Charles Davis Memorial 7.1 Mile Race Report
I've run this race a dozen times and this time I finally got to win. I have a few 2nd place & 3rd place trophies from this race and now the coveted blue ribbon will hang on my wall.
The day was perfect for running. Sunny, cool, and only a slight easterly breeze off the ocean. My plan for this race was to, again, push the envelope in the beginning miles to see how well or how poorly I could hold the up tempo. The result?
The biggest, fattest positive split of the field. Ha ha! Luckily this was the plan... why would I plan pain? Oh well.
Mile 1: 5:28. From the start I took the lead and tried to pace out an up-tempo that I knew would put some distance between me and the pack. I felt really good but already knew I had crossed the line. There would be no period of steady pace. I was anxious to see just what would happen. Lots of risk.
Mile 2: 5:39. An up and downhill make up this mile so it should even out - especially this early in the race. Approaching causeway #1 into Eastport.
Mile 3: 5:56. Ack! A completely flat stretch across a causeway and across Carlow island and I'm slowing. Too far into oxygen debt to keep the pace of the last two miles and the subconscious was doing the math.
Mile 4: 6:09. Pretty much the same pace until the hill at mile 4 showed itself. Another problem was this: I wasn't taking the tangents. Firmly planted in the right hand travel lane right behind the cruiser, I was losing some time on the sweeping curves to the left. I feared losing the protection of the cruiser because one of the issues with this race is the traffic.
Mile 5: 6:15. Someone's getting tired. This is a big downhill where if you had guts you could power down. My guts were in my mouth now and I had to put up with a nauseous feeling from running too hard. During this mile I was catching the walkers who had started at the 3 mile mark. I listened for the cheers for second place to gauge how much he was gaining. When I heard it I thought it seemed a little too close.
Mile 6: 6:22. All uphill. The funny thing is the legs felt great the entire way. Those first two miles built up way too much lactate for me to handle in the lungs. But the legs seemed to handle the hills without complaints. This was good as I've run these hills other years much slower as the legs got wobbly during this mile. During this mile, the road gets narrow and torn up. The only good spot to run is in the middle of the road - which is what I did. This put a line of cars right behind me as I tucked in behind the cruiser. As I approached mile 6 I knew I had the race. I was ready to slam in the final mile - the legs were ready and what's one mile of pain?
Mile 7: 5:50. Downhill and through town. Lots of people yelling my name from their doorways and the local gas station.
The race finished downtown this year due to security on the pier for the Navy vessel coming in for the July 4th celebrations. I liked this finish better as they had blocked off the road and it had one less turn.
Finish: 42:05. Average HR 178. Average pace 5:56.
1st half: 20:26 (5:45 pace)
2nd half: 21:44 (6:07 pace)
Once I finished I felt great as the lactate cleared. It goes to show what happens when you run into the anaerobic zone early in the race. You can slow down but it just won't clear until you stop.
A good test - but with results that are telling. I think 7 miles is the longest race I'll do with this type of race strategy! Man that was tough. A lot work and a pretty high heart rate to net a 5:56 pace. But if we don't try how will we know?