Monday, May 26, 2008

2008 Cotton Row Run

2008 Cotton Row Run 10k and 5k
Huntsville, Alabama
Saturday, June 14, 2008

7:00 am start for the 10km race

75 degrees, 65% humidity
1606 Total Runners

Mile splits
(3:10+3:07)=6:17 (Mountainwood first half)
(3:35+2:58)=6:33 (Mountainwood second half)

37:56 (6:06 pace)

42nd overall, 9/118 in M30-34

9:00 am start for the 10km race

82 degrees, 65% humidity
1233 Total Runners

Mile Splits

19:07 (6:09 pace)

14th overall, 2nd in M30-34

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2008 Harry Williams Track Meet

2008 Harry Williams Track Meet
Bob Jones High School
Madison, AL
May 17, 2008

Harry Williams 5000 Meter Race Results

5000 Meter Race
71 degrees
400 Meter Rubberized Track
Light southern winds

Lap 01 01:26.470
Lap 02 01:25.820
Half Mile = 02:52.290

Lap 03 01:26.200
Lap 04 01:25.100
Half Mile = 02:51.300
1st Mile = 05:43.590
Total Time = 05:43.590

Lap 05 01:26.430
Lap 06 01:26.800
Half Mile = 02:53.230

Lap 07 01:26.700
Lap 08 01:25.970
Half Mile = 02:52.670
2nd Mile = 05:45.900
Total Time = 11:29.490

Lap 09 01:25.980
Lap 10 01:26.000
Half Mile = 02:51.980

Lap 11 01:26.950
Lap 12 01:25.600
Half Mile = 02:52.550
3rd Mile = 05:44.530
Total Time = 17:14.020

Lap 12.5 00:35.670

Total Time = 17:49.690
Pace = 05:44.281 minutes/mile

Thanks to everyone who was there to support me, including those who cheered on each lap. I knew that I only had to run 1/2 lap alone and then I would hear the fans on the back half of the lap. I couldn't have set this new personal record without you.

Thanks to Laura for calling my splits, keeping me focused and just being there.

Thanks to Marty for the track workouts on Tuesdays; they are brutal, but helping; and for putting on the event.

Thanks to Dink, Riddle, Jason, Joey, Linda and the Thursday night bunch for pushing the pace on Panorama Tempo runs.

Thanks to Jason and Keith for pushing the pace and keeping me on the lead lap in the race.

Congrats to Joey and John on new PR's for the mile and 8k respectively, and Linda for continuing to lower her 8k times post college.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

2008 Gurley Library Challenge

Gurley Library Challenge
Gurley, Alabama
Saturday, May 10, 2008
USATF Certified AL99008JD

Gurley Library Challenge 5k Results

Mile 1 5:36

Lined up knowing that this was going to be a battle. Though I had never met him before, I heard that John Krichev was lingering in the back of the pack, making his way to the front. His times are phenomenal and he would be the rabbit of the pack. The other usual suspects were there, including weekly 5k favorite Donald Bowman and a few other stronger runners like The Mike Greene. The weather was warmer than preferred, but seasonally cooler than normal.

I went out fairly quick, falling into single profile line by the 2nd turn. I was running in 6th place through the second turn. I was at 2:49 through the first half mile. This section was slightly downhill, and I sensed the two people in front of me had gone out slightly too fast, so I made a move to pass. My move wasn't as strong as normal, or maybe as I passed into 4th, the guy hung on longer than most. As I pushed, he pushed. This lasted for a 100 meters or so, and then I surged ahead and then relaxed the pace, having padded a small lead over 5th place. My second half mile was at 2:47.

Mile 2 5:46

After the two mile mark, we made a left and had a slight hill through a small two house neighborhood on the very edge of town. The gap to 3rd place in front of me now had grown to where I could only see Donald on the straight aways. I still felt ok, clocking a 2:50 half mile split. Coming back at the 1.5 mile mark, we ran passed the rest of the runners that were hitting the one mile mark. I saw Laura, who shouted out that I was in 4th place. Seeing all of the people was motivating, but that would soon fade.

