Monday, June 7, 2010

Rhody 5K

The Skinny
time: 15:50.02 (PR)
pace: 5:06
place: 14
1: 5:05.5
2: 5:11.7
3: 5:03.1
.1: 29.8

The Full Race Report
Upon arrival and meeting up w/ Al, we both noted that the team would not be at full strength today. Tilton, Johnson, Mahoney, and Dunham were at Pack and Fyffe was just coming off at 2:22 at VCM. Wiles and McCarron (2-3 guys at Bedford) would not be making the trip either. Those of us down in Rhody would have to be at our best.

Besides the lack of key players, the most significant aspect of the morning was the humidity. Hazy, hot, and humid. When I finished my warmup, I looked down and my shirt was drenched through--and that was just from 20 mins of light jogging. I did a good job of sipping at water Goldilocks style b/c I had no GI issues during the race.
In regard to the weather, this has been the first consistent week of humidity and people's bodies are still acclimating. As Greg Hammett and I discussed on the cooldown, what seems bad now will be ho-hum come mid-July.

the race

Started 5 or 6 rows back and it took me a couple of seconds to get to the line (more on that later). While on the line, I noticed several guys drenched in sweat. I found this encouraging.

At around a 1/2 mile I realized that for sure the heat was going to make this an uncomfortable one. Fifteen minutes of pain, Jim Pawlicki said on the warmup. I knew I was going pretty good and that was confirmed at the mile split: 5:05. This was about as slow as I wanted to be. With the downhill leading into the first marker, I thought I might be 5:00 or sub.

Tim Van Orden and I were running close to each other at the start of the second mile. I could see Greg, Al, and Mike. I kept pushing and near mile two came up on a pack of about 5 that included Wayne Levy. The second mile was my slowest but I passed a good amount of people. This gave me confidence as I bore down for the last 1.1.

At 2.5 I came up on the CMS crew. Greg, Al, MQ, and I packed it in. Not three strides separated our first and fourth man. I shouted something but don't remember what. As I moved to the front of this barber shop quartet, Al said, Half mile to go. I took him at his word and shifted gears. Just after those words I had a brief illusion of grandeur: could I actually be first CMS man?

Coming up on a 1/4 to go MQ battled back. We must've exchanged positions three or four times in that last quarter. I really think that battle led to the PR. Thanks Mike. In our battle, I came upon something that I'd never see so close at the end of a race: Ryan Carrara. This may be my only chance to ever beat Ryan, so I went for it. Couple that with a 15:20 3rd mile split (I thought I needed to be sub 15:20 in prerace planning) and I knew I'd have to work my a*s off in the last .1. I did. Mike said, Go get 'em tiger, then passed me two strides later. I said, Let's go. Here I come. Kristen took a great picture that capture the moment.

The race was over. I didn't nip Ryan. I was a bit delirious. By the time I looked up, all seven CMS guys were through the chute. My watch read 15:50.02. PR. Yes.


Water. Couldn't get enough of it. In having a drink with Tim Van Orden and Jeff Goupil, they mentioned my stride. I guess it's long. I think I need to work on turnover and shortening my stride. Maybe a shorter stride and quicker cadence will lead to stronger performances. This is something I can work on the track.

Another good cooldown w/ the CMS boys. Greg and I extended it a bit. Interesting to hear his take on road marathons: you got to do some long runs on the pavement to run a solid road marathon. In a similar vein, he and Ben Nephew might've convinced me to run Stonecat one of these years.

The food spread was ridiculous: hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken burgers, Italian sausages, meatball subs, cheese steaks, chips. That doesn't even cover all the snacks, fruits, and desserts. Good times hanging out with the crew and planning for the next one: Stowe Eight Miler.

The league of handsome men at the end of the race. Thanks to Kristen for all the spectacular photos.

A Note about the PR
Official time 15:53. My watch 15:50. Previous PR 15:51. Justification for giving myself the PR: the race had b-tag chip timing. But they only had mats at the finish, not at the start. I was 5 rows back. It took me ~3 seconds to reach the starting line. I trust myself and my watch.


DoubleJ said...

Awesome job man! You guys really stepped up. Did the race not finish on the dog track this year? I'm confused by that photo (which is a cool photo by the way)...That dog track finish kind of takes the steam out of the last 100 meters of the race typically. Congrats again, you guys killed it. Looking forward to Stowe!!! We should be fully loaded and ready to go. Good job on the PR! That's a good time and especially in that heat! The Rhody spread is the best post-race spread there is...

KG said...

Thanks DoubleJ. Yeah, the race finished in the paved lot next to the race track not on the track itself. A good decision by the race director. When we saw that, we all thought: the course record is going down. Not to be. Also looking forward to Stowe and running w/ a full potentially full strength CMS squad.

Jeff Goupil said...

Congrats on the race once again..and can't wait till Stowe..we should all be at full strength and hopefully we can get some good weather

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