Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sedalia Half Marathon

Saturday I ran the Sedalia Half marathon in Sedalia, MO. I didn’t sleep well Friday night, and didn’t feel completely rested. I think my body felt ready to race last night when I went to bed. We ate breakfast and left for the race around 7 am and arrived in Sedalia at 8:10 AM. After we checked in and used the restrooms, we took a mile warm-up run and then it was time to head to the starting line.

The race was my 3rd half marathon and I also ran it last year as my second half marathon. Hugh ran this as his second half. There were 21 runners from Columbia so our city had good representation. Temp was around 38 F when we started, sunny, and a little windy. I couldn’t decide whether or not to wear gloves and ended up deciding against them. I wore 2 shirts and felt too warm most of the race.

There were 132 runners. I set an ambitious goal for my time at 1:25 or 6:30/mi. Last year I ran this course in 1:28:59 or 6:48/mi. The reason I felt this was such an ambitious goal is that my 10K PR pace is 6:35/mi. I really wondered if I had improved enough to keep less than that pace for 13 miles.

The description of the course was the first mile is flat; miles 1 to 4contain inclines at 1.5 and 3 miles; miles 4.75 to 6.95 contain aslow decline; turn around at 6.95 miles; from 6.95 to 9 miles thecourse is a gradual incline; miles 9 to 10 are rolling; miles 10 tothe finish is slightly rolling with the last half-mile up a smallgrade. Elevation between high and low point is 65 feet.

I lined up in approximately the 3rd row hoping that I wouldn’t start out too fast. It seemed like I didn’t start out too fast and there were quite a few people ahead of me. In fact, I didn’t catch Hugh for maybe a half mile. I let them go and figured I would catch some of them later. There must have been more people this year since it seemed I was further behind than last year at the beginning. First mile split was 6:23. That first mile always goes faster than it seems!

I pass some people up until 3 – 4 miles, keeping a good pace. I wasn’t sure where I was placing at this point, but guessing maybe top 20. A guy that I had been passing back and forth passed me for the last time at about 5 miles when I slowed down for water. At 10K my time was 40:16 which is 5 seconds slower than my 10K PR. At the halfway point, 6.55 miles, my time was 42:37, 6:30/mi average. I didn’t know this at the time, but pretty amazing since that is where I wanted to be.

The second half there is some wind and I struggle a bit, but no one is very close behind or ahead of me. I almost wish that someone had been close since I really had to push myself to keep the pace going. I guess I wasn’t embracing the pain enough today. There’s not much along this course other than the water stations, cows, and dogs to cheer along the runners. I’m just trying to hold onto the pace and make it to 10 miles. After running the first half in mostly 6:20s – 6:30s, the second half was mostly 6:40s. I keep a good pace until the end and finish pretty strong.

Here's my splits:







6.55 mi, elapsed time 42:38, 6:30/mi avg








2nd half (6.55 mi) 44:10, 6:45/mi

overall time: 1:26:48, 6:37/mi

This is a new half marathon PR set on this same course where I set a PR last year. I improved 2:11 overall and knocked 11 seconds per mile off my pace. Last year I ran negative splits on this course, but I was pleased that my pace during the second half this year was still faster than my overall pace last year. I’m thinking maybe I started just a little fast this year, but I can’t complain about the end result.

After the race, there were numerous home-baked cookies to eat while we waited for the awards ceremony at noon. I placed 13th overall and 3rd in the 30-39 age-group and 2nd in the 35 - 39 age group. Hugh ran in 1:41:47 and improved his half PR by 8:26. He went out too fast, but that is just how he runs races.

This half was a test for both of us to predict how fast we might run the Flying Pig. In order to run sub 3 hrs, I will need to run a 6:52/mi pace which is 5 sec/mi faster than I ran Portland. My goal is to run a 6:47/mi pace so I am going to try to get a few more speed workouts done to make sure I am ready. I feel at this point it is going to be very close if everything goes well.

Results for this race are posted at

My Award for 3rd place, 30-39 Age Group

Hugh finishing his second half marathon and setting a new PR.

Training March 20 - 26

Training 3/20 - 3/26


Tues-Dreier Course, B-Run, 6.1 mi, 51:45, 8:29/mi; I ran this hilly course easy to be ready for the half on Sat.


Thur-MKT to bridge, 7.5 mi, 1:01:12, 8:10/mi; This was supposed to be a speed workout where we gradually increase the pace. I ran easy except for the last few miles.