The heat really started to get to me at this point and not being able to see anyone in front or behind me, I lost most of my motivation. I made a few turns, but the pace slowed to 2:56 for the half mile split. I still had a 5:46 mile split, which was at the average that I wanted for the race, but I could tell that I couldn't hold on for much longer.

Mile 3 5:52

This section had four turns but still was fairly flat. On one turn I didn't see much direction indicators, so had to ask a nice fireman. He pointed to the right and then I saw the course marker painted on the ground. I was not significantly slower than my goal pace, running a half mile split 2:58. I will not say that I gave up in this section, but I sort of settled into my position in the race. I was no longer pushing it, but still running at over 10 miles an hour.

With only a half mile to go, I kind of had a spark in motivation that I only had 3 minutes or so to run before I could be done. I looked at my watch and realized that I was still on 18 minute pace, which, other than last week, was still PR pace. I picked it up a little over the first half of the third mile and ran a 2:54, which wasn't too far off of goal pace.

Mile 3.1 0:49

The mile markers were right on with my GPS through 2 miles, but this mile I measured a little short, meaning the last 0.107 miles of the race took slightly longer. I must have not run the tangents of the course as I got tired.

We made the last left turn and faced the 'hill' of the course. It really wasn't much, and knowing that just on the other side was the finish. I picked it up a little, but it was too late. As I crossed the finish and stopped my watch, I saw 18:03. As I said before, take out the Senior Cup 5k from the week before, and this would have been a new PR. Now that sub 18 is the new standard for my 5k times, anything less than that is sort of a disappointment.

The After Race

Mike, Donald and I did a little cool down after the race. On the way out, Donald tripped over his shoe laces and went down hard. I had bad flashbacks of Brian Robinson going down in front of me on a trail run earlier this spring; a fall that put him out of commission for quite some time. I am sure that his shortened stride and long lace loops were part of the problem. Despite rumors, I did not push him down:) I have Mike to vouch for me! We finished our cool down and headed back. I was still feeling unresolved and went out for another 1.5 miles of cool down, which turned into a little speed session. I ran at mid six pace, which made me feel better.

In the end, I finished 4th of 107 runners and 1st in M30-34. Good experience, good race, decent time. The Krichev's cleaned up, taking overall male and overall female; what a great day for the family! Donald was back to his old ways and was feeling better with a time more like the Donald that we know in finishing 2nd. Trey (who won the ReCreation Run) finished 3rd, a full 30 seconds ahead of me.

The Cissels (Jim and Sharon) did another great job putting on a small hometown race that brings the community together. It was a pleasure to help them out by running and with the use of the HTC race equipment.

1John Krichev16:44
2Donald Bowman17:11
3Trey Broadway17:33
4Eric Charette18:03

Saturday, May 3, 2008

2008 Senior Cup 5k

Senior Cup 5K
Decatur, Alabama
Saturday, May 3, 2008
USATF Certified AL06009JD

Senior Cup 5k Results

I really wish that I had this amazing race report to summarize this new personal record 5k race. I guess I am feeling somewhat drained after writing a ‘War and Peace’ style Boston Marathon race report.

The weather was very ominous on Saturday, as the storms pushed through Huntsville starting at 4am. The forecast was calling for 70% chance of rain through 9am. When I got up, I really thought that the race would be delayed an hour or so. I even talked to Laura about it and she was convinced as well and decided to forgo the trip to Decatur. She asked why I was still going, despite the heavy rains, to which I responded, ‘Because you never know when it is going to be your day’.

I pulled into the lot and immediately saw that Donald Bowman had already arrived, despite the rain and my 6:55 am arrival for an 8:00 am race. This meant that there would be good competition to push me and that I would have to work really hard to stay close to the front of the pack.

As I have been doing lately, I signed up for the race on the morning of the event. I don’t mind paying more to race; I look at it as money saved for events that I would not run at the last minute to do pains, strains, weather, work or family interference. Plus when I pre-pay, I feel like I am locked in to an event and need to alter my training for that race. With last minute shopping, I can make a go or no decision the day before the race.

