Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rock the Parkway (Rob)

I did as well as I could reasonably expect - better, probably.

Last year's Rock the Parkway was held in a light but steady rain on a 40 degree day, making for an overall miserable experience. This year the temp was about the same at the start, but it was rising under partly sunny skies. There was no hint of rain.

The race had sold out, so it was crowded at the beginning and for the first couple miles. That was OK with me, as I knew I needed to keep the pace under control early if I was going to feel good at the end.

My first two miles were 9:21 and 9:35, which was about right. Maybe should have been a tad slower in the first mile. Things thinned out a bit after mile two, and my pace improved to 9:07 for mile three. Quite by accident I had found myself in close proximity to the 2 hour pace group, so I made it a point to stick with them for the first half of the race. Two hours seemed to be something I could reasonably aspire to.

After mile 3, all my splits were under 9, and after mile 6, I started to put some distance between me and the pace group. I kind of felt like the pace I'd set was a little too ambitious, but I just kept going and tried to stay comfortable. I was worried about my stamina, so I made a point not to charge any of the hills and not to overdo it on the downhills, which tend to tire my quads if I race down them too fast. I also walked for 30 seconds every couple miles, and that's reflected in my splits, which jump around from the 8:35 range to the 8:50 range.

The last mile to the finish is a gradual downhill, and that was my fastest split: 8:06.

The overall time by my watch was 1:55:44. I actually ran 13.18 miles, so the average pace was 8:47. Chip time and pace will be slightly different, since it will assume 13.1 miles.

I count it a successful return to racing after a year off.

Congratulations to all finishers, and thanks to the volunteers and supporters (Mike and Ken among them). -- Rob

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