I decided to run the race when I woke up that morning. I knew that I would either work the race or run the race but I was on the fence. My training plan certainly did not call for a 5 mile race. Especially since my long runs are on Sunday. How would a race affect the long run? When training for a marathon, the long run is more important than a 5 mile race.
I hopped on the mountain bike with coffee in a disposable cup that I had kept from the day before. I was dressed in my race attire. I had on my racing flats, running shorts, running visor and a sleeveless running shirt. The first thing that I noticed was it was damp outside, like 100 percent humidity damp. It was one of those mornings were it felt like it was in a constant state of rain but it was not really raining. Oh yeah, it was also 70 degrees.
Charles and I timed this event last year so we both decided to race it this year. I also saw Terry L., he had just wrapped up a 9 mile run at marathon pace (sub-7 minute miles) prior to the race. There was a good chance that he would still beat me.
My strategy for the race was to try to run 5 – 10 seconds per mile faster than the Hobble then Gobble, which is a much harder course due to the hills. However, I changed my mind because of the conditions. Instead I was simply going to try and run the same pace, which is 6:20ish. Terry said that he was going to go out at 6:30 and pick it up at the turn around.
There are 2 guys in front of me.
We lined up for the race and there were a couple of young fast kids on the front. I recognized some of them. Anthony S. wins a lot of these races. I had my gps watch dialed in and I was just going to race my own race. We started off and it was immediately apparent that there was a head wind. I was in third place and jumped on the should of one of the kids. I was running too fast. I let second place pull ahead. That first mile came up at a 6:03 pace – way too fast. Anthony was in the lead and pulling away from second and third place. The kid on front of me started to labor hard between miles 1 and 2. I worked my way back up to his shoulder. I wanted to hang for a while but I would have had to slow too much. I passed him on the right and kept the pace up. I was working hard.
I was still in second at the turn around and I got a look at the field. Terry was in third 20 – 30 seconds behind me. It looked like a training run for him and not a race (he actually stopped at the turn around for a few seconds to talk with the marshal).
I kept the pace up for the 2 ½ mile return. I was hurting but dying. I was trying to embrace the pain and just let it flow. I kept the effort high but I could tell that I was starting to fade. I was damned and determined to keep Terry from overtaking me. I never turned around (not until the end) but I was listening intently for foot falls. I was trying to gage how much of a buffer I had. At Lake Thoreau Road (2k to go) the field marshal said good job and I waited to hear him say it again. I did not here it. I still knew that Terry was closing. I was the one fading.
I kept the intensity high but now I was starting to really suffer. I want to stop, just a mile to go.
I kept looking at the watch to see just exactly how far it was to the finish. Three quarters of a mile and then a half. I knew that I could finish strong.
I finished 2nd overall and 1st in age group. It was a great race. Most clock an extra tenth of a mile.
Mile 1: 6:03
Mile 2: 6:13
Mile 3: 6:32
Mile 4: 6:34
Mile 5: 6:20