rate doesn’t show that I did –
At the starting gate, I lined up next to my family doctor, Dr. Van Summern. We had chatted a bit before the race started. That was nice. In front of us someone was wearing “five finger” shoes and we commented about them. When the horn went off, I started out, but he didn’t run as fast. A quick google, race result search shows he is 61 years old.
We started down Route 201, getting in the way of a couple cars coming at us. I am sure there were cars behind us also held up. I have driven on this road a bit, so kind of know it. We went a bit more than 3/4 of a mile and then turned left onto a side street. I was holding back and running within myself. I looked at my Garmin to see what pace I was running, and felt like I was running what it said: 7:20 or so minutes per mile. Worse case would have been something in the 6 minutes per mile range.
The left was up a steep hill, and then another left brought us on Sewell/2nd Street. I’ve run this road a bit, and we passed mile one in 7:19. I felt strong, and at this point a couple people picked it up. I stayed with them. I guess they didn’t pick it up so much, as others slowed down. Mile two was just picking off people. I stuck with a couple ladies, and we just kept passing people. We made our way back into Hallowell, towards where we started, just one street up.
We came to Winthrop Street (a right turn), which is a ridiculous hill that is too steep and too long. We only went a little while up it, but it wasn’t fun. To make a 5K, sometimes the course has to go out and back a little. We did a little jag out and back by turning right, running down a side street, turning around, and then running back to Winthrop Street. We crossed that street, and entered Middle Road. This is the street that had those “three hills” Amber Dostie talked about while we waited for the race to start. The second mile came right when the hills started. I felt strong, and was happy to see 7:21 on the clock for that mile.
At this point I caught up to Mark Johnston, the president of Kennebec Savings Bank. He is 57 years old, and I think a good runner. He beat me today, but I did get by him on the hills. He passed me on the down hill. Counting the “three hills” on Middle Road helped a lot, and got me over them.
Once we finished Middle Road we took a couple quick lefts. That got us heading back towards the starting area, finishing on a down hill. My Garmin had read 8:00+ pace for a lot of Middle Road, but by the time we got to the third mile mark, the down hill had helped me make up time. The third mile went by in 7:32. Due to the hills through the course, I am not complaining.
The pace and elevation chart above is a good looking one, I think. The elevation didn’t seem to impact my pace. It seems I started the Garmin early as it took a bit to get up to speed. Also same thing at the end. The pace shoots up to almost 10 minutes per mile, making me think I stopped it too late. I am sure I did that actually, so the official time may be a bit faster.
I did run past a girl at the very end of the race. Hopefully I taught her a lesson, not to slow down! Hopefully, not too many thought I was a jerk by doing that either. I had a bit of fun today.