9.344 Meters

I love the mile, but I don’t really trust the 1600.

Let’s do a bit of math. If you run 1600 meters in 4 minutes 38 seconds you are running at a speed of 5.755 meters per second. It also means it takes .174 seconds to run 1 meter. The mile is 1609.344 meters long. If you run a 1600 meter race in 4:38 you would add 1.62 seconds to your time to get your mile equivalent for a time of 4:39.62 seconds.

Ready set go.
Ready set go.

That is exactly what I did a few weeks ago at the final Mid-Hudson Road Runner’s Club Twilight Track Series meet. One of my goals is to see how many years in a row I can break 4:40 for the mile. So now the question becomes have I accomplished my goal for the year?

Head down chin up.

For once I ran a pretty steady race. According to the split clock I ran 69.x 70.x 70.x 68.x which is as close to dead even as I’m ever going to get. It helped that I was being relentlessly pursued by Mike Chow all 4 laps.

Mike’s still there

There was also a fit looking HS junior on my tail and I just kept waiting for him to blast by me the last 600 meters, but it was Mike who really kept the pressure on.

Stretching the pack

I just couldn’t get rid of the sound of Mike’s footsteps, even on the last lap where I was sure I could pull away with a quick burst of speed. He held on the whole time finishing about a second behind me closely followed by the high schooler. Results here.

The quandary now is, do I have to find an actual mile to race or can I count the conversion? The race wasn’t FAT timed, but my 4:38 was rounded up. That makes me feel pretty good about counting it as a sub 4:40 mile. But what if I tripped in that last 9 meters? What if I made a wrong turn? What if I suddenly got really tired and sat down with .1 meters to go? 1600 meters is not 1 mile… I’ll have to start hunting for a late summer early fall mile, or wait for the winters series to begin.


Lisa back on track
Lisa back on track

In other happy news. Lisa is getting back into racing shape. After a several month setback this spring she is increasing her mileage and even hitting the track for some workouts. With no workouts and only a few miles a week running May-July she managed a nice 6:20 1600 at the last Twilight Meet. While it wasn’t a great performance in her estimation she showed a lot of guts and Run Tuff spirit during the last 2 laps. I think she will be ready for a new 5k PR this fall.

Nice form!
Nice form!

Hazel and Roo also raced that same night. Hazel even won her first ribbon that wasn’t just a participant ribbon by throwing down a nasty 200 meter to kick off her 200/50/400 triple.

All business
All business

Roo was all business during the 200 and 40 meter dashes, wearing her 3x too big Wally Waddle shirt new running shoes and bib. We expect big things next summer from this one.

Stay tuned for the Bergen 5k race recap which I’m sure someone in Rochester is frantically cobbling together.

Old Guys Running Fast

As I approached 40 years old there were a 3 races I had on my to do list. All of them were mile races, all of them masters only. The first one was the Messenger Mile which I raced last month. The second was the Hartshorne Mile which I raced last weekend. The third is the McMullen Mile elite masters heat.

The Hartshorne is by far the most competitive of the 3, with the winning time often in the low 4:20’s. Saturday’s field was stacked with former Hartshorne champion Scott Weeks and national stand out Mark Williams along with 7 other masters runners from up and down the east coast. I was seeded 5th with a time of 4:38. I ended up finishing 5th but with a time of 4:41. Results.

The whole field ran a bit slower than their seed times, and I feel like I missed a great opportunity to place higher. You can see from the video below that after about 3 laps I lost focus for a bit and the front pack opened up a 5-6 second lead on me. I was able to close that gap to less than 2 seconds during the last lap but I can’t help but think I could have stolen 2nd or 3rd place had I only run a smarter race. Things happen so fast on the track and if you aren’t ready to respond you get left behind. For now I’m moving on to distance training with the Syracuse Half Marathon being my next goal race. I’ll have to sharpen up my speed after than to be ready for the McMullen Mile in June.

Some other notable performances from Hartshorne included great races from fellow Mid-Hudson Valley runners Marisa Strange and Jeff Conston. Marisa ran 5:20.26 which is a 94.55% age grade.


Let’s say we have two 40 year old men. One spends a year training for the 100 meters so he can compete at the USATF Masters Track Championship. The other spends a year training for the NYC Marathon.

