Thursday, November 24, 2011

TXU Turkey Trot

Turkey Trot 10k:
Splits: 5:36,5:34,5:38,5:42,5:43,5:40,5:13pace for last 0.31(per garmin)
Time: 35:27
Place: 1st Master, 10th overall out of ~3000 (7th to the line but I guess a couple chip vs gun times lowered me down a bit - not sure why 3 fast dudes start 20-50 seconds late).

I was pretty excited to see a cool forecast for this race after a couple warm races recently and was pretty excited all week to run the race. I planned to try to hold 5:35 pace which seemed very doable and I kept it there through the turnaround at 1/2 way - but then into a little breeze I couldn't seem to hold it coming back and lost time on the 2nd half. I was pretty much alone from about 2 mile in and at the turnaround the next guy seemed a world away ahead and a pretty good gap to the guy behind too so no chance for a wind block for the return trip. For the last mile a kid caught up to me and traded off with me a couple times. Finally once when he passed and going into the wind I decided to tuck behind him for a bit then with about 1/4 mile to go I dropped the hammer and sprinted it in leaving him a few seconds behind (but he kinda got the last laugh holding a 21 second chip/gun time delta).

I was surprized to see the clock ticking away greater than my PR (35:11) as I approached the finish - I thought even with the wind I was at least sub35. Later looking at the Garmin distance I'm fairly certain there was an extra 20-30 seconds on this race being a little long so I'm feeling like I got the PR - and maybe even the sub35 unofficially. Not much master's competition in this race - main competitors were split between three main races around the city and I seemed to be the only one within a couple minutes at this race. After some reflection I'm feeling pretty good (not jumping off the walls great but pretty good) about the race although initially I was pretty bummed to not have crushed - or even edged out a PR from the race. I didn't stick around for the awards as I wanted to be home not so much past when the house got moving for the holiday so no idea what I actually won - guess I'll wait to get surprized in the mail - my expectation are very low.

Update - expectation exceded - Prize was a new Kindle - pretty cool!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Metric Marathon

Metric Marathon:

Splits: 5:53,5:53,6:03,6:12,6:08,6:16,6:17,6:15,6:19,6:15,6:29,6:16,6:23,7:18,7:19,7:02,1:54(6:16 pace last 0.3)

I was on track for 13 miles at 6:12 average pace with just a 5k or so to go and I'd have the local elite spot at Houston Marathon (requires a sub1:41:54 - 6:16 pace) - but I just couldn't hold it together and took a couple walk breaks and ran a few 7:xx miles to let it get away. if only..... oh well - still a fun time despite the heat. My head was just not there for this race - after a week off with a pulled groin muscle and this week I'd call pretty tame/low quality - I just didn't have the confidence going into this race and add to that the heat - 65°F Dew Point - and this race just wasn't great - still a good workout and likely a quick recovery from it for some good training next week so I guess it's all good - I was worried about all sorts of niggles and I felt good that nothing seemed to get worse in the race. I forgot my Garmin/HRM (data above from my blackberry's GPSlogger) so I was running kinda blind on my effort level - seems I just pushed it too hard and blew up with the heat. Or perhaps more likely I just wimped out at the end.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goblin Gallop 5k

Background – 2011 so far has been venturing off into other frontiers – first half of the year was mostly Ironman focused – through the summer was Ultramarathon focused – both were great experiences but certainly not great races. In fact my last good race with good conditions was the CIM marathon last December. This 5k I wanted something more from a race. Conditions were perfect in the 40s. I had a PR that it seemed like I should be able to knock out but historically the shorter distances I’ve just had problems with. Some recent workouts suggested sub16:55 – my PR set in 2008 – was within reach. After the ½ marathon last Sunday that I ran on a hard week of workouts with tired legs – I set up my week to have fresh legs at the 5k – I really wanted my best. Besides the PR I knew one of my local rivals would be there – W – who has beat me in every race we’ve ever raced except for one – ’08 San Antonio Marathon – where I managed to snag the 1st place Master’s title from him on a technicality (I had the faster gun time – he had a much faster chip time starting the race 15 minutes late). W and I ran this 5k race for Shell in a corporate challenge so I knew he’d be there (as I invited him) so we’d both represent the team.

Race plan was to just stick with W – I told him before the race I was just going to try to stick with him so he could lead me to a PR – I wanted to try to hold 5:20’s per mile and was hoping he’d be right about that pace.

We’re off – after a few 100 yards I glanced at the Garmin and it showed about 5mpm pace so I tried to ease off just a little – there were a few ahead of me and as I eased off W came on by so I tucked in right behind him. The pace feels just a little hot but I was going with it. My watch shows the auto mile 1 split at 5:15 – just short of the milemaker. I stick tucked behind W but after another ¼ mile I glance down at the watch and see we are holding 5:35 pace – too slow – so I pick it up and go on by him. In my mind I’m thinking of the story he just told me at the startline about the ½ marathon last weekend where he let J go by about mile 11 then sprinted by him at the end to beat him by 1 second at the finishline to take fastest Master (besides Sean Wade). By about another ¼ mile my split pace is back to 5:25 for the 2nd mile and with a few turns in the next ½ mile the overall split for the 2nd mile ends up 5:21 by auto recorded laps on my watch. One final turn and the last mile is a straight shot to the finishline. A heavy breather comes by me near the beginning of that – not W – but I still figured he was back there somewhere. I’m holding on with all I’ve got – the words “pain is good” or many variants of that keeps ringing through my head – that finishline so far up ahead I just kept willing towards me with all I had. With the sun behind us pretty low I could see any shadows of someone coming up from behind and I kept expecting a charging W to come by but he never came. Finally mile 3 clicks off at 5:23 and just a short 0.1 miles to go. I’m trying to muster up a sprint but could only manage a small pace increase and I take that into the finish – 5:08 pace for the last 0.12 miles by my watch – and I see the clock clicking through the 16:3X seconds and I finish right at 16:40 4th place overall and 1st place Master – a 15 second PR – and beyond all expectations – I somehow beat W – who ends up finishing 5th place about 25 seconds back.

Summary (Garmin):

1 5:15 152 (163 max)
2 5:21 168 (172 max)
3 5:24 173 (175 max)
0.12 5:08 175 (176 max)

Total 16:40 (5:23 pace per official race distance)

Gotta love the award picture at the top - a picture of a competitive jerk pushing 2nd place out of the way to break the ribbon - Love it!

That was the most awesomest finishline feeling I’ve had all year – one of those big loud “YES!!” moments.

Official Results