My warm up was done under a light sprinkle, but it was clear from the skies and the new forecast that it would be a dry race. The only issue that threatened to be a factor was the rising humidity with the temperature and rain mix. The winds were light, possible a 10-12 mph breeze from the west-southwest.

When toeing the line, it looked to be a four horse race with Bowman likely to lead. Eric Schotz and John Elmore, local area favorites and myself stood around Donald waiting for the starting gun. I love competition and having people to push me. These guys would do just that.

The start was pretty fast and after the first left and first right out onto the road, we were quickly in single file. Donald out front, followed by John, then me and Schotz somewhere behind. The first mile was a long straight away, ever so slightly uphill. The traffic was not blocked and for the most part, we ran down the middle of the road. We seemed to be running into a light headwind. I went through the first half mile in 2:48. I was already starting to fall behind the leaders who went out hard. I settled into an easy pace in the last part of the first mile, coming in at 2:57 or a first mile time of 5:45. This was the target race pace that I was hoping to hold.

We made a left turn and started to run south. Somehow the wind changed direction and again we were running into a head wind. I was very focused, allowing no dissociation. I could tell that with less effort, that I was starting to slowly close on John. The road sloped ever so gently down which helped to keep a quick pace. I didn't know if that was what we lost early in the race or if we we would make that up later. I ran very steady from the previous split, clocking 2:58. This was far off my goal pace and I made the mental decision that I was going to go hard, nearly flat out, and try to pass John.

I pushed very hard, but with gradually increasing effort, knowing that I had half of the race to catch him. The road composition was fresh blacktop and it almost felt like a spring board, allowing for a fast push off. Just before the 2 mile mark, I decisively moved ahead, accelerating passed him and ran hard to put a 3 second gap up on him. The split was 2:52 for the second half of the second mile.

The humidity was now pulling at my strength. If this had been an 8 or 10k, I would have needed water, both to drink and to pour on my head for the cooling effect. I continued to push hard, knowing that any wavering would mean that I would be passed right back by John and I would slip to 3rd. We made a left, then right, then fast left. My half mile split was 2:48. On the turns I was able to sneak a quick glance and I could tell that I had a decent lead on John, but he was still within striking distance if he could muster a good kick. John is a great runner and I knew that he could do it, if it was his day.

I had to laugh at all of the course marshalls who were wearing large foam fingers from baseball games pointing us in the right direction. I knew the course well from the maps, and was able to bide by their help to run the course very smart, cutting the corners tight, like they are measured.

In the last half of the final mile, I could tell that I was slowly closing in on Donald. He is normally much faster, so the only thing that I could figure was that he wasn't feeling well and maybe I had a shot if he couldn't hang on. We made the final right and left back into the church parking lot. I was able to get one final look back and saw that John was maybe 12-15 seconds behind. So I knew that I was going to take 2nd place, but know it was about breaking 18 minutes. My old PR was 18:09, which had stood for a very long time. I clocked a 2:49 half mile split before the sprint to the finish.

Donald knew how close I was, but had enough to hold onto the lead. I was still sprinting toward the end especially when I could see that the clock was in the 17:40's. By the time that I got there, crossed the line, stopped my watch and looked, I had finished at 17:53. Finally on my 30th 5k race, I was able to break 18 minutes. It seemed like a lifetime since that first 5k race in 2003.

So I am glad that I got out of bed, drove in the rain, paid the late fee and raced at 95% of my vVO2max. I had decided that I could go faster and ran 5:38 pace in the last 1.61 miles of the race (last half plus the kick) and realized another long term goal. This was a great day.

Thanks to Bowman and Elmore for a great race.

Why did I race on this day? Because you never know when it is going to be your day.

11/6Donald Bowman40Madison, AL17:455:43
21/11Eric Charette32Huntsville, AL17:545:46
32/6Jon Elmore42Decatur, AL18:055:50
41/6Josh Long29Moulton, AL18:275:57
51/9Eric Schotz36Decatur, AL19:136:11