Sunday, March 06, 2011

Beat The Calculator

We found a new race to put on the Boston Marathon prep circuit this year it is Salem's Black Cat 10 Miler. You can also run two loops for 20 miles or a relay. The race starts at 8:00 am shortly after the National Anthem. A cloudy start with showers wihin the last hour and temps in the low 50s provided an opportunity to race in shorts, singlet, long sleeve tee, gloves and a visor cap. It was too late when I realized not wearing the GPS watch to see average pace and having to rely on roadside mile markers. A few markers were later found to be blown over as the gusts of wind came quite strong at times.

Mile 1 and 2 - 12:20
Out easy with plenty of runners ahead. Heading out from the Bentley School into downtown Salem enroute to Marblehead. Position jockeying settled out as runners assumed there race paces. An uncertainty existed as in who was running 10, 20 or relay and which one's were competing in the Masters group.

Mile 3 - 6:11/18:31
A long uphill and the sun breaks through warming the conditions. Pulled in one GCS runner on the hill.

Mile 4 - 6:09/24:40
Off with the gloves, pulled in a gray shirt runner and found a good groove.

Mile 5 - 6:22/31:03
A callout to watch the ground sand at Devereaux Beach hairpin turnaround, missed the water as it was in the turn, just missed being hit by a mini-cooper. Gray shirt pulled ahead of me going to the turn, about 4.5m. I called out "there goes 1-2-3" as the race leaders were well ahead after already making the turn and heading back.

Mile 6 - 6:09/37:13
GCS runner now breathing down my back as gray shirt is 200m in advance. GCS runner's name is Mike as plenty of runner and crowd support cheer him on. Having enough of this I consistently press the effort while slowly dropping the pace.

Mile 7 - 6:03/43:16
GCS cheers seem to have faded but still a threat. Not looking back!

Mile 8 - 6:00/49:17
GCS is history after long downhill. Reeled in gray shirt going through a brick alley heading to the wharves.

Mile 9 - 6:05/55:23
Focused on maintaining pace or better.

Mile 10 - 6:32/1:01.55 overall average of 6:12/mile
Held the same effort despite the slower time. At the loop back I lost site of the red shirt runner in front and relied on race signs to stay the course through the next two left turns. On second left I noticed a few runners missed the turn or I was just cutting the course.
With the time estimate I was on track and seeing a timing tripod with a mile 10 marker about 30 seconds before the finish gets me wondering if the course is long. I wonder if its setup for the same finish with the 20 miler being the overriding distance?

1st Master of 35, 7th overall of 388.

McMillan Running Calculator had me at a 1:02:18. Game plan going in was a 62-65 minute goal. This is after having the last two weeks nursing a left front lower muscle above the ankle pain. Caused from racing Martha's Vineyard 20-miler and hiking Mount Washington the next day.
Let's hope running improves after this and your training is also coming along. Cheers!