May 27, 2011

One week until the next half marathon

One week away from the Iron Horse Half Marathon. This one is a real test of my training and general condition. It will also be my way to determine the training needed before my marathon in the fall. There probably will be more races through the summer but this one will be my baseline. The New Bedford Half was my first and I came in a few seconds over 2 hours. My goal in the Iron Horse is to make it in 1h:50m. Shouldn't be a problem. But tomorrow will be my last long training run over 10 miles. If all works out I hope to do at least a 12 miler and maybe a full 13.1. Flat and along the river in Simsbury this course is perfect for me to set a PR of under 2 hours. Some of this course is actually the same as the 5K I ran last month. Plus this race is at 7:00am which is better for me since I train with only morning runs.

I am prepared with better gear. First I finally found the right pack for carrying music, keys, etc at Amphipod. This looks perfect for size and is soft for comfort. Doesn't look as bulky as others.
These products are carried by Fleet Feet in West Hartford. I went there for the first time and was pleasently surprised. All running and staffed by runners. Very busy place and when you see the products on display one understands why. Everything a runner could want. They even carry nipple protectors. Two weeks ago after a 12 miler my shirt had blood down the front. I guess I'm a real runner because my nipples were bleeding which I had read about but never experienced. They carry NipGuards.
Apparently they work well based on reviews. I'll find out on Saturday morning. I also bought a new set of ear phones that wrap on my ears. Should be more durable and wind resistant.

I've had some good runs this week even though its been warm and humid. The amount of perspiration is amazing. I'm drenched when finished each day. This week will be all work in preparation for the Iron Horse next Sunday.

May 22, 2011

Shine On 5K race in Burlington

Today was the 1st annual Shine On 5K Road Race in memory of Karen DuCotey. Karen was a young school teacher in Burlington who lost her life in 2010. She was a popular teacher who at 30 years old died way too soon and shocked those who knew her. Her family and friends started this race to raise donations for the Karen DuCotey Memorial Award.

Flickr Photostream of the race by Jessica Rinaldi.

For a new race with little publicity there was a good turnout. About 270 people entered the 5K race. There was a 1 mile fun run and a "Dolphin Run" for young people. Many sponsors also pitched in to help make it a success.

The course was a loop through the neighborhood just north of the Lewis Mills High School. Relatively easy with just two hills that provided a little challenge. We were warned that traffic control was not ideal and we learned first hand as several times we had to move over for cars. But with temps in the 60's and overcast the conditions were ideal to crank it up. I started off at a 9min/mi pace with a few big bursts as hills permitted. I was determined to make this my best 5K to date. There was a guy next to me most of the race who appeared to be about my age. I shadowed him and occasionally passed him throughout the 3.1 miles. At the 4K mark I moved ahead comfortably and figured I would beat him. But, as we rounded the last 100 meters he exploded, caught me, then blew by me to come in 3 seconds faster. Live and learn. My final stats were 25:33min at an 8:14/mile pace. Finished 63 out of the 270 and about 5th of about 18 in the 50-59 age group. A new PR for me and a great race.

I'll run it again next year and hopefully have my 5K time sub-24min by then.

May 15, 2011

Quality Time

Today was a day off from running so nothing to say about that. But we had fun tonight with an enjoyable night out with one of our grandsons. We took Aiden out to dinner at Chili's and then out for an ice cream cone. He was great. Well behaved and just making us laugh. At Chili's he could see the large flat screen TV that was showing a NASCAR race. Cars are his passion right now and he watched as they zoomed around the track. Then later the show switched to one about race crashes, general crash videos, etc. Made him laugh.

He had some macaroni and cheese with oranges and of course some chocolate milk. He really does well when out but had a few silly moments as any 3 year old should. The picture below was when he decided to wear a food basket as a hat. One an a million picture that I just happened to catch.

Not sure why he struck such a pose but it will make us laugh for years. Next was a trip to Dunfrey's Ice Cream. He picked his flavor and then sat nicely to enjoy the cone. Handled it like a pro but hit a snag when he accidentally poked a hole in the base of the cone. When I tried to help he decided to take a short cut and he bit off the base of the cone. That released a flood of melted ice cream on his hands then mine. Very sticky and messy. He learned a lesson on how to handle a cone with that move. But we all kept smiling and let him savor the treat.
The best part of this evening was when we got home and he wanted to hide to see if I could find him. We took that opportunity to teach him "hide and seek". He learned the basics and for a while we had fun finding each other. He laughed like never before.

All a good night and moments we will treasure. He's a good kid and we're lucky to have him around.

May 13, 2011

Ultra runners....determination....self motivation

This is a short video about an amazing runner with an inspiring story. David Goggins is an ultra runner from the Navy Seals who doesn't just run, but runs distances far greater than a marathon . Frequently 50-100 miles. The video is shot out in the desert which makes it more impressive. This type of running is not for me but his determination and accomplishments are fascinating.
There is a little bit of his drive in many runners because running requires self motivation and the need to constantly push farther and faster. There is no team....there is no score to compete against. Runners compete against their own limitations.

May 10, 2011

How true is this.....

Funny video about "us" runners. These characters are used in a series of cartoon videos that are mostly political. Very funny. How many of us sound like this guy?

May 7, 2011

What's 1 mile?

Farmington Flats at sunrise

My long run today was one of the best I've done and is the longest to date.

15.8 miles at a 9:37 pace. 2:28:45 which for me is fantastic.

Initially I set out to do more than a half marathon as usual but as the run reached that point I felt good and kept going. At 14 miles, nearing my street, I decided what the heck "what's 1 more mile?". Funny how last year there were mornings where I wondered if completing a single mile was possible. Guess the training worked!

I tried a new route that was long enough and easy enough to test my abilities. The link to the map is here. My run took me through Burlington, Bristol, Plainville, and Farmington. This was the first time I ran through the Farmington Flats which looked dramatic early in the morning. The pictures were taken with my cell and I stopped running for about 30 seconds. No cars and no people with the sun and fog made for a surreal setting to run through. Great place to run as well with the wide path and long flat areas.

Overall I felt good with no major problems. Had some left thigh pain around 11 miles but it went away. After reading an article about Ryan Hall and his running technique I worked on my strides. (Video below)Trying to land my feet and lift my legs properly. It definitely feels better when running properly. During the run I consumed one 8 oz Gatorade, 12 oz of water, and one Gel. As I work towards the marathon I must determine what the best mix of fluids and carbs are to get me through the race.

I'm definitely taking Sunday off because I've pushed really hard lately. Need to rest the legs.

Interesting video on running technique

May 1, 2011

Running Weekend

Good running weekend with a long 13.2 mile run on Saturday and a 5K race on Sunday. Yesterday I started out on one of my long runs that had to be at least 10 miles. Felt good all through it which helped extend into a +13 miler. Decent time on a beautiful day. Need more of these.

Sunday was also beautiful. There was a 5K in Simsbury so I decided to skip my day off (against my normal routine) and get entered. The River Run.  I wanted an official time from a competitive 5k before the Shine On race in Burlington on May 22nd. About 300 people enetered the 5K run. I was very pleased with my result since I finished at 26:35. That's a huge improvement from the fall. I also placed well in my age group with 7th out of 21 in the 50-59 class. In my age group most were in their younger 50's. But in the 60+ class there were many at or below my time. I really need to work on my overall speed. Endurance is not a problem...its my average pace!  Have to get in the low 8/minute/mile pace.

Found this at the "Patch" website.
They took this as I ran towards the finish.
With todays results and three weeks to train I think I can show well on the day of the next 5K.