Sunday, September 6, 2015

September 6 (Sunday) - Seasons 20K

September 6 (Sunday) - Headed down (very) early in the a.m. to Acton, MA for the Seasons 20K (results) road race which served as the USATF-NE 20K Championship this year.  It was my first race since May 2nd and the first real hard effort I've put in since.  I wanted to help the team (CMS) after seeing only 3 open guys on the pre-register email.  I have only run 1 GP race over the past few years for CMS and wanted to contribute if I could.  I figured I could be the 4th guy if Scott, Chris, and Dan were up there.  At the very least, it would be a good test for me to see where I am fitness-wise and see where my leg is.

I warmed up w/ Double-D and Dan Verrington for about 2.5 miles and then added another half mile w/ Al Bernier up to the starting line for about 3 miles worth of warmup.  It was beginning to get warm out and the course was a definite roller, so I knew the times wouldn't be super fast...but something inside of me thought I could run maybe my PR marathon pace for the 20k effort.  Needless to say that didn't pan out.

My first mile was too quick (about right on my PR half-marathon effort, which normally I'd be looking for in a 20k at least).  From there, I deliberately scaled back a bit and wanted to run in the 5:30-5:40 range which I started to realize was probably even too aggressive for the heat and the hills.

I basically ran in no-man's land for most of the race.  I was lingering behind Scott Leslie and a few others for a few miles.  Ryan Carrara screwed past me at maybe 5.5 or so, on the hunt for Scott and the ATR points.  I played yo-yo with a few GBTC dudes, eventually losing one and dropping 2.  I passed a R.UN Kenyan somewhere around 8 miles or so, who was falling off the early pace and I think he eventually dropped out.  Tim Cataggio blew past me somewhere in there like I was standing still.  I could see those guys the rest of the way but could never close any gaps.

I was just clicking off 5:30's-high 5:40s until 11.5 when out of nowhere, my CMS teammate Morgan Kennedy and the top woman (Sonia Samuels from Great Britain) went by me and I had nothing left. I was basically just packing it in at that point and watched them stretch away.  12.5 miles in 1:10:35.

The good news is that my leg was basically a non-issue.  The bad news is everything else. I am not in 'long distance' shape at all.  No workouts, no race efforts or situations = a bad time to show up and dip toes into a GP.  It wasn't a complete disaster...but 1:10:35 is over a minute slower than my half marathon PR (for a longer distance).  I know it was hot and hilly, but seeing guys like Jose Ortiz and Tim and Ryan and others have some fight and run some fast times on a slow day, really made me hungry to get my ass back into shape.   If nothing else, I got a very good long hard effort in and a great test of where I am with my leg.

As a side note, I didn't help the team at all. I thought I did initially but after closer calculation, me being the 4th man only got us within 18 seconds of a 2nd place overall team finish.  We finished third whether I was in the results or not.

 For those not on Strava, my splits were pretty sh*tty but it is what it is....the first mile had some drop right away so it was slightly faster than I was ever anticipating running (although 5:17 is my PR half pace from 2011).

5:16 / 5:35 / 5:39 / 5:28 / 5:43 / 5:34 / 5:36 / 5:38 / 5:49 / 5:42 / 5:43 / 5:39  and then 5:50 for the last .5 on my garmin.

I cooled down with Ryan and Dr. Brian Harvey (who finished 3rd) on some roads and then a cool loop of single track in the woods.  3.6 miles total for the cooldown.  19.4 miles total on the day.

After that, it was a long, hot ride north with no AC in asinine vacationer traffic.

Next up is a rest and then possibly some 'work' as Dan Vassallo calls it... I gotta decide whether I want to try to get into real shape or just start trail and mountain running again.

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