Saturday, August 31, 2013
Lots of running happening as of late, but not a whole lot of blogging. Figured I would sum up the past month in this post.
The Crim 10 Mile Race
On August 24th, I ran my second Crim 10 mile race in Flint. The weather almost completely cooperated with a relatively mild day. After arriving a bit early, they opened up the corrals about 30 minutes before the race. I gave an anticipated finish time of 1:23 on my registration, so that put me in the "B" Corral. The 30 year (!) runners of the race started first and a few minutes later, the "A" corral. I don't know if it was supposed to happen this way, but much of the B corral was released at the same time (I saw Jeff aka Detroit Runner and Trieu before the race in the same corral but they were stopped and started a few minutes later).
I felt pretty good starting out and was probably going a little fast with sub 8 minute miles at least for the first couple miles. Shortly thereafter, my watch, which was giving me a low battery warning before the start, shut off. (Before the race, I started Jogkeeper on my phone, but never looked at it). I was running free of technology and it was probably a good thing.
The crowd support at this race is amazing and, dare I say, even better than last year. There is water every mile, local churches open up their buildings for restrooms, tons of people out cheering, people putting sprinklers out with water spraying on the street like a runner wash, etc.
Through the first half of the race (as I found out later), I ran around an 8:11 min / mi pace. Shortly after the halfway mark, the “Bradley Hills” started. This year, they put timing pads before and after the five hills that make up the Bradley Hills. I was the 1145th fastest through the hills with a time of 7:08. The “King of the Hills” finished in 4:14.
The second half of the race is a bit hillier overall and it was getting a little warmer. The good thing is that with my increased training, I didn’t slow much. The plan was to maintain pace until turning onto the same street as the finish and to step it up when I “hit the bricks” the brick road in downtown Flint. It didn’t quite happen that way, at least not initially. Once got close enough to see the finish time on the display and saw it was 1:23 and change, that seemed to motivate me to move faster as I had not slowed as much as I thought. My finish time ended up 1:22:51, a couple minutes faster than last year and my first PR of the year.
Met up with Jeff and Trieu after the race and got our pizza and beer. Overall a great race!
Slowly I Turn…Step by Step…Inch by Inch
The week before the Crim, we took a family trip to Niagara Falls and had a very nice time. We saw the falls, rode the Maid of the Mist and visited all the main Falls attractions. We were on the Canadian side and I even had a “McLobster”.
Yes, the McLobster is real. It was the most expensive sandwich at McDonalds Canada and it actually had lobster in it. I had to order one and the verdict is pretty much a thumbs down. I was expecting something hot, but it was actually a cold sandwich – like a lobster salad sandwich. It did have lobster, I would have liked a bit more. I would compare the taste to a Subway seafood sub.
I skipped my Thursday run but took my running stuff with me on the trip. Saturday morning, prior to sunrise, I got up and walked about ¾ mile from our hotel to the falls. I started at the “horseshoe” or Canadian Falls and ran to the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve and back. There were more hills than I anticipated, but it was fine. While scheduled for 15 miles, I only did 10 so I could get back with my family and function for the day. This “selfie”, taken after the run, shows my view where I ended that run.
I don’t think I will have a more scenic run anytime soon. This one will be difficult to top.
Training Through Week 10 of 17
Overall, I am on schedule with my running plan, though I did slip a bit with a short vacation and the Crim race. I did my 14+ mile run on schedule, but didn’t go over 10 the next two weeks. I ran 16 miles this morning for my longest run ever, 34 miles this week for most weekly mileage ever and 123 miles this month, yes, for most monthly mileage ever.
This chart shows how erratic my running was prior to training and how much more consistent I have been as of late. I don’t think I always need to have a plan, but really need to have a regular schedule. Easier said than done, but sometime one just needs to make time for himself.
The Road Ahead
I have 7 weeks to the Detroit Free Press Marathon. What once seemed so far off now seems too close. In many ways, I feel like I’m not ready, but the reality is that I’ll be fine. There will be many miles run in the next few weeks and all will be good.
I have a 5k on 9/14 for Camp Lael in Lapeer which I will participate in but might not exactly race. It is a small race which I won two years ago and finished second in last year. It is possible, depending on who shows up, that I could go slower than last year and win. The main goal is to not hurt myself as I will have little choice other than to do a rather long run the following day.
On 9/29, I will run my third Brooksie Way Half Marathon. I don’t know if I will run this like a training run (perhaps with more miles afterward) or if I will run for a PR (which I can attain running at a pace comparable to Crim for 3.1 more miles). After Brooksie, I will be tapering. I don’t know if I like how little I’ll be running for those 2 or 3 weeks, but it is what you’re supposed to.
Are you training for anything?
Did you taper for a big race? Did it help?