Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hollis Fast 5k

Full results here (you can see where I got the picture - thanks coolrunning).

Tonight I made the long trip all the way over to Hollis, NH to run the Hollis Apple Country Fast 5k. Actually, the Alpine Grove Convention Center (where registration and the awards ceremony were held) is only about 2.5 miles from my house and I have run the route over Depot Rd. in Hollis at least a thousand times on my long runs, although usually in the other direction. Over the last couple days, since my workout on Saturday, my legs have felt really fried and I have been really tired. I actually skipped a run on Monday to take a nap I was so tired. I have felt incrementally better each day but, surprisingly, I have not fully recovered yet. My legs were feeling a lot better today but they were still a bit tired and felt flat. I did a 3 mile warm-up to try to shake the blah feeling out of my legs but it was not really working. The race started a couple minutes late and I felt like I my warm-up was wearing off and I was cooling down.

My plan for this race was to not hold back and cover any move anyone else made in the first couple of miles. I did not want to finish this race with regrets like I did my last race. As the gun went off I went right to the front to make sure that the race got off at a reasonable pace. I held the lead until about half a mile or so when Nick Karwoski, Eric Beauchesne and ? passed me. I was fine with this as long as they maintained a decent pace. Before the first mile marker Nick went to the front and really started to push the pace and I made the decision to stick to him. I don't think anyone else covered the move because we were pretty quickly running alone. Unfortunately, I did not wear a watch or get any splits, but my guess is that we passed through 1 mile in a little over 4:50. For the next half mile or so every time I tried to pass Nick he would drift to the side that I tried to pass on and speed up. I decided to stay behind him but use this to keep the pace honest - every time the pace slowed a bit I pulled up on his shoulder and he would pick up the pace. I wanted to really push mile 2 because it had the largest elevation drop and should be the fastest, by far. This is one of the first times I have run behind someone that is bigger (taller) than me and I was fine with Nick doing the work. At the half way point there was a water station and even though I did not take water and Nick did he some how managed to put about 2o meters on me. I started to think that this was it but I pulled up to him just before the 2 mile marker and it appeared that he was struggling. We passed through one of the only flat sections at the end of the second mile and as we entered a big drop I put in a big surge to go past Nick for the final time and opened a 20-30 meter lead on him in the next half mile. The last mile seemed to be twice as long as either of the first two miles, probably because I was running alone and it hurt like hell, but I was able to keep a pretty constant effort all the way to the finish. I crossed the line in first place in a time of 14:56.5 (they listed my finishing time as 14:56.5 in the results at the race but rounded up in the coolrunning results). My only complaint about the race is that they moved the finish line off the main road where it used to be and I was confused about where the finish was. I think I eased up a bit to look for the finish line, but not by much.

Over all I would say this was a good effort, although not as good as my race at the NB Twilight Meet. Based on a thread on Letsrun.com, the elevation drop on this race (224 feet, although I have seen 242 and 262 feet in other sources) is good for about 40 seconds compared to a flat 5k (224 feet * 1.8 seconds/10 feet = 40.32 seconds). So, this performance was equivalent to 15:36.82 on the track but I felt much worse tonight. I suppose that if I were more rested and if my legs were a bit fresher I could have taken another 5-10 seconds off. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about running sub-15, but it is my nature to be critical of every race and find things that I can improve on for the next race. Well, I have to really rest up because I still have the 1500m at the 2nd NB Twilight Meet on Saturday night and the Rhody 5k on Sunday morning. When official results and pictures are posted I will add links and photos to the post. I have to get to bed now ...

4 comments:

Steve Wolfe said...

Nice run Ethan! Good to see Triad out in front. How the heck can you run a race without a watch though? I thought all runners were obsessed with splits :-)

Ethan Crain said...

Thanks, Steve. It felt really good to finally get a W and run fast (thanks to the big hill). I decided to go old school last night and skip the watch thinking that there would be clocks or someone giving splits. Oh well. See you on Sunday.

Brad said...

Nice! Congrats...

Ethan Crain said...

Thanks Brad - I have been meaning to call you back but have been swamped with work, running and family. Which coast are you on now?