Saturday, July 19, 2008

7/19/08 Lakefair 8K

This week got off to a horrible start. I was hobbling a bit after the Bear Run. Seems like most times I put together a couple of sub 7 miles I get some plantar faciitis discomfort. I lost two good years of running to that problem but with my custom orthodics I have been running injury free for five years now. When it does flare up a bit I just need to ease up on the fast stuff and it goes away in a day or two. I decided to take off Sunday and Monday and not do my Tuesday speed session. Enjoyed a nice birthday on Monday but everyone seems to think I am too skinny. I ate cake, but not just cake, there was cheese cake, cupcakes and ice cream cake. Then the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies came, I ate way too much. Things got real bad Tuesday morning. Beautiful sunny 6:30AM wake up and run. About a tenth of a mile into it, just starting to loosen up, I must have lassoed my right foot with the loop of my left shoelace. I was on the ground, skidding on the asphalt in no time at all. On my feet quickly and look around to make sure nobody saw me. Examine my injuries. Some blood from six different scrapes, three nasty ones on my right knee and a nice road rash on my right shoulder were the worst ones. I knew for sure that I would stiffen up and not be good for much running unless I kept moving now. A few tentative steps to make sure there was no serious harm, then on with my 6 miler. Bright red blood dripping from my knee. During the next two days I wondered if I would need to see a doctor about my shoulder which really hurt, but is improving now. So thankful that there was no injury to my knee. Ran easy on Wednesday and Thursday and took of Friday. Lowest mileage week in a long time. On to Lakefair:
Jared and I made the trip into town, he would run the 3K race. Although we were preregistered and they knew that I should be bib#198, they could not find my bib. Nice race helpers got me a new number and I was set to go after a mile warm up and a few strides. Perfect weather. Shoes are triple laced.
Start - I position myself a little farther back than usual. Really want a slower first mile, so I can finish strong. Lots of runners and a crowded jostling start
Mile 1 - Steve and Judy are just in front of me. I did manage to slow myself out of the gate and am running smoothly. I make my move to pass them but stay in control. Three choices of running surface here: paved road, dirt walkway and concrete sidewalk. The road has cut outs for parking and takes the wide edge of the curve around the lake. I alternate surface based on shortest route and position of other runners.
Mile 3 - GPS is off from markers same as last year. Now I remember last year thinking the markers were off and really I was going faster than I thought. Hoping for the same thing this year as I am at about 7/mile. At least every time I look at my watch my pace is holding steady. Every once in a while I put on a small surge to pass someone, but at some points I feel leg tired and think that I will not be able to hold the pace.
Mile 4 - Erik Lindburg has been so slowly coming back to me. Now he is in striking distance and I dig in hard to put him behind me. I hope I have something left for the finish.
Mile 4.8 to finish - Time looks great. Turn the corner. Tammy is screaming. Into the chute. 31 seconds faster than last year and a new PR!! Now I know that the key to success is to run less and eat more cake and cookies. Home to finish them off.
34:08 Personal Record
59th of 366 runners race #142 9th 8K 8th Lakefair race (8K or 10K)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

