April 23, 2011 will be the 10th anniversary of when I started to run. Normally I do a 5K in Unity, Maine that falls close to the 23rd of April. It would have been nice/interesting to run that race. The 23rd is a Saturday, so the race might be held on the EXACT day. Oh well, that would be too cute and philosophical. Plus, the price per gallon for gas is too darn high. This race is 20 miles from home, compared to Unity’s 40 miles. That is why I chose this as my April race, and not the Unity one.
This was my favorite race so far this year. It was the fastest – 22:09 official time. It was exiting: Over the last mile or two, I was in a pack of four racers that changed positions four or five times.
The day started disappointingly as Doreen decided to sit this one out. No race pictures this time. When I got there I decided to try shorts and a wicking t-shirt under a wicking long sleeve shirt. The Red Sox shirt hasn’t been all that lucky for me, and after the start they had, something had to change. They did beat the YANKEES yesterday, April 8, though!
I jogged for a few minutes and decided mittens were much needed. I went back to the car, got the mittens, took a quick bathroom break, and then ran some more to get my one mile warm up out of the way. Total warmup mileage was 1.1 miles in 9:03, for a quick 8:14 pace.
The shorts and light, wicking shirts made it feel like spring was coming. The race started by Erskine Academy’s baseball field. Watching the high school kids shoveling snow off the infield added to our fight for spring. It will get here.
The start of the race was South down Windsor Road, then a quick left onto Kidder Road to a very impressive down hill stretch. It made me happy. The Unity College 5K has a great down hill start too. However, for every down hill in the Fly Like an Eagle, there is a corresponding up hill. Over the first two miles, anyway:
I wanted to get a 21:59 or better, so thought 7:00 minutes per mile was the place to be. At the top of that down hill I said heck with seven minute pace, and just busted down the hill, seeing a faster than six minute pace on my Garmin. As I zoomed passed people they must have thought, “that’s a good idea.” Lots of people seemed to pick up the pace.
After the down hill was finished reality sunk in, and we headed back up. I remember thinking, “this is fair.” I ended mile one in 7:09. I thought I felt a lot better than I did at the end of the first mile in my last race, Falmouth Hockey 5K, on March 19. The reason was because this time I had slowed down to 8:00 minute pace. That was what my Garmin read. That was no good, so I sped up.
A quick glance shows I finished mile one in the Falmouth race after 6:57. I was feeling much better this time after a lead off 7:09 mile. I am in 7:00(plus) shape, not 7:00(minus) shape. It is that fine a line.
During mile one, or maybe after getting to the mile two mark, I noticed an armpit, maybe a shoulder, zooming by on the right. I am 5’11”. This guy must be 6’5″? I eventually caught up to him, and we were two of the four people that raced the remainder of the way together.
One of the four I did not know about until the end. He passed us around 2.5 miles, and won our four man race easily. After the race, he commented that we helped pace him. Glad to help!
Six-foot-five and I caught up with the third member of our troop between mile one and two. He tried to stay with us, but fell back, finishing fourth of the four of us. So it is a battle for second and third place. Of the four of us.
Mile two went by in the exact amount of time as mile one: 7:09. I’m running well, and like to get even splits. The start of mile two I had kicked myself to pick it back up. By the end of the mile, I felt I was working hard, but had some in the bank for a strong finish. Then this mile happened:
The start of last mile had a nice down hill, but then a fairly long, and not very gradual up hill started. I was in front of my tall running buddy, but he passed me on the hill, and I didn’t get past him. I finished third of the four guys I focused on during the race.
Mile three went by in 7:27. I’m thinking that is respectable. The hill slowed me down, but didn’t knock me out. The last down hill section helped, and I was happy to have a nice kick to finish the race. Bummer I didn’t reach the 21:59 or better goal, but happy all the same.
Another thing I liked about the race were the friendly people. Lots of hi’s and smiles. Very nice community and glad I ran this one.
Here are the heart rate, elevation, and pace graphs:
This appears to be my best effort so far this year. The Camden race was second best, but it did fall at the end. Due to the snow and ice in the apply named Go In the Snow 5K, I was not able to give it my all. The Falmouth race had a classic negative split, and heart rate dipped at the end. (This stuff is just too cool)
The Pace chart shows how related it is to elevation. I was too close to 8:00 pace for a lot of this race. Even getting over that pace during that last mile. The better shape I am in, the faster I will go at the same effort.
I’m thinking my next race will be the Gardiner Spring Fling 5K May 7.