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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gotta hurt a little bit (Race Report)

Last weekend was the final of the puma series, the 15k. I had felt good all week, had a couple of really good speed sessions and I should have know I was going to need to recover some where in there. I went for an easy run on Friday and Saturday am I could start to feel the recovering process. My legs were flat. Which is good, it means I really maximized my speed training. My goal for the 15 was to hold my goal half marathon pace, and not go totally bananas, I have become pretty good at maintaining even pace and it make for a much more interesting and calculated race. I guess its a good bad thing with the Assinaboine park course is that its 5 k loops. Good its easy to time your laps and stay consistent, bad it can be a little annoying mentally especially on the 2nd lap.

I arrived early, completed standard race warm. I could still feel I was not fully recovered, but the nice thing about racing is the atmosphere covers up some of that weakness. The gun went off and I settled into a pace quickly. I could tell I was going to have no problem worrying about going out fast. The first lap felt ok I had a split of a high 20 I was happy with that. Going into the second lap was tough knowing I wasn't even half done. But I was still hitting my mile targets. I used others in the race to block some of the wind and really strategies my race slowing down an speeding up but still maintained goal pace. The third lap was just much easier mentally knowing that the finish is coming I was able to just tune out and finish up what needed to be done. Overall I didn't think I was going to be as consistent ant as I was (maybe varied 5-10 sec per lap) and I was happy with that considering that I started out fatigued. The total time was 1:03:48.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Social Running (Race Report)

This past Sunday was the longest run I had to do in my half marathon training. The run was 16 miles. I have a love hate relationship with the long run. Sometimes they go really well and they are relaxing and sometimes it is just a really long painful couple of hours. This run however fell as part of the puma series. The race was a 10k (6miles) and the long run required 10 miles easy and 6 miles at half marathon goal pace. So I decided to show up early and bang out a few miles and then use the race as my harder effort.

In the morning I had nothing but a banana to eat, as I had eaten a lot before I went to bed. I find eating little in the morning has had a positive effect on my running. I stared out running the 3 mile loop at the park at a nice relaxed pace. I ended up running beside a friendly, very fit looking Asian fellow. The beauty of not running with headphones is that I was aware and enjoying the moment. We started to chat he was doing 22 miles that day! Last year he qualified for Boston, he said he usually runs 2 marathons a year. He was interested in triathlon and asked how we train for all three. I said its always 2 a day and told him how the fitness in each of the sports is somewhat transferable.

I then moved on to the second lap feeling good I had some power bar after the first 3 miles. On this lap I met up with an older runner that I knew was fast. He is well over 50 and can still crank out 5 k times in the 17's. He was very friendly and is one more person to talk to at running events.

I managed to complete a little over 6 miles before the race started. I was happy with that. My goal for the race was just to run even 6:50 mile pace. Little did I know I was in for a surprise. I started out a little to fast of course due to the race atmosphere and the slight downhill of the course, but was able to settle into a rythem. I was drafting off anyone in front of me to conserve energy. Then my competitive edge sparked up as I saw a kid that was maybe 10 in front of me. So I worked my way up there and eventually pasted him. I gave words of encouragement to others who looked to be struggling because I know what thats like, and I was really grateful I was having a great day. After the first 5 k I grabbed a water and a power gel. My first lap split to my surprise was a 20:49 averaging a 6:39 pace. In the second lap I led most of the way paying back to some of the people I sucked on for the first lap. My pace was way under what I was aiming for I was averaging about 6:40 a mile feeling very relaxed. At the finish I pulled a guy all the way into his PR and that felt pretty good. I had a total finish time of 41:58 Which was a total suprise to me I was not expecting that at all.

After the race I cooled down with a 3 mile easy run bringing me to my 16 miles. And I have to say it was absolutly painless. It was nice to run this Sunday and really enjoy the social aspect of running and the sense of community. I felt included as part of a group. It was a very nice way to spend a Sunday.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Good Start (race report)

Well Despite horrible weather I managed to PR my first race this year! As I mentioned in the last couple weeks posts I have been running more and have cut some weight. I knew I was in condition to PR but waking up this morning it was raining and cold. Unlike yesterday which was beautiful. As usually I was extra conscious this week about sleep, diet, and alcohol consumption. I felt ready coming to race start I was up yearly about 2.5 hrs before race start I only had a banana because it is just a 5k and I wanted to stay light. Had a little coffee on the way and one energy gel about 20mins prior to start. I had run my plan over in my head breaking it into 3 one mile segments, and I wasn't to nervous.
When the gun went off you can not help but take off. I was concious of this and settled into a pace within the first km. In the first km theres a down hill and an uphill so I guess they kind of balance out I think just being aware of the course helped. I tried not to look at my watch often but I did glance down time to time to make sure I was close to the pace I wanted.
In the second mile there was a windy section which I was able to tuck in behind someone to conserve energy.Then I took the lead I knew that I was running strong and I didnt want to miss my goal cause I was following someone else. I was still feeling strong here and my main goal was just to stay even. I knew I had a good first mile and if I could maintain for the second and finish strong it would be a good race.

Coming into the third mile I finally started to feel some hurt. So I tried to focus on form and not just pushing. Its a downhill finish so I tried to really use it and be as effeciant as possible. When I could see the clock I saw I had a possibility of breaking 19, even in the snow. This was more then I though possible to I really cranked it at the end. And..... I DID IT 18:57. I broke the 19min barrier. I was thrilled, almost puked, but thrilled non the less.

Overall its a good start to the season and the theme of PR or ER.