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 WABC Father's Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer 5 Miler
mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

WABC Father's Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer 5 Miler Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:14 pm 

Once again I headed into Central Park this weekend to run a qualifying race to get my nine required races for guarenteed entry into the 2007 NYC Marathon. And so this time it was the "WABC Father's Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer" 5 mile race. This race was run pretty much on the exact same course as last weekend's 4.8 mile race. The starting line was moved .2 miles back so that it finished at the same spot; at the NYC Marathon finish line across from The Tavern on the Green.

I had a pretty solid week of training. Most of my daily runs have been 6-10 milers. On Thursday I did an organized Brick workout which ended up becoming a triathlon. I did a 1.5 mile swim, 20 mile bike, and 3 mile run. And then on Friday i did a 9 mile hilly run. I took Saturday off but spent most of the day on my feet as I refereed a USA Triathlon event in southern New Jersey. I was hoping the day off would give me enough rest to allow me to try to run a slight faster pace then the pace I ran in the previous week's race.

As usual, I got to the race about an hour and a half early, picked up my free t-shirt and some other goodies being handed out. I then found a good park bench and relaxed while watching everyone stroll past. With about 30 minutes before race time I decided to do a 2 mile warm-up. I was already feeling mentally fatigued and tired and so I wasn't too surprised to find that my legs felt a bit lethargic as I headed out on my warm-up. I immediately began to revise my plan of trying to beat last weeks average pace (7:05). I brought my bike with me and was planning to do four loops around Central Park after the run. So, I thought maybe taking it easy might not be a bad idea since I had a couple of hard workouts already this week.

I had to make a bathroom pitstop in the middle of my warm-up and when I got started again my legs felt a little better. So my thoughts drifted back to my original plan of trying to push my pace. I positioned myself in the crowd at the start around midway between the 7 and 8 mile pace signs. I was hopping to hit the first mile around 7:20, the next three miles in 7:00 and finish with a strong kick that would bring me in around 35:00. After the obligatory introductions and speeches by race officials the horn sounded and we were off. Well, the front pack was off. It took another 45 seconds before I found myself crossing the start line. As usual, the crowd prevented me from going out at the pace I planned. It wasn't until about the half mile point that I began to have a little room to pick up my pace. I still had to dodge and weave my way around the runners in front but it was managable.

I felt my starting pace was comparable to how I started in last week's race. But at the first mile my split time was 7:42. My immediate thought was that I had no chance of bettering my pace from last week's race. My legs just didn't feel fresh enough to allow me the chance to make up for the lost time. I had run last weeks race pretty hard and couldn't imagine running this one any harder. As I neared the 1.5 mile point my legs were starting to feel tired. But most of the course in this section is down hill so I tried to take advantage of that to make up lost time. As I hit the next uphill my legs actually started to feel a little better and as I went into the down hill on the other side I fellt my pace pick up.

I crossed the 2nd mile with a split of 7:35. I was stunned. I thought I was running much faster than that. Now I was convinced that there was no chance I'd be improving my over all pace for this race. My legs started to feel tired again and the rest of my body seemed tired as well. I began to imagine pulling back and taking it easy and maybe even slowing to a walk. But I realized my fatique was mostly just mental. I told myself I was just going through a bad patch and decided to just try to maintain my pace. Shortly there after, once again, my legs started to feel better and as I hit the next up hill section I made an effort to maintain my pace and not slow. I tried to pick up my pace on the down hills. I was weaving around the a lot of runners in front and was pleased to be passing so many people.

I hit the 3rd mile mark with a split time of 7:00. Much better. I thought that perhaps I could salvage this race and, though I may not better my pace from last week, I could finish not far off of last week's pace. My breathing was very controlled but my legs were feeling tired again. I tried to focus on relaxing my shoulders and legs. I focused on letting my hips and upper legs do more of the work and less from my lower legs. It seemed to help. The weather was warm and the humidy, though not major, was definitely noticable. This was probably one of the warmer and most humid days we've had recently. I tried to find some runners in front who looked strong that I could pace off of. But I eventually passed each person I picked out. I felt I was running pretty strong during the forth mile and was glad I hadn't given up back around the 2.5 mile mark. I'm still learning to be aware of "bad patches" during races. So often when you feel bad you slow down thinking you can't hold the pace. But I've found that if you just hold on you often soon feel better again..

