JFK 50 Miler

April 27th, 2010 - Race - Lowell, MA - 3.1

Day 117 - The assault on a sub-17 5K took a slight detour tonight at Good Times #2 in Lowell, MA.

The sight of seeing 17's at Groton this past weekend (albeit by 1 second!) was too good to not try for again, and I felt I had a good shot at it tonight at Good Times. Main reason being is that I feel that Groton is a slightly slower, "tougher" course than the GT alternate course. The rest of it would be up to me.

I felt great when I left work at 5:30PM. The temp was about 50 with a slight drizzle in Burlington. By the time I got to Lowell it was more than a drizzle, and it was closer to 40 degrees! Perhaps I had a better shot at a sub-zero tonight. When I left the apt to head over to Hookslide's at 6:30 the rain had stopped, but the chill was still in the air. It was a strange chill, almost like late fall with the wetness.

I wore my compression arm sleeves and running gloves, along with just a singlet and cap up top. Short shorts down below. Went sox-less with the Lunars tonight since it was a going to be a wet one out on the course.

My hopes of Titus and Joe not showing up for at least one week was dashed as we lined up for the start.

The only runner that was here, and had finished ahead of me last week, was Joseph M. Pretty much all of the regulars were here tonight, with the exception of Bill A. Frank and Rick were still MIA. Maybe next week guys? Jim H., a new, but familiar face, was also here tonight, hoping to get over a "disappointing" NH GP race over the weekend.

The weather kept away the record crowd of the prior week, and the race itself felt a little more subdued than usual.

The GO signal went off a little after 7.

Joe and Titus once again took the lead heading into the first turn, with me right on their tail. They were definitely not going all out this week, and the same was true for everybody else in the pack.

We got onto the riverwalk stretch in the same order, with Joseph passing me on the long straightaway. There's something about this beginning stretch that always makes me relax a little bit too much. Like at Groton, I just wanted to keep the closest person no more than five seconds in front me.

Crossed over Mile 1 in 5:45 (vs 5:40 at Groton). I knew that I would need a sub 5:48 pace to get under 18, so I was being really conservative at the start, hoping to make up any difference by the end.

Joseph was still in front of me as we crossed the University Ave bridge, and down the VFW. He was actually starting to pull away, and my stomach was acting up again. He ran a 18:07 last Tuesday, so I knew that I had a good shot at catching him if I was able to maintain this pace and get under 18. The only other piece of good news was that I didn't hear or sense anyone else on my tail throughout this stretch.

We crossed Mile 2 in 5:56 (vs 5:53). My slowest mile has always been on this stretch, even with the downhill, which I believe is typical for most runners halfway through a 5K race. Note to self, I'll need to focus on increasing my pace on this stretch to see if it helps or hurts.

It wasn't until where the VFW starts to climb (end of guard rail) that I was able to make my move on Joseph. I quickly debated whether or not to stay on his heels in an attempt to wear him out (always easier to follow than to lead), but I was gunning for a sub 18, so that was out of the question. I eventually passed Joseph just as we turned onto the Aiken St bridge. A few passerbys were even nice enough to yell out our current standings in the race, but that wasn't too hard to figure out.

I didn't hear Joseph make an effort to try to keep up with me, so I managed to pull further and further away, passing the final water stop about five seconds in front of him.

I tried to pick it up on the home stretch, but I couldn't get the turnover that I was getting at Groton. I figure that the track at Groton and the long straightaway at Good Times are about equivalent in speed. Fortunately for me, Joseph only picked it up a tiny bit, and my kick at this point negated any change in separation between the two of us.

(Photo courtesy of Mike Stynwyck and his D200)

I came across Mile 3 in 5:46 (vs 5:54), so I was indeed getting a little more speed than I was feeling. With .1 to go, I could hear Glenn, at the finish, yelling at me to pick it up, but I could sense disappointment in his voice when the clock ticked over to 18:00 with .03 to go. The same disappointment washed over me when I finally crossed and saw my Garmin read 18:06. Although I didn't get under 18 tonight, I did manage to set a new GTS PR by 7 seconds, and move myself into the top 100 all-time, for males at the series, behind the Masked Avenger!

The split for the final .10 for Groton and tonight were 32 seconds and 40 seconds, respectively. The final kick was basically the majority of the difference between my times at both races.

I took away a couple of lessons tonight. Mainly, I was relying way too heavily on my Garmin to set my pace, in the hopes that I could get under 18 based on my average pace readout. I need to keep in mind that the Garmin isn't that accurate, and it's typically a few seconds off of the offical race time.

There's always next week to go for another sub-17 5K (and stay there), or another GTS PR. I'm hoping to rest up a little bit more and be at 100% post Boston by next Tuesday.

Nice job by all of those PR's tonight! Including Owey, Kelly, and Angela who smashed their own PR's by over 4, 3, 2 minutes, respectively. Keep it up ladies!!

Big congrats to the Faria boys for showing up and finishing the race, but you need to work harder in order to kick your dad's butt by the end of the summa' series!

Tonight's race was also in memory of Good Times regulars who recently passed away, Jack Kelleher and Phil Riley. Jim H. ended up winning the Phil Riley award for the night for winning what would have been Phil's age group. Nice job getting over the weekend race!

Interesting fact, 366 days ago tonight, I accomplished my assault on a sub-20 5K, and ended up running a PR of 19:59!

(Groton 5K Splits)

(GTS #2 Splits)


  1. Jason, racing 2 5ks shortly after a marathon (which you ran very well) is very difficult because your still recovering from the long race. You are obviously in excellent shape and I wanted to know if you work on your speed . Once a week you should do a workout which will allow you to get faster. It can be done on the roads or on the track. These interval workouts will make you faster and will bring you to that goal of sub 17

  2. Hey DQ! Good to see you on here. I started track for the first time this past winter with GLRR, and starting spring track with them tomorrow. Track has definitely been the biggest difference maker for me this year vs. last year when I did everything, except for speed work! I gotta say, I am addicted to running too! Hope to eventually meet up with you at a race shortly.

  3. Thanks Jason! But for the record... I DID go all out this week. How do u think I smashed my PR by nearly 3 miins! lol

  4. Nah, you still have a lot of potential in you. This is just the start :)

  5. awe!! Thanks Jason!! I just gotta quit "the sticks" and I will get MUCH better!!! lol