Monday, October 27, 2008

Two 5K Time Trial Results

I ran two 5K time trials over the past month. The first was run on grass with rolling hills at a local park, using my Garmin for measurement (thus, only accurate to within about plus or minus 50 feet).

The second was yesterday on the track, by myself, and under VERY windy conditions. The wind gusts were strong enough at times to nearly knock me out of my lane, and I was having trouble running in a straight line. The point is that my time was probably 15 to 30 seconds slower than under ideal conditions, but as I did not run a simulataneous control case on a track with no wind, the differential from "ideal" is strictly an estimate.

With that said, the cross country time trial at the local park was run in 21:32, or about 6:56 per mile, and the track time trial from yesterday was 20:24 (6:34 per mile). Given the differential between grass trails with hills and the track, I would still say that the track time trial was a better effort overall. My goal was actually sub-20, but after a 6:42 first mile, and 10:25 at the halfway point, I knew it probably would not happen. Mile 2 came at 13:22 (about 6:40), then I managed to pick up the pace to about 6:20 per mile for the final 1.107 miles. This was a 90 to 95% effort, in which I felt quite winded, and probably could not have run too much faster.

I still have a hopeful season's goal of sub-19 by early December, but that is going to be very tough. This means at least one speed workout per week, and possibly two for the next 5 weeks.

Once again, I'm having thoughts of retiring from competitive running. I'm not sure why I need to go out and suffer at 50 years of age.


Jensen Stables 12K XC Results

On Saturday, October 18, 2008, I ran a "12k" cross country race through hills, single-track trails, a swamp, an optional pond swim (swam last year, ran penalty lap this year), logs, obstacles, horse, hurdles, and an 8-foot high stack of hay bales.

The start was through a corn field (I'm number 85, black long sleeves), but we then headed out through a pasture,

and then the swamp at the mile marker (see photo of my colleague emerging from the swamp). I placed 35th out of 116, but 3rd in the old (50 to 59) age group, garnering some hardware (actually, a bottle of wine). Following the swamp, much of the course traversed wooded terrain. I wore my Garmin watch, so was able to plot up the course afterwards (see map). The distance turned out to be 8.55 miles on my Garmin, but the "penalty lap" around the pond was 0. 33 miles, so the actual race distance (if you chose to swim on a day when temperatures were in the 40s) was about 8.25 miles, or roughly 13k. The true race distance may be a bit overestimated, as I think I took a wrong turn at one point, and ran 0.1 miles too far (taking several unsuspecting runners with me). The wooded part of the course was the most interesting, and included natural and man-made

obstacles (see log photo), including a steep incline which essentially involved about a 2-minute "walk" up the slope, using my hands several times. Although temperatures were cool, many people did opt for the 40-meter pond swim (as I did last year). I estimate that you save over a minute by swimming, but then you're going to lose some of it back with the extra weight, so I'm unsure of the net gain (see pond penalty lap route from Garmin). Finally, near the end, there was the horse corral (race was held at a horse farm) complete with horse jumps and the hay bale climb (see photos of me hurdling a horse barrier and my colleague and me negotiating the the hale bale climb).

Finally, a quick comment on time and place. I ran 1:13:47 for 35th place (as mentioned before). About 8:40 per mile, which sounds slow, but I guess not bad considering I was going 10 to 12 minutes per mile on some of the uphills (per the Garmin).

Eric should run this with me next year!

Link to results:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Run, Fatboy, Run!

I just watched a movie at home the other day (from Netflix) called Run, Fatboy, Run! Unlike some movies with the word run or running in the title, this one actually had something to do with running. As you may guess from the title, it was a comedy. It was also a British movie, with Monte-Python type humor. And although the humor was a little coarse at times, overall, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to those runners formerly in the "unserious contingent." I won't give away the plot, but the overall theme was an out-of-shape loser type guy trying to win back his former fiance and his young son by running a marathon in London, agains the in-shape, tough-guy, handsome man who was the current fiance of his former fiance. I guarantee you'll roll on the floor laughing at some parts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Running On The Danube

Well, actually next to the Danube.  I've been in Budapest, Hungary this week and have been running on a nice flat road next to the river.  I'm back to 1,5 miles.  My pace is not so great--just beating 8 minutes/mile.  But the good news is that my foot continues to improve.  No pain while running and sometimes while not running I feel a dull pain.  But the pain seems to keep dulling and is occurring with less frequency.
My first full day here I saw people running in the Budapest Marathon.  I had no interest in joining them and was quite content to be riding a bicycle (slowly) as I toured the city.