I passed the 4th mile mark with a split time of 7:12. Okay, so I must have slowed down. Last week I started to push the pace with a mile left but I just didn't feel I had it in me to start pusing the pace that soon this time. About a half mile from the finish I decided to surge to pass some people. It felt kind of good. I settle back for a short bit and then did it again to pass another group of runners. As I rounded the southern end of Central Park and knew I only had about a quarter mile left I felt I could start to push the pace now. I recall thinking to myself "make it hurt, make it hurt." I was definitely running hard but not has hard as I could. I spotted a person about 10 meters in fron of me and tried to catch him. As I passed him I could just make out the finish area ahead. Just then some guy came along pass me on my left. I thought "Great, I'll just see if I can hang onto him." And as I picked up my pace to follow him I passed a guy on my right who had a similar thought. Except I don't think he intended to let me pass him. He quickly passed me and then I passed him. The guy we both were chasing was quickly dropping us. With about 100 meters from the finish the other guy passed me and left me in his dust. I had nothing left to kick with.

My 5th mile split was 6:57. Not nearly as fast as I thought I was running. My official "chip" time was 36:27. Not even close to the 35 minutes I was hoping for. But I thought I ran a strong race and figured the heat and humidity, as well as not having fresh legs probably had an impact on my slower than expected pace. If nothing more, it was a good hard workout. I'm far from being in top shape but I've been having some good strong training runs these past few weeks. No more purely aerobic runs. I think that 3rd mile split of 7:00 was an anomoly. I think the mile marker was not placed accurately and it was probably just a little short of a mile. That would explain why the 4th mile was 12 seconds slower when it actually felt faster. But that's okay...it gave me hope.

After crossing the finish line, grabbing some water, a couple plums, and a raisin bagel I headed over to the vendor booths (all related to health care or cancer research) and got in line for the free prostate cancer screening. This is what the race is all about...raising awareness about prostate cancer and getting yourself checked. They say 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer. It's the second leading cause of cancer death in men (lung cancer is #1). I figured this would be an appropriate thing to do for Father's Day as sort of a responsible Father's Day gift to myself. So, after filling out some forms, which I nearly soaked with my sweat, I had a tube of blood drawn from my arm; a very painless procedure. I should receive the lab results in a few weeks...which I hope will be negative.

I then proceeded back to my car, changed into my bike shorts and jersey and took my bike for a planned four loop ride around Central Park. But midway through the second loop I decided to stop after the second loop and call it a day. I figured since it was father's day I would take it easy the rest of the day. Why beat myself up on a beautiful (though very warm and humid) day like today. So, after an easy 12 mile ride (17mph avg) I packed my bike back in the car and headed home.

I arrived home to find some very nice hand-made (we never buy greetng cards in our family...everyone makes and decorates their cards for every occasion) Father's Day cards from my three daughters. After spending some quality time with the girls I took a nap and then spent the rest of the day lounging around and watching TV. The grass will have to wait to be cut later in the week.

Race Stats:
WABC Fight/Prostate Cancer
List by Name: Fox
Distance: 5.0 Miles, 8.0 Kilometers
Date/Time: June 18, 2006, 8:00 am
Location: Central Park, NYC
Weather: 78 deg., 54% hum., partly cloudy

Overall Place: 601 of 4535
Gender Place: 567 of 2880
Age Place: 62 of 331
Finish Time: 37:13
Net Time: 36:27
Pace/Mile: 7:17
Age Graded Time: 33:09
Age Graded %: 64.3 %


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: WABC Father's Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer 5 Miler Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:35 pm 

Congratulations on the race mfox! Great race report! You've really racked up a lot of great results recently. That's strange that your self-perception of your speed was that far off from your actual pace... you must really have been running some tough workouts recently that left your legs a little flat. It sounds like the weather wasn't exactly ideal either.

That's an interesting way of thinking about the "bad spots" that can hit you during races. I've heard it suggested that you should actually try speeding up briefly when you hit one of those bad spots. It's a theory that sounds good in principle, but I've never been able to do it in practice. The idea of changing your stride length or breathing pattern a little to help find a more comfortable groove does make intuitive sense, however.

I think it's great that they were offering prostate cancer screenings. I think your doctor will normally check for an enlarged prostate during a regular exam check-up too. However, those seem to be something of a rarity these days. About 10 years ago when I moved to California, I contacted my new doctor to schedule a check-up, and was told "they don't do check-ups." I've only visited the doctor 3-4 times in 10 years, and always for specific concerns.


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