Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Delaware Distance Classic

Third time I've run this race in Wilmington, staged in front of a minor league ballpark and looping through the parking lot, some adjacent neighborhoods, and then along the Christina River front. 15k race (9.3 miles), a clunky distance, and there is prize money to the first three finishers and first masters finisher.

In the past two years this has been a sleepy little race, but apparently not so this year as two Kenyan runners and Matt Sandercock lined up at the start, meaning that the first three places were pretty much locked up. But, as I said before the race to Ryan Walsh (last years winner), as long as none of them are over 40 I'm okay with that.

At the start everyone goes out relatively slow, pulling me along until a lead pack forms after about 1/2 mile. I find myself straggling in a loosely formed second pack, maybe 8th or 9th place. Mile 1 in 5:22, mile 2, containing virtually all the ups and downs in the race, goes in 5:31, and mile 3, again looping around the stadium parking lot, is back down to 5:21. I'm in a group with Ryan and Kareem Lanier, both of whom are usually well ahead of me. This is telling me that I'm running over my head, but I'm feeling okay and got a rhythm.

I'm running with a new watch (the band on my old one broke, and I miss it), and I inadvertantly have it set on cumulative splits. I turn this to my advantage and agree with myself that I will see how long I can run average a sub 5:30 pace. Once I go above that, I will reevaluate my strategy. Mile 4 passes at 21:40 (5:27 split and 20 seconds in the bank). By this point Ryan starts to pull away and I put some space between me and Kareem. Scott Purcell has also moved up to where he is giving me chase.

I miss the mile 5 marker and mile 6 passes in 32:54 - now six seconds left in the bank. I did not expect to last at sub 5:30 pace for this long. Mile 7 at 38:27 - 3 seconds in the bank. Mile 8 at 43:58 - 2 seconds in the bank. I'm thrilled that I've lasted this long and with 1.3 miles left just look to hammer it as hard as I can. No one has challenged me for position, Scott still lurking behind me, but at a non-threatening distance. I close the gap between me and Ryan by a bit but never really challenge him. The last stretch again traverses the parking lot perimeter, and I cross the finish in front of Frawley Stadium in 51:11 - exactly a 5:30 pace. Seventh place overall and first masters finisher.

Looking at Greg McMillans "Running Calculator", this time is almost exactly consistent with my PDR time. This indicates that PDR was no fluke, and it looks like I've gotten a notch faster. It feels like puberty, I'm aware of my body going through changes that I only partly understand. In this race I was still feeling my legs out, stuck between thinking that this pace is okay and the fear that it is much too fast. I'm also now getting competitive with a set of folks that I always looked at as beyond my ability. And, as I've mentioned in some recent training runs, when my stride is on it seems smoother, lighter, more like I think a runner should. Finally, I had bad post-race GI difficulties that lasted most of the day. This is something new that has also been coming up after harder workouts.

This race was a Mid Atlantic USATF Grand Prix event. Phila. Athletic Charities probably got third at best (like we just about always do) behind the evil empire of SJAC, who was out in force, and host club Pike Creek Valley. I also cooled down by doubling back on the course and running the last few miles in with Rebecca, and in so doing perhaps pushed her a bit too hard but she responded by beating her goal time.

Including the cooldown miles I got 80 for the week. Not bad given I missed Friday's run.

And I got paid $75 for less than an hours worth of work (not quite my consulting fee). This turned out to be road trip money, as the kids and I headed up to NYC this afternoon for Maricela's birthday. It was an inspired request by Maricela, as it was a beautiful afternoon as we wandered around the East Village. Maricela blew a wad of birthday money and Tony and I played frisbee in Washington Square Park.

Up next weekend is a road trip to Saratoga Springs and USATF Masters Cross Country Nationals. I'm running on PAC's team, and the expectation is that we should be strong enough to compete for a top three standing. Kevin F. and the kids are going too, and we're staying with my friend Eva, whom I serendipitously reconnected with a few weeks ago after her family moved from midtown Manhattan to the more bucolic upstate NY farm. All that, and the promise of fall colors, should make for a most excellent trip.


Blogger ian said...

Nice work, boss. this time on no taper. You continue to impress and frighten.

10:55 AM  

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