“I would like to have a faster running year in 2011 than I did in 2010. The more I race, the more chances I will have of getting faster.”
That was the first line from my first 2011 race report: January 1 Set the Pace 5K. In hindsight, “run faster in 2011 than 2010” is an easy goal. I only raced once in 2010: The Old Hallowell Days 5K July 17 2010. The time of that race was 22:46. Today’s race, the sixth of the year, Farfield’s Joseph’s 5K, was 21:38. I am checking the “faster in 2011” goal off my list. Will have to think of another one. I will continue the strategy: race once every month.
One of the biggest challenges to today’s race was finding it. Man, Fairfield has a lot of ball fields. The address on the race application was 9 School Street. The form mentioned the start and the finish of the race was on the track. There was a baseball field and maybe a soccer or field hockey field around 9 School Street, but I could not find the track.
Several summers ago Steven and I drove to Fairfield every Wednesday to play a pickup soccer game. It was two streets over from School Street. I did not think there was a track in the area, and I was right. I drove over to it, and saw another baseball field. My search for the race continued.
I felt confident the track would be on the street between the one I was on, and the High School’s street. I was right. Always a good start to find the race.
Doreen and Steven were riding up separately. I called Doreen and let her know the location.
Having so many ball fields around was great. There happened to be a high school softball game being played on yet another ball field next to the track. I watched one batter before heading out for my warmup, a quick mile in 8 minutes 10 seconds.
The race started promptly at the advertised time: 9:00AM. Doreen and Steven were not there, but I was OK. No warmup or starting pictures the only bad thing. The race started on the track’s 100 meter starting line, made one loop, went back down the straight away, and then down the road I called Doreen about. As things sometimes work out, Doreen and Steven were driving towards us as we ran by. Doreen tried to snap a picture through the car window, but was not able to catch us.
My top level goal was to break 21 minutes, meaning a 6:45 pace. I started very fast on the track – seeing 6:10 to 6:15 on my garmin. I was in lane one, thinking I was running at goal pace. The garmin saved me. Many people suggest running without a watch. I’ve done it, and have had success. However, I have also hurt badly due to starting too fast and running out of steam. I was glad for the pace information and eased up. Mile one went buy in 6:53.
Just after mile one I passed one of those 10 to 14 year old boys. They always come in the same size and shape: short, black hair, and faster than me. I hoped it would be the last time I saw him, but it wasn’t. We exchanged places a couple times. He beat me to the finish.
Mile two had a few inclines. The race was advertised as flat, and the lady who gave the pre-race speech said the same thing, thinking we would get fast times. It is relatively flat. It always seemed we were running up a hill, especially over the first half to three-quarters of the race. The second mile, 6:57, was four seconds slower than mile one. I felt I was working hard. Pacing is a hard thing to learn. Many say even or negative pacing is the way to go. However, if you push your muscles through out the race at the same effort, would the pace slightly slow each mile, resulting in a positive pace?
I felt I was working the same effort during mile three as mile one and two, but the third mile went by in 7:10. During the last mile the Garmin reported 7:10+- pace, and I made an effort to increase effort. Pace did not improve. I ran an even-effort-race. Perhaps even a bit negative-effort, as I pushed/worked a bit harder during the last mile trying to keep my pace around 7:00 per mile. The pace slowed down, resulting in a positive-pace-race. As my fitness improves, I think I will be able to maintain sub 7 minute pace throughout a 5K by running the same effort as I did today.
I was not able to achieve the high level goal of 6:45 pace. My secondary goal was to run faster than 7:00 pace. Mile 1 = 6:53, mile 2 = 6:57, and mile 3 = 7:10. That was 21 minutes even. I needed a good kick over the last .1 miles to get below 7:00 pace. I didn’t realize I was so close to my goal. All I wanted to do was catch the short, black haired, faster than me, 10 to 14 year old:
I did not catch him, but covered the last .1 miles in 38 seconds. Covering 3.1 miles (5K) in 21:38 comes out to a 6:58.71 per mile pace, making my better than 7:00 pace goal.
Doreen and Steven missed the start, but made it before the finish. She got that great shot above. Here are other nice photos of the end.
Just before entering track:
Below are the elevation, heart rate, and pace graphs.
The elevation axis went from 120 to 210 – 90 feet difference. That is better than these 2011 races: South China: 240 to 380 – 140 feet difference; Falmouth: 100 to 240 – 140 feet difference; Topson 0 to 140 – 140 feet difference; and Brunswick 20 to 200 – 180 feet difference. The Fairfield race was flat, but the elevation line did go up and down quite a bit, I thought.
This is a good looking pace line I think. It does climb, but not as bad as the last few races.
Here is the course:
Race results: link
My next race is Emily’s Run in Auburn July 24.