Monday, September 22, 2008

Philly Distance Run - 9/21/08

This Sunday was the Philly Distance Run. This was my 3rd time running the PDR and my 3rd HM.

My goals going in were to PR and run 1:15.

My wife also ran this race as her first HM with a local friend - Alexis. Both got their goal with and both PR'd with a 1:55. I am so excited and proud of them both!

This race was not going to be a goal race for me. That said, I hurt my back early last week on a work all-nighter and ended up trying to balance enough rest to get my back in shape with a couple fast workouts to be ready for a HM.

Based on last years race, I also had some sub-goals - I wanted to get out quicker than I have in the past, stay focused through the middle miles, and get into a pack for the last 3-4 miles.

My plan this year was to go out at low 5:40 pace and give myself the chance to run a 1:15 low and have a chance at a 14 if everything went well. I went out on plan - 5k around 17:40 and 10k at 35:30.

Around mile 3 or 4 I picked out a guy about 30 seconds ahead of me that I knew from some local 5ks. His stride is unmistakeable. I made it my mission to keep my eyes locked on him and try to reel him in over the next couple miles. Last year I struggled to keep focus in miles 6-8.

The plan worked and around mile 8 I caught the guy. Looking at my splits now, it was as much him slowing down as it was me keeping up. We said our hellos and ran together a bit. He asked how I was doing and by 8 I knew I was getting tight.

I hung with a decent-sized pack from 8-10. 10 mile was about 57:30 - about 25 seconds off my 10 mile PR. A cool moment - as we came up the hill towards the Falls Bridge I looked off to my right and coming off the bridge and down Kelly Drive was the lead pack, and in the mile or so I could see between us all, all the chase packs. Very cool.

At the 10 mile mark I knew that I would need a sub-17:30 5k to get close to 1:14 high. With the rising sun and the heat, I was beginning to cramp up (hamstrings, back, shoulders), and I knew my chances weren't great. As the last 5k played out it became a battle to hang on for a PR. Every mile went by felt a little slower and while I knew I had some time in the bank, I knew it was slipping away.

That said I was running as fast as I could. Between the heat and the fast early pace, it was taking it's toll. I saw a lot of low 1:teens guys ripping off shirts, a few dropping out and a few slowing to a walk. That was surprising.

I was dry-mouthed and couldn't get enough water down in the water stops to change that.

Unlike last year, there wasn't a lot of horse-trading in the last few miles. I was in a small pack of guys that strung out as we got close to the finish and didn't swap any places for the last mile or 2.

Finish was 1:15:50 - a PR by about 25 seconds.

Overall I was really happy with the results. I ran according to plan - given better conditions I think there was a little more there, but it was easily the hardest I've run a HM.

My splits were: 5:40,5:40,5:44,5:42,4:56,6:33,(mile 5 was obviously off so probably 5:44, 5:45), 5:46, 5:49, 5:47, 5:49, 5:55, 5:54, 5:55

So what did I learn? Well, I ran the perfect race plan for 2007. :) I knew it was warming up faster than I thought by mile 1 or 2 but kept with the plan. By the time the 10K came around at that pace - there weren't many options left - I was committed. It was a struggle to hang on and PR but I was glad i did.

Overall: 1:15:50, 118th overall, 15th AG.

The PDR has always been a fun race - it's a great fun, fast race. It was great to see so many KR people there.

Some photos from Jen's husband Matt:

Me at mile 5 or so, feeling pretty good:

Then again, around 20K. As Matt said, I looked a little better at 5 miles:


Quinto Sol said...

Congrats on the PR.

solarpowered said...

Great race, Tom! Sorry I missed being there with you guys this year. Sounds like you all had a good day! Congrats on the PR!!!

Runnin-from-the-Law said...

Way to go! Congrats!

Mindi said...

Congrats on the PR - beautifully executed race.

Congrats to your wife too!

Theia said...

We were rooting for you (from waaaay behind you) the whole way! Congrats!

seebo said...

hey Tom. getting caught up again on the blogs i follow. nice job, looks like you've been working hard in my absence.