Blog Master G

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Runnin’ of the Green (Island) 4-Mile Race

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 · 3 Comments


Saturday, March 7 marked my 16th career distance race and the 3rd of 2009: The Runnin’ of the Green (Island) 4-Mile Race on Green Island near Troy, NY. It was a beautiful, sunny, and warm day. And based on the McMillan running calculator I use to predict and target my goal race paces, this race was my best yet since it raised the bar by which future race paces will be measured.

Previously, my best race was CIM, where I covered 26.2 miles in 3:19:34. Using that time in the McMillan calculator, my target time for a 4-mile race was 26:47 with a pace of 6:42.

I set my goal for the Runnin’ of the Green to be a 6:40/mile pace.

Given the near-perfect weather and my 6:48/mile performance in my previous 4-miler (when I won my division on a cold, hilly course), I felt really good going into the race, even though I didn’t know what to expect from the course — it turned out to be pretty flat and pretty fast.

Of course, flat, fast courses draw strong, fast runners. Lots of them. Plus this race was the first race of the 2009 Adirondack USATF Grand Prix Road Race Series — and my first as a member of USATF. 🙂 So based on results from previous years, I didn’t have any expectations about another division win or even a top 3 finish.

Regardless, I raced my heart out and gave it my all.

In the first mile I fell victim to what I always remind myself not to do: Come out too fast. I got caught up in the excitement and over-compensated for my last race, where I felt like I hadn’t come out fast enough. When I passed the official race clock at Mile 1, it showed 6:17 (6:26 by my Garmin).

Shortly after that, the pack began to thin, runners fell back, and I started to pass a number of other runners. Though my pace slowed in Mile 2 to 6:45 (by Garmin), I kept a pack of runners ahead of me in my sights and didn’t let anyone else pass me. Ditto for Mile 3, which looped back around past the Mile 1 marker (6:53, my worst mile of the day).

I was really paying for having come out so fast, but I wasn’t about to give up. For me, the race didn’t begin until just before Mile 4.

With a little more than a mile to go, I heard a guy right on my heels: He had probably been trailing me the whole race and was making his move. This forced me to pick up my pace so that he wouldn’t pass me. I kept my eyes on that pack of runners ahead of me and with just over half a mile to go, I made my final move.

I really turned it on, leaving the guy on my heels in the dust, then passing another solo runner in front of me. As the finish line came into sight just over a small hill in the final stretch, I busted out my signature sprint  to the finish with everything I had left — flying past at least half a dozen runners in the process as I crossed the finish line.

Mile 4: 6:27 (by Garmin).

Official time: 26:24 (26:22 by Garmin.) I had smashed my target time by 23 seconds and come in 4 seconds/mile pace better than my goal pace. So now when I check McMillan, I see that I should be capable of a 3:16 marathon. Rockin’!


My Runnin’ of the Green (Island) 4-miler splits (by Garmin):

  • Mile 1: 6:26
  • Mile 2: 6:45
  • Mile 3: 6:53
  • Mile 4: 6:27

I placed 98th overall out of 469 runners.

It’s an awesome feeling to see that improvement and to get faster by the week.

After the race, one of my blog readers, Paul, recognized me and said hi; he said he had seen me before the race, too, and recognized me by my sunglasses. It’s always fun to meet people who read my blog. Thanks for saying hi, Paul!

Before the race, I also met a former mayor of Kinderhook, who knew my father-in-law.

Tags: running

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pjt // Mar 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    “I also met a former mayor of Kinderhook” Come on down for Kinderhook’s “OK-5K” on 6/6 @ 9:00AM. The team I run on, “Team Utopia”, has a good turnout for the event as a member almost lives on the course and we head over there post race for food, beer & music (music by acoustic guitar players Russ & Patrick). Good food, drink & music. Paul
    P.S. I’m the old fossil on the team, there are members in your age group. P.P.S. I asked our coach, Jim Bowles-Siena XC Coach, to contact you to see if you were interested in running on the team. Did he ever contact you?

  • 2 Blog Master G // Mar 28, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I’d love to join you for the OK-5k this year, but that’s the same weekend my wife and I will be in Poughkeepsie for our 10-year college reunion, so I’ll have to pass this year!

    Thanks for passing along my name to your coach; I haven’t heard from him yet.

  • 3 Runnin’ of the Green (Island) 2010 — Blog Master G // Mar 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    […] last year’s race (when I also set a then-PR of 26:24), this morning was another picture-perfect day with the sun […]