When I was between 35 and 42 years old, I ran this race every year except once. The course has a ½ mile down hill start, and stops just before that hill. You don’t have to run back up it. The rest of the course is fairly flat. Kind of a pancake shape – slightly uphill and then down. That makes it a fast course. In 2005, when I was 38, I ran it in 20:04 – my 5K PR.
I have (almost but not quite) accepted the fact I will never run as fast as I did in the past. I am still trying. I run a 10 mile run – at a slow pace, just about every week. I travel to my home town, and with my father’s help, run ½ mile intervals, once or twice a month. The last one was one week ago. Here are the times of the fast half mile runs: 3:29, 3:46, 3:44, 3:28, 3:24, and 3:55. I added those times up and it came to 21:46. I divided the number by three, the number of miles the fast runs add up to, and came up with the goal 5K pace for this race: 7:15.
The rest of my training currently includes slow 4 miles runs on days I do not do the 10 mile long run or interval workout. Except for one day a week I take off. I am doing 30 mile weeks for four weeks, and then take a cutback week of 20 to 24 miles.
As already described, the first mile starts with a long down hill stretch. I did mile one in 6:58. The down hill helped a lot. Effort was good. I started three or four rows from the back, and ran by myself, several yards behind people in front of me. Doreen got a nice picture of me running down the hill:
The first mile shows that huge down hill. Looking closely at mile two shows the first quarter of it is down, but the remainder is up. I think that explains why mile two was 15 seconds slower than goal pace. I ran mostly by myself, as it was not a hugely populated race. The first mile, maybe 1.5 miles, I was able to catch up and pass people. For the remainder, except the very end, there was no one in front I could catch up to.
Mile three is the opposite of mile two elevation wise: the first 1/3 is up hill, the rest down. I ran it in 7:04. Down hills make for fast miles. Does not matter though – faster than goal pace is nice. I actually did not have pace feedback during the race. I looked at my watch, but did not calculate what was going on. After the third mile average pace was 7:12, three seconds faster than goal pace.
As mentioned earlier, I ran mostly by myself except for the very end. Just before the three mile mark, I heard a racer catching up to me. I pulled a trick I have learned in the 14 years of running and racing I have done. April 21, 2015 will be the 14 year anniversary of my first training run. When I heard the person coming up behind, I slowed down, letting him/her catch up. The runner turned out to be a young-male-whipper-snapper. After he caught up, I let him pull ahead. I then quietly caught back up and passed him! That’s the trick. It works really well if someone passes on hills. Letting them catch up and pass me, wait 3 or 4 seconds, and then pass them – especially just before/after the top of the hill – works well.
The 5K racer did well, staying with me for 10 to 20 seconds. He then said “good job,” and slowed down. I felt strong and said to myself, “go, go, go;” and finished the last tenth of a mile in 31 seconds. Another thing I learned in the 14 years of running: if I can run the last .1 miles in a 5K faster than 40 seconds, I did not run it hard enough. Oh well, the fast finish lowered my pace for the 5K down to 7:08. I am happy to say I met my goal for this race.
A very cool thing: my high school geometry teacher, Gary Larson, was there. He joked he was glad to see me as he wants to keep track of my racing and training. He said he doesn’t want me to get too far ahead of him! Come to think of it, I’m glad to keep tabs of his training too. He’s been racing a lot, and doing very well.
Here is the data from the other times I ran this race:
Another reason I like this race. The fee is $10. Here are other April races I could have done, but did not because the fee was higher:
4/18 Lions Club 5K & 10K Gorham $25 race day $13 pre-race
4/20 Healthy High Race Orono $25
4/25 Race Judicata 5K Portland $25
4/25 5k Fundraiser for UMA Men’s & Women’s XC teams Augusta $20
In May I plan to do this race: 5/17 Run for Independence 5K Brunswick $15 by 5/1, $20 after 5/1. I’ll be sure to register by May 1. Here are races I could have done, but won’t due to high entrance fees:
5/2 Better Homes and Gardens 5K Augusta $17
5/2 The George Kohl Memorial 5K Oakland $20
5/2 Stomp Out Homelessness & Hunger 5k Kennebunk $25
5/3 Hospice House 5K $25 Farmington
5/9 HVWA and L.N. Clark Inspiration Network 5th Annual Run/Walk for a Life 5K Waterville $15 I may have done this one, but the only way I could see to sign up is on line. That would add a dollar or two. The Run for Independence had a link to pdf so the application can be mailed in.
5/9 Fly Like an Eagle 5K South China $20
5/9 Dash For Dancers 5K Waterville $30 (wow)
5/16 Bobcat 5K Brunswick $20
5/31 Safe Voices 2015 Walk/Run to End Domestic Violence Lewiston $25
Here is nice photo Doreen took before the race:
Thanks for reading.