Featured photo for Rolland Moore Park 4k

Rolland Moore Park 4k

Five months. That’s how long it’s been since the discontinued—and hence now for races onlymagic shoes were on my feet, and that was for a try-to-survive 50-mile mud-fest. In contrast, this race would be a test of how fast can you run in the amount of time it takes to bake a pizza, over half of which would undoubtedly require a lot of hard breathing. That is, if you are running hard enough.

At least the weather would provide few excuses. Overcast, with zero breeze, and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Near-ideal running conditions.

I took off at my designated start time like a drag racer out of his chute, and for the first half of the race felt rather good. The Puma H-Streets felt noticeably quicker than the Lems Primal 2s that I use for all training runs. There was spring in my step and I felt like I even had something in reserve respiration-wise.

“You looked really focused,” another runner later said. Indeed, I was thinking more about form than looking at all the other runners who started before me and were coming back in the other direction. This aided in a first mile split of 6:24.

But then the one-and-a-quarter-mile turnaround snuck up on me. I seemingly lost all momentum at the orange cone. And then the Spring Creek Trail in reverse seemed to be almost a hill despite its measly 1 or 2% gradient.

On cue, I got a side stitch that developed underneath the right rib cage after the U-ey. That really put the brakes on the turbo and all I could muster was a 7:30/mile pace from that point on. Or, at least until around 400 meters to go when I felt some resolve and pretty much ignored the cramps.

I came to a complete stop a few meters from the finish line as there was a backup of finishers (in the Tortoise & Hare race series, it’s important to maintain actual finishing order for the results). Final time was 16:54, or 6:54/mile (6:48/mile official). A little slower than what I hoped but about what I was expecting. Nowadays, at an age where in any other race I’d be classified in the Masters division, I am content with anything under seven minutes per mile.

It will be a lot sooner than another five months before I don the magic shoes again, so here’s hoping my race fitness actually improves in the short term.

Race Data

Final time: 16:54 (6:54/mile per Strava; 6:48/mile official)
Strava data

Strava

Runners awaiting their start time at the 2018 Rolland Moore Park 4-kilometer Tortoise & Hare race.
Runners awaiting their start time at the 2018 Rolland Moore Park 4-kilometer Tortoise & Hare race.