2011-11-26 - MCRRC Turkey Burn-Off 10 Miler

10 miles @ ~8.1 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Turkey_Burn_Off_2011_z_front_CC.jpgReading Paula Radcliffe's autobiography is a good way to feel guilty about my laziness. Today is a day for redemption via hard work. The GPS trackfile says 10.13 miles but the official USATF certified course is 10.01 (including the 0.1% "short course prevention factor") and I believe the expert measurers more than the little wrist unit. Rebecca Rosenberg and I visit and start together well behind the line.

About 15 minutes pre-race I take an energy gel. At mile 4 I suck down another one, figuring that will give it enough time to take effect during the home stretch. Aid stations offer water and a chance to walk for a few steps. Cheerful Tom Young chats with me about socks as we approach mile 6. On the next downhill I pass him and stay ahead for a couple of miles, but he zooms by on the long climb during mile 9 and beats me.

Friendly photographer Connie Corbett, who ran with me last week at Stone Mill, lies prone in the middle of the road half a mile from the finish line, shooting low-angle photos of runners. "You're a speed bump!" I tell her. She laughs.

(photo on left by Connie Corbett, on right by Ken Trombatore) | http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Turkey_Burn_Off_2011_z_side_KT.jpg |

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Turkey_Burn_Off_2011_z_rear_KT.jpg"This one's for the ladies!" Caren Jew comments when she sees the photo. (Alas, if only I had better calf definition.) Near mile 7 I overhear a runner reporting that he drank a Sam Adams beer last night. "I had Dos Equis", I tell him. We concur on the virtues of the "liquid bread" method of combined pre-hydration and carb-loading. At mile 8 a big deer crosses our path. Everybody in the small pack I'm with shouts "Deer!". Then another one sprints across the road near us and we all look around to see if there's a third.

Rough mile splits based on recalibrated GPS data are 7.9 + 7.9 + 7.9 + 7.8 + 8.5 + 8.0 + 8.0 + 8.4 + 8.0 + 8.1 min — relatively constant except for ugly-slow miles 5 and 8 in the middle. Perhaps things would have gone smoother but for 48 miles of the Stone Mill race last Saturday, or 16 miles of neighborhoop loop two days ago? Excuses, excuses, and no matter — it's a lovely day, everybody is nice, and it's great just to be out running.

Official result: 72nd of 228 finishers, 60th of 128 males, 3rd of 12 in the 55-59 year male cohort. Previously on this course: 2005-11-26 - Turkey Burn-Off @ ~10.7 min/mi, 2006-11-25 - Turkey Burnoff @ ~11 min/mi, 2007-11-24 - Seneca Creek Odyssey and MCRRC Turkey Burnoff @ ~12.4 min/mi, 2008-11-29 - MCRRC Turkey Burn-Off @ ~9.3 min/mi.

Total "gun time" today 1:20:39, from which subtract ~15 seconds to get a rough "chip time". Personal Best for 10 miles remains 1:19:06 at the 2010-02-28 - RRCA 10 Miler during my annus mirabilis.

(photo by Ken Trombatore) |

^z - 2011-12-07