Monday, February 20, 2012

Frostbite 5 Mile Race Report

After a rest week, I kicked off a solid block of training last week.  My Tuesday workout consisted of 8 repeats of 800m.  I wasn't hitting the times I expected, but I wasn't too worried about it.  I had great runs on Wednesday and Thursday, racking up 37 miles in 3 days.  We've had some great weather this winter, so I couldn't resist an easy 4 miles on Friday.  Saturday was my first race of the year, the Frostbite 5 miler in Ambler, PA.  Plan was to get 9-10 miles total, so I went out and got a 4 mile warm up in.  The day started out chilly, but the sun was out and the temps were in the mid 30's for the 9am start.  I had run this race in 2010 so I was familiar with the competition and the course, although the start / finish had been moved to a high school which was on the old course to accommodate the sold out field of 1500 runners. 

Being in the middle of a training build / block for Boston, I wasn't expecting anything incredible but I wanted to see where my fitness was at.  There was a strong field and I had run the first 3 miles of the course during my warm up so I knew the first two miles had some downhills and were going to be FAST.  I lined up near the front and we were off. 
Relaxed and smiling at the start!  
Talk about a fast first mile, we came through at 5:10.  I counted and I was sitting about 14th or so and surprisingly I was getting passed by younger guys on the downhills, maybe I was holding back?  I came through mile 2 in 5:15 or so and then we hit some climbing.  I was feeling pretty good and I passed a few runners up the hill that comprised the first half of the 3rd mile.  This was my slowest mile at about 5:29.  Then we hit a residential area and onto a gravel path.  The path wasn't ideal, some loose gravel and tough footing which slowed you down, but I was able to pick off another runner before we hit mile 4 (5:23 or so).  At this point I was getting gassed and I knew we had a decent climb to get up to the final straight.  I wasn't thinking about where my finish time was at all, I just focused on trying to run a great race.  I passed one more runner up that last hill and we made the turn, now less than a half mile of flat to downhill.  The runner I just passed came storming by me, but I was focused on my race. 

I was definitely pushing it, not pretty but man was I shooting to break 27!

 I turned the corner to the finish and got my first glimpse of the clock. 26:high.  I knew I would be close to breaking 27, but it wasn't to be. 27:02 for 10th overall and 2nd in the 35-39 AG.  My previous race on this course had me at 27:27, so I took a good 25 seconds off my time!

By this point it was beautiful outside, and I had to run because Lauren wanted to get a run in before our day "started".  It was a GREAT race, very well organized, indoor registration and what appeared to be sufficient restrooms.  I didn't get to stay for the post race food, but I heard great things about that.

After an awesome boys day with my son Joshua and my dad at Motorama, I was pooped and ready for bed.  We had a great group run on Sunday morning from a friend's place.  Six of us were greeted to some great weather, getting a long run of 21 miles in.  I expected to feel pretty crappy, but I was surprised to have some great legs under me, those recovery weeks really do work!

So my week ended up at 71 miles at 7:07 average pace.  Next week is the Ugly Mudder trail race in Reading.  I signed up for it to get some trail experience for the HAT50K in March.  I probably won't adjust my plans too much, do a long run on Saturday and see what I have left for the race on Sunday.

Happy Training!!

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