This 4 miler comes right in the middle of UROC and NYC marathon training.
I’ve had some good workouts lately, especially running uphill on the Great Hill in CP, that made me think this could have been a good race to try and see what pace I could sustain. At the same time, I was not highly concern with hte result: did not have any fear of blowing up half way through, did not have concerns about not scoring for the team, since we were represented fairly well, with only Paul really missing.
I asked Paul during the week what he though about trying a pace that is highly different from anything I’ve done before.
His suggestion was to follow Charlie, since he is very good at maintaining constant splits.
The course started on the east side of the park, just before the 72nd st cutoff heading north counter clockwise.
I reached the park fairly early and could do a pretty decent warm up, and got even lucky to get a sip of Seb’s special lucky water.
Mile 1 included also Cathill and it was a fantastic surprise to see myself right next to/behind Charlie without being in serious danger of exploding. Fabio was just around us, running smart as usual, especially now that his training is a bit slower due to working loads.
Sebastian was already ahead of us with Rob just behind him and Ryan about 20-30 yards in front of us. The clock said 5:29. Really nice!
Mile 2 did not preset particular difficulties navigating along Engineer Gate’s flats and the little bumps towards 102nd cutoff.
I felt pretty good her eand the legs had a good turnover. I was feeling I could have pulled out of the little pack we formed with other runners, but Paul’s words about Charlie’s pace came up very strong inside me.
At this point it was better to use his experience and go with him, until we hit the hills of the west side.
Along the cutoff Fabio Charlie and I passed Ryan, who had probably suffered from some injuries lately and is missing out his favourite part of the season: the fall short races.
Mile 2 went by in 5:20, and I did not even feel the pain of the effort.
The hills on the west side were sweet. I found myself keeping a very good short and fast stride going up, passing multiple people who…passed me back on the next section downhill. I need to seriously find a good way to run well the downhill without being passed so often.
I think on the first hill I passed about a dozen people, carrying with me Charlie and Fabio.
On the downhill about 4-5 runners went by and created a little gap on me.
More rolling hills were coming, so I was not afreaid of a few yards of disadvantage. Fabio got a few seconds behind at this point, while Charlie held tight, catching up downhill.
Mile 3 was over in about 5:33, slower than the previous one, but much more hilly.
Now we were approaching the last stretch, and I felt I could use some residual energy in the flat portion around the Strawberry Fields. I knew I had to keep myself in control in the previous downhill: a couple of guys went by way too fast, and the finish line was still 3/4 of a mile away.
Noticing Charlie was a bit out of gas, I tried to encourage him to follow me; afterall, he did the work for 2 miles, now it was time to pay him back of his fantastic pacing.
After that I remember very little, except the continous sprinting I did for the last 600 meters changing from 5:25 to 5:15 for 200 meters, then about 5:00 for another 200 meters and eventually 4:45 for the final home stretch.
It was great to even sprint agains one of the dudes from CP.
Mile 4 was a 5:16
Too bad for him he started ahead of me the race, so his net time was going to be higher at the end.
21:39 was the final time, for a 5:25 min/mile pace.
Happy and feeling great I went for a cool down with Seb and Pascal (who also ran a stellar time of 22:50 and 5th overall in age group).
Speed is there.
Time to build more endurance for Colorado