It’s official: I keep getting faster and faster. And I feel pretty awesome about that. This morning I woke up at 7am, psyched to run my 11th race and first 15k. Based on my great half-marathon last month, the McMillan Running Calculator predicted my 15k time would be 1:06:58 (7:11 average pace). My goal: 7:10 average pace.
The weather was perfect for race day: Low 50s, a bit of wind, some sunshine. With a field of about 2,000 runners, this race was bigger than most in the area. Everything was just right: My new shoes (New Balance 903s) freakin’ rock, my new Race Day shorts were a little small but otherwise felt great, and I felt like I could run all day.
I resisted the urge to come out of the gates too fast, and instead took my time battling through the start line crowd (for some reason, people don’t respect the clearly marked and announced pace time start sections). The course wrapped around the start/finish area of Schenectady’s Central Park for the first mile and change before taking us out into Schenectady and around the Stockade.
At some point in the early miles (I forget exactly where), Jen snagged this sweet photo of me where I’m actually flying — notice my feet are off the ground:
I fell into a really steady pace, knocking out the first 5k in 22 minutes and change (7:03, 7:06, 7:06). It was already a good race and I felt strong, my breathing was calm, and I was relaxed. It’s kinda crazy to hear how much other runners struggle with breathing and gasp for breath early on in the race (this was another no-headphones/iPod race). I also get annoyed by the spitting a lot of people do when running and dodged a few projectiles.
Around mile 5.5 we had our first significant hill. Yet again, all my hill training paid off as I cruised up the hill with relative ease, passing some fellow runners on my way to the top. The 6th mile was my slowest of the race: 7:25. It was around that point when I ate my Chocolate Outrage GU to replenish my fading glucose supply.
Then it was on. I picked up the pace through the cemetery (yeah, that was weird), and started flying past the visibly fading other runners. I felt strong and knew I was going to nail my goal, if not beat it. I flew past the 10k mark.
There was another hill around mile 7, and it didn’t stop me, either (7:10). I was on fire and picked up the pace in the final couple miles, picking off one pack of runners after another as I flew back into Central Park, around the duck pond, and across the finish line (including my signature sprint to the finish):
- Time: 1:06:
- Pace: 7:08/mile (by this, though official results said 7:09)
- Overall Place: 190 out of
- Division Place:
TBD20 out of 63
Passing so many runners was a great feeling and really motivating (for me, anyway; probably not for them). I didn’t want to leave anything left on the course, and I think achieved that goal. In fact, I think in the final half-mile or so charge around the duck pond, only one runner I’d passed came flying from behind and overtook me; that was probably the only time I got passed all race.
The cool thing about my time today is that I performed better than McMillan predicted — and on a tougher course. Whereas the U.S. Marine Corps Half was a net downhill, fast course, the Stockadeathon was full of rolling hills.
Here’s the mileage and elevation chart for today’s race:
(For some annoying reason, my Garmin Training Center app won’t display a chart for the U.S. Marine Corps Half for me to compare elevation charts.)
Thanks, as always, to my wonderful and supportive personal sports photographer and wife for being there to cheer me on and capture all the moments!
After the race, Jen and I enjoyed a delicious brunch at the Route 7 Diner (which has apparently suffered from recent Department of Health blue violations — whoops). There was even a special little something on my French toast plate that I probably could’ve sold on eBay for millions.
- Mile 1: 7:03
- Mile 2: 7:06
- Mile 3: 7:06
- Mile 4: 7:00
- Mile 5: 7:06
- Mile 6: 7.25
- Mile 7: 7:10
- Mile 8: 7:08
- Mile 9: 6:55
- Mile 9.32: 6:42 (4:46 sprint to finish!)