Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the Goose Again: Run the Goose 7K (9/3/12)

My third place prize - goose-shaped candy

Race: Run the Goose 7K
Location: Gloucester, MA
Goal Time: 30:00
Actual Time: 29:41 (3rd Age Group, PR!!)

I have to say the purple goose-shaped candy was pretty gross…

2012 was my second year running the Goose which is the 7K companion race to the Around Cape Ann 25K – one of the New England area’s marathon training monuments. Last year, with an undertrained runner and undermarked course, it was a bit of a disaster.  This year I was determined to rectify that.

My racing buddy – Mariah – was on hand for the race.  And, like me, it was her first race since the Reykjavik Marathon – where she took second overall and along with her husband and me won the team competition.

While the 7K and the 25K are at two different start lines and two different courses, they still start simultaneously.  At the united start everyone went off like a bat out of hell.  It took me a while to catch up with Mariah.  By then it had coalesced into two leading packs:  one with 6 or 7 guys running 5:30 miles at the front and Mariah leading a second pack at 6 minute miles. 

About a half mile in, we came to the first noticeable hill.  Mariah and I took it a little easy going up.  Unfortunately, a woman from Cambridge Running didn’t.  She charged up the hill passing both Mariah and I. 

*** DOMESTIQUE time ***

I determined: I can’t let this woman get a big lead.  So I went for the cycling tactic of “false pace.”  I sprinted up to the woman and got a little lead.  Then I slowly eased down the speed until I was running from           around 6 minute miles to 6:20.  Surprisingly, the woman kept pace with me.  As we were about to approach the big downhill toward the park, Mariah caught up and I started to charge down the hill with Mariah following.

As we entered the park, the course is over a bike path that is slightly uphill.  I proceeded with the same tactic as before.  As we made the left, at mile 1.5 or so, it turned briefly into trails and I noticed Mariah was right behind me.  I knew there was a narrow dam like structure at the end of this trail and figured we had to get there ahead of the other woman.  We did; over the dam structure and back onto the bike path I led. 

That was about mile 2 and about it for me.  Good Luck, Mariah, I said in my head.

I spent the next 2.2 miles attempting to run as fast as I could without vomiting. 

With the finish line in sight, I failed.  I had to stop and vomit.  This allowed 3 people – including one in my age group – to pass me.

I finished my duty and then ran the last 200 yards to still bring in a 4 minute PR and third in my age group.

Mariah won the women’s overall.

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