So let me start this out with saying that I don’t believe I am in good shape right now (at least for me...) I’ve had about 2-3 months off after crashing in Lake Placid for the Ironman in July, am still recovering from surgery after they installed a plate and 6 screws to hold my left collarbone together and just got cleared to run about six weeks ago. So naturally, I decided it was time to race and test my fitness!
This race is a nice one in the Rochester area, a gem if you will…if you register and hit the early bird special for the 10 miler, you can get in for $18, which is insane. 5k’s cost more than that. It’s a ridiculous post race spread too and was even sponsored by Tim Horton’s, Chili’s, Montana Mills Bread Company, Vitamin Water, Macaroni Grill, along with a few other great, but small Rochester based stores like Jim Dalberth’s and Tri Running and Walking. There’s just great support for this race.
My friend Phil’s dad organizes the entire thing and it’s in like the 14th year or something like that, it’s been around forever. It was started in memory of Helen VanPeursem and all proceeds go to the Hospice in which she passed. There’s a 5k that couples with the 10 miler and seems to be the reason everyone comes to race. A ridiculous payout to the top male and female runners often guarantees fast times. This year the top 6 men were sub 15 minutes.
Race morning for me is always fun, I try to say hi to Pete VP whenever I can that morning (he’s always running around like a chicken with its head cut off) and there are ALWAYS people that you know there. My good friend Paul Glor who is now the head XC coach for my alma matter, Churchville-Chili, brought his entire team to volunteer the aid stations and he even got a chance to run.
It was a brisk day and I had just gotten back from a vacation in Mexico and really hadn’t run too much down there, so I had no idea how I would fare today. I think I told Matt Kellman as we were warming up before the race that I thought I was capable of anywhere between a 65 and 80 minute run for a total time (quite the broad range!) He told me he was planning on a fast race and I knew he would.
Gun went off and I settled in next to Coach Glor and Paul and I hit the first mile in 5:54, a little bit fast, but felt good. We meandered around the course talking a lot and catching up. We passed thru 2 miles in 12:04 and for the next 3 miles, we hit 6 minute splits evenly at 18:04, 24:04 and finally 30:05 thru 5 miles. At this point, it was becoming a little hard for me and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace until the end. I told Paul to go after it and he successfully bridged the gap up to a faster crew in front of us.
From 6 miles on, I was in conservative mode and trying to hang on at a little slower pace, but not blow up. I hit 8 miles and knew I could make it to the finish and was doing okay holding my own. My lungs were burning and I just had to concentrate on getting one foot in front of the other. I hit the line in 1:01:53 good enough for about a half minute PR from my time in 2007 (don’t know how the hell that happened…) and good for 8th overall and 3rd in the age group. Not too shabby and I even snagged a $15 gift certificate to Dalberth’s to take a tad off of a pair of shoes. Definitely a fun race with good friends and a good way to get a tempo style run in for a fall marathon. I’m just trying to keep my fitness up enough for NYC marathon in about a week now.
I highly recommend the Run for Hospice 10 miler to anyone looking for a cheap way to race a fun one late in the season. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth and will benefit a great cause. But now sights are set on leaving for NYC this Friday and “tapering” (I put quotations there because I don’t feel I’ve done enough to taper, but we’ll see). My goal is simply to qualify for Boston again (sub 3:10) and anything more than that is icing on the cake. I’m just hoping the two 18 miler’s that I’ve been able to sneak in as prep will be good enough to get me to the finish line! Only time will tell, but I’ve got to get out there and get some leaves under my running shoes now! Enjoy an Oktoberfest and don’t forget to smell the leaves. Cheers.