Apr 252013

by Kevin Robinson – April 13th I showed up for the Merrimack Riva 10 miler with very low expectations. I was not what one would say “tuned up” or even semi trained. All because of low running volume in the last month or so.

Last year I ran a great race race here and finished quite strong with a 1:36  (1:35:53). This year I am a little bit lighter (about 4 lbs) but have not had many long runs so I felt I would be OK with at least a 1:40, but kinda dreamed about having a fantastic above normal race and somehow beat last years time.

At the start I hung back a bit and felt my best chance to feel OK at the end was to be very conservative. My son ran with me and we had an easy first 3-4 miles with plenty of time and energy to talk up a storm about everything and anything.

I was passed by at least 30 runners and honestly with my low expectations, it didn’t really bother me at all. I thought perhaps after the middle miles with all the hills were behind me, I would try to pick things up and actually race the last three easy miles of the race.

The first 5 miles felt very easy and manageable so it was quite a surprise to see my turn around split was the same as last year…….(48min) WHF?? How did I accomplish that? After the turn around my son mentioned that I was on pace to PR if I could maintain my current pace and pull off a speedy last mile.

HMMNNN…..My first thought was, perhaps I could pull of a PR after all. My second thought was the possibility …no probability of falling apart on the return trip. It was too late to change my mind set now…why did my son have to mention it, now I had no choice.

He helped by monitoring my pace and taking the lead in miles 6 and 7 to keep me going on the down hills. Yes you read that right, I was fine on the uphills but too conservative on the downs. Not enough crazy let it all hang out downhill training yet.

He was a great rabbit and by the mile 7 hill I passed him and felt good enough to pick it up even more. I passed more runners on the way back than passed me on the way out. I was screaming by packs of runners and feeling really strong.

Mile 9  came and I knew for sure I was going to PR. It was pretty exciting because I pretty much discounted this race as a race and was considering it just an organized jog. I picked the pace up even more and crossed the finish line at 1:31:01 (43 min on the return)

Just about a 5 minute PR, who would have thought? I was the fastest Trail Monster of the race, and the only one……well that makes me the slowest Trail Monster in the race also.

Needless to say, it was a happy day.

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