My photo
Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

St Patty's Day 10K and 5K - A day of firsts and Thirds

A day of firsts and thirds


My first stand alone 10k run for time and my first race completely unplugged (no watch, HRM, or music) in a very long time.

After warming up with the kids… I left them to move to the front. I seeded myself about 6 rows back.

When the gun went off I just started running… no traffic and I was moving at about the same pace as everyone else. At about a half mile in I got passed by Mrs. Ronzon a teacher at the elementary school where my kids went. I knew that she is fast so I decided to try to keep her in sight.

I’d be a liar if I told you that I was all set on running this thing by feel and that I was not craning my neck to see the clock at mile 1. It said 7:09… I had really tried to leave my brains at home… and for the most part forgot the split and kept Mrs. Ronzon in sight. Mile 2 came with 14:xx on the race clock and yes I was looking for it. I seemed to not notice any inclines on the course but tried to push each down slope… no matter how small to keep my turnover high.

I passed mile 3 at 21:4X if I recall… I do remember thinking that I had just run a 5k PR and that I had the 10k PR and my qualifying time for next year’s River Run in the bag but I tried not to think… I remember seeing Layne somewhere on the course… he told me I looked good… but he lies I think…. math failed me on miles 3-6 as I passed the clocks… and that is good I think… my pace waned I’m sure but I just tried to maintain position as best I could.

My goal for this race was under 48 minutes and when I made the turn into the final straightaway I saw by the race clock that 45:XX was in my reach…. And I just made it in 45:59.

After a number of bad races and one so so race… I feel like I finally got it all together and ran a good race.

And for the thirds:

Masey got third in her age group… .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gate River Run

There I stood… in the fog… in the absolute middle of 15,000 people… awaiting the start… The race was on Saturday… but for me it started a few months ago.. when I first decided to sign up for this race I realized that I had almost gotten fast enough to qualify for a seeded race number and to be allowed to start at the front. Unbeknownst to me, I had narrowly missed qualifying in two of the races I did last fall. I had subsequently tried to qualify at a ½ marathon and a 10 miler and had failed miserably… I even thought that I had an outside chance of qualifying at the marathon I did last month… that was not to be either.

The Gate River Run is the largest race in Northeast Florida… by a large margin…. I got to the race start a full hour early… found the port-a-pottys and headed for the start…

One problem…. There was nowhere to go… the start line was barely in view and the road was packed with runners already… we managed to work our way into the throng near the 10 minute mile sign… no big deal I thought… … I just didn’t see the point… I figured that things would thin out soon enough…

Well, my friends, I was mistaken… But I am getting a bit ahead of myself.

The national anthem played… I could feel that those around me were somewhere between amused and annoyed that I insisted on singing along…but I always do….

The gun went off and a mere 3 minutes later we crossed the start line

The first two miles were crazy/crowded/jovial/infuriating/familiar… the plan was to keep it easy and relaxed… In my attempts to qualify for this race I had done a couple of races where I had gone out too hard and crashed dramatically… My #1 goal for the day was a PR… and I knew that no heroics were required… just a steady pace.

Although I tried to keep it easy… I ended up dancing, sprinting, slowing down to a crawl…running diagonally across the road, across the grass down the sidewalk… once I even did this half pirouette to squeeze through a tiny break in the traffic. I had decided to race by feel… okay I “decided” one mile in when my Garmin went out to lunch… I just went by feel and weaved in and out of the crowd…

At around mile 3 I passed an old friend… the *other* Susan Wallis (i.e. not Layne’s lovely wife J) she has been injured and unable to race for a while… it was great to see her out there again…

From 3-6 miles I ran just a few glances at my now mistrusted Garmin… that told me that I was running an 8ish pace… even at the 6 mile mark I was still tight roping the curb to squeeze past people…

At the 10k mark I finally did a little math… the numbers told me that if I ran around an 8:30 pace.. I would have a PR… while this was good news… I had hoped for even better news… nothing to do at the time but run… so I just kept going.

The trademark of this race is the “Green Monster”… this monster is simply the Hart bridge that spans the St John’s river… the closest thing to a good hill one can scale on foot in the area…. The ascent of the bridge is the second half of the 8th mile… when I arrived at the bottom my pace slowed a little and I could feel myself downshift into my survival mode Ironman shuffle… after 30 seconds or so I had a little talk with myself… and why I was not busting my @$$ to get to the top…

In an instant my mindset changed and I decided to run that effin hill like it was an interval…
I just kept picking runners out and running them down… when I reached the top I just kept going… I screamed down the other side towards the fiish line… later review showed that my pace for mile 9 down the bridge was 7:07…

At the bottom of the bridge and just a little ahead of me I saw Ilan, an associate from my old job… Ilan is fast… and has qualified for Boston before… Just as I recognized him the finishing chute came into view… I sprinted… dodgins and slippeing past people and snuck up on Ilan and nipped him at the line.

At the finish line I saw my old friend Shawn.. he had beaten me by a mere minute….

All in all an excellent day for a run… and I think a pretty well run race… Based on the fact that I had so much left for the last 2.5 miles I wonder if I left it all on the course or if I still held some back…
After the previous implosions from going out too fast, I think I’ll take it tho… and it was afterall… an almost 2 minute PR…

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday Mandarin Ride

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pacing and racing...

Lately I’ve found racing to be almost a chore… I know it’s my hobby.. and what I do for fun but…

It seems like I’ve begun to put unneeded pressure on myself to perform that it causes me to overanalyze things and over plan details… I’m not really a type A personality kind of guy but I find myself leaning that way when it comes to racing… especially lately. Having a string of three races in a row where I have underperformed following 2 huge PR efforts does not help either.

Training on the other hand is still fun… I totally enjoy the challenge of competing with myself and completing (as often as not… failing to complete) what is on my training schedule.

I have 2 races coming up. A 15k this weekend and a 10k next weekend… PRs in each distance are within reach.

I set out on my midweek run with all of this in mind.

So today’s run turned out being a pace test. I decided to run 2 miles @ 15k “race Pace” based on perceived exertion… just to see how close I could come to the 8 minute per mile pace I’d like to be able to do for the 15k on Saturday.

Warm-up mile went fine… nice and easy…

I picked it up at the mile mark and tried to run nice and relaxed for the next 2 miles. I felt nice and relaxed for the first mile but could feel myself pushing the next mile. They ended up being a 7:44 and a 7:36 respectively. The fourth mile I ran a nice easy 8:30 and for the fifth mile I just cooled down with a 10.

So…. What did I learn… nothing really. I guess I’ll just show up Saturday and JFRace… and try not to think so much.

Ten Second Book review

Finished this on elast night. Well written harrowing story about two families and there seperate but interwoven tradgedies. Just found out they made it into a movie last year.

Monday, March 2, 2009

February totals

Swim - 0
Bike - ~168
Run - 120
weights 3 hours

Tour De Durbin Crossing

Saturday I did a group ride called the Tour De Durbin Crossing. Nice folks... nice roads... excelent weather.

41 miles total. Stayed at around 18-19 MPH for the ride. did a 3 mi transition run after the ride. Legs did not want to turn over at first but after a mile or so things started to flow.

Sunday 9 miler... 9:03 mpm average with the 6 in the middle at ~8:30.