The race results are in, and we can now see how closely I followed the plan. I did a pretty good job at following the plan, but not quite as well as I did when I ran the Eastern States 20 Miler this past Spring.
I did not win tonight, since Ethan Hemphill was there and ran about a minute faster than everyone else as an easy training run., , and in a tight pack the entire race. I was mean and made Chris set the pace for the first 2.5 miles; his first 1.25 was a consistent 80 seconds per quarter. The second mile was run in around 5:40 pace, and I started to run off of his shoulder rather than right behind him at this point. At about 2.5 I picked up the pace and took over, even though my race plan said to keep at least one of those guys in front of me the entire time.
Scott came with me, but he was having some problems with the gravel dust in the air and kept coughing. It did a good job of masking what Chris was doing, since I did not know that Chris had come up on me until the final sprint in the last 100 yards. We all finished 1 second part in 17:02, 17:03, and 17:04 (Me, Chris, Scott.)
My overall time for the series is 1:42:29, an average pace of 17:04. Scott will have his work cut out for him if he wants to win the shoes. His slowest time right now is a 17:37, which would drop off if he runs anything faster than that. He only gained about half of a minute on me this week, and is still behind me by 1 minute and 14 seconds. He would have to run faster than 16:23 next week in order to win.
Chris still has an easier job to win the shoes than Scott does, but only slightly. He has only run 5 races, and would need to run faster than 16:33 in his last race in order to have a faster overall time. While he is certainly capable of running in the mid-16 range, the Back Cove tends to add at least 20 seconds to your time over a comparable effort on the roads.
1 Week Left
This race served as an insurance race. I increased my lead by 43 seconds, and I mostly stuck to my plan and certainly finished right where I wanted to be. On Sunday I will be running the Pisgah 50k in New Hampshire, and then next week will be the final Back Cove 5k race of the series for 2007.
I will definitely be at the final race, and will probably run. If I do run, then I would like to try to bring my time down even further, which would mean running a sub 17:28. I do not think that I will be able to do that 3 days after a 50k, though, and will be happier with a more reasonable goal of a minute slower.
Last time that I did a 5k 3 days after a marathon (on this same course) I ran a 19:03.