Monday, May 18, 2009

12 km championships

Bedford 12km

I’ve been looking forward to the USATF 12km championships for a while. I really enjoy the 12km distance; it really is suited to me. I don’t have leg speed but I can keep a steady pace going for 7+ miles. With the training I’m doing anything longer is a whole other story.

I took it relatively easy this week dropping my mileage down to the 70’s and doing some easy running. The fact that Dan is coming back from a virus has kept the afternoon runs nice and easy. Three old men head for the start

I was really nervous as we drove up to Bedford, I carpooled with Kevin and JJ and TiVO followed us. Conditions looked good and there would be no excuses. Hanging out by the school entrance waiting for teammates to arrive I bumped into about 50 people I knew. I love going to races, it is great to see old friends and familiar characters.

A big group of CMS headed out 45 minutes before the race to get in a three mile warm-up. The course was very much the same as it had been in the past, except we started/finished at what had been about 6.8 miles into the old course. The feel of the course was essentially the same, although the dirt road section was missed (we ran on a road just before that). On the warm-up we checked out the last 1.5 miles of the race, which is always a good idea. It just makes sense to have an idea of where you are in the latter stages of the race.

I changed into my old Reebok race flats and did a few strides before the start. We had a nice wide starting line and I positioned myself on the line all the way over on the left. It seemed like a good location to stay out of trouble. With the “go” we were off flying down the little hill. I felt quite good during the first mile and tried to find a comfortable rhythm as things began to settle in. I could see Jim P a little ahead and TiVO was a couple of seconds up. I figured I was pretty much where I should be as Mike Platt was right with me (he has smoked me so far this year, but we were reasonably close in a few races last year). John Barbour and Mike were making small talk during the first mile, I never quite understood why some runners like to “chat” during the early miles. I’ve got nothing to say and need all the air I can get.

I hit the mile in 5:20, which was a bit fast (I was hoping to hit 5:30-5:35 pace). I think the mile might have been a bit short as some of the splits didn’t seem quite right. A 5:31 and a 5:40 brought me to three miles in 16:31. It also brought even with teammates Larry Sayers and TiVO. We ran together for a bit then they dropped back as we hit the only real hill on the course. As they dropped, Terry McNatt (CSU) came with me as we started catching a few runners. We hit four miles in 22:11 (5:40) and continued to catch random runners as we hit five miles in 27:47 (5:36). That was a 40+ PR for me bettering my time at the Bill Luiti (8km) race from last year by five seconds. I was starting to feel a bit ragged and struggled to stay with Terry as we caught Mark Reeder (GLRR) and Ryan Aschbrenner (GBTC) after the five mile mark. I could see Carlos Rivera (GSH) just ahead and was hoping to get him by six. Terry had a step or two on me as we hit six in 33:20 (5:33). He passed Carlos just after six and I got within a step of him soon after. That would be the end of me passing anyone as Terry pulled away and Carlos did the same. I was a bit disappointed by the seven mile split (5:47) and hoped I’d still have something left as we went up a short hill before hitting the track. Aschbrenner sprinted by me on the track and I could not muster a response. I was spent when I hit the line in 41:45 (2:38 last .45), but pleased with a 10 second 40+ PR.

There was a lot of mingling going on track-side, but I just wanted to head for the car and get out of my racing flats. I had a pretty raw area where the shoe had given me a good bite. The warm-down was a lot of fun as a big CMS group headed out and the pace was nice and easy. We were a little behind some of the CSU guys and Terry laughed when I mentioned that I sat behind him into the wind (I really didn’t) and noted that I like running near him because he makes me look thin. I caught up to U-Lowell teammate Jason Cakouros after the race and was glad to see he had a solid performance. The big surprise had to be how well Tom Doody did. Tom has been injured on/off over the last couple of years but looked really fit when I saw him before the race. He took 25th overall and 5th in the 40+.

All in all it was an enjoyable day. I hit close to the time I wanted (goal was 5:35’s and stretch goal was 5:30’s) and placed in the top 15 for the masters. Next up in the Grand Prix is the 5km which is definitely my weakest distance. I’ll give it my best, but I just don’t have the leg speed to keep up. I’ve got two mountain races before that and those will help me gauge my readiness for Mt Washington which is coming up fast!

Bedford is now tied for fourth on my list of “most raced” with ten finishes.

Rank -----------Distance----Dates-------No.-Best Place
1 Mt Washington---7.6 m--1988-2008---19---1---best time=1:00:37—Worst time=1:10:40
2 Wachusett Mtn--4.3 m--1995-2008---13---1---best time=24:37----Worst time =28:20
3 Pack Monadnock-10 m---1992-2007----11---1---best time=59:13----Worst time = 1:11:43
4t Rotary race----12 Km---1994-2009---10—1---best time=36:59---Worst time=41:55
4t Merrimack River--10 m-1995-2008---10--1---best time=56:42---Worst time=1:06:19
4t Newburyport--10m------1985-2008 --10--2--best time=50:10---Worst time=59:29

Kicking it in.
Pics courtesy of Kristin


DoubleJ said...

Check your freakin' email dude...

double-d said...

Not at 5:48 PM "dude"

Michael said...

Actually, that may be the most *chatting* I have ever done in a race, ever. (numerous of our mutual acquaintances can verify that)

And I am quiet by nature, and very competitive, which leads to many wrong impressions of me.

I have been trying to be more social. I have always had a great admiration for Mr. Barbour, and was simply acknowledging his presence in the pack. I was rather proud of myself that in recent years I have been able to break out of my *racing shell* and actually chat up a few people after races.

I agree with you in theory - I don't talk during races - since my talent eroded years ago I have had to rely on training and concentration to eek out this amount of minor *master age* accomplishment.

I'll see you at numerous upcoming races, accept this *hello and good luck* as a blanket greeting as we hoof-it down the pavement.

and that dude Barbour is amazing, I am pleased he knows who I am.