2nd place. 38:05.
Had a great time today at the Cobscook Bay 10k. The race is in Pembroke, just a few miles south of Eastport. It runs along a beautiful road with Cobscook Bay on the left for the first 5k, then a short 2 mile road to cross the "head" and the last mile has the bay on the right. It finishes at the Reversing Falls park where the organizers put on the most amazing barbeque with hamburgers, hotdogs, salmon and of course all the cold dishes and donuts too. A point to point, the course is "rolling" with 3 significantly steep hills in the last mile.
When the horn beeped, we took off and I intended on an aggressive play today. Not that I get a faster time, I just enjoy running with the pack if possible. The eventual winner went out faster than any of us and there wasn't even a thought of pacing him. He is definitely out of my league. I joined the chase pack and we went through mile one in 5:39.
I knew I wasn't going to run an average pace of 5:39 for the 10k but I wasn't worried a bit. I felt fine and I knew the slower mile splits would just come without having to purposely slow down. I figured it was just 6 miles, and if I blew up, it wouldn't be far to the finish. On the other hand, I didn't do anything to keep the pace, I just ran with relative comfort. Sure enough, mile two came through in 6:04. The effort felt exactly the same...
While the course "rolled", I was suspecting a net "up" while running the first half. There just seemed to be more climbing (gently) than any downhills. I tried to keep the pressure on the downhills and be strong climbing the uphills. At some point near mile two, I lost my companion. We had pulled away from the chase pack and were running side by side after mile 1. I was lucky to have someone to run with stride for stride - we weren't battling, just running. However, I think he made conservation play when the pace seemed too fast to hold (which it was). I, on the other hand, was sticking with my original plan to have the watch hand me the slow miles as it happened.
And they happened. Mile three, by myself now with the leader probably a minute in front of me, went by in 6:11 and the 5k in 18:34 (5:59 avg pace). I was still holding "tempo" but obviously the combination of the slight net uphill, a little headwind, and naturally slowing was adding seconds to my mile splits. Overall I felt pretty good but after I passed the half way mark I knew this was going to be work.
A couple of tenths beyond the 5k, the road turns right and the road went up. Not very far but enough to give you pause. However, I knew that at the end of this cross road, we'd be pretty much at shore level so it had to go down for at least a mile. Mile 4 was a success in 6:13. Only two seconds off my third mile so it felt good to be holding. Now for the downhill...
This next section is important. The reason being that the last mile boasts 3 very steep short hills that take the run out of every runner. I had the notion that no matter how much I conserved for these final hills, I'd still hurt, so I tried like mad to increase the tempo on this next mile to take advantage of the net downhill. I was tired, my legs were now tired, my stomach didn't like the increased effort, and my form wasn't as smooth as I would like. But I got a 6:06 for mile 5 and I was pleased.
What a chore to get to mile 6! The road turns to dirt and the hills rise up abruptly. You do get to come down the other side of these hills, which is a plus. It took a lot of willpower to change the pace from "arm-swinging-baby-steps" to full out downhill power to make up lost time. But I did it and came through in 6:25. Not as successful as I would like but it held me to 2nd place. The final .2 was the crest of the final hill and a slight decline to the finish (7:10 pace).
The last time I ran this race was in 2003. I had a time of 40:05. Mike
ran today and we hung out prior and after the race.
Today sort of makes up for the rather taperish week I had. After last Sunday's 11 mile "long run", I did:
Monday: 10 miles w/6 miles @ 6:44 pace.
Tuesday: 10 miles w/6 miles @ 6:23 pace.
Wednesday: off (fatigued)- obviously the above paces are too fast.
Thursday: 5.3 miles easy @ 7:35. Rather enjoyable really.
Friday: off - excusing myself to "taper"
Saturday: Hiked Mt. Cadillac
in Bar Harbor with the church group. 6k.
I did figure that with the mountain climb on Saturday, it would be best to take Friday off, so I did. My next race isn't until July, so I have no excuses. Though, I do think I'll tone down the daily paces a notch so I don't get fatigued like I was on Wednesday. After all, I'm trying to get back to the high mileage.