Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back on the Track!

With a possible indoor mile attempt on December 26, although I'm running a 5K road race this coming Saturday, I felt compelled to return to the track for a formal speed workout yesterday.
Under cold windy conditions, I had to wear full sweats, thus resulting in slow times. However, I ran a full 8 400 meter intervals, averaging 84.1 seconds, with the slowest at 85.7 and the fastest at 81.8. I then ran two 200s at 37.8 and 37 respectively.

Today was a recovery run, 5.2 miles at 8:41 per mile. I'm looking forward to the 5K. Since I ran 18:48 on the track last weekend, I'm not overly concerned about time. This race tends to have cold, windy, snowy conditions, and is not usually conducive to fast times. I would, however, like to try placing better than last year's 15th out of 400 and some runners.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Garmin innacurate on hills

For some time now, I have suspected that some models of Garmin running watches are not accurate when running on hills (even moderate hills). This summer, during a certified 8K road race with some decent hills, I confirmed this. The 8K road race should have been about 4.97 miles, but the Garmin underestimated it at about 4.93 miles. Here's the explanation.

Garmin watches (at least the lower end models), calculate distance run by measuring only latitude and longitude at various points. There is no correction for elevation. In other words, picture a right triangle, in which the hypotenuse is the hill you are running up, and the base is simply the map distance traveled (subtracting the latitude and longitude of two points along the base). The hypotenuse (the hill) is the longest side of the triangle, but the Garmin actually measures the base distance, so it underestimates distance when running up or down hills, and thus overestimates your running pace (your pace is shown as too slow on the watch).

Where I live and train, elevation changes on runs are so minor (maybe 5 to 10 feet at most), that there is essentially no lost distance. However, in an area like Charlottesville, unless you are running only on the track, if you have a few decent hills in your run, you will be consistently underestimating your distance run. The good news is that you are actually running a faster pace than shown on your watch.

Feel free to comment on this. I am hoping that the newer models will have more accurate vertical GPS capabilities (the 205 shows elevation, but it is extremely innacurate (my runs show 100 foot elevation changes, when 5 feet is more like it). Then they could correct for elevation (use trigonometry calcs to calculate the hypotenuse). However, I doubt this is going to happen for some time. It's funny Garmin never mentions anything about this. When I ran that race, I was a bit discouraged with my average pace throughout the race, but when I finished, and calculated my actual pace, it was 3 or 4 seconds per mile faster.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

5K Time Trial Results!

For a couple years now, I've had the hankering to crack 19 in the 5k. This year, after running a 5:20 mile in September, I figured it was doable, but just haven't had an opportunity. So today, I made the opportunity by going to the track by myself, gritting my teeth, and running a time trial. I did the whole spiel, including 2 mile warmup, 2 or 3 100-meter strideouts, changing into racing shoes, hanging around the start line for a while (simulating a race), lining up, saying runners, set....well, you get the idea.

The bottom line: 18:48, or 6:03 per mile, and my best 5K since December 2000 (18:21). Splits were something like 5:57, 12:03, Then 15:07 at the 1.5 mile. The only other split I observed was 17:22 with 400 meters to go, so the last 400 was 86 seconds.

I'm planning a 5K road race in two weeks, and will keep pushing the training. However, that race tends to be cold and snowy (usually low 20s, windy, and often snow/ice on the nearly 2 miles of roads in a cemetery). Thus, times are often a bit slower than most road races. There are also a couple hills, so it is not bone flat. I may or may not have an opportunity to break today's time, but it should be fun anyway.

Another possible race this year is a 1-mile masters track race (indoors at RIT): The Roger Messenger Memorial Masters Mile. I've run this before, and it's really a great event. It is held as part of an indoor track meet, but the mile is only for masters (men and women over 40). Last time I ran this in 2001, I ran 5:03, with the theme song from Rocky blaring for all of us codgers. Not sure what I might hit this time, but it would be nice to beat the 5:20 from September. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hardwick Runs 2nd Best Race of Career!

In a hard-fought race, Kevin Hardwick ran perhaps the second best race of his life in winning a seat on the Erie County Legislature earlier this month. This begs the rhetorical question from many readers: "What was his best race, then??" The answer: A 1500-meter indoor track win in Hamilton, New York in 1979, where Hardwick ran a shocking 4:13.8, equating to a 4:34 mile time. After tailing the lead pack for most of the race, Hardwick emerged in the late stages with his patented kick to take the win in the 1500.

"I saw Harry standing by with the bucket!" said an elated Hardwick after the win. "I didn't end up needing it, but it gave me inspiration!"

Hardwick said that his recent win for the county legislative seat was satisfying, but "it pales in comparison to my track and field history, especially the Hamilton victory. The lessons learned from racing under head coach Gary Truce, and teammates Mark Raybuck and Eric Kaplan were invaluable in planning and running political races."

And this final quote regarding his impressive legislature seat victory: "I think the reason I won this time was that I finally learned to relax my face and go with Tom. Even though I was confident of a win, I still had Harry standing by with the buckets."

Most importantly, I've learned to relax my face!"

Binghamton Runner Qualifies for Division I XC Nationals

Erik van Ingen, finishing 7th out of 243 in the regionals, became the first Binghamton runner ever to qualify for the Divisoin I cross country nationals. I wonder how he would have stacked up head to head against Bob Daniels, though?

