Wednesday, October 27, 2010

End of the Season

It's been a busy and good running season for me with 13 races completed. Curious at how my end of season 1/2 marathon pace was faster than my April 5k! Must have been doing some things right!

My goals were achieved at all of the distances except the marathon but I wouldn't exchange the Big Sur experience for any time goal! It's been a great season for me and there have been a few unexpected bonuses like the nice little piece of hardware from this past weekend's race for getting my age group ;-)
But... we're never totally satisfied are we? Take this last race at Moncton Legs for Literacy. It seems that I've yet to learn how to race the 5k. My splits as usual went from too fast, to slow and then to even slower before buckling down a tiny bit before final 'sprint' finish. The overall time of 21:26 was barely faster than the 1st 5k in my last 1/2 marathon race from a week ago! The 1st k in 3:50 was the usual suicidal killer which got me in a hole that was hard to get out of and the rest of the race was basically just hanging on and trying not to get passed.

At least there was no sprint finish required as you can see in the video. Trevor was also here in the same race and got 2nd in his age group! His improvements are amazing over the past year. Results are here.
It's now time for a break from the racing but not from running. I'll be setting some new goals for next year which will include another go at the sub-20 5k and other distances as well. This time I'm going to try to put together a more coherent plan which will come together over the winter as Andrew & I work at building up our base. I might even run a spring marathon before kicking into some 5-10k race training for the summer. This time I won't let little things like a sore back or a long trip on a boat keep me from doing what is needed to get to the goal.

A few quotes to remind you that:

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."
Bill Bowerman

"Train, don't strain."
Arthur Lydiard

Have a great week and good running!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Running Scared

The horn went I took off like a scared rabbit and never looked back...
Given my recent training or the lack thereof, the pace was suicidal and I knew it...

1st kilometer in 3:56!

I'm running in the KV 1/2 marathon and started faster than my 5k pace! Next k, still downhill in 4:07, still way too fast. 5 kilometers goes by in 21:26, just 24 sec slower than my all out 5k time from 3 weeks earlier! 10k in 44:06, OK slowing now but that's still only 50 secs off my seasons best?

By this point I was getting very worried that the wheels where going to fall off at any minute and it would be a long suffer-fest to drag myself home. So I just carried on going one kilometer at a time, feeling quite good, breathing steady except for the hills, legs feeling so good that I barely felt them. Just waiting for the wheels to come off...

But they never did and I can't explain why because they should have given the suicide start. I really ran in fear from the 10k mark on because I was nearly certain that the pace was way beyond my assumed fitness level and body condition. The hills had an effect on some of my splits but was able to turn over the legs on the downhill and hold the pace. After not being passed for nearly the entire race I did do some jostling over the last few k including a sprint finish which I lost (again) to some young whippersnapper. Heard him coming but couldn't switch gears in time as I finished 11th overall with a very pleasing 1:36:15.

These are my 1k splits vs average pace showing the 'too fast' start, good 1st 10k with some slowing over the 2nd 1/2 but mostly in line with the hills. The results are now posted at the Run NB website and it shows that I was nipped at the line by only 1 second by the 30-something age runner. He'll pay next time!

Again, very happy with the result because the last few weeks had been very poor in terms of training since the 5k race on Sept 26. Immediately after this event my back 'went out' with what felt like nerve pain rather than a muscle pull. As a result I didn't run for 4 days and the weekly mileage plummeted to 20-25 instead of the usual 40 or so and most of those miles were slow and painful as the back complained vigorously. Thankfully it did ease somewhat over the last week and running but not stopping to stretch seemed to be better for it than my normal stretching routine after the 1st mile or two. Maybe being a little under-trained was better than trying to cram a bunch of training in like we all prefer to do? Who knows? The result was unexpected and I'll take it and move on!

Next race is a 5k this coming weekend in Moncton. I'll get a chance to see Trevor again who had a fine MDI marathon last weekend in Bar Harbor. Just have to convince him that he has a BQ or more in him and to start working his way there! Jamie also had an awesome race at MDI which is reputed as one of the toughest marathons on the east coast. He did it in style getting his 1st ever well earned BQ on this great course!

That's it, have a great week and keep on running!