Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3 (Saturday) - Children's Museum 5k

May 3 (Saturday) - It was back down to the Children's Museum of NH 5k (results) in Dover, NH.  This race has been the first race of the Seacoast Series for years.  It is usually one of my slower runs of the year/series.  I didn't do it last year but have done it 6 total times (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and this year).  I did have the course record from 2011 when I ran 15:46, but Eric Couture wasn't having any part of that in 2013 (last year) when he destroyed that to the tune of 15:30, which is very fast on that course.  The course isn't super fast, so it's tough to run quick there in early May (at least for me it is).  I have historically had problems w/ either injury or fitness during this race...or just plain running slow....but I also have had some good luck in being on the podium (second in 2008, third in 2009, third in 2010, first in 2011, and third in 2012) which means lobster dinners from the Weathervane.

This year, I was completely unsure of what my 5k fitness was like as I have done nothing except snowshoe racing and trail racing up until now.  I haven't run a real 5k in a long long time, so I was really not sure what it was going to be like. I couldn't really fathom running 5:0X pace at all, seeing that most of my running here (over the past 2 years) has been very slow on hills, rough terrain, and snow. I would soon find out, that is was pretty tough!

I hit the warmup early, as I thought I needed an extended warmup for sure.  I ran a mile or so around the grassy fields and footpath near the start/finish and then I went over to run the course (in reverse).  I finished up with another mile around the area before getting ready for the race.

The weather got pretty warm by race time (with very little wind) and as I was standing on the line, besides feeling the warm temps, I started to get quite nervous.  It was almost like my first race in ages... Almost like new territory for me.  I didn't like that feeling and at that point made my mind up to get my guts back and start showing up at races again on a normal basis (or normal for me) so I don't feel this way again.  I had to go with my adidas shoes during the race, as I still haven't ordered my updated Inov-8 road flats yet (I wasn't anticipating racing on the roads again so soon)...

As the race began, I shot out and up the slight incline that begins the first mostly uphill (ever so slightly up hill) and flat first mile.  There is a decent amount of slight uphill to start, and then the second mile has got some steeper up followed by a drop down, a rise up (out of the neighborhood loop) and then another drop.  As I stretched out on the first mile, I glanced at my watch and saw 5:0X and was pretty surprised.  I had a decent lead early and knew that I may be able to actually win the race if I just kept up a respectable pace and didn't completely blow up.  My watch clicked through the first mile in 5:08, which was just about on point with the first mile marker.

The second mile contains the uphill plus a small neighborhood loop where it's down and around and back up.  I felt slightly gassed on the uphill, but not completely like junk so I pushed on.  As I came back against traffic out of the loop, I heard a lot of folks cheering for me and saying my name, which felt great.  I took the turn back onto the main road and headed down the biggest downhill on the course to the 2 mile mark.  I hit 2 in 5:11, which wasn't too far ahead of the actual marker on the road.  I thought that was ok because I have a nice drop to start the 3rd mile.  I had a big lead here and knew it was just a matter of hanging on.

As I bottomed out of the steep downhill (which was way shorter than I remembered) I started to rig up.  I started to struggle a bit to keep rolling along and by the time I was heading up the last short but steep uphill at about 2.5, I felt like I hit the wall.  I saw Nate Jenkins standing on the side (he was cheering for Melissa) and he gave me some encouragement.  I knew I had about a half mile to go and I could make it through, but it wasn't going to be pretty.  At the bottom of the hill I was under 5 min. pace (I should have been WAY under it). By the time I hit the bridge, I was over 5 and had lost a lot of time on the fastest mile of the course.  I managed to collect myself on the flat section on the other side of the bridge and rolled to my 3rd mile split of 5:07...however I was no where near the 3 mile mark on the course.  I was shocked at how off it was.  I glanced down at my watch, knowing the 3 mile time was respectable (far better than I had hoped for) but was heartbroken to see how far off it was from the course marker.  I know all about course certifications, etc.  But I don't remember a 5k being this far from my watch... Granted the last time I ran this race (and all times before), I did NOT have a GPS watch...and also, the marker was where it always not only is the course slightly rolling, but it's also (according to my watch) just a hair over 3.2 miles (could also be my lack of taking tangents).  I finished up in 16:25, which was my slowest time ever on the course...but it was just about what I was hoping for for my best case scenario...I never expected the win though, so I was thrilled. article here:

Top 10 Overall:

1Jim Johnson       16:255:1737East Madison NH  
2Jason Hart        17:375:4035Fremont NH       
3Kevin Higgins     17:535:4625York ME          
4Tom Doherty       18:095:5130Dover NH         
5Daniel Dion       18:145:5228Dover NH         
6Mike Guarascio    18:396:0130Stratham NH      
7Jordan Parkinson  19:056:0922Portsmouth NH    
8Miranda Fani Srour19:286:1631Barrington RI    
9Alex Mitrushi     19:306:1735Dover NH         
10Melissa Donais    19:376:1930North Andover MA 

790 Finishers.

I wrapped up the day with a 1 mile jog around the start/finish area again because I was now staring at the horror of having to recover in time for Sunday's Sleepy Hollow Mountain race in VT.  I knew it would be a tough task and so I took it very easy and jogged around, then walked around a bit to try to stay loose.  I collected my certificate for 10 lobster dinners from the Weathervane, and then I hit the bricks.  On the way home, I stopped by to see my parents in E.Wakefield, NH and spent a couple hours in the water helping my dad put his docks in.  Being in the freezing cold water made my legs feel great afterwards...I just hoped it was enough to help me get through the mountain race tomorrow...


  1. Congrats on the win! Not a bad way to get back into road 5ks

  2. Thank you sir! And thanks for not going! ;). What's next up for you?

  3. Haha. I'm not sure yet. I hope to be back to racing by late May early June. Maybe Market Square Day.