Sunday, March 15, 2009

5 Weeks to Boston...St. Malachi 5 Miler...and Finally a Nice SUNday

Today was the most beautiful day of 2009, so far, and, I hope, a harbinger of more beautiful days to come. I ran 21 miles, had breakfast with my fellow SERCies , bicycled 8 miles, got the lawn mower running, sat on the patio in the sun with a beer and listened to the Indians (baseball) game on the radio, had a fantastic lamb chops/Brussels sprouts/Au Gratin potatoes/acorn squash dinner, and had a gateau aux pomme dessert (think hybrid apple pie and cake).


Here is the dinner which we ate on the patio, just like it was really Spring already.

Another 85 mile week, but this time with some REAL speed work, not the dubious, treadmill variety of speed work. Monday was a 10 mile recovery day. Tuesday was the first track workout of 2009. It wasn't a perfect day for it, still a bit cold, but it was great to be running on the track again. After 3 warm-up miles at about 8:00/min pace, I did 6 x100 stride-outs, then 3x1 mile repeats with 400 recoveries. The first mile was much too fast, 5:48, and I paid the price on the next two, 6:00 and 5:58. Still, averaging under 6:00/min pace for my first track speed work buoyed my confidence. Wednesday was a slower (8:00/min) recovery 10 miles. I decided to forgo the Thursday tempo run, doing 10 easy miles, since I was planning to run St. Malachi 5 mile on Saturday. Pfitzinger called for a Friday morning 6 miler and afternoon 4 miler, but the weather was so good, I did 6.75 miles in the evening at 7:03/min pace. After the run, Sue made a Middle Eastern rice with turkey, black beans, chick peas, and tumeric.

It was great, and I had more the next day.

On Saturday, I arrived early for the race. I met up with Connie G. and a couple of her buddies, and we ran five miles before the race, trying to follow the course but deviating a bit.
We got caught behind the Columbus Road lift bridge,
which raised when we tried to cross it, and had to wait about five minutes for it to come back down. The weather was cold, but thankfully there was no snow or cold rain as we have had many times for this race. There were a dozen SERC runners there, a good turn-out. I met-up with e-speed, Lou, Daisy and Beth and her lovely mom Cheryl, and a few other SERC runners before the start of the race. The starter sounded and we were off in a huge mass.

The start of this race is always dicey, with about 1500 runners sprinting about 200 yards of downhill followed by a 90 degree left turn at the bottom. Luckily, it went off without problems. I was running hard from the start, as evidenced by my first mile time of 5:38. That is the fastest I have run a mile in...well... I don't know but probably 30 years. Had this been the 29th annual St. Malachi ONE Mile Race, I would have been in great shape. The fact that there were four more miles before the finish factored heavily into my decision to back-off on the throttle. I ran the next three miles at around 6:06. My Garmin says I ran the last mile at 5:53, but either the race distance was slightly long, or there was another problem, because my official finishing time was 30:09. Regardless, I am happy to have a new PR for that distance, holding a 6:02/min pace. All of the SERC runners did well, and needless to say we walked away with the usual SERC truckload of awards. I tagged on a few more miles after to get to 13 total for the day.

Sunday...what more can I say about this? I've been waiting since sometime last October for a day of this quality. I ran 21 miles in the morning, at a pace that by my best estimate was around 7:50/min. (The Garmin was in my car, where I absent-mindedly left it. My car moved exactly 0.00 miles over that time, at a 0.00/min pace.) Despite the race on Saturday, I felt great and was quite fresh at the end of the long run on Sunday. Afterward, at the bagel shop (D & R Bagels), we presented the owner with a framed photo of our club with a nice dedication thanking him for allowing a bunch of sweaty, noisy, possibly smelly runners to congregate in his shop each Sunday.
SERC runners present a very nice photo of...well...SERC runners, to the D & R Bagel Shop owner.


solarsquirrel said...

Wow Frank!! Awesome race! I'm so impressed. I wish you guys would have waited for me to give the picture...that's ok. I guess I need to run my 20-milers faster...

EbethS said...

Congrats on the new PR, love the pouch picture, just imagine only a few weeks ago, you had a snowy icicle bread.