Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It's been too long since I've posted! March 15! Really?! I've had so many good things to say, most of which I've forgotten! I'm on spring break now so I'll take a few minutes to fill in the gaps of the last few weeks.

The March 15 workout must've been a disaster, or some other disaster, because I didn't run the next day. I wonder why? I followed that up with a long run and then 25 200s on the track. KC came to the track with me, or she drove there and arrived after I'd already started. I was so excited to see her that I accidentally ran a 300! I looked at my watch, startled, to see a time in the 50s, and then realized what had happened. I closed that workout with another 400 meters or whatever it took to make it a full 8K, just so I could compare with Pat Early with his Shamrock 8K the day before. He barely beat me, I think.

Battleground Relays
How did I not write about this? The 5k Olympics has come and gone for what may be the last time for me, since I'll be moving. Were I writing weeks ago I'd have a lot more to say, but now I'll keep it brief. I was seeded 8th or so with a 16:10, which I'd actually run. One or two of the guys ahead of me, I believe, had a time listed to the hundredth of a second, so I presumed it was also accurate. Good, perhaps I'd have a race with someone genuinely under 15:50!

The gun went off and I didn't jump. After spending 10 of the past 24 hours driving to and from Lynchburg and playing at Lion Fun Day Friday morning, my hamstrings were a wreck. I didn't want to agitate them, so I got off to a slow start. I spent the first 50 meters in the back with JT Newcomb. Then I moved up, literally pushed Justin forward so that I could move out to lane 2, and moved up to the top 3 before the first 200 meters were over. I'm sure it was one of the most exciting moments of the race. From there, I ran on the rail just behind or next to the leaders through a 5:01 first mile. Shortly after that, I stopped hearing splits directed anywhere near me, as I must have dropped the field. I started lapping runners rather quickly and requested splits from the guys hovering around the starting line. Meanwhile at the end of the second turn, a mass of my students and their families had assembled with posters and cheers, egging me on each time I reached the homestretch. It was very nice! I pushed through 3200 in 9:58, an excellent second mile all alone. And it felt easy too, for the time being. But my previous day's activities began to take its toll on me and I started to fatigue. Splits started to slow, marginally. Somewhere in the last 800m, Greg told me I had 50 meters. That felt like a safe enough distance. I took one opportunity to look back near the beginning of the homestretch, but it was difficult to tell the difference between the lapped runners and those in pursuit. I faded badly, running through 4800 in something like 15:12-14, I'm not sure. I closed decent enough, finishing at 15:50. 2nd and 3rd place came roaring through the line close behind me in 15:52 and 15:54.

5000m Results

Looking at the results, one may be inclined to think that this race was competitive. It wasn't, at least not for me. Those guys ran a great race behind me trying to catch me, and sure, they probably would have if we'd run another 100 meters. But we didn't, and they weren't involved in the race for the front. They ran great, even races, but at no point was there doubt in my mind of the victory. They were 50 meters behind me and in the end they probably had another 10 meters to go to catch me. That is a huge gap. If we'd run together all the way, they probably could have out-kicked me. My legs were tired and I was in no place to be sprinting. But the way it worked out, I won.

(Apparently I did start a post on this race, but never got around to finishing it. Oh well!)

After the race I was admittedly pretty whipped out. I ran really slow the next couple of days. Greg wanted me to do 4x3200 on Tuesday but I just couldn't do it. Life prevented me from getting up Wednesday morning either, so I went out after school to the track. I wish I could tell some heroic tale about this workout leading me to learn something about myself after pissing on the Devil's doormat, but it was not a good day. I knew 4 would be pushing it, both by effort and time constraints. I got to the Mary Washington track just as they decided to clear out due to a thunderstorm coming. I didn't even know it was going to rain! The sky opened up in the middle of my first mile at 5:20 pace. I felt like shit enough as it were, and this didn't help. It was windy and the rain drops hurt my face and eyes. I worked as hard as I could to maintain the pace and ended up right around 5:20, 10:40 for the first interval. But man did I want to quit already. After an 800 I was back at it, and it didn't feel any better. But I hit my splits, thanks in part to a UMW kid who was caught out in the storm who finished up with me for close to the last 2000 meters. I would have loved his company on the next one. Just after starting #3, my watch told me it was 5pm. So if I ran for another interval and cooled down back to my car at school, that'd put me arriving at Lafayette at 5:40. I'd need to stretch a  little before driving to see Abel at 6pm. So I knew 400 meters in that I'd only get in 3. I got through the mile in 5:21 but then each lap after that was a second+ too slow. I finished at 10:48. Not good. The devil had won. I was no hero, I did no warrior chants in the thunderstorm. In fact, after the first interval, the wind died down, it got cool and was really quite ideal for working out on the track.

