Thursday, September 24, 2009

2009 fall frolic: race report

We had some incredible weather for the 2009 Fall Frolic 30k - cool and sunny. It was one of those "no excuses" days. For a couple of reasons, but primarily because I was still a bit tentative coming off the calf muscle pull, I had a 2:30 goal. That turned out to be way too conservative, with 2:25 a much more realistic target. As it turned out, even 2:25 was a bit on the soft side - I might have snuck in under 2:20 if I had run a bit more aggressively.

I started out tentatively because of the lingering calf muscle issue. The prior weekend I jogged the Norwalk Half Marathon because I was unable to push off my right foot without pain. The minor training set-back was still in my mind. After 10 days of easy efforts, I tested my calf with a 45 minute 10k run on Thursday. The other thing on my mind was the memory of last year’s bout with anemia. I volunteered at the 2008 Fall Frolic, and ran one loop of the course as and easy effort.

After a slow, 8:02 first mile, I shook off those doldrums and sped up the pace. Mile 2 was 7:22; and I reached the 5k split at 23:24, a 7:31 pace. The first 10k loop took 46:32, a 7:29 pace. This was well below the initial 50 minutes a loop that I had toyed with in case my leg decided to give me trouble. Since it felt fine, I had no problem running the second loop at the same pace. My 10k split was 46:22, also a 7:29 pace.

At the start of the third loop I briefly considered going for the sub-2:20 - I was right on pace to hit that goal. In fact, I was still clung to that pace as late as 25k, with a 1:57:22 split, 7:33 pace. But I slowed a bit too much during the last 5k, and wasn’t in the mood to push my luck that late in the race. An 8:11 mile 17, followed by a 7:51 mile 18, was too far off the pace - but I did squeak in under 2:22, with a 2:21:58 (by my watch), 7:37 pace.

I was incredibly happy with my performance (especially since it was pain free). Except for the slow start (mile one) and finish (miles 17 and 18), I ran even splits, roughly 7:30, for the entire distance. My splits for the 3 (10k) loops; 46:32, 46:22, and 49:04, were also pretty consistent (factoring in the 1:30 slowdown in miles 17 and 18). The only (minor) disappointment was the 2:22:01 official finish time - haha! But I’ll take it, gladly!

Here are my race photos.

Next up, the NYC Long Training Run 18 miler in Central Park this weekend.

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