Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013... another year of running

So here we go, how did 2013 look...

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Miles 41.70 7.49 40.73 59.74 20.83 70.09
Kilometers 67.11 12.05 65.55 96.14 33.52 112.80
# of Runs 13 3 10 13 9 15

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Total
Miles 102.61 118.02 73.67 70.30 74.32 73.91 756.50
Kilometers 165.13 189.93 118.56 113.13 119.61 118.95 1,217.47
# of Runs 20 32 18 22 18 15 188

12 races; 2 x 5km, 1 x 5 mile, 3 x 10km, 1 x 10 mile, 4 x 13.1 miles, 1 x 100km team relay

The year started quite well, considering how cold it was, I still managed to strap on the Yak Trax and pound the trails, really rather enjoyed it. Bren was still working on her Couch to 5k program so we were also running on the indoor track at Lakeland High School where I managed a 5km PR. There wasn't really any running at lunch time, due to the cold, but lots of walking. Unfortuately the wheels came off the bus in early February, what with the whole bloody rolling my ankle on Superbowl Sunday, while sober, thing. I still managed a couple of much smaller runs, even although I really shouldn't have. My running then settled down, with a couple of small stutters, peaking in the summer with my forty day running streak. I continued to bang out fairly consistent miles every month, but I was never going to make up for the crappy winter/ early spring, c'est la vie.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Two new 5k PR's, one on the inside running track in the late winter and another at the Superhero 5k in the early summer, taking it down to 23:40, a total of 39 seconds off. I ran my second best half marathon in the fall at Bird-in-Hand, which also took ~13 minutes off my time from last year. I managed a 40 day running streak, which really helped set me up for my, previously mentioned, second best half marathon.

Injuries killed my springtime mileage, and not respecting them and letting them heal over time wasn't my best idea ever either. I did manage to grind out a trail half marathon with a sore ankle, groin strain and a couple of very sore achilles tendons, glad I did though.

On to 2014...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wicked Halloween Run

Another Kona run, I'm think I'm over them and I suspect I won't be doing too many more. Same 10k course as usual, not as cold as usual, really quite pleasant. Myself and Gordon started in the first section, he left me fast. I maintained a fairly good pace.

Done with this post, time to finish it...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dances With Dirt - 9/21/13

Leg #1 - The Stampede

I did this leg last year as well, starts out really fast and then slows up as we get to the forest. Hilly with lots of exposed roots and rocks, just to give you that potentially ankle rolling excitement. Conditions were perfect for running. I felt really good at the start but that waned fast, I overtook quite a few people in the forest, but ended up slowing down as we got towards the end. I finished 1:25 faster than last year, though, which was a pleasant surprise

Leg #2 - This Sucks!

Second time for me with this one too, although it didn't seem wasn't quite as bad as last year. this leg involves a short run through a campground and then up into the woods, I saw a number of runners that were finishing the previous leg, coming towards me. but on the whole it was fairly quiet. I passed probably half a dozen people in the woods and only got passed by one girl (now known as the gazelle). I attempted to keep pace with her but she was flying, so I ended up on my own for a bit. After a three miles in I heard some voices, which can only mean one thing, we are at the mud, waist deep thick crappy gooey stuff, followed by a river crossing. I actually saw the gazelle at the river crossing, she and another couple of girls were going down the river, presumably to try and find somewhere better to exit, while myself and another guy decided that straight across would be the least painful method. After about half a mile of complete crap, we got out of the woods onto the bridleway for a long straight run to the exchange. Whaddya know, about half a mile into the bridleway, I got passed by the gazelle again, kinda funny, I guess her short cut wasn't such a great idea after all. I got to the exchange point but my team was nowhere to be seen, so what followed was a couple of minutes of confusion and then I was done.

Leg #3 - Bovine

First time for this one. Last year it involved a really nasty pond crossing, this year a slightly less nasty pond crossing, but some very extreme trails and a couple of very steep hills, oh and not very many people.


Would I do it again, yes, I think so, if you'd ask me beforehand I would probably have said no, but it was kinda fun.

The whole timing thing is a joke, let's not pretend that this is really a race, unless you are in the top few teams, all the other teams do so much 'cheating', ie letting your next team member leave before the previous one has arrived.

Before the race, Bells Brewery setting up the beer

More beer setup

Pre-race milling about

Me, after my second leg, 'This Sucks!'

Post run festivities


Slightly busier beer area

The band... done

More festive imbibing

The team

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bird In Hand Half Marathon - 9th September 2013

What an event, loved every minute of it.

Parking and packet pickup on Friday night was a breeze, big improvements over last year. They even had a choice of race shirts, now when do you ever see that.

