Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sir Walter Pop Up Mile

 One of the things I was looking forward to this year was getting back on the track for some racing, something I haven't done since 1999. In my post on looking ahead back at the first of the year, one things I didn't mention is that one of my goals is to beat the time I ran in that last race which was 6:32.  Pretty audacious to think I could do that at age 60 but I have always felt like if I worked on my speed it was within reach. Running that 6:04 in the down hill mile two weeks ago was a real confidence boost but I know it was going to be a lot harder on the track.

 So finally the day arrived and I was very excited but a bit nervous. I arrived at the track and was happy to see quite a lot of friends and familiar faces as I began my warmup. It was very cool that Kris Vegh, a former co worker and NC State runner caught up to me and slowed down to run some with me.

 Just as I finished a mile I saw that my cheer quad, Laura and her 3 kids had arrived as promised. This was going to be great !. I got some water and talked to a few people and then it was time for a few strides and make my way to the start. Wow this was all happening so quickly. I lined up  a few feet behind the young and faster crowd and then we were off.

the start

 I really didn't want to go out too fast but it was hard not to with the adrenaline flowing and trying to make sure I was able to get into position along the inside lane. Isabella was positioned around the middle of the backstretch cheering so I waved and then I got to the 200m mark and , whoa this is quick ! But I felt good and kept going. Julian was in the middle of the curve and I waved to him. I was hearing quit a few people calling out my name and cheering. There were a lot from the running community and it seemed like a very large group of present and former co workers from Capital Run Walk, most of whom ran for NCSU or area high schools. This was great !

  I came into the first lap and saw Laura and Sophia there and then I saw the clock. 1:31 for the 1st 400 m. Way too fast  ! I really needed to be more around 1:36- 1:37 but I was on the same pace as the downhill mile ! This was going to really hurt. 

  I tried to back off a little  and that was easy  ! By now I was already working hard and having doubts. I could still hear the cheers but I was focused dead ahead on the track  trying to hold on. Lap two was a 1:40, or 3:11 for 800. I heard Laura call out I was still on pace for about 6:24.  Only 800 to go but I was working so hard. I tried to do the math and I knew I had a shot but I couldn't slow down at all. Lap 3 has always seemed the hardest and tonight was no different. My body was screaming at me to slow down but I was trying to just hang on.

lap 3
  I could feel the power leaving my legs so I had to back off just a hair.  Oh, that lap seemed to take forever ! Got to lap three and my split was 1:44. A bit disappointing with 4:55 for the 1200. I heard Laura yell out make it hurt. LOL I had already done that ! But I just had to hurt for one more lap. And it did. It would have been so easy to back  it down and just say I didn't have it in me today but I couldn't do it. Not and let myself down and not for my support team so I just pushed on.

 I could hear Bella yelling and then out of the corner of my eye saw her turn and make a dash toward the finish line. Just go  !  And then with about 120 meters to go I  began to go as hard as I could. So many cheers but it was all tunnel vision and pain, focused straight ahead. I began to tie up with about 30 meters to go but just dug deep and hit the line in 6:35. The cheer squad was waiting for me but all I could do was gasp and make death noises while Laura was telling me how awesome it was . I felt like collapsing in a heap but thankfully no dry heaving and I quickly recovered. I had picked it back up to 1:40 for that last lap.

flying into the finish

 It only took a moment to get over the disappointment and feel happy, proud and excited with what just happened. I came so close missing my goal by just 3 seconds in my 1st track race since 1999 ! When I was 43 years old !!  And thats after just 3 speed workouts. I really feel like now that with a bit better pacing and more experience I can get below 6:30. How far below remains to be seen.

most awesome cheer squad and friend

 Stay Tuned  ! 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How about a training update for the past two week ending 6-26-16?

 I had started off the week with my 2nd track workout . It went quite well with all my splits a little better than the week before plus I did a couple of 400's and was very consistent. That gave me a lot of confidence for the upcoming race on Friday night.

 There really wasnt too much more running that week because of tapering a bit for the race and I only ended up with 16 miles total for the week. I was able to make it to 3 Bikram Yoga classes, once to the gym for weights and I did body weight twice and 4 days of the tibetans so it was overall a good week. and of course as I shared in the report I had a great run in 6:04 and first senior grandmaster.

 This past week has gone well also. Started out with a solid 10 miler on Monday, another great track workout on Wednesday with some 800's along with the 200 and 400's. I got in 3 more good runs all at a strong pace and easy effort so very pleased with that. Total for the week was 31 miles. Not really concerned right now with getting more mileage with the shorter faster races.

 And another good cross training week with 4 Bikram yoga classes, 5 days of tibetans, one body weight and one trip to the gym for weights.

