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Downtown Temple,NH

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rhody 5k

Gate City Strider Teammates at Rhody

I headed down to Lincoln, RI today for the Rhody 5k (results), part of the New England Grand Prix Series. I really wanted to get a race under my belt after 5 weeks off due to some mysterious oblique injury, followed by 2 weeks of decent running.
I literally had zero expectations today and no pressure to speak of. This was purely a fitness test for me today.

It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and temps near 80 for the mens only 9:30am start. Unfortunately for me, a beautiful day does not make for a great racing day. I'd prefer it to be about 30 degrees cooler and overcast, especially since 3/4 of this race is run on the perimeter road of Twin River Casino at Lincoln Park Greyhound Park which means we run around the parking lot (this place is huge by the way). Actually, it wasn't that bad of a course and had its share of hills, nothing serious just enough to mix up the pace and keep you honest. Flat courses are boring.

As a side note, I started, ran and finished with my teammate Mike Merra. I can't recall a race that I ran with the same person the entire race from start to finish. Interesting (to me anyways).

Ok, the race: I wanted to go out real conservative and then try to pick up the pace as the race progressed. I went through the first mile in 6:08, but it felt too slow. My effort was too easy and I didn't feel like I was pushing hard enough. I mean, it's a 5k, it's not supposed to feel comfortable. Right after the mile marker was a nice gentle downhill followed by a long curving run around the perimeter of the parking lot (with a barely noticeable incline) and I hit the 2nd mile in 12:12 (6:04 2nd mile) with Mike by my side. Mike started to put a few yards on me and I almost gave up (aka let him go) but decided to try to stick with him and push the last mile as hard as I could. I was now running an uncomfortably hard 5k pace (which was good in a strange way).

Near the 3 mile mark

I passed Mike (that's him above with the hat on backwards) with about 1/2 mile to go and was afraid to look back and as always, ran scared. This race tactic works for me, helping me keep the gas on when I really just want to quit and walk. I hit the 3 mile mark at 18:05 (5:53 3rd mile) and was obviously tired. The last tenth of a mile heads down to the greyhound dog track with a sharp right then left up onto the banked corner of the track then about 100yds on the 'home stretch'. Nice novelty but a lousy way to end a race. You lose all sorts of speed and momentum getting onto the stupid track and running on a dirt track with racing flats doesn't do much for me.

So, overall I was very pleased with my 18:43 effort and the fact that each mile was faster than the last. Mike finished 5 seconds back with a PR! Nice job and thanks for the pull.
I'm slowly coming back, finally!

Mile 1 6:08
Mile 2 6:04
Mile 3 5:53
Finish: 18:43 (6:02 avg)


DoubleJ said...

Steve, great job and very good to see you back in action again!!!! Good luck at Bow Lake this coming weekend...

Steve Wolfe said...

Thanks Jim.
Good to BE back for sure. I really missed getting my butt kicked at these races!

Tami said...

great job, good come back

Ethan Crain said...

Excellent negative split! Thanks again for driving.