Celtic Solstice 5 Miler - Run5 Mile

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Baltimore, Maryland
United States
Charm City Run
29F / -2C
Total Time = 30m 29s
Overall Rank = 45/1918
Age Group = M35 - 39
Age Group Rank = 10/166
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 6:15-ish, took the dog out and got in the car for the drive to Baltimore about 6:30 or so. Parked in a neighborhood close to the race site and walked over, then realized that there was parking still on site, so I ran back to the car and moved it. With over 2,000 people signed up I knew parking would be an issue, so I wanted to get there early enough so I wouldn't have to worry about it. No problem as I got to park right near the start/finish since people kept overlooking the spots in the Stief Silver parking lot. Bonus: me! Hope the luck kept up in the race ...
Event warmup:

It was cold and light winds, so I waited until as late as I could to get my warm-up in. Took a Gu at 45 minutes to go, ran two miles with a potty break in the woods, and then another Gu at 15 minutes right before stretching. Everyone was supposed to seed themselves by pace, but as anyone who's raced enough knows, this never happens ....
  • 30m 29s
  • 5 miles
  • 06m 06s  min/mile

As usual I started towards the front. Like I mentioned in the warm up, too many people that shouldn't have been up front were. It was obvious these weren't 5/6 minute pacers. Oh well. I was about 10 rows back and knew that I wouldn't be in the hunt for the AG awards, so no big deal, just needed to get through the crowd as fast as possible.

This year they had a bag piper and a dude in a kilt carrying two swords clanging them together as they walked through the crowd to the start with the race director. Couple of announcements and then the horn. I got accross the timing mat in about 5 or 6 seconds, so not too far off for my chip time and gun time.

First 1/4 mile is uphill and I had to weave through the crowd to get into what would be my usual pace group and appropriate speed levels. After the hill we take a right and run along basically a paved fire road and things started to get sorted out. I was right with the first and second place ladies in a decent crowd of guys. First mile ticks off at 5:47 which is about what I would expect.

After that it becomes light rolling with a lot of curves. Keep the effort even and pace as tempered as I can feeling pretty good. First mile "felt" slow but was still pretty quick. Mile 2 the watch said 5:35 ..... uh, no .... that ain't right. Since I've raced this race the last two years before this I knoew about where the mile markers should be and mile 2 was definitely about 200 yards shorter than usual.

We continue with the rolling portion and hit the 180 turn around at the Conservatory. I watch the first guy go by and start counting. At the turn around I'm sitting in the mid-40's for placing which isn't bad considering the size of the field and the level of ability that runs the race usually. Not long after the turn I get passed by the first placed lady and she was looking smooth. Mile 3 ticks off at ..... 6:59 ..... yeah, that just confirms what I thought about the mile 2 marker ..... overall split at 3 was 18:20 which seemed about right, so still holding a decent pace.

Not too long after 3 you make the turn to go around the lake. I was tiring and pace was dropping a little. I get passed by one guy and then the second placed woman. But didn't fall off much after that. No one else passed me from then on and I tried to focus on staying steady and trying to catch anyone possible. This is the part of the course where I usually falter and drop off and I didn't want to do that as I was still on pace to beat my goal of 31 minutes.

When 4 hit I was catching a younger guy and thought I'd just pace off of him and see if I could push the last mile a bit and maybe get him by the finish. He definitely heard me as he stayed even always about 10 yards ahead of me. As we turn to go down the hill I let it stride out and so does he. We go accross the bridge and he pushes it. I do as well, but I'm not catching him. I don't go all out so I don't pass him. He nipped some guy (in my AG it turns out) at the line and I finish a few seconds back. Looking at the clock as I finish and hitting the watch I set a new 5 mile PR by :38!! That's pretty huge for the ditance and considering that I thought I ran well in the race last year! I also ran a 5:52 for the last mile which is solid for me as I usually don't run that much faster as the race goes on, even in the last mile. So good effort there and glad I had a pacer!
What would you do differently?:

Can't say I'd do much differently. Maybe try to push it a little more in the 3 - 4 mile mark as this seems to be were I always slow up in these types of races. Luckily I knew the 2nd mile marker was off from the last two years running the race otherwise I would have been freakin' at my 2 - 3 split. I was happy with my last mile split though.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked over and got some water, took my ship off and returned it. Saw my co-worker finish and talked briefly with him and got some hot cider. I knew I wasn't in the placings, so I beat the crowd and headed home pretty quickly, plus it was still cold as hell .....

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Long season?? Racing last week? I still had a huge PR, so I certainly can't complain. It was a solid effort without the falling off I've had in the last two years running the race.

Event comments:

Continues to grow and be one of the best and most affordable races on the calender. Plus the course is just right, brings out all the local fasties and you get a seriously killer prime for registering (this year was a Brooks jacket) with custom logo work designed by a local Celtic artist. That is why the event has doubled in size each year! Great year end closing race.

Last updated: 2007-12-07 12:00 AM
00:30:29 | 05 miles | 06m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/166
Overall: 43/1918
Performance: Good
Avergae HR was 186, peak of 193.
Course: 1/4 mile uphill at the start, then light rolling for the next 2-1/2, then around Druid Hill lake which is flat finishing up down the hill we started on.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5