Link to Pipe Dream article below (and when clicking on the post title).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Solid Tempo Run

Tonight I ran a "tempo" run, consisting of a training run in full (heavy) sweats on the roads. It started with an easy mile, then right into 2 "hard" miles at "tempo" pace, in this case, 6:45 per mile, then an easy mile to finish. I was quite winded during the 2-miler, but I think it was a good workout. If all goes well, I may try a 5K time trial (or maybe a road race) this Saturday.

I'm also pondering the possibility of entering a mile run in an indoor meet on December 26. We'll see if the snow holds off so I can keep training on the track.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Training Picks Up

Although it is getting late in the year, and temps will be falling, my training has actually picked up the last few weeks. Mileage for the last three weeks was 28, 24, and 23 (fairly high for me). The 28 and 24 weeks also included 10K races as part of that mileage. Long run each week was about 10k (the two races were the respective long runs for those weeks, then this past Saturday I ran 6.3 miles on trails).

I hope to do a tempo run tomorrow night (probably a 4-mile run, with the middle 2 miles or so at "tempo" pace, where lactic acid is building, but not crippling me, maybe 6:30/mile if I can swing it.

Then this Saturday I would like to do something on the track, maybe even a 5K time trial all out. We'll see. I need decent weather to try that.

One question that has always bothered me. In my reported mileage above, I didn't include the miles spent warming up for races, typically 1.5 to 2 miles at a slow pace (maybe 9:15 to 9:30). Should this count, or is it simply too slow to be worth anything but getting me warmed up to race?

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Name for Blog???

Hi, everyone. The blog is already a couple years old! I've been thinking that it is time to change the name, perhaps to attract new readers or authors, but in part, simply for a change. Part of the inspiration for this is that I recently stumbled across a running blog titled "One Fat Guy Running." He was in the 10k race I ran a couple weeks ago, and did fairly well (about 8:30/mile). His blog description says "I'm fat. I run. Exciting things can happen."

Anyway, here a couple suggestions, but I'm not that creative, so I would welcome more.

1. Half-century Runners
2. Running past your's not all downhill
3. We used to be runners

As you can see, I lack creativity. I hope someone else can come up with a good one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hills took their toll!

Lesson learned.....if you're planning on running a hilly trail race, do at least one training run on hills before the race. Don't train strictly on "flat as a pancake" terrain like I did. You'll regret it! I did! Had to take two days off running to recover, and could hardly walk for a day! Anyway, by yesterday, I was able to run 4 miles relatively pain-free, and hope to run 5 tonight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3rd Generation Strider Completes First Interval Workout

My grandson Ethan, a 3rd generation Dr. K Strider, completed his first interval workout yesterday at the Casey Middle School Track. Although he does not refer to this type of workout as intervals (he calls it "ready, set go..."), he indeed completed approximately ten 30 to 40-meter intervals, with about 30 seconds rest between each one. In fact, he did not want to quit, and I had to make him stop so he wouldn't overdo it. After the 10 intervals, he did one longer one of about 50 meters. I did not have a stop watch, or measure the distance accurately, but using the 1001, 1002 method, I estimated 17 seconds on one of the 30 meter intervals.

Side note: he fell asleep in the stroller with a bottle on the way home from the track. Reminds me of the Fusc falling asleep at the edge of his bed in the dormroom upon return from a tough workout and dinner........

See video below of 50 meter interval:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Running or Jogging?

I still go to the track almost every day and do my workout of a half-mile warm-up followed by somewhere between one mile and one and one-half miles of running.  On days when I run less one and one-half miles I typically run some 220s.


What I was pondering recently was whether when I run at slower than a 8:00/mile pace I was running or jogging?  Back in my SUNY-B days we defined jogging as anything that was slower than 8:00/mile.  My question is that an absolute definition or does that definition change depending on the age of the athlete?


I’m not the first person to pose this question:


What do you think?

Mendon Ponds 10K Trail Race Results

Today, I ran a 10K trail race that was even tougher (and slower) than last week's very hilly 10K road race. It was all trails, in glacial topography (up and down eskers and kames), with very few flat stretches. I placed 3rd overall out of 81 runners, and 1st in the 50 to 59 age group. Don't be fooled by the high place. Some of these more obscure hilly races seem to be much less popular than a good, flat 5K race where one can try for a PR. In fact, the poster that was set up for this race said "Don't try for a PR won't get it!"

So, now that i've lined up the rationale for running slow, here are the stats: 45:02 for 10K, about 7:14 per mile. The winner was about 40 flat, and second place was around 43 minutes. Due to the winding nature of the steep trails, after about 2 miles, I couldn't see the guy ahead of me for the remainder of the race. Thus, with the exception of passing a few people who were running a 50K (yes, 5 10K loops!), I was by myself. In the end, I would say this was a great race. I always loved cross country, where times don't matter, and it's just you and the woods!

Results can viewed by clicking on the title of this blog, or going to the link below:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chestnut Ridge 10k results

I decided to run a hilly 10K road race at a local park yesterday. Extreme hills, ended up in 6th place overall out of 89 runners, 1st in the 50 to 59 group. Fairly slow time (6:52/mile, 42:38), but I think all the times were slow. The winner was only in the 38s. I'm hoping to run an even hillier 10k trail/cross-country race next weekend at Mendon Ponds Park in Rochester, NY. This one was a good "tune-up" for next week. Stay tuned!

See results of the Chestnut Ridge 10k at