Blog Master G

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Stockadeathon 15k

Sunday, November 9th, 2008 · 9 Comments


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: 1:06:32 31
  • Pace: 7:08/mile (by this, though official results said 7:09)
  • Overall Place: 190 out of ~2,000 1,257
  • Division Place: TBD 20 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:

15k pace, mileage, elevation chart

(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 splits:

  • 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!)

Tags: photos 2008 · running

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan // Nov 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Hey Gabe:

    Congratulations! That was me that waved to you and Jen from a distance when you apparently walking back to your car. I was with Robyn from Team in Training as well. I finished about 2 minutes ahead of you.

    Well, in reality I finished the 10K about 2 minutes ahead of your 15K finish. Let’s just say the 15K took me just a bit longer. Take care.


  • 2 Blog Master G // Nov 9, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hey Dan! Thanks! And ah ha…. Jen thought that was you, but I couldn’t tell from a distance. Thanks for the shout-out! Hope the rest of the race went well for you.

    And cool that you ran it with Robyn! I saw some of the other TnT folks there today, too.

    Great race, eh??

  • 3 Dan // Nov 9, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    OK Gabe I apologize if this is a duplicate comment but I thought I had just commented but it didn’t post. Anyway: yes it was a great race with great weather! Who knew Schenectady could be so nice and yes, picturesque?

    It got me in the mood for thinking about running so I plugged the upcoming Jingle Bell Run on my blog BTW are you a member of Saratoga Stryders? It’s a good local running group.

  • 4 Blog Master G // Nov 9, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Hey Dan- Yeah, who knew Schenectady could be so beautiful? 🙂

    Cool about the Jingle Bell 5k! That’ll be just 6 days after my next marathon, so I probably won’t be ready for another race that soon after, but I think I’m going to do the Turkey Trot 5k!

  • 5 Sarah // Nov 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    You ever read John “the penguin” Bingham? He’s funny runner stuff.

  • 6 Blog Master G // Nov 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Yup! Thanks, Sarah. I read his columns in Runner’s World, and saw him give a TnT pasta dinner speech before Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in San Diego in June. 🙂

  • 7 Peter "The 'Stachioed Stallion" Anderson // Nov 11, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I like that Party Horns have become the official mascot of race finishes.

  • 8 Blog Master G // Nov 11, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Hell yeah! Party horns rule.

  • 9 HMRRC Winter Marathon Relay 2010 — Blog Master G // Feb 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

    […] been running as of late. I’d also  previously run just one race of similar distance (Stockadeathon 15k in 2008), and recall really liking the distance — not an all-out sprint like a 5k but a solid clip, […]