 Looking ahead, if things go as planned I will be racing a mile on the track this coming Tuesday. If so it will be my first track race since 1999 and I hope to beat the 6:32 I ran then. No nice downhill advantage this time !

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Raleigh RunDown Downhill Mile

     Since I was planning on running some shorter races and maybe get on the track this summer,  this first time race looked like something fun to do so I added it to the calender.  I haven't really had much time to prepare with any speededwork but I got in two pretty good track sessions the past couple of weeks that went well so I was really getting excited as race day approached. Not having raced a mile since 1999 I was a little anxious and with the downhill I really didn't know what to expect other than the strain of racing nearly all out for 6+ minutes. My last  mile race in 1999 was a 6:32 and I was hoping to beat that and had a goal of maybe 6:25 and a  6:20 would just be awesome.

  I arrived early and was happy to see that it was going to be a cool 70f, overcast and a slight tailwind. Really couldn't ask for  better conditions ! I chatted with a few friends while I waited for my training partner Laura to show up. She seemed as excited as I was and was bringing all 3 kids to be my cheering squad.  As soon as they arrived I headed out to do my usual warmup routine while they headed out onto the course. The womens race was at 7 and then we men would go at 7:20. I watched the women start and then headed out for some last minute strides.

  As I lined up with the 81 other competitors I was gettting a bit nervous.This is going to hurt !
 I know most of these guys are ones that specialize in the faster stuff and I really don't want to get caught up in going out too fast. There doesn't appear to be too many in my age group but looks can be deceiving. I only recognize one that I have competed against but I am not sure if he has turn 60 yet.

 So this is what goes on in my mind. After the false start that is ! Yep, the gun malfunctioned.

 Boom, and we're off. Get up to speed. Wow, everyone is going out fast ! Don't go crazy.  There goes Tim. Well unless he falls down or crashes hard I'm not going to beat him. Hope he isn't 60 yet. 100 meters and I glance at the garmin. Whoa, 5:15 pace? Doesn't feel that fast and I know its not reliable for current pace but I decide to back off just a little.

  It seems like no time and I can hear Isabella screaming go Joey from the 1/4 mile mark well before I get there. I am so happy to have her there and as I aproach the mark I give her a wave and then hear the split, 1:29. Woohoo, this is great, I'm feeling pretty good and well ahead of my goal. Bella takes off running along the side walk still screaming go Joey go. I glance over and she just keeps running along and cheering. This is awesome.

 I'm on cruise control now and settled into a pace I am hoping I can hold and in what seems no time there is Laura and Sophia up ahead cheering for me. I am smiling inside and I wave and see Laura is snapping pictures of course. As I passed the half mile split in 2:58, I  think I tried to yell out sub 6 to her but I'm not really sure if the words came out between the hard breathing.

 And just as I remember, the 3rd 400 is the hardest for me to hold pace. Halfway home but the effort is getting harder and harder. I concentrate on just trying to maintain while fighting off the fears of tying up or crashing. No, I'm going to do this ! Just go. I finally approach the 3/4 mark and I see Julian up ahead cheering me on. The visual I have at this point is that he seems to be uphill ! I see Jon Odgers just past him but I am trying to figure out where the split marker is and who is the one calling out times. Finally I hear a guy calling times and it looks like about 4:32.  Slowing down and that miracle sub 6 is gone.

 But only a qtr mile to go so dig deep ! I see Tim up ahead. No way I can catch him. But wait, I think I have closed the gap a little ! Go, but wait, less than a qtr to go there is no way I'm catching up but just go hard anyway ! I round the curve and I can  see the finish and I get tunnel vision. I keep hearing voices calling my name but I don't know who they are. I'm just focusing on that finish and going as hard as I can. I glance  at my watch. Nope, no sub 6 but then 50 yards later I see the official clock and for a brief moment I think if I can sprint I got it. But no, just a little too far but it doesn't matter ! I am crushing my goal ! I strain for every second and I hear footsteps behind me but I just push harder and there it is ! 6:04 !!!

 I glance back and the footsteps I heard just happened to be the guy I suspected was in my age group  just 3 seconds back and he immediately comes over to congratulate me.

 As Louise Guardino mentioned in the report I was so happy I was dancing. After I quit gasping that is.   I hang around for a few minutes talkng with friends and then begin jogging back up the course to find Laura and kids. They are all excited and she is dying to hear the time. Quite a few people have be telling her I went 6:0X and I am just grinning so hard as I tell her.

 It wasn't later until I was at the awards that I found out I did indeed win the 1st place Senior Grandmaster award. Turns out it was just me and the guy 3 seconds back in our division !
 I couldnt be any happier with the results and that the body held togethern in this all out effort. And it was so wonderful having my #1 cheering squad there for me.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

More training fun and heat w/e 6-12-16

 Not quite officially summer yet but it is sure feeling like it !

