I thought it would be a good idea to post about this race before the USA Mountain Championships take place this morning in North Conway, NH at Cranmore Mountain. Unfortunatey, I cannot race so I will quickly share my MW experience. Going into MW I had low expectations due to my limited mileage (since 5/1), lack of racing (3 races since 5/1) and hardly any track work (1 workout). However, my fitness has improved of late and the nagging left hammy has improved as well. Someone asked me what my goal time was and I said I would take sub 1:16. I find it difficult to guage or predict a time for this race because I have only raced it a handful of times and mostly as an aging master.
After a 3 mile warmup in the rain, I put myself in the 3rd row (every year same place) and waited for the start. I felt decent, fairly rested and well hydrated. As the gun went off, I just took it out tried to remain relaxed. Shortly into the race, my legs stiffened up and felt horrible. I told myself to relax and not worry but knew it may be a difficult run. As we hit the climb, I could see many runners who I wanted to be with and tried to hang as best I could. However, as we hit the 2nd mile, my left calf was really not responding well and it was becoming an issue. I was not in oxygen debt and felt great otherwise but the calf would not allow me to increase my pace. I basicallly slugged along and as I hit 3 miles (sorry no splits) and actually turned around and started running down the mountain. It was at that moment when Reno Stirrat passed me and offered encouragement to continue. I wanted to run down and just end it but turned around and went into a one minute power walk until I got the balls to run again. I am glad I did because the calf loosened up and from the halfway point to the summit, I actually raced and felt good. I wish I could find my splits on that tiny piece of paper but it doesn't matter. I finished in 47th place with a time of 1:17:52.
Mon 6/13/11 AM easy 36 minutes (4.5 miles) / PM 42 minutes up and down Spickett Hill with JJ (5 miles) 9.5 miles
Tues 6/14/11 AM 4.2 miles in 35 minutes
Wed 6/15/11 AM 40 minutes (5 miles)
Thur 6/16/11 AM 52minutes (6.5 miles)
Fri 6/17/11 AM 30 minutes easy (4 miles)
Sat 6/18/11 AM 3 mile warmup / 7.6 mile Mt. Wash 1:17:52 / 7.6 miles down untimed 18.2 miles
Sun 6/19/11 PM 65:58 solo out to Drew Rd. loop felt sore early and did not push any pace just wanted to shake things out...towards the end I started to feel pretty decent (8.5 miles) 52.7 miles for the week
The math is fuzzy but the past two races I have run have been a 6k (5:50 pace) and a 5k (5:39 pace) so logically it made tremendous sense to race a 10k on the track on Sunday. Dave Dunham was the conspirator behind this race as he convinced the USATF-NE honchos to host a 10k at Regis College in Weston, MA as part of the New England track championships.
The last time I raced a 10k on the oval was in 1983 as a college sophomore and placed 12th in the NCAA Div II track Championships. My time that day was 30:37. That spring I raced 3 10k's and finished all (30:23/ 32:30/ 30:37) so I knew that finishing would not be a problem for me but how fast was the real question. My training has been consistent since May 1 and I actually have done 1 track workout (10 x 400 in 80 w/ 200 rest). Leading up to Sunday, my mileage has increased and I have been feeling strong just not fast.
After a 3 mile warmup and 1/2 mile on the track, the 9 racers (8 CMS teammates) were called to the line. Somehow I was given lane 1 (comic relief) and as the gun went off I immediately assumed last place which is where I would end up. Basically it was a 25 lap adventure of waiting to be lapped and not embarress myself. I had a goal of 85 second 400 pace but after a 2:46 first 1/2 mile, it was more like 87.5 pace. The leaders passed me at about 4.25 miles and then again around 9200 meters. Dave got me as he began his final lap. For some reason, I was under the impression that I had 2 to go but really had 3 so my final push to hold him off and thus not be lapped by everyone was not enough. However, I did manage to hit 5:50 pace for 10k and never was in oxygen debt but my legs just couldn't hit another gear.
Splits by 400: 83.03/84.58/85.96/85.67/84.98/86.45/86.44/85.83/85.52/87.09