Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Strider Claus

Merry Christmas to all Striders from Strider Claus!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Training Officially Underway!

It's December in Buffalo, and that of course, means cold and snow. Therefore, my winter training regimen officially began today. No, I am not planning on taking it easy this winter. I worked too hard this fall to lose everything by overeating during the holidays, and laying off of running and working out. After a fresh 13-inch snowstorm yesterday, there was finally enough snow to embark upon my annual cross country ski cross training program. I drove to a local park, and skiid for approximately 35 minutes in deep snow (at least for the first lap). Distances don't mean as much in deep snow, but I probably covered about 2 1/2 miles. In fact, I did not even wear a watch, since this was my first time out this winter, and I just wanted to enjoy the experience. I may use the Garmin from time to time, just for curiosity.

I would be interested to see how others handle winter training. Chris Lennon's biking must get extremely cold by this time of year, and tough if there is any snow. Eric mentioned using a treadmill in his office. Others?

Happy winter training!!!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reindeer Run 5K 2008: mad scramble in 50 to 54 age group!

The long-awaited Reindeer Run finally took place today, under rather cool conditions (low 20s), and windy (10 to 15 mph), resulting in wind chills in the teens. It snowed last night, but they actually plowed the cemetery, allowing for reasonable traction for most of the race, with only a few black ice areas. I prefaced the article with the weather conditions to create a bit of sympathy for my time, which was about 30 seconds less than what I was expecting. I ran 19:50, or about 6:24 per mile, when I was hoping to beat last year's time of 19:28, which occurred under similar
(I'm on the right a couple rows back, beige long sleeves, black hat)

weather conditions, and snowier roads.

The good news was that I placed better than last year: 15th overall out of 456 runners (and joggers/walkers), and 1st out of 42 runners in the 50 to 54 age group. .

I followed my usual strategy of running conservatively the first mile, so that I wouldn't feel lousy at the mile mark. I hit the mile at 6:23, the 2-mile at 12:50 (so 6:27 for the 2nd mile), and then 19:50 at the end (about 6:22 or so for the final mile).

During the final 1/2 mile, I passed several runners, including the guy that took 2nd in my age group (beat him by a scant 3 seconds, and 3rd in the age group was 1 second behind him). Really quite the epic battle for the top 3 spots (hardware spots) in this age group. (I'm in the beige long sleeves, the leftmost in the group of 3, black tights)

In summary, I was pleased, but somewhat disappointed with the sluggish time. This was not completely unexpected, as I know I was not in the same shape I was last year at this time.

(I'm No. 320, in the forefront of this pic, about 400 meters to go).
However, I am probably done racing for the winter, and with more snow on its way, I will set
tle into running 2 to 3 time per week, and cross country skiing on the weekends when weather permits.

I am actually thinking about taking another stab at cracking 5 in the mile this summer, but that means I should stay in really good condition all winter, and start building a good base early in the spring. It's very easy and enjoyable talking about a sub-5 at this time of year, when spring is several months away...........

Link to results (in addition to clicking on the title):


Monday, December 1, 2008

November Mileage

Miles for the year: 3188
Percent bike commute: 47

A month to go. I doubt I'll make 3500, which is a bit of a disappointment. If the weather improves I might be able to tick the percent bike commute up a bit in December. Unfortunately the end of November saw mostly rainy mornings, that's a killer for my bike commuting. I will ride in the cold down to 15 deg F, but I won't start the day riding in the rain.

It is remarkable how few long rides I did this year. Only 3 metric centuries (62 miles) and no centuries (100 miles). I did a boatload of rides in the 50s, but they don't count as "long rides". My wife convinced me not to sign up for any centuries in advance. Her point was that if you sign up in advance and the weather stinks on the day of the ride you either get wet, or have wasted your money.

That idea is fine in principle, except that if you don't sign up in advance and commit your $$ then the motivation to get up and go on the day of the ride is diminished. See, for example, the way that Sub-5-at-50 is preparing for his 5K. He committed himself and now he's preparing himself. An example for us all. Okay, as usual, a goal for 2009 will be to ride at least one century, but this year I WILL sign up in advance.

Good luck in your 5K Youngbuck!