The sprinter goes to the track 5 days a week, and hits the gym another 2 days a week. He does form drills, core work, tons of speed work plyos everything he can to race his best. He spends 10 hours a week training.

The marathoner runs 4 days a week. 3 easy runs of 40-50 minutes and one long run starting at 50 minutes and working up to 2.5 hours. He spends 5 hours a week training.

The sprinter goes to the masters championship and runs 12 seconds flat. An 85% age grade time putting him in the national class.

The marathoner goes to NYC marathon and runs 3 hours 52 minutes. A 55% age grade time putting him in lower than local class.

Who do you think is getting all the love, all the kudos all the likes on Facebook? Who is being celebrated and talked about around the office? Who gets a big medal for finishing? The guy who worked less hard and had the lesser performance that’s who.

McMullen Mile: Roadkill Men, Women & Children Take to the Track

McMullen Mile has been my favorite race of the year since moving to Rochester in 2008, and this year it became even more my favorite because the Perks family has a new miler.

HazelMMM (07)

Most years after the McMullen Mile I give a long break down of my race. This year I’d rather talk about my family and friends who did the race, starting with my daughter Hazel. Hazel has done several races over the years, including 2 different mile races. Normally during the mile runs she takes lots of breaks and likes to look around a bit. The track however, really seemed to suit her, she didn’t stop once. As some of the other young kids bowed out after 2 or 3 laps she insisted on doing all 4. She may have finished last, but she was undeterred. She told her teachers on Monday “I didn’t win, but I’m getting faster.” Her tiny little legs managed to run each lap in under 3 minutes for a time of 11:49!

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The next Roadkill Racer up was Drew in the men’s under 8 minute heat (actually there were several heats of this but Drew’s was the fastest under 8 heat.)

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Drew ran a solid race with even pacing, showing his marathon running strength. He led for much of the race doing all the hard work before a few sand-baggers threw down a sub 70 second last lap. We are going to get Drew on the track for some rep work, and those guys will be in for a nasty surprise next year. I’m predicting we can take his 5:16 down to sub 5.

Erin M. and Lisa ran in the women’s sub-elite race. Before the race Lisa was writing out her goal splits and I thought she was being a bit too conservative. Luckily she figured that out for herself shortly into the race and took the early lead.

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2 laps in, the Roadkill Ladies had blow their heat open taking a commanding lead. You can see them above hitting the half way mark with no one else on the straightaway.  They would hold their positions through the finish with Lisa running 6:16 and Erin 6:22. I fully expect both of them to be ready to move up to the elite women’s sub 6 field by next summer.

JoeMMM (3)

I don’t know why, but Joe always seems to end up with blurry race photos. He’s like Woody Allen in Deconstructing Harry. Blurriness aside, Joe ran a a great race in the Master’s Elite heat. I don’t know the last time Joe raced a mile, but he ran this one like an old pro, putting down a 5:24 good for 6th out of 18 elite masters.

The men’s elite heat was the last race of the night. Despite my constant pestering, year in and year out we once again only had 2 runners from Roadkill in the heat. This year I was joined by new member Mark Streb, who like me is a miler at heart (the big difference is he is a miler at legs too owning a 3:52 1500m PR). Mark showed his speed and closed with a 65 in the thick of 5 runners who finished between 4:22-4:27.

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I’ve run the McMullen mile 6 times (every year I’ve lived in Rochester) and this was my worst finish to-date but not near my worst time. Not only was it my worst finish at McMullen, it was the only time I can remember finishing last in a race. I’d like to think that is a testament to how fast the field was this year and not an indictment of my 4:38.

Race Results Here

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This is the last year I’ll be running the McMullen Mile Elite race. Next year I get to run against runners my own age in the masters race. I can’t wait to go up against some other old men and let these kids have their own fun. That of course means that some other Roadkill Racers are going to have to step up and run the elite race… I’m looking at you George-Dave-Rob-Kenny-Brett-Drew-et al.

And yes I did just call Matthew Roberts “George.” Now that we have another Matt on the team we have to join the rest of the world in calling him George.

And here is a bonus picture of Joe and Roo playing catch.

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