Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26 (Sunday) - White Mountain Milers Half

October 26 (Sunday) - White Mountain Milers Half Marathon (results).  After last year's debacle where I showed up with a bad back and way under-trained, I decided to give this one another go on 'normal' training (but zero speedwork or road specific efforts in preparation).  It's been just a lot of trails and the normal day to day.  My goal was basically to run in the 1:13-1:14 range if possible and try to win if no big gun shows up.  I also can't help but support the local club and run in the hometown race.

The weather was pretty much ideal.  A little wind in spots but nothing terribly noticeable.  The temps warmed up a bit by race time and by the time we were actually off, all I had on was a light long sleeve, which was probably too much actually.  Tyrus Parker (recent KHS grad and currently at UNH) was in the field and the one I was most concerned with.  He's a White Mountain Miler teammate of mine and has been running and training under the guidance of Tim Livingston all year.   Tim has a knee issue right now and had to miss the race this year...  But Tyrus was coming off a 58 minute 10 miler in NH last weekend so I knew he was getting fit.

As the race went off, I immediately went to the front as the course started in a slightly different spot this year (and also added a small neighborhood section off of Westside Rd.).  Tyrus was pretty close behind and we were going hot early.  He had told me before the race that he wanted to run 6 minute pace for the first 5-6 miles and then see what he could do.  I was glancing at my watch during the first mile and knew we were going a bit too quick, but it felt really easy.  For the first half mile it was under 5 min. pace and seemed more like a 5k, however it really felt nice and smooth.   I motioned for him to slow down a bit and told him it was a bit too fast.

I stretched out to a lead during the first mile and hit the first split in the 5:14-5:15 range (my old half marathon PR pace just about)... I turned to see Tyrus only about 15-20 seconds back.   By miles 2 and 3, I had a pretty substantial lead as I made my way south on Rt. 16 through North Conway.  During the first 5 miles or so, I was weaving in and out of the early-start field and the walkers.  By the time I got over the covered bridge and on to Westside Rd. I only had a few more to go by before I was clear and all alone out on the road.

Passing by the big farm on Westside Rd. there was a bit of a headwind for a bit and then when I hit the neighborhood section about halfway through the race, it knocked the wind out of my sails a little. I just felt like it was slowing the pace down but it really wasn't. Once back on Westside Rd. again I just continued to keep the same effort up.  I wanted to keep it under 5:40s and around my PR marathon pace just to see how it felt.  I really did feel nice and relaxed, within myself, and like I was out for a nice smooth tempo run.  I was never in any distress and never had any issues to speak of.

Mile after mile clicked by in about the same ballpark pace-wise. I kept it around what I wanted and it seemed like it was really a positive sign to continue to click off the splits I was hitting on the specific sections of the course.  Once I turned onto North St. and approaching mile 12, I felt like I could continue that pace for a bit more without any problems.  I took the last turn into the park again and motored around the outside of the finish area and then into the final stretch, pretty surprised that I was running in the 1:12 range completely alone.  I crossed the line in 1:12:46 (5:33 pace) which is actually about 3-4 seconds faster than my PR marathon pace from a few years I'll take it!  A very positive sign, considering I did only 50-60 miles average and zero workouts or road work of any kind leading up....just very slow trail/mountain runs and some trail racing recently....I'm averaging just over 8 miles per day INCLUDING days off (31 of them actually this year) so that's not too of a serious training schedule, I think I can get back down around 1:10 or so.... maybe in 2015, when I'm 38? ;)....


5:14 / 5:32 / 5:37 / 5:31 / 5:23 / 5:27 / 5:34 / 5:29 / 5:41 / 5:36 / 5:33 / 5:21 / 5:36 and then 5:08 (pace) for last .2 on my watch

2 mile w/ up w/ Leslie on NoCo. roads + 13.1 mile race + 1 mile cooldown w/ Leslie on NoCo. roads = 16.1 miles for the day.

Myself and Leslie (women's winner and 4th OA!)

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