Sunday, September 26, 2010

Race report: - 5th Avenue Mile

It's been a while since I've composed a race report. That's because I haven't raced in a while. I had originally intended on foregoing the 9 + 1 because I thought I wouldn't be interested in doing the marathon. Now I find myself scrambling to finish minimum just in case I decide to do it. The 5th Ave Mile is a fast, furious and fun qualifier and a must for anyone doing the 9 + 1.

I didn't have any expectations going into today's race. Actually, I did. They were mostly negative. Did 800's 3 weeks ago and my best time was a 2:51. Haven't done any Tabata sets, and I was sick last week. I felt that my warm-up jog confirmed that today was going to be a mediocre performance at best.

When I got to the race start, I didn't expect to see some of my friends and colleagues since they were in the 30-34 age group. Lucky for me, they decided to hang back and run with my heat. Even luckier, one of the guys, EM, is a fast youngin' that I was hoping would play the rabbit. And thank goodness he did.

The gun went off and I remember thinking go easy, but run strong. During the 1st quarter, I made sure to stride strong but tried to stay relaxed. Time at .25mi - 1:25

The 2nd quarter was a long gentle grade. EM had pulled away by about 15 meters, but I was able to reel him in within 5 by keeping a constant effort. Still tried to maintain strong strides going up the grade. Time at .50mi - 2:51.

(Halfway point check. I should be able to do 5:45 since the second half should be faster. Tiring, but the rest is downhill and flat. EM is only 5 meters ahead.)

The 3rd quarter goal was to maintain the effort on the downgrade or even start to speed it up a little. I think I was successful at it, but EM was pulling away again. Darnit! At .75mi, EM was about 12-13 meters ahead. I needed to start picking it up.

(3/4 mile check: Tired? Yes. Behind pace? No. EM too far? Yes. Are you going to be happy not giving it your all. NO! 400 meters remaining. GO TIME!)

At the 3/4 mile marker, I looked for EM and he looked impossibly far at about 10m. Just in front of me was a guy with a funny stride. I had to get past him first. Done. Now to EM. At 1500m, I squeezed out every last bit of effort and tried to hold on for as long as I could. I caught EM's back shoulder at about 10 meters to the finish, but I couldn't quite get past him. I was one second shy of his time.

Unofficial clock finish - 5:29.

Official time: 5:24. YEAH!!! PR!! First sub 5:30!!!