Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12 (Saturday) - Fox Point Sunset 5 Miler

Photo by Matt Parker (Seacoast Sunday)

September 12 (Saturday) - 11 miles total. (Article in Seacoast Sunday.)

On Saturday I made my way down to the Fox Point Sunset 5 Miler (results) which is a Seacoast Series race each year.  This year I am out of the series due to being injured most of the summer and missing too many races, but I figured I'd head back down to this one and give it a shot.  I need to get my butt back into shape and sharpen up the racing mentality... despite not being 100% I just need to get on the line and get back into racing mode.  Eventually the fitness will get there.

I last ran Fox Point in 2009.  I ran (and won) in 2008 and then ran again in 2009 (third) and both years I had run the Ollie Road Race (5 Miler) in Boston the morning of...then doubled back at Fox Point later in the day (a feat I would definitely not be able to do now).  In 2009 I took a wrong turn and ran a lot of extra distance in the wrong direction so the last taste of this race I had wasn't very good...but this year it seemed like a cool race to go back to and try to get a good hard effort in. Plus, the win is worth $150.  It was $150 7 years ago when I won it and it still is :).  The entry fee has gone up though... I must say the food afterwards is pretty good.  A lot of hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, etc.  I definitely got my money's worth.

Even though this year I wasn't racing the morning of, I felt terrible. I woke up with a bad headache and had it throughout the day.  I tried to hydrate and stay moving all day but I was really starting to feel bad the more the day went on.  On the ride down there with the family, I was pretty much miserable.  My head was pounding.  We got there nice and early and registered and hung out for a while before it was time to warmup.  I did a 3 mile warmup (some with Darin Brown) over the beginning and end of the course (which is now different than it was back in 2008 and 2009 when I last ran).  I have never felt that bad on a warmup for a race in my life.  I can never remember feeling that flat, sore, and sluggish.  Dave Dunham has always told me that's a good sign (when you feel bad on the warmup)...I'm not sure...but I really did feel tremendously off.  My leg has been bothering me and it was flaring up.  I was just hoping that I could run w/ the leaders and try to squeeze out a podium spot in the back of my mind.

As the race went off, I was thinking 5:20s would be reasonable, given the hilly nature of the course (constant rolls but nothing crazy).  Normally I probably would have been looking for 5:0X's had I not gotten hurt this year...but it is what it is. I figured 5:20 would be about where I would be.  I was immediately out front and surprisingly pulling away 200 yards in.  I was only around 5:20 pace and feeling 'ok' but not totally relaxed.  The race starts slightly uphill and then flattens and ever so slightly drops a bit.  I stretched a lead out over the first mile of 10 seconds or so (maybe not even).  Rather foolishly, I thought to myself after the first mile 'oh great...1/3 of the way done....only 2 miles to go'...then I realized a few seconds later that it was 5 miles and not a 5k.  I was kind of rattled after that.

Race start photos from Kristin
Race start photos from Kristin
Me telling Matt how bad I felt....the usual smack.

I ran pretty much even the entire race despite the slow rollers.  I was 5:17 and then 5:22 on the next couple miles, which if you look at the profile, is kind of strange because the 5:17 had some climb and the 5:22 had some flat and drop. I don't know...I was just kind of zoning out and trying not to think about the fact that my calf started to kill at about 3 miles.  I rolled through 5k in 16:34 (there was a sign right at the 5k mark).  I felt ok except for my calf. Fitness-wise I felt ok but I still had a lingering headache and hungover feeling. I may have definitely been dehydrated...considering my calf started to cramp slightly and got VERY sore.

The last 2 miles could be the slowest collectively.  The last mile is almost entirely uphill but I still managed a 5:21 last mile and cruised in with a 26:50. I was pretty shocked to go under 27 to be honest (even though typically I not be happy w/ that time) but pleased with the win for sure.  I was lucky the race was only 5 miles. I think any longer and I would have had a tough time with my calf.  In the last 100 yards or so, there was a big line of little kids on the sidelines wanting a high five... I started slapping hands as I weaved over to the right.  I missed probably 75% of the hands but got a few including announcer extraordinaire Andy Schachat's (as you can see from the photo all the way at the top of this post)...

Finish Line photos from Kristin

Finish Line photos from Kristin

I cooled down with Darin and Jasmin Lepir over a small loop of mostly the beginning and middle of the course (another 3 miles).  Calf was VERY sore... took it pretty easy.

For the win, I got a running band/light thingy (not sure what it is, but it lights up blue and Tabby likes to play with it) and $150.  Not bad for missing most of the summer and then throwing my hat back in the ring.  It's kind of bitter sweet, but it was a good time for sure.  It was a good time for the family and a lovely night to be hanging out in Newington with the seacoast running community.

Article in Seacoast Sunday.

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