I wrote about the 2007 edition of the Scarsdale Fall Foliage 5K earlier, and today was the most-recent installment. The weather seemed pretty nasty, temp in the low 40s and drizzle. But in the end, the weather was quite nice.

Scarsdale Fall Foliage 5K

Scarsdale Fall Foliage 5K

Not much else to report. I was second. For the third time in this race. The guy in first was well away from the gun and I picked off the guy who would finish third with about 400 to go. Time was 18:42, splits of 5:53, 6:01, 5:58 per my Garmin. I’m the heel-striker in the pink hat in the photo. For the first time I wore an HRM. Except for a couple of spots where it briefly got over 150, it seemed consistently right at or just below that number. (I sometimes have an extra beat so that may account for hitting 162 a couple times.) So I’m thinking that’s close to my Max. I’ll have to look up stuff on that.

The course is quite nice. A few short, slight hills, up or down, with a slight downhill finish (right by where the start is). The biggest hill is in the first quarter, but it’s not much of a hill. (I checked an, indeed, my first home is a block away, a tiny cape in Eastchester.) I recognized the guy who beat me, Kevin of the VCTC, who I’ve beaten several times, but who has beaten me several as well, including now three of my second places in Scarsdale (twice here, once at a 15K). I figured he’d take me today; I didn’t care. He went out fast as did the guy who I’d catch near the end and someone else, who I caught pretty early.

For the bulk of the race, then, I was on my own, within haling distance of second. It was hard, and I was really pushing. At times I thought of Ritz and his determination, and that helped a bit. I felt very smooth, however, light on my feet. For the first time ever, though, my shoelace came untied, at about 2.25. Do I stop? Do I go? I decided to play it by ear and kept going, and it was not a problem, although I like my shoes very tight.

Just a WSSAC t-shirt and gloves, compression shorts. It had seemed so much colder but at the start I realized arm-warmers would be too much, so I handed them to Andy of Westchester Road Runner to hold. About 400 in, I felt my shorts pocket. Empty. I’d dropped my car key. Adam (Coach Adam), who was the guy on the course running things, came by on his bike. I asked if they’d found a car key. He said they had, and I said it was mine, which was a relief.

Adam would be riding throughout the course, and had encouraging words for me. He had gotten me to come early to help out, but the weather was such as to keep much of the crowd away. Still, I handed out t-shirts until it was time to warm up.

I met my old SSRMC teammate Mark Thompson, who is in the post-marathon (he did Yonkers) period, and was there to have a good time, and he did (he’s in the SSRMC singlet in the photo). Frank Colella of Scarsdale was (not surprisingly) there, although he ran the Steiner 5K at VCP earlier and was taking it easy with his daughter. (His report and photos (of which the above is one) is here. (Frank was also at Tuckahoe, as a spectator, and Irvington. He runs like a zillion races.)

This was also my race in the WorldWide Festival of Races. This is a fun way for people worldwide (hence the name; this year there were 1158 Entrants in 45 Countries) to post times during a three-week window for a 5K, 10K, or HM. Kind of like whatever Nike is doing, but it’s free and not sponsored by a shoe company. It is related to the RunnersRoundTable; many of the people behind it frequent that weekly podcast.

Assessnent: Now for the interesting part. The time was pretty slow. But I’ve not done speedwork for quite a bit, and this counts as some of that. Not to say that I could have gone faster had I been racing. I was running as fast as I could, counting down the Ks.

I was happy to keep things sub-6 for the duration. I am encouraged that it felt quite relaxed. When I ran this race two years ago a minute faster I was in pretty good shape, having just completed Reach-the-Beach. I’m sure I’ve lost a few seconds, maybe more, in the intervening years. But not too much. I think/hope.