7/12/08 Mcleary Bear Run 10K

Last year it was my birthday and I tied my best ever 10K time (44:17). I had hopes of doing even better this year. Jody also running the 10K. Warm with some wind and brilliant sunshine. Just a little cooler than last year,
Start - Small turn out. More than half of the folks are doing the two mile walk or run. Ron and Steve are here of course, and the Olafsons, and 4 guys from the Fleet Feet team, and that super fast kid from Elma. Such a small race Jody and I start together, but that does not last long.
Mile 0.5 - Turn onto Main Street. Ron has just passed me and that is good, I know where I belong. I want to focus on my form and stride and think about running for this whole race, rather than go off day dreaming. For the first mile I just work on pace.
Mile 1 - 6:50 overall. A tad too fast. Proprioceptive cue is "pulling the road". Runner breathing down my neck but as I slow a bit, intentionally, he does too. Ron is pulling away.
Mile 2 - 6:59 pace overall. Warm and windy. cue = "lean forward". Don't like it.
Mile 3 - 7:07 pace overall. Every time I look at my watch I am a second slower. I am not going to PR today. Cue = "navel to spine". I am focussing well, just slowing down. Legs are tired and my lungs are having trouble getting air. A little depressing, but I'll get over it. No one has passed me and that guy behind me is dropping back a ways.
Mile 4 - This course is flat but it sure is exposed to the sun. Dump water on my head at the aid station. Now I have been following Ron, he is a good quarter mile ahead of me, just a spec in the distance. Looks like he will beat me by at least two minutes, which seems about right. But hold on a second, isn't this where the course turns right? Major road here, but I see no markings. Ron disappears way ahead, straight. I stop, unsure what to do. There is a car wating to turn at the intersection and I signal them but they have no idea what I am yelling about and pull away. Then a neighbor in their driveway shouts out that I am indeed supposed to make the turn. I thank him and proceed on with a quick look back at the runner behind me who has nearly caught up to me.
Mile 4.1 - Yes, this is right. I see the new houses going in that I remember from last year and a sign on the road for the race. Poor Ron, he is a great runner though and will figure it out soon enough. What if he was following other runners? Those Fleet Feet guys probably do not know this course. The Elma kid ran here last year, but so did Ron and that turn was not marked well. I can see about a half mile in front of me and there is no one. Just maybe I am in first place. Wouldn't that be a riot? Better not let that guy behind me pass me just in case.
Mile 5 - Run like I am being chased by a pack of very fast and angry runners. I picture them trying to catch me. It is the bear run and I think about out running a bear, or being chased by a dog. Hitting shade and running a little faster. Overall pace is 7:18.
Mile 5.6 - Water stop. I pour a cup of water on my mesh hat. I love the way it drips down my head. I throw my cup onto the side of the road and I do not see any other cups there. There is a trash bag that looks like it may contain something. Just keep pretending that I am in first place and that they are chasing me, this can not be a bad strategy.
Mile 6.2 - There is the finish line. My overall pace has dropped to 7:16 and I have a good kick left. Three guys with Fleet Feet shirts are watching me come in, so I know that only Ron missed the turn. Finish strong, The last mile went way better than the previous four, mostly thanks to shade. Grab a water bottle and jog back to encourage others and am so glad to see Jody not too far back and in good spirits. Nice little race, my 4th fastest 10K, but not as good as I had hoped for.
44:55 6th place of 26 runners
race#141 10K#21 Mcleary Bear Run #2

Friday, July 4, 2008

7/4/08 Steilacoom 4 miler

Why would anyone drive three hours round trip to run a 4 mile race just 5 days after a grueling marathon, knowing full well that his performance will not be as good as it could? 1) Tradition - this is what I do on the 4th of July, this will be my 8th running of this race 2) Races are fun - someday soon my times will start declining, should I just quit racing then? Some people do, but I enjoy the competition both against others and with myself too much to let it go. Some people in the back of the pack are working just as hard as the front runners and there are many rewards to be found back there. 3) Who says that I can not run fast 5 days post marathon? Won't know unless I try.
Staying at the Hood Canal house adds 2 hours round trip to my drive, but getting up at 5:30 still seems like sleeping in compared to last week. Weather is cloudy and a little warmish, but will not be a factor today.
Start - I see at least 20 people that I know by name. All of the regulars plus Coach Kehoe has brought the NCHS team again. Try to relax and not go out too fast.
Mile 1 - 6:49 which may be a little slow for the long downhill. I know that I have done this much faster in year's past, but I am holding back and holding position.
Mile 2 - Seth volunteering at the water station. Turn around and realize that I am much closer to the front than the back. Runners of all different speeds at this race. Micah passes me looking very comfortable, I comment on his excellent pacing. Hoping to see the Rogue Wave, but she is not here. I am at 6:55 overall pace.
Mile 3 - Slowing but not by much. I expect to get suddenly leg tired, but I am hanging on just fine. Pass Steve with a grunt. Pass Clinton who seems to be struggling, I better not say a word. A younger runner looks back and I scold him for doing so. I catch up and we talk a little bit, but this is not a time to talk.
Mile 3.5 - I am in the middle of a nice little pack and headed up the hill. After Bellevue, CCM and Tacoma this hill seems like nothing. I can see the top and although in years past I cursed this hill, today I would call this a flat course. I am right on 7:00 pace and now in front of the pack. Crest the hill and no one very close in front of me. Instead I know that there are at least 5 people right on my tail and I expect a couple of them to go sprinting past. I do not have much kick left but I manage to stay in front and enter the chute without getting passed. It almost felt like winning the race.
Mile 4 - Cross the finish and veer off to the side in case I am going to vomit. Feeling passes and I walk back to watch a few folks come in. Want to get back to my family and Hood Canal as soon as possible so I head off quickly to my car. The tradition continues and I learned that I can put up a respectable time in a short race less than a week post marathon.
28:06 63rd of 256 runners
race #140 July 4th at Steilacoom race #8