Monday, August 19, 2013
somewhat surprisingly, the norwalk summer series 11 miler on saturday was my longest road race of the summer (excluding the brooklyn half marathon in may and the escarpment trail run 30k). the 7:20 pace i ran at the westport summer series 6.85 miler last weekend led me to think that i could run this one at a 7:30 pace. but the 2 martinis and glass of port with dessert weren't the ideal pre-race hydration plan! when i woke up saturday morning, i found myself a little less than enthusiastic about the race on the drive over to norwalk. i reset my expectations with a 7:45 pace and just wanted to run a sub-1:25 effort.
despite my plan to dial back expectations, i still went out with a 7:30 pace in mind. the double loop course is tough - with not just a long climb up comstock hill road, but a short very steep hill at mill road. the first 5.5 mile loop wasn't the problem - keeping it together for the the second one was. i went out too fast with a 7:15 first mile, and eased back in mile 2, with a 7:50. that gave me a 15:06 split, 7:33 pace - right where i wanted to be. but mile 3 was short - i didn't run a 6:31 mile (which is what my watch showed).
then i missed the mile 4 marker entirely! it wasn't until mile 5 (after a 2 mile split of 16:07) in 37:45 that i was still on a solid 7:33 pace. mile 6 was another good mile in 7:21, and actually brought down my pace a couple of seconds to 7:31. but that would be my last sub-7:30 mile for the race. in fact, with only 4 miles left, it only took 2 miles to knock the wheels off my bus. i ran a 7:50 mile 7, for a 52:56 split. i bounce back with a 7:38 mile 8, but it was a short-lived effort.
the next two miles (9 and 10) were the slowest - a pair of 8+ minute efforts (8:09 and 8:29). mile 10 included the second climb up mill road. while i nominally ran up that hill, i may have done equally as well if i had just walked it! but i rallied back in the final mile, shook off the slow last 2 miles and finished up with a solid 7:39 mile. my 1:24:54 just squeaked in under 1:25 (with a 7:44 overall pace).
while i wasn't especially happy with miles 9 and 10 (and, to a lesser extent, mile 7), the rest of the race was fine - and i pretty much held a 7:30-35 pace. overall, i was more than pleased with the outcome. while i'm a long way off from the days when i ran this course in sub 1:20's - the days of my chronic compartment syndrome are, thankfully, in the rear view mirror :D
here is the link to the race photos and results.