McMullen Mile Road Kill Racing PR’s

This was my second year running in the McMullen Mile.  If you want to know about the history of Charlie McMullen and of the race you can check out this link.  The race has been run the last 2 years on the track at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.  This suits me very well, because I do many of my workouts on the track, and it kind of feels like a home meet.  The race draws about 100 or so people running times from 10+ minutes down to the low 4’s.  This year no one broke 4:20 but there were still some very solid times.  I’m going to focus on my times and my race in this post, but Mike’s splits are all in the video below if you’re interested. He’ll probably post some race thoughts of his own anyway.

Despite what I would called an average Spring racing season I was very confident about my ability to run a good mile.  A series of 3 short but very fast workouts over the last month left me feeling fast and well rested.  On Sunday I tried a new sharpening workout 4×400 with lots of rest 66, 63, 64, 65 and new I was ready to get back under 4:40 for the first time in 6 years.

The weather was a perfect 65 degrees and by the time our race started at 7:45 p.m. long shadows were across much of the track.  I was in the 8 spot at the start but new I had to get a good clean start and not get trapped against the rail.  As often happens in these open track meets the “fast” runners went out painfully slow.  About 150 into the race I knew I would have no chance at a sub 4:40 if I let the pace stay where it was, so I surged past the leaders and led us to a very unremarkable 69 second first lap  I was hoping to run 67-68 but 69 was OK if I had stayed in the back of the pack it would have been an unacceptable 71 or 72.  During the second lap the eventual winner made a bit of a move but only opened up about a 3 second lead on me as I ran a 70 second 2nd lap.  During the 3rd lap I was just trying not to lose too much ground.  I knew if I could hold steady I would be able to kick to a good finish.  I came through the 3rd lap with another 70 second spilt with 7 runners in front of me, one of which was Mike who had opened up a 2 second gap by running 69 second splits in the first 3 laps.  3:29.15 was my 3/4 mile time I knew I would break 4:40 but I thought would be very close.

I eased into my kick around the first turn and then really tried to open it up down the back stretch.  My eyes were locked on the runner just in front of me, I went by him with 200 to go and then I was staring at the back of a Road Kill Racing singlet a strides ahead of me.  Sorry Mike, but that is when I really put the hammer down.  I got around Mike mid-turn and started reeling in Chad Byler of GVH as we broke down the final straightaway.   Chad managed to hold me off, but I did manage to close the gap to less than a second.  As I crossed the line I glance over and saw 4:34 flash on the clock.  I went from dumbstruck to ecstatic in flash.  I had just run a 65 second 1/4 mile and shatted my PR by 4 seconds.  My FAT time was 4:34.94 but if anyone asks I ran a 4:34, I mean who really cares about 10ths or 100ths of a second.

Enjoy the video below.  The quality isn’t great, but I’m the tall skinny guy so I should really stand out.   

[flv]https://runjosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/rkr_mmm2.flv[/flv]

Morning Site Seeing

I have been running most mornings starting about 5:20 a.m. ever since Hazel was born.  At first it was a very difficult adjustment, but lately I have come to enjoy it.  I think it is a great way to kick off the day, and at least for the spring, summer and fall months I can avoid the heat.  Another great thing about morning running is i get to see all sorts of interesting wildlife on the trails.  A few days ago I saw a fox catch a mouse or a mole or some other little brown furry thing.  It did the classic pounce.

I of course see lots of deer and rabbits. Today I was treated to 3 different momma snapping turtles laying eggs just off the side of the trail.  I don’t know how many of them will survive once they start mowing the edges, but I wish them all the best of luck.

Lilac 10K

10K’s are an odd beast.  They require you to run at a pace not normally practiced.  Common training paces include 1 mile race pace, 3k-5k race pace, and tempo pace which is about what you would run for an hour long race.  Most preformance calculators indicate I should be able to run a 10K in in about 34:30 or 5:34 pace.  That just isn’t a pace I ever run.  So when the Lilac 10K rolled around I found myself running either 5:22 pace (my 5k race pace) or 5:55 pace a little over my tempo pace. According to my ancient running lore, back in the 80’s almost all races were 10K’s or marathons.  5K’s were for the track and half marathons were unheard of.  It is telling that in all the years I have been running (most of which are post 1980’s) I have only run 2 10K’s, but I have run more than 100 5k’s and 6 half marathons.  Not only do I not practice running at 10K pace, I just never race that distance.  But all of this is really besides the point.  The point is, I ran a terrible race. I just flat out ran like crap.  Yes it was hot and humid, yes I am not practiced at running the distance, yes I am still sleep deprived.  But really there is no excuse for running a 6.2 mile race slower than I ran the first 6.2 miles of my last 13.1 mile race. 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rstARPR9C3s[/youtube]

 My 10K PR still sits above 36 minutes 36:14 to be exact.  As I see it I am left with 2 choices.  I can wait another 6 years before I run another 10K or I can find the first available 10K race and put down a respectable effort.  I think I’ll wait the 6 years.