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The Hog Neck Scamper - Run

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Pasadena, Maryland
United States
Annapolis Striders
55F / 13C
Total Time = 38m 35s
Overall Rank = 107/333
Age Group = M 40-49
Age Group Rank = 20/37
Pre-race routine:

Had the usual pizza and beer the night to bed around 9:15. Slept pretty well and the alarm woke me up at 5 a.m. I was pretty stiff and sore from a particularly hard Bikram session the day before, and my spondy was acting up a bit.

No taper for this was actually the end of my biggest run week and month in about 2 1/2 years. I've also never raced this distance before, so I had no idea what to expect performance-wise.
Event warmup:

I've found that I perform better at these shorter races with more, and multiple, warm-ups. So, first thing was I jumped on the trainer for about 15 to get the legs awake and get rid of the stiffness from yesterday's training. Hit the foam roller, then had half an English muffin, coffee, and an apple. Showered and got on my race gear.

Drove to pick up my wife's aunt (66 YO) who was running the race with me. Sipped on a watered down Gatorade during the drive and just before the race. We pulled into the state park and drove to the race site. Absolutely beautiful morning. We are at peak foliage right now and the sun was rising over the Chesapeake Bay. Absolutely perfect running weather, 55 degrees.

My warm-up consisted of a slow jog increasing intensity to about T pace over 8 minutes or so, then another 1-2 minutes run/walk. Lots of stretching. Walked back to the start line and did a couple of strides. Ready as I'll ever be.
  • 38m 35s
  • 5 miles
  • 07m 43s  min/mile

As noted above, I had no experience running this distance, and the longest run I've had, period, was about 5.5 miles. Based on my VDOT and an all-out effort I was looking maybe sub-38, but given I hadn't really trained enough to extrapolate to that distance I was a little conservative in my approach. And honestly, I wasn't really sure if I wanted to re-visit the Pain Cave I became so familiar with in my last race. :-O

"The Plan" was to run the first two miles around my 'M' pace, 8:10, then the next two at 'T', then kick the final mile if felt good. Shooting for sub-40 as a baseline as see where we go from there.

As usual, I set myself in the back-ish to force me to stay slow the first 1/2 mile and ease into the race. And as usual, I got caught up in some traffic for the first 1/2 mile. Hmmmm... Once the race thinned out enough I settled into my plan. First mile was a bit downhill so the pace was a little quick, but my HR and RPE was good so I stayed with it. We entered the woods and then mile 2 was a bit uphill, so I slowed down a bit. I settled into mile 3 and pushed it up a notch, and also surged about every 2-3 minutes to pass people on the trails.

At mile 3 you came out of the woods and ran right along the Chesapeake Bay with the sun rising over it. You could just make out Rock Hall across the Bay, which is where my 'A' tri is next year. I almost forgot I was racing for a minute.

Mile 4 I tried to giddy-up a little but I could start to feel a little dead. I continued my strategy of hold pace, surge to pass, hold pace. Got to the last mile and picked it up to about 7:30 (tough to really tell in the woods). Passed a couple more people and then we popped out of the woods for the 1/2 mile straight finish on the access road. I was feeling pretty good now so I opened my stride up and pushed the pace to around 7 and eventually to about 6:45. Got to the finish without anyone near me so no sprint. Clock time was 38:55, chip time around 38:35.

Strava laps:

Mile Pace GAP Elev (ft) HR Cadence
1 7:58 8:04 -22 131 82
2 8:11 8:02 14 137 82
3 8:00 7:59 -14 142 82
4 7:50 7:41 20 137 82
0.9 7:17 7:21 -18 108 83

What would you do differently?:

Nothing...executed the race exactly as I wanted to. This conservatively extrapolates to about a 48:30 10K which would be a PR by over 30 seconds for me. I also can honestly say this was a 98% effort race...never entered the Pain Cave and felt really good throughout. Felt like a "strong" runner.
Post race
Warm down:

Jogged around for about 10 minutes and stretched, and then watched my wife's aunt throw down a 55:50. Yes, at 66 years old. W00t!!!!!

We ate some of the post-race spread then drove back home...stiffened up quite a bit and my spondy was a mess. Got in the hot tub for about an hour and that helped considerably. Went to bed early and slept like 9 hours.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The lack of desire to hurt for 35 minutes. :-)

Event comments:

This race cost $10, and you got a t-shirt (a little small...they ran out of my size), a beautiful run through the woods on a fall morning, and a better post-race spread than I've seen at races 3-4x the cost. First rate...will definitely do again.

Last updated: 2013-10-24 12:00 AM
00:38:35 | 05 miles | 07m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/37
Overall: 0/333
Performance: Good
Garmin was struggling on all fronts...the trail running through the woods is tough on the GPS and the HR started act up the 5th mile. It behaved when I needed it, though, which was miles 2-4.
Course: A beautiful trail run through Downs Park along the Chesapeake Bay. Rolling hills throughout, so it was tough to figure out if you were going uphill or downhill in some places. Nice flat-ish last 1/2 mile on the access road to the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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

2013-11-03 7:47 AM

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: The Hog Neck Scamper

2013-11-03 6:03 PM
in reply to: #4891096

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Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper

Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaah buddy!

Mike, that is AWESOME.  No taper?  Biggest run month in 2.5 years? And a very solid race.  Cool. And I totally hear you on the pain cave--the races that are short enough that you can put yourself in deep to the redline zone and stay there for a while, *shudder*.  Not like.

I didn't realize how close you are to Annapolis.  I can totally imagine the fall colors.  I used to love to run there in the fall, and the sunrises on the Chesapeake are some of the prettiest I've seen. 

BTW, $10 for all this awesomeness?  That's a steal. 

Keep up the great off-season;)


2013-11-03 6:56 PM
in reply to: #4891096

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Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper

Mike, congrats on a great race. It sounds like you did a nice job of executing your plan and learned a lot along the way. I love those races that deliver a great experience. That's the kind of event that brings more people into the sport. Very cool. And your wife's aunt sounds like a bad azz. 

2013-11-04 12:32 PM
in reply to: #4891096

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Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper

Awesome, Mike!!  Congrats at taking on a new distance with true fortitude!  Sounds like it was an absolutely stunning morning scene with the crisp autumn weather and the sun coming up over the bay.  Kudos to your aunt as well!

2013-11-04 1:28 PM
in reply to: #4891096

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Livonia, MI
Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper

Awesome job Mike!!  And your 66 year old aunt-in-law finishing in such a respectable time is inspiring.  Nice work on your first 5 mile race and I hope you get some time to rest that bod.

2013-11-04 1:29 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper

Great race!  Definitely not a scamper :-)  Way to execute your plan!

2013-11-04 5:52 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper

Mmmmmmmm beer and pizza! Prerace of champs!


Great job Mike. It looks like you are pushing this running thing into yer off season, eh?

2013-11-04 6:19 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: The Hog Neck Scamper
now that's a fine job of pacing-just how you draw it up!
and you know there is a faster 5M in you based on the fact this happened during (not after and tapered) your biggest running month in a while

it sounds like it was a great day overall!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the report and am envious of the sights. MD is a beautiful state. I loved it when we were there.
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