Saturday, February 10, 2018

02.10.2018 Race: 2nd place overall at Cupid's Chase 5K, Glen Rock, NJ

My second race of the year and it's only February.  I went into today not knowing what the last 150+ miles in the last 40 days would do for me.  Cautiously, I was hoping for about a 19:30 today, believing the training would help, but knowing I need more speed work to really get faster.  Also, racing or running in mid 30's temps feels like a win these days as well.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I have done the Cupid's Chase in Glen Rock.  It is a little smaller, with finishers in the 200's probably.  The last time I did it, a couple years ago, it was like 12 degrees.  I hated it.  Also, I have finished over 20 minutes all previous times as it's so early in the year.

The course is pretty flat and it is marked fine.  I wish there were mile split clocks, but it is a small raise, and a fundraiser for special needs individuals in the community and nation.  

Red Shirt 1st, me 2nd, Spartan sweats 3rd
I ran out fast and right away, within 200 meters, it was only three of us.  It was myself in 3rd , a guy I beat in Fair Lawn last month was second, and a guy that beat me last month in the lead.  It stayed that way for the whole first mile.  My early thought was, the guy in the lead would win as he looked strong and beat me by a decent margin on January 1st.  I did think however, that I would be able to get the other guy that I had beaten last month.  He is a bigger guy, with less than optimal form.

Mile two stayed pretty much the same, except all of us got closer together, which was great for me.  I wanted to stay in touch with them as I knew it was a 3 runner race.  I didn't really see or have any contact with anyone behind me when I looked on turns.  Also, mile two provided the only real inclines, which I definitely used to close the gaps.  They weren't big, but I felt strong on them and gained probably 50 feet on first place and about 10 feet on the guy right in front of me.  

During mile three, at some point we were within 15 feet of each other.  Then, the big guy slid into first and the other guy stayed even with me.  The big guy was still within 20 feet of both of us, so it was still a battle for top three.

About .6 miles left in the race, I moved into second place on a decent downhill stretch into a turn to the finish.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to hold him off, but I did and finished in second.  I ran 19:04, behind the leader by a handful of seconds, and in front of third by around the same.

That was a solid 55 seconds faster than last month in Fair Lawn.  I did forget to mention that I had a shoelace come undone in mile 1, about 4 minutes into the race.  I was really pleased.  Overall though, I couldn't be happier.  I am only 9 seconds off my PR already, and I have several races in front of me.  Training is paying off and I can't wait to put in a big week starting on Monday!

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