Monday, December 16, 2013

Scharfman 5K and 1 Mile, Gobble X 3, SBCA 5K, and The Mill Cities Relays

It has a been a while since my last race update so here it goes.  I've been pretty busy with short races over the past month and have been enjoying this endurance base that I built up over the summer.

Race: Dan Scharfman 5K and 1 Mile
Location: Belmont, MA
Date: 11/17/2013

Goal Times: 17:59 (5k) and 5:59 (1 mile with Stroller)
Actual Times: 18:16 (5k) and 6:04 (1 mile)

Place: 7 / 382 OA, 2 / 18 AG (5K) and 2 / 213 OA (1 mile)

I always knew this race was going to be a tough one before started it.  The race took place roughly a 1/10th of a mile from my house and was a memorial race for my neighbor Dan, a fellow ultra runner, who passed away earlier this year.

After a long summer (and part of the fall) of ultra running on the trails, I finally got back to putting in some speed work with a goal of setting a new 5K PR by the end of the year.  So I figured, what better place to try then at a local race. 

Before the race, Rachel, Dan's daughter, gave a wonderful speech talking about Dan's life and how this race was the perfect match of what Dan worked for.  Dan was a Belmont School Committee member and the race was functioning as a fundraiser for the Belmont Education Fund. 

As the 5k race started, I had a new burning sensation in my stomach, as I felt I was ready to do battle.  Next thing I know, the 3 high school kids up front took off like the race was a 100m dash.  At the half mile mark I was running 5:50 pace knowing we were about to hit some hills and finished off the first mile at 6:02 with all hopes of a PR now out the window.

The next half mile contained nearly 80' of climbing and was ruining my pace at a near astronomical rate.  Luckily as I crested the hill with my heart in the back of my throat I found a new strength, as I knew it was time to descend.  Over the next half mile I ran somewhere around 5 minute pace as I bombed by one of the high school kids and another adult finishing the second mile in 5:51.

The remainder of the race included a loop around Clay Pit pond and then back onto the track.  With my HR still pretty high and my shins throbbing from the down hill I continued to push, but had already lost a good chunk of my pop.  As I rounded the far corner of the pond, with about a half mile to go, I thought to myself run this one for Dan and once again found a new gear.  I ran away from the another runner as if he was standing still and as I rounded the corner for the track I just pushed the gas to the floor.  Finishing the 3rd mile in 5:52 and holding 4:31 pace for the final .1 miles.

Though tired as I hit the finish, 16 seconds off goal pace, I felt like I had a new fire and was ready for some more.

45 minutes later Neil and I took on the 1 mile race.  As we lined up for the start, a bunch of kids pushed there way to the front and then they all took off like maniacs. By the half mile mark, Neil and I had worked our way into 3rd place behind two 10 year old boys.  By the 3/4 point, one of them had dropped, but the other was still pushing strong at 6 minute pace.  As we hit the track for the finish I was egging him on to get under 6 minutes and we all finished together around 6:04 -- a 12 second stroller mile PR for Neil and I.

Race: Gobble X 3 -- 4 Miler
Location: Somerville, MA
Date: 11/28/2013

Goal Time: 23:59
Actual Time: 23:34

Place: 22 / 2501 OA, 11 / 406 AG

The morning of Thanksgiving we (me, Amy, Laura, C-A) took on the Gobble Gobble Gobble 4 mile road race in Davis Square while my parents stayed warm with Neil in the Burren.  This race has always been one of my favorites. It gets you going first thing on Thanksgiving and makes you feel accomplished for the rest of the day.   Oh yeah, and it has free Guinness following the race.  Also it is put on by my club, SRR, and has huge participation which always makes it quite a bit of fun. 

Feeling pretty strong after a few weeks of track and speed work, I set what I thought was a lofty goal of trying to hold 6 minute pace for 4 miles (something I had never tried before).  The plan was simple, run exactly 6 minute pace for 3 miles and just push on the 4th.

The first two miles went exactly to plan clocking 5:56 for both of them.  For the third, I was 6:00 flat, but it took quite a bit out of me with a few rolling hills.  After a 1/4 mile climb, there was a long descent to the finish so I slammed on the gas and was able to clock a 5:35 final mile (my fastest mile outside a 1 mile race ever).

Special thank to SRR for putting on an awesome race and my parents for hanging with Neil while we all ran.

Race: SBCA 5K (with SRR Kids)
Location: South Boston, MA
Date: 12/7/2013

Goal Time: Finish
Actual Time: 27:08 (8:46)

Last Saturday Neil took on his 2nd race, 100 meter dash (his first was in Iceland in August), and we volunteered with the SRR Kids program.  This was the culminating event after many weeks of training where the kids took on a 5K race with a SRR member pacing them (Unfortunately I didn't have the time to make it to the practices, but volunteered as a pacer anyways).

Before the 100 meter dash, we got Neil ready to go in his new SRR gear. Unfortunately the stress got to him and he just sat down when the race started.  He was still pretty pumped to get a medal though. 

For the 5K, I ran with a 2nd grader from Somerville named Daniel who asked me if I could keep up with him.  Laughing and figuring he would run something in the vicinity of 11 minute / mile I said "I don't know."

We started the race around 9:00 / mile pace and slowly picked it up as we went. With roughly a half mile to go Daniel told me he was exhausted.  I laughed and said we are almost there.  We ended up clocking a 8:08 final mile.  Pretty impressive for an 8 year old if you ask me. 

Race: Mill Cities Relay Leg 1 -- 5.4 Miles
Location: Nashua, NH
Date: 12/8/2013

Goal Time: 32:24 (6:00 / mile)
Actual Time: 32:11 (5:57)
Place: 17 / 199 (Team OA)

To finish out this set of races, I ran the 1st leg of the Mill Cities, a 5 leg, 27 mile relay from Nashua to Lawrence.  With my new found motivation from running the Gobble, I thought, what the hell, lets see if I can continue on to 5.4 miles at 6 minute pace. 

With an early race start time of 8am, I left the house at 6:30 and picked British Tom up on the way.  The plan was for him to drive my car between leg 1 and 2 so the others could just meet us further down the course.  As I handed him my keys, I politely reminded him to drive on the right side of the road with a grin. 

It was quite a chilly start around 20 degrees at the start so I opted for two long sleeve shirts, gloves, and full length pants. The course was fairly flat with a couple of rolling hills.  I knocked out the first mile in 5:58 and followed it with a 6:00 and 6:01.  At this point I began to second guess myself as I started to struggle some. 

Luckily from here it was either completely flat or a slight decline for the rest of the race and I was able to push through the 4th mile in 6:00 flat also.  I continued on at 6:00 min pace thinking I can do this for the next .4 miles and then with 1 mile to go I just started to push.  I finished mile 5 in 5:52 and ran the last .4 at 5:40 pace.  As I handed off to Tom he gave me my keys back and another SRR member handed me my sweatshirt. 

After walking around for another 10 minutes I finally found where he parked my car and headed off to the next leg. Tom took on the 2nd leg (4.75 miles) at a similar pace before handing off to Lino for the 3rd leg (2.5 miles).  Kieran ran our long leg (9.5 miles) at the fastest pace of all of us (5:51 / mile) and Tim finished us off for the final 4.75.  We finished 17th of 199 teams with total time of  2:42:01 (6:00.03 / mile). 

- Scot

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