Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why do we run?

The Runner's Version of Solitude
Although 99% of the time, I think I'm like Forrest Gump, and I just run for "no partic'lar reason," every once in a while, I get philosophical about running,  This photo of me in a recent cross country race very aptly describes one of the feelings I sometimes have about running, and perhaps is experienced occasionally by every runner.  Although surrounded by fellow runners and competitors, sometimes...just are completely by yourself............what do you think???


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Epilogue to GVH Championship Day

2011   and    2003

One benefit of these GVH Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross Country (PGUNYXC) races is the numerous photos taken during each event.  I found several more of myself after they were uploaded to Kodak.  See below.

Also, my wife took a photo at this race, and had taken one of me on the same course in the same spot 8 years ago.  See photo to left.  The comparison is uncanny!!  I'm even at the exact same stride!

Powering home.

Less than a mile to go.

800 meters to go!

In woods, around 3 miles.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Patience Pays off for Raybuck in Harriers Last Hurrah 8K

Start line (bright blue/black stripe, center of photo)
Raybuck patiently paced himself through the 1st 1 to 2 miles while numerous competitors went out hard, but the tactic paid off in the end, garnering a 47th place overall finish out of 111 runners (all men), and 10th out of 39 in a very competitive 50 to 59 year old age group.  As evidence of the competitive nature of the 50 to 59 crowd, Raybuck would have placed 7th in the 40 to 49 year old group!  And some of the competitors in the 50 crowd placed high (as high as first) in their age groups in the recent National Masters 5K race held in October.

At 1.5 miles.
Raybuck briefly questioned his tactics as roughly 30 runners made their way by him during the initial mile, putting him in the rear part of the pack, in an estimated 80th spot by the mile mark.  However, hearing the split time of 6:20 at the mile was just what I wanted, and I felt good, so my confidence rose (to some degree).  After a long downhill during the 2nd mile (which would later of course translate to a painful uphill), Raybuck crossed the 2 mile split at 12:38, and 3 miles slightly slower at 19:10, but had begun methodically re-passing the masses who by their greed, went by him in the first mile.  The 4th largely uphill mile was slow for everyone, and was a 7:10 for me, passing the split marker at 26:20.  The final mile (or 0.97 miles if this was truly an 8K), was my best, in 6:07.  If this was an 8k, then the converted mile time would be approximately 6:16, still the fasted of the race for me. I passed another handful of runners in this final mile, including a couple fellow 50 to 59 year olds.
Uphill, 3.5 miles.

Overall, a great day!  In 2003, I ran a 4 mile race here in 25:17 (6:19 per mile), so running about 6:30/mile for 5 miles 8 years later is not at all disappointing!

Raybuck cuts loose with 500 meters to go!
Next up, a flatter, faster 5K road race on December 3, although this race can be slow if the 2 miles of roads in the cemetery are snow covered!

C'mon Harry!!  Go Striders!  By the way, I wrote my team name as Dr. K Striders on the application, but unfortunately, as the only Strider in the race, they removed the name and put UNA (unattached). Should I register a protest??


Full results here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

5K Time Trial Aborted!

I attempted a 5K time trial on the track yesterday, after months of trail running/training, and not stepping onto a track. In short, I aborted, after hitting the mile in 6:07, and decided to just do a 2-mile as a good speed workout. Finished in 12:12, rested a bit, then ran 2 quarters in 85 and 86, with 90 seconds rest.

Overall, I really feel like I’m in good shape. I ran 18:50 in a certified 5k road race (with a few small hills) last June, and I feel like I should now be able to go 18:20. Thus, I was trying for at least a 6 minute pace (18:36) yesterday. However, a couple problems: First: I ran 5.3 miles on trails with rolling hills on Saturday, because I didn’t want to give up a weekend training day. Should have rested!! Second, finishing up with a 2-week cold, still hacking just a bit, and still felt sluggish yesterday before running. Third, was watching my 4-year old grandson during the day yesterday before I ran, and had to run around the yard a lot chasing him, playing Ben Ten Ultimate Alien (unless you have youngster or grandchild, you may not know what this is).

Next up, an 8K cross country race next Sunday.  This one will be very competitive, the championship meet of a 5-meet series in upstate NY, with many good runners (unlike some of my races where I'm close to winning....where Eric aptly points out that I found a race with no competition).  If I do well, I could be in the 30 to 40 finishing range (place, not time) out of an expected 150 or men (all men, since there is a separate women's race on championship day).  It is a hilly course, and who knows about weather (we're getting snow later this week), so not sure what to expect regarding time.  Likely in the low to mid 32s.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Raybuck fails to defend title at Mendon 10K Trail Race

Yes, that is frost on the ground!
With a 2nd place finish out of 86 runners in yesterday's Mendon Ponds 10K Trail Race, I failed to defend my "title" from last year, despite better training and running almost exactly 2 minutes faster this year.  Now, granted, part of the gain in speed could have been due to dry conditions this year, compared to rain changing to snow last year.  Also, the course was run in reverse.  This poses an interesting math or geometry problem.  With about 1,100 feet of climb (counting all uphill stretches), can a course be faster in one direction than another when it is a loop, starting and finishing at the same point?

I'm on the right.
However, I have to guess that a 2-minute drop in time in this race (a bit over a 10K, per my Garmin, at 6.27 miles), and a drop of 4 minutes in my last trail race relative to the previous year, indicates an overall fitness gain this year.  I ran 42:58 for what my Garmin showed as 6.27 miles, or 6:51/mile average.  Garmin's underestimate distances on hilly courses (search this blog for previous discussions on this subject), so I am estimating about 6.4 miles.  My fastest mile was roughly 6:30, and the slowest was 7:30, during one of the stretches with the most uphill.  The last 0.25 miles was at a 5:55 pace.

Go Striders!  Up next, an 8K XC race on November 20.  We'll see what happens!


Full results can be found here.