We used to run for Coach Gary Truce at SUNY Binghamton a long time ago! We're over a half-centruy old now (and yikes, getting closer to 60), BUT we still run, bike, ROW, XC ski, and work out! Please join us, whether or not you ran for Gary!
This past weekend, I took a quick trip to Houghton, NY, the quaint western New York town of about 1,000 residents, where I grew up. My brother, also an infamous runner, one of the trio of Running Raybucks, still lives there, in the house in which we grew up. While there, I ran a 5 mile trail run, including a very steep climb up "Devil's Back." I ran Devil's back in the summer once, and barely made it up without walking. This past time, I ran up it almost without strain, and then somewhat in an impromptu manner, did a 2.5 to 2.7 mile tempo run in the woods. No Garmin, but pace for the tempo was likely 7 minutes per mile or less. Overall, a great workout, and refreshing change of scenery from the flat trails and residential streets in my neighborhood.
Next race: Mendon Ponds 10K trail race, with over 1,100 feet of climb! I actually won this race last year (only about 61 runners), so I suppose I am the defending title holder???? We'll see what happens!
Today I ran the approximately 8.5 mile GVH Mudslog XC race. A trail race of sorts, with steep hills, single track trails, swamps, deep mud, various obstacles, fences, climbing wooded trails/hills, and a very cold "swim" in an 8 foot deep pond!
Early in Race
Results: 9th overall out of 223 (compared to 17th last year out of 182); 1st in age group 50 to 59 (3rd last year), and time of 1:09:50 (1:13:27 last year). Roughly the same course, but they change up the obstacles and course a bit each year, so hard to compare times directly.
Running creek, 1.5 miles to go.
Overall, I was pleased, and I think it was an improvement over last year. Last year I was about 12 minutes behind the same guy that won the race this year, and this year I was only about 6 minutes behind him.
This week ended as a record for 2011: 36.5 miles in 6 runs!! The week culminated today with a 7.6 mile run in a hilly park, mostly paved, but some offroad work as well. I ran this with a friend, at a slower pace than typical, but still a good workout. I also did a tempo run on Thursday, so overall a good quality week.
8 days from now is the GVH Mudslog event, the annual 8.5 miler (well, the mileage changes every year), with single track trails, steep hills, mud, mud, mud, and a pond swim.
This week may be slightly fewer miles, but if I can keep it at upper 20s, I'll be happy.
With the first "tune-up" race of the "season" over, it's back to work on the roads and trails. The day after the race, I ran 7.3 slow, tired miles on the roads. Monday I took off, Tuesday was 5.5 nocturnal road miles, Wednesday was 5 miles on flat trails, averaging about 8:26/mile, with a few fartleks, especially while chasing deer (yes, we have lots of deer in our area). Last night I did the same trail run, but included a 2.6 mile "tempo" portion in the middle, averaging 6:52/mile for the tempo run portion.
Tonight may be 5 or 6 miles on trails again. Would like to log some good miles this weekend, in advance of the October 16 8.5 mile cross country/trail/obstacle race. My training is not overly conducive to longer races like this, with maximum "long" runs of about 7 miles. I'll try to get one 8 miler in this weekend if I can.
Somehow, I have a knack for finding races where the finish is not so definite. Last year, I "won" a 10K trail race, but noone told me at the finish that I had won. I had to wait an hour until the results were posted, then tell the race director "I think I won".
In that case, it was in part because there were concurrent 5K, 10K, 20K and 50K races going on using the same course.
Saturday, there was only one race, and technically, I finished second out of 80 runners. However, I came home with the first place overall male trophy, and a free 8-hour pass to a local ski slope!
The reason for this discrepancy? The first place guy was on a Father Son team that won first place, so he was ineligible for the overall 1st place award. Needless to say, it was just a bit embarrassing accepting the award! However, I took it!
Now for the facts: I ran 20:03 for a 5K hilly, muddy trail race. (about 6:27 per mile). 4 years ago I ran the same race in 20:33 (3rd place) on a perfect, 60-degree, sunny day. Saturday it was 40s, windy, and raining.
One positive note was that I did not feel particularly winded at the end. In fact, I was immediately able to jog around. I think I may not have fully pushed myself, although I kept trying to catch the first place guy, after I moved into 2nd just before 2 miles. I wasn't getting exhausted, but simply felt I couldn't run any faster.
This was the first race of the "season." Next up, October 16, an 8.5 mile trail/obstacle race that I try to do each year. It includes runs through swamps, mud, various man-made fences, obstacles, creeks, hay bales, and the infamous 50-meter swim through a cold pond at the half-way point!