Gazelle Foundation Run 4 the Water 5k – 10/28/12
The morning of the R4TW 5k brought with it a wonderful little cold snap of air. So there was of course the pre-race decision of what to wear, I ended up going with arm warmers and a pair of gloves, which worked out perfectly. A couple days before the race I had been talking to my friend and current Coach James Dodds about race strategy, and he had me read an article on some recent studies about the most effective pacing to use when racing a 5k-10k. This article basically says “runners should start the first mile of a 5k race at paces 3 to 6 percent faster than their goal race pace”, which in theory makes perfect sense to me aside from a small question being how to gauge these small percentages and actually do this. Not to mention the difficulty I have with the relatively simple math that this tactic presents (6% of 5:40?), I don’t feel like I have enough of a handle on my own pacing to be dynamic enough to execute this. So, while I don’t feel like I was quite able to effectively regulate my pace to this magnitude I have begun trying, which means I will get better over time. When I made it to the front of the starting line (I still don’t feel legit enough to literally be toeing the line at races that have more than a couple hundred runners) and looked around it seemed to be heavy with fast looking folks. A few faces that I knew from the Zilker Relays I would be hoping to even come close to keeping up with. Sure enough, the horn went off and a handful of guys took off at a pace quite a bit faster than I knew I could maintain. Foolishly, I of course went with them for the first quarter mile or so thinking to myself that maybe the pace isn’t too much faster than what 6% faster than my goal pace is. Looking down at my watch at about the first half mile and seeing 5 minute flat pace….knowing I had slowed a bit from the pace we went out at, it was way too fast! After seeing that, my brain deduced that I would not be able to keep that pace and started to let myself back off even further. Other than the very cool air bringing that foreign feeling of my lungs burning back, I didn’t have any issues throughout the 5 kilometer distance. I was even lucky enough to have a group of Rogues a couple hundred meters from the finish and the always inspiring Scotty Mac yelled at me to relax my shoulders, which I did and could feel my overall form come back to where it should have been. This tiny amount of outside input and added bit of psyche definitely helped me to finish strong and in good form.
I crossed the line in 8th place with a sub 18 minute time on the clock (17:55 / 3.14 miles). After finishing, I had a familiar feeling that I hadn’t dealt with in quite a while, which was the possibility of puking. This might have had something to do with the fact that I went into this race on the verge of being sick, which I definitely woke up to the next morning. But I didn’t puke (which I was quite happy about) and I felt great after just a minute or two of being ready to heave-ho into a gutter. Then I of course ran the course backwards until I saw Stacy and started yelling to “go, go, Go! Again, I am super proud of my amazing fiance Stacy for running another really solid and impressive time, especially considering she has yet to do any quality or speed work other than racing 5ks. After finding her and letting her catch her breath after finishing we walked down to the last turn of the course and yelled encouragement to all the 5k and 10 miler runners. I am really starting to enjoy yelling supportive words of encouragement to runners. I don’t know if my growing enjoyment of this is due to knowing more runners or being a more confident runner myself, and I don’t really care why, I just like it.
2012 Casa Superhero Run 5k and Kids 1k – 9-30-12
Last year I ran this race, and I remember it being the first race that I’d ever thought even for a second that I had a chance at winning. I finished 2nd, which at that time was far and away the best I had ever done in a race. Fast forward one year and I’m standing on the starting line of the same race, but at a new location and a new course and I know I’m in better shape.
This year it was held in the new Mueller development in east central Austin, and after a proper dosing of rain in the previous three days the race directors had to change the course last minute due to a standing water issue (from what I heard at least). With Stacy and I running a few minutes late, we parked and warmed up with a jog to the starting line, which wasn’t quite far enough. Luckily we still had enough time to get in another 5 minutes or so of warm-up and felt just about ready to go when we took our place on the line. Looking around I saw more than a few guys that I’ve seen finish in front of me in the past races, including the guy that beat me at this race last year. So I was more than a little worried that my plan to push for the win would be a futile attempt. When the horn went off there were a few of the other fast guys and of course a few young boys giving it their all in a dead sprint for the first 800-1200 meters, and as always the young’ns surprise me with the amount of time they can keep up. Before the end of the first mile it’s just me and one other guy (Bill Schroeder from Georgetown, who is the creator and race director for the “Verns No Frills 5k” and the winner of the Male Masters division) that I know from previous races and being around Rogue. I’m in the lead at this point, but he’s right on my tail and I hear his footsteps loud and clear. Just past the 2nd mile marker I realize I can’t hear him anymore and its just me and the guy on the bike leading the way. I really liked having him in front of me so I didn’t have to hesitate as the semi-confusing course went from road to crushed granite trail and back to road. The guy looked so excited and was working his ass off to keep enough momentum to stay in front of me, and the “osmosis pych-factor” definitely helped me out. Then about a half mile or so from the finish his hat came off and he stopped to pick it up which resulted in me passing him and holding my pace strong and solo through the finish. I feel like a few things helped me a lot in this race. Aside from the guy on the bike, being in first place definitely helped to keep me there (if that makes any sense), the almost perfectly cool air of the morning, and lastly, the awesome surprise of good ol’ John Schrup yelling at me right before the finish.
