Monday, September 10, 2012

Operation Cage = Success...sort of

The Parks Half Marathon went well; the pace was a little fast, but not too fast. My goal was to settle into 6:00 pace, knowing that some miles might be faster, or slower, depending on the undulating terrain, but essentially we ended up settling into 5:50 pace early in the race. I tried to stay as relaxed as possible. Like a marathon, those early miles felt frustratingly slow and I grew incredibly anxious to pick it up, which is of course what I am looking to combat by doing workouts like this. Outlaw, Luff and I slowly picked up the pace after the first 5 miles while carefully negotiating our way through small patches of slick mud, across puddles and up and down the various mini-hills that dot the course. In retrospect, it's a very tough course to settle into a rhythm; it's a lot harder to race the Rock Creek Trail than to run it. In any case, we all felt comfortable and chatted amongst ourselves as we worked our way to Bethesda center, passing other runners the entire way. We started to (noticeably) pick up the pace around 7 miles, which was a little early. Although I didn't want to go quite yet, I also knew it would be hard to let my training partners get too far ahead of me, because we were all, naturally, picking up the pace anyway. Luff got some distance on me around mile 9 and he appeared to be rolling (later he said he ran a 5:15). I slowly pulled away from Outlaw then tried to run him down, but mile 11 (hill plus the pick-up) took something out of me. Once I got to the Georgetown Branch trail (2 miles to go) I tried to double down, but I found it hard to pick up the pace on the blue stone (although in retrospect I was). I finished up running 1:13:46, which was a bit faster than I was aiming for, but as I said earlier, it wasn't too fast.

With the exception of mile 11, I felt comfortable the entire time. My overall pace was 5:38. My last 5k was 16:48 (5:24 pace). Good workout.

Splits below:

1 - 547
2 - 545
3- 552
4 - 547
5 - 550
6 - 537
7 - 548
8 - 534
9 - 530 - Sam pulls away
10 - 528
11 - 533 - hardest mile of race (hill)
12 - 522
13 - 533

I got in 80 miles last week.

Next up - Run Geek Run 8k. This will be my first "real" race this season and I am hoping to go into the well a little.

(C) -  Ken Trombatore/MCRRC

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