 The all out effort at the 5k left my legs a little tired and stiff but I got in some easy miles at home on Monday.

  Took a break on Tuesday  and then Wednesday morning I got to the track in the morning for some real speedwork. It was warm but the humidity was lower and a little breeze helped. I did 3 sets of 4 x 200 with 200 recoveries and 2 minutes between sets. Really happy with the workout. I hit the paces I wanted with no problem and was pretty consistent from start to finish. I wanted to try and ease into it slowly with 7 mp down to 6:30 but the first one was about 6:32 pace so I just went with it. They all ranged from 6:36 down to 6:16 pace ! Very happy at this point in the training.

  Thursday was a run on the greenway in the upper 80's but some shade and low humidity again made it bearable and the pace was about normal for an easy run.

 I was going to rest again on Friday but found time and decided to hit Umstead. 88F but once again not overly humid and mosty shade and my pace was really strong. Only problem was I was already dehydrated from yoga a few hours earlier and I probably sweated out another couple of pounds.

 So on my Saturday attempt at a longer run I was feeling the effects of cumalitive dehydration and the humidity was back on a very warm morning and I crashed at mile 7 and walked it in.

 So no run on this 93F Sunday afternoon ! Ended up with just 29 miles for the week but some good quality until Saturday.

 In addition I did 4 Bikram hot yoga classes and I did the Tibetan Rites on 4 days.  A busy week with work and family obligations cut into my time so no trip to the gym or body weight stuff this week. Maybe next week. and I do have a race coming up next Friday night. Its a one mile downhill race ! Should be interesting and painful although the pain won't last long. I have not raced a mile since 1999 ! Stay tuned  !

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Rocky Mount Mills 5k and a little training update

  It's been two weeks since the 10k and now I was ready to drop down a bit further in distance and pick up the pace with my first 5k race since Feb 2015.

 This was going to be a flat fast course and I had hoped to be able to run sub 22 or at least get close to that but the weather had other ideas. With a late 9am start, plenty of sunshine, nearing 80F and with the moist air lingering with humidity near 100% it was not going to be conducive to fast running.

   With about 30 minutes until the start I did my usual warmup mile and was drenched. Drank some water and made my way to the starting area and did a few strides before lining up with 5 minutes to go.  Right on time we were sent off and I quickly fell into a long comfortable stride. I felt fine as we headed down a wide flat straightaway for about 3/10ths and then made a u-turn onto the pedestrian bridge leading onto the greenway. It got a little congested here and already some of the less experienced runners were slowing down quite a bit so I spent the next half mile or so carefully making my way around and trying not to slip on the slick as snot boardwalk at the beginning of the greenway.

 I was pleased but not surprised to hit the 1 mile in 6:57 but it wasn't long after that I began to feel the effects of the humidity and the course moved back out into the sun. I just kept digging trying to hold pace as much as possible on what seemed to be a very long mile 2 . The distance was right by the race sign and my garmin but it was just my deteriorating pace that made it seem that way. I had hoped to be around 7:15 but it was a disappoiniting 7:32 and my hopes of sub 22 were dashed and some quick mental calculations told me unless I was able to hold pace it would be close to go under 23.

 1/4 mile later and I was just hurting and it was so tempting to back off the effort but I just sucked it up and tried to hold on until about half mile to go and then I began to push it. By now I was making the death sounds scaring anyone around me. I actually expected mile 3 to be over 8mp but it was 7:42 and I still had a very long shot at breaking 23. I gave it all I could but come up short in 23:03 and instantly began dry heaving. Wow, these 5 k's hurt. But I recovered quickly and went to check the results before doing my cooldown. 29th overall out of 406 finishers and 2nd in the 60-64 age group. Not bad under these conditions and at this point in the training. I'm not sure when or where the next 5k may be but if I can get some better conditions sub 22 is happening !

 So, what about the training the past two weeks? Well after the 10k two weeks ago I took a rest day and then just easy running the rest of the week other than a fun fartlek run on Thursday. Just 30 miles for the week along with 4 Bikram Hot yoga classes, 2 weight sessions, one body weight day and I did the 5 Tibetan Rites all 7 days !

 The next week leading up to the race was again mostly easy running and it seemed everyday I ran was muggy and miserable. On Wednesday I went to the track for my first real start of some speedwork. I didn't want to do much or too fast so I just did 6 x 400 at avg around 7:30 pace which turned out to be just a bit slower than my 5k race pace.With the race I kept the mileage low and ended up with just 28 miles. In addition there were 4 more Bikram classes, 1 weights session and I got in 5 days of the Tibetan Rites.

 Looking ahead I hope to get in some good runs, more workouts and increase the speed a little. Next up is a downhill mile on June 17th. that should be interesting ! Stay Tuned