Due to the aforementioned last minute course change my watch ended up giving me a distance of 2.95 miles, and a time of 16:50. Even though the course was a bit short I totally felt like I could have kept the pace I was running for at least another quarter mile. If you correct the time for the extra .15 mile I would have run about 17:30 and I’m more than happy with that. After finishing and taking a minute to catch my breath I started jogging the side of the course backwards to give Stacy some motivation to finish strong (which she of course did). After finishing a cool-down jog, we hung out near the sideline and encouraged all the awesomely costumed little superhero’s doing their 1k. Kids can be super fun to cheer for at races because quite often they actually react to the encouragement with a surge of energy. Unfortunately, the ending to this story is not a seamless one, as there was a slight hiccup with the timing system. The results they had were rife with issues. Stacy’s name wasn’t on the results list even though she had won her age group, and there was a five year old boy who’s timing chip thought it finished ahead of me. While I just assumed that there was some guy who started behind me and ended up running faster than me, Stacy went ahead and gave the results folks a quick “wtf” and got her age group medal. In the end all was well as I just emailed the race director wondering if the phantom 5 year old was a mistake, and was returned with a “our bad, you did indeed win the race”. The prize ended up being a pretty cool trophy and gift card to Rogue, which Stacy was psyched on as it bought her a new pair of Brooks Launch.
A great race for a great cause and we had a great time! Next year I’m contemplating running in a costume…rogue man(?).
I really enjoy playing on words when it can be bodily function related.
At this point I have three race reports that I’ve written up and need to post. The plan is to give them all a once over editing wise and then just do one big dump of em here. So if anyone is actually paying any attention to this blog, I apologize and intend to catch up and start making regular posts again.
A quick update on myself: I am currently having my good friend, collegue, and great coach James Dodds write my training plan. The plan is loosely aimed at crushing the Cap10k or some other 10k in that general time frame, as well as the main and most important objective which is to stay healthy. To my great pleasure I have been 99% in great shape and in generally healthy as a horse *knock on wood*.
Updates to come!
Both figuratively and literally, I’ve decided that I’m going to modify the way I update the blog. Rather than posting every workout I do and being more of a log than anything else, I plan on getting a bit deeper in the way I feel about certain things, the way my training and general philosophies surrounding training is affecting me, and the evolution of my views on running and climbing life.
Before the week is over I’ll post a short race report of the Casa 5k Stacy and I ran (and won!) last Sunday. As well as maybe a short rant about timing systems.
This morning was a short and not super amazing jaunt on the greenbelt with Stacy, followed up with a swim/stand in Barton Springs which was just what the doctor ordered.
Ran 3.5 miles in 37:06. Splits:
10:47 – 11:34 – 10:44 – 4:30
Yesterday was a day of quite a few firsts for me. The list of firsts include; Running with Erik Stanley for the first time ever. Running the greenbelt starting at the Hill of Life and going up stream. Pooping in the woods, mid-run, without the use of any kind of paper, at the same time my running partner is doing the same. Jumping in the creek mid-run…in Eriks words “The jump in the creek was a must after that poo.”. The last thing I can think of is running more than 2 hours.
Ran 11:53 miles in 2:00:02. Splits:
12:39 – 11:12 – 11:07 – 10:19 – 11:43 – 11:11 – 14:52 – 8:39 – 8:04 – 8:14 – 11:07 – 5:51
This was another usual Friday for me. Ran with Stacy and Jim from the Rogue water stop and did the farthest east loop of the Town Lake trail. A wonderful morning as to be expected running with two enjoyable people on a lesser populated part of a popular trail.
Ran 4.63 miles in 40 minutes. Splits:
9:31 – 9:04 – 8:24 – 7:59 – 5:01