Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hampton 5 mile race report

Instead of getting up early for the usual long run across the bay with Andrew and company I got to sleep in a bit since today's race was not until 10:30. After the usual breakfast of cereal, coffee and juice we were on the road, arriving in Hampton before 10. Five minutes later I had my number and t-shirt with plenty of time for an easy warm-up.

I've been bothered by a tight achilles lately and needed to be sure to get a couple of miles in before the race. Strangely there was not even a twinge out of it today as I did about 1.5 miles before the race and held up a few trees as I fit in some extra stretches. It would have been good to do a few strides as well, but just couldn't fit it in. However, everything was feeling good and loose despite the cool temps and light winds and I was ready to go. Race time temperature was 10C (50F) with a light N wind of about 15 mph. After a few short speeches the crowd of about 330 runners and walkers was away!
It was a bit crowded at 1st with the usual slow people at the front but was able to get on my pace within the 1st 100 yards. I then had to make a quick drop off of my extra shirt in the 1st mile, throwing my not-too-sweaty garment at Jo who made a nice catch.

It was then down to business and trying to figure out how fast I could manage today without blowing up. The 1st mile which had a few downs and ups went by in a quick 6:20, faster than my 800m workout pace from last week, oh oh! I then hooked up behind Richard, who is often close to me in races at this distance and tried to just hang on to him. The main key for me in these 'short' races is to focus on my breathing and to try to keep it under control and not to gasp and make alot of noise. Anyway, the next mile which was mostly uphill came in at 7:00 but at least we were at the highest point in the course and had some nice dowhill rolling sections ahead. My focus was still on Richard, who is a big tall guy and was looking very smooth with his long strides. I was just trying to stay close, not make too much racket, and to keep the legs turning over on the downhills. The next mile went by in about 6:40 (I say about cause the watch was on autolap and seems to always measure a few yards short during measured races).

Still on poor Richard's heels we made the turn onto the main drag for the 4th mile which was mostly downhill. At this point I could feel him starting to slow as I had to be careful to stay to one side and not accidentally get to close. You don't want to send a fellow competitor flying by clipping his heels going at full speed downhill! This mile went by in about 6:30 as we bottomed out with a small climb and turn to the final mile marker and finally, I pulled even and passed him. After the pass, I now began to focus entirely on my breathing and counting with each exhale and trying to run strong and smooth. Though I was certainly tiring I was able to pass a few more people and actually picked up the pace for the final mile. In the last 200yds I jockeyed back and forth with one runner and couldn't hold him off as I was only able to manage to hold my pace. Last mile about the same as the 1st mile in about 6:20 and was able to squeak in under 33 minutes with a 32:52.
Heartrate, speed and elevation data for the geek in me with all the gory details. Main point for me was the heartrace (red line) was in the red zone (about 150) for most of the race which confirms the effort was there at least.

Results are now posted on the RunNB website and there should be a few more pictures there later on. I'm quite pleased with my race which the 1st all out test I've had in awhile and the 1st thing I did was to plug the results into a few race predictors to find projected marathon times from 3:10 to 3:15 which is what I've been shooting for in any case.

Of course all these predictors come with various qualifiers when extended to other distances with a longer race being better for the marathon. For example, Thomas ran a huge PB in 1/2 marathon today coming in with a 1:35. Plugging this number into a calculator will give a better estimate than a short race like a 5 miler which has less of an endurance component and tells us that he will easily shatter his current marathon PB of 3:55. Way to go Thomas!

Only 20 days and counting, let the taper begin! Have a great week everyone!

8 comments:

Andrew said...

Great race Mike! Enjoy the taper.

Thomas said...

Thanks Mike, I'm very hopeful for the marathon but don't want to get too cocky just yet.

Congratulations on a good race. Maybe I'll be able to match your pace, that would be the day.

But Mike, where were the famous racing shorts?

Marc said...

Mike - well done on the race!

By the way, what is your favorite post-marathon ice cream? We are starting to prepare for your visit. Andrew has requested Guinness at the finish line.

olga said...

Nicely done!
Gotta love the taper, right? You deserve it!

Love2Run said...

Thanks folks, it was a good race with no bad after effects at all (not even stiff today).

Thomas, I left the shorts home cause I save them for special days, like Canada day or international events ;-)

Favorite ice cream? They are all my favorite but chocolate with extra chocolate bits is nice.

Bring on the taper!

Robb said...

Great race re-cap Mike...and nice race! I've been playing with the predictors lately too (just for fun). Enjoy the taper.

robtherunner said...

Nice race report and have a great rest of the taper process. I hope the calculators match up with the predictions. It is always nice when they do.

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