It was a good thing I didn't do the 4th as there was a wreck and Rt. 1 was jammed up past 9pm that night. I got to Abel's at 6pm with no stretching, but got to stretch while I waited. Finally a W for me for the day. Here's that shitty workout... Garmin Connect.

J Brian's 15K
This was a good day. I was worried about the competition or whatever, but still decided to get in a 7 mile warm up so it could count as a long run. For the first time in the history of this race, I did not say out loud "I want to win as easily as possible." Instead, I just ran. A guy named Chris took the l lead at the start and I ran on his heels for the first 3/4 mile before pulling up next to him. We got to mile 1 in 5:27, a little faster than I would have preferred, but still very comfortable. It was too fast for him too, because as I took the lead and consciously slowed down, he fell back. I round myself alone with Ed Sabo on the lead bike, but was happy to have some company to chat with. Miles of 5:35 and 5:32 were very comfortable leading us down to Kenmore. While going up Sylvania, I felt uncomfortable. I assumed it was because I was slowing down or feeling fatigued, but instead it was because I ran a 5:22. The middle 5k continued in that pattern, feeling a little uncomfortable because i ran a 5:15 and 5:20. I was unsuccessful getting water on the 2nd time through Mary Ball street and had to wait until the VFW for another chance. I took a GU then, my third of the day. I ran 5:18 and 5:20 to get back through Mary Ball again (a successful water stop, thanks to Hannah Lowrey), and then finally slowed down the last mile to a fatigued 5:24. If I can get tired and run a 5:24 on May 20, I'll take it! At some point I looked at my watch and wondered if I could run under 50 minutes. I could not, but I did run 50:18. My previous best on the course was a 52:00, so it was a big improvement and a big confidence booster. 5:24 pace for 9.3 miles after a 7 mile warm up with no company? Yes, confidence.

Little happened after that. I did a workout, hit 70 mpw for the first time since before #rnrAZ, and did an easy 20 mile long run Friday morning. After that, KC and I went to Charlottesville to see some apartments and then came home for another easy 4 miles. I don't know why, but I felt like doubling. She rode her bike next to me and it was very pleasant. I didn't feel comfortable, but I don't know if I was supposed to.

Spring Break!
Now I'm on spring break. My legs are tired and I regret not bringing a new pair of shoes with me. I think that the current pair of Glides I'm wearing are in their last 2 days of life, and that the F-150 tennis balls I'm wearing should be retiring soon as well. It's been over 3 months.

I did a workout today, 2 x 5K on the roads, and it was a debacle. Winds were 15MPH and that didn't help me either way. On the way out on my normal loop through Southern Shores it pushed me to a 16:42 5K (5:23 pace.) I was hoping to stay within 5:30-5:20 for each set, but would have liked the first to be a lot closer to 5:30. It wasn't easy either. I didn't realize how badly the wind was blowing me until I stopped to tie my shoe and was almost blown over while standing still. I enjoyed my half-mile recovery quite a bit. I started the 2nd 5K turning into the elementary school and was immediately smacked in the face by the wind. I didn't understand how it was was so bad. I should have had cover from the wind from the trees and houses. But it was brutal. Most of the workout, my watched beeped at me to speed up, but I couldn't! My left hip started to hurt, my legs got heavy, and I just couldn't breathe! I wanted to stop. But I didn't, I just kept running slow, trying as hard as I could to pick up the pace whenever the wind would die down for a moment, but it was no use. It just came back harder. That 5k, which finished uphill, was over a minute slower. 17:45, a 5:42 pace. Awful. My marathon pace is faster than that. It felt like I walked home and then I just stopped. I had to sit down for a while before I could stretch. I felt a little bit better after eating something, but right now I'm still aching everywhere. I should get something to drink.

Two more days here at the beach, then back home with two days before going back to work.

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