Saturday, May 22, 2010

12K Race: What did it mean?

Picture from Cool Running

This was my first race since the ignomie of Boston. I have kept track of training runs and times for the last few years, so I did not have high hopes for today. Training has been solid, but nothing like how I was burning-up the track last Summer. I hoped and expected that a solid pace of 7:30/mile would be achievable and this is what I hoped to do today.

It was a perfect sunny morning in New Hampshire--warm enough to be comfortable at the start but not so warm that overheating was a problem while racing. I hit the first mile mark in the 6:40's and I felt fine so I just kept it up. I was still still slightly under 7:00 minutes per mile at the 3 mile mark and felt great. The only problem is that this course is famous for having a big hill between miles 4 and 5, so it seemed prudent to save a little energy for that.

I somehow missed the 4-mile marker and I think this contributed to some lost time. At the 5-mile mark I was a couple of seconds off of a 7-minute pace, but the hill was behind me and so I could open things up a bit. I ran easily to the end, which is roughly 7.5 miles and did it in around 7:11 per mile. This is the same as my best showing in a 10K, which is a bit of a shorter course. Also, I achieved my 10K PR by really pushing myself hard, while today I could have easily kept up my pace for a few more miles.

So, what does it mean? On one hand it is a nice validation that in spite of a feeling of not ever getting back to the level I was at last year, I am actually more-or-less where I was. It does however point to the benefit of racing: Only racing will make most of us put out full effort and without full effort we have no idea what our true capacity is.

235 46/85 M4049 53:27 7:11 David Pecchia 47 M 245 GLRR Chelmsford MA