Monday, April 11, 2011

Race Report--Brianna Becker 5k

Wow, I haven't done one of these in a long, long time.

The Brianna Becker 5k was a 2 lap course following roughly a square pattern.  The start/finish line was on the right side of the square.  It and the bottom side were mostly flat.  The left side consisted of 4 hills, while the top side of the course started at a high point that went into a slight dip in the middle to another high point at the other corner, which swept back down around the turn into the start/finish line.
When the gun went off it was a moderate pace with a small field.  Everybody stayed bunched up down the first stretch, through the right hand turn, and along the next stretch.  Then, after the second right hand turn (where I passed the eventual female winner of my age group), into the hills, the pack was tested and began to stretch out a little bit.  The first mile marker was just on the other side of the first hill, and my watch said I had completed that mile in just under 8:00--way, way too fast.  
I chugged through the next 3 hills and up the long, slow slope before the last right hand turn of the lap.  I swept over the hill and down toward the lap marker and saw the time was 12:38.  Again, way, way too fast.  I glanced over my shoulder and saw 4 guys running together about 30 or 40 feet behind me.  One of these guys ended up being the winner of my age group.
I motored down the front stretch, around the right hand turn, and into the next right hand turn.  The 4 guys were still behind me by about 20 feet or so.  Then, up the first hill, I felt my legs finally begin to weaken.  One of the 4 guys--the age group winner--passed me right on top of the hill while the other 3 hung back.  At the bottom of the second hill the next hill 2 of the next three passed me and the third caught me at the top of the third.  By the bottom of the third hill the last guy had put 20 feet between me and him.  Right about here we started passing the walkers who were at the back of the pack--that was a cool feeling.  I managed to close it to about 10 feet before the start of the 4th hill, but he dropped me on that hill and I was never able to close the distance again.
Along the back stretch and up the final sweep I glanced over my shoulder and saw the female age group leader catching up to me, but still a good 50 or 60 feet back.  I topped the hill and turned on the final burn.  As I approached the finish line the clock read 25:50...  :51, :52, :53,....  I kicked it up one more notch ... :54...  final time was 25:55.

This topped my previous best time from 2009 by nearly 4 minutes!!

The miles lately have clearly been paying off.

The next target in my sights is a 54:00 10k, and I'm taking a shot at that on April 23.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Demons

You step up to the line, and it starts.
You don't want to do this (yes I do)
You're not going to be able to finish (yes I will)
You don't have to do this (yes I do)
This is not a race (yes it is)
Nobody is competing against you here (yes they are)
Why are you doing this to yourself (because I must)
Seriously, you don't have to (yes, I do)
What are you trying to prove (it doesn't matter)
You're going to regret this (fine, that's what I'll do)
And then you begin
See, every part of your body is rebelling (calm down)
That discomfort is going to become pain (calm down)
You're not going to be able to finish (calm down)
You might as well quit (never)
Why are you doing this (because I must)
What are you trying to prove (it doesn't matter)
You're never going to be able to pull this off (the worst that can happen isn't that bad)
Oh, no, my friend... failure stings (failure to start stings more)
You remember failure... you don't wan-- (never again)
And then the finish line draws near
You're running out of gas (I have enough)
You're not going to make it (I must)
You can't (I can)
What makes you think you can (I don't think I can)
Exactly (I know I can)
You can't win (I can't lose)
Just stop (just stop)

The challenge is figuring out which is the voice in my head, and then how to silence the other.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 Running recap

Ok, so I haven't posted here in awhile.

Since about June something, if the record can be trusted.  Just before the big 10k up in Kingwood.

Well, that run didn't go so well.  I missed my target time by more than 10 minutes.  I don't think the mile markers were placed very well.  I couldn't maintain pace and overheated on more than one occasion.  It was an awful run.  Awful.

After that I opted to run a few more timed runs, but then I took off the watch and ran without a clock.  It was very liberating to do that.  I ran a lot without a clock, just free as the wind.

Then September rolled around and my lovely wife enrolled in school.

Then October came and scheduling became a challenge.  I offered to my lovely wife that I'd shut down running for a month to get our schedules back in sync.

Then, in November, it was a little bit tough to get the engine to rev back up again.  The Turkey Trot came on thanksgiving day.  I ran the 10k variety in just over 1:15.  Not a spectacular time.  Not really even a good time, by my own standards.  Nearly 20 minutes behind my time last year and 5 minutes off my time from the Kingwood 10k.

That's when I decided to switch from the marathon to the half marathon at the end of January--officially.

So, then came December and I logged exactly zero miles for THAT month.

Nonetheless, for the full 2010 year I logged almost 20 more miles than the year before--213.
Not a spectacular tally.  I know people who run that much in a month.  And most "runners" I know run that much in 3 months, if they don't do so in 2.

For me, that's a high water mark.  A mark I'm almost certain to top in 2011.

On the 3rd I logged my first 5k.  No time, but the distance was there.  I think I'm going to shoot for at least a 5k each month of the year along with at least a 10k.  Neither of those goals should be particularly hard to accomplish, considering my typical run is at least 3 miles.  I can work in a 6 mile run at least once a month.  The question is not whether or not I CAN do it, the question is whether or not I WILL do it.  There's a discipline thing in there where it doesn't look terribly hard to set aside a couple of hours each month to run two measly runs during the month.  But, the fact of the matter is that I don't like running that much, and I don't like running only slightly less than I don't like the extra weight that I carry around when I don't run.  So, choosing the lesser of two dislikes is the challenge, because I like to not run a whole lot.

The greater challenge will be to once again try and work in a single half marathon each month of the year.  In 2010 I managed to squeeze out 2 half marathons.  For 2011, I think I'll shoot for a modest improvement of merely 3 half marathons for the year (but I'm still going to have an eye toward 12).

Cheers to you, and happy new year.
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