Bren had her first competitive 5k on the Friday evening. after which we had a couple of beers and a nice meal in a local hostelry, that we discovered when we were in town for the Garden Spot Village half in April. We went back to the hotel and hit the sack, after checking that the alarm was very definately set for 6am. Bren wasn;t sure if she was going to be coming for the race due to her IOMS* from her 5k. I also grabbed a couple of bananas on our drive over as a per race snack.

6am, the alarm went off, I grabbed my kit, got Bren up and off we went. Got there nice and early and got ourselves parked and ready to rock. The race was going to be a little bigger this year, but due to good organisation, you couldn't really tell. Conditions were absolutely perfect, beautiful blue sky, start time temps at around 45F. I had my virtual partner pace set for 9:09 which would get me in at sub 2 hours, but all I really wanted was to come in faster than last year (2:06:46), which would mean a sub 9:39 pace. The main thing is, in any race is to finish uninjured.

We wandered around a little before the start, soaking up the atmosphere, we ended up with more time than we anticipated due to the awesome parking. I enjoy pre race anticipation, especially when everything else is done and all you have to do is get started, all very cool.

So off to the start, as usual there was the whole milling around thing, waiting for the last minute speeches and anthems, etc. The horn went and we were off. I knew the course well and remembered how nasty a fair amount of it was from last year.Owing to the usual start line business, ie people walking at the front of the pack, groups of two & three people running together in a line, hills etc, my first mile was my slowest of the race @ 8:58, which on a good day, isn't too shabby. During the second the pack spread out, significantly and I managed to find a gap and enjoy it, between this and a long, gradual downhill, I hit my fastest mile @ 8:09.

Reasons to be chuffed
  • I wanted to try and beat last years time, ended up 13 minutes ahead of last year, my second fastest half marathon time overall & my first sub 2hr marathon of 2013.
  • My splits are nice and consistent, my fastest mile was mile two (8:09), my slowest was mile one (8:58), other miles varied by only a few seconds either way, my average being 8:37.
  • I fuelled almost exactly the way I wanted. Started with a GU about 15 minutes beforeand a couple of bananas before the race, alternating sips of water & gatorade during the race and a GU after just over an hour.
  • No unshceduled walking, which killed me last year.
Reasons to be miffed
  • What is it with runners playing music through smartphone speakers; a) sounds horrendous; b) what makes them think other people share the same tastes in music - solution, use headphones or don't listen to music, please.
  • Slow runners and walkers starting at the front of the field, jeez people, can you not just start nearer the back, please, huh?
* IOMS - Most people suffer from DOMS a couple of days after exercise, not Bren, she gets IOMS (Immediate Onset Muscle Soreness, as opposed to Delayed)

Random pics from a great couple of days

Bren, before her 5k, trying to look
like it is after her 5k...

Hot air balloon take off before the 5k

The end of the kids 1 mile dash

The start of the 5k

The buggey responsible for leading off the 5k

The finish chute

Balloon flight on the morning of the half marathon

Very chuffed post half marathon
with medal and Road Apple award

Random Amish family

Random Amish people

Just people
Very cool medal, a real horseshoe

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Milford Labor Day 10k, August 31st 2013

Jeez, what a bloody messy start to the day that was...

Woke up at 8:10 am, for a bloody 8:30am race, of course, at that point I wasn't even sure that it started at 8:30, I just got up, got my crap on, found my Garmin and hit the door, swearing all the way. I quickly realised that I hadn't eaten or drank either before leaving the house, which isn't ideal race preparation, but what the hell. I did have a complimentary GU that I picked up at packet pickups evening, so I guess that was now officially going to be breakfast. After driving like an idiot, I arrived at the parking lot just in time to see the 10k start. I was willing to start running without food, but not without hitting the restroom. And with all deeds done, I got to the starting line ~5 minutes after the start, I asked if it was ok if I could go, got the nod and off I went.

I caught up with the slowest walkers after two or three minutes and the slowest runners a couple of minutes after that. I have to admit that it was kind of cool starting at the very back as there was none of the usual jostling for position that goes on further up the field. It was also nice not getting overtaken by anyone, and not feeling the mildly demoralizing feeling that it brings.

This is the third year in a row that I have run this race, so the course no longer contains any surprises for me, even the aid stations are in the same places as before. The hills haven't gotten any easier though, they still suck. This is definitely the most challenging 10k in the local area.

All in all, I enjoyed the race. The usual medal, but with the year on it, free beer, free food, awesome day.

My official time was 57:00, but as the race was using gun time, ie no starting timing mat, I'm taking my Garmin time, 54:24.