Sat-Sedalia Half Marathon, 1 mile warm - up
13.1 mi, 1:26:47, 6:37/mi

Sun-MKT with dogs, 8 mi, 1:16:57, 9:37/mi; We let the dogs set the pace today nice and easy. They both ran really well staying to the right and not pulling most of the time.

Bike-16 miles, 59:40, 3:44/mi; an improvement in pace over last week, but not much improvement in number of miles. More daylight soon so that should change.

This week I will resume weight workouts and get an interval workout done.

Weekly Running Miles: 35.7
Biking Miles:16
YTD Running Mileage: 487.5 mi

Monday, March 20, 2006

Training March 13 - 19


Tues-President's Hill Run, 7.5 mi, 57:26, 7:39/mi

My Tues/Thur workouts now include 1 - 2 mile of warm-ups so my overall pace is a little slower. My legs felt a little sore overall, but no ankle pain. I think I was still recovering from the 5K.weights, 41 min, stretched


Thur-Grindstone Park, 7.5 mi, 7:45/mi

Less than 6 hours sleep on Wed night so I skipped the weights. I'm going to try to get more sleep. I noticed that I was still sore fromTuesday's weight workout as well and running pace was off. I went to bed early and slept 9.5 hrs.


Sat-MKT, 10 mi, 1:21:01, 8:06/mi

Sun-MKT, 14 mi (steady pace), 1:42:43, 7:20/mi

This was a really good run, pace was steady, and legs felt good after.Soaked in hot tub and then 2 hrs after finishing run, biked 15 miles, 1:00:13. I used my new shoes, cleats/pedals (Speedplay Zeroes) for the first time. I think I need to make some adjustments to my seat but everything went well and I didn't get stuck in the clips and crash. The brand that I bought was supposed to be easy to use and I was not disappointed.

St. Patrick Day 5K results are up at 2006 St Patrick's Day 5K Results . I placed 8th overall.

Weekly Running Miles: 39

Biking Miles:15 (we will see if I can increase this a lot in the next few weeks)

YTD Running Mileage: 451.8

Monday, March 13, 2006

Training March 6 - 12

This week was a planned easier pace week and I also took off a week from lifting weights.


Tues-Dave's Devil Run, 6.6 mi, 49:45, 7:32/mi; left ankle felt better this week compared to the run last Tuesday.


Thur-MKT, 7.6 mi, 1:00:02/mi, 7:54/mi; took the pace really easy as a mini-taper for the 5K race on Sat.


Sat-St Patrick's Day 5K (3.1 mi), 5:54, 6:13, 6:02, :45; 18:54; 6:06/mi

warm-up, 3.1 mi, 26:35, 8:35/mi
cool-down, 3.1 mi, 28:37, 9:11/mi

Sun-Bear Creek Trail, hills, 16 mi, 2:13:07, 8:19/mi; legs felt tired so I took it easy, but no ankle pain!

Weekly Running Miles: 39.5 mi

YTD Mileage: 412.8 mi

Tuesday/Thursday Running Group

St. Patrick's Day 5K - A good day!

Saturday I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 5K. In January I began speed workouts with a goal of 18:45 for this race. I managed to complete 5 of the speed interval workouts and had not done any in 4 weeks. I never felt recovered enough on the day of my speed workout to do them mostly due to some ankle soreness from my long run. Since 2002, I’ve run this course at consistently the same time, 19:43, 19:56, 19:44, and 19:45 in 2005. I thought I could break the 19:43, but didn’t have a chance to break my 5K record in 2003 of 18:50 which was a different race and different course. Hugh also ran today and was looking for a good time as well.

It was the warmest day so far of the year with a high temp of 81 today, but only around 60 at the time of the race. We arrived about 7:15 and planned to do a warm-up around the course. After a mile, I felt pretty good, but didn’t push it too much and stayed with Hugh for the warm-up. Total 5K warm-up time was 26:35. After the warm-up, we put on our new race number belts that we purchased this week. I consumed an Energice and a regular Mint Honey Stinger and then we checked out the bathrooms one last time.

There were 595 finishers, up from 540 last year. I lined up very near the front since last year I placed 24th overall and second in my age group. Before leaving for the race, I read Chris’s race strategies again and the thing that seemed to stick with me most today was “embrace the pain”. The last minute, I decided my strategy was to go ahead and try for an 18:45, thinking I’d fade quite a bit in the last mile, and still beat 19:43, my best time for this course. The first mile felt great and a couple runners that are normally with or ahead of me at that point were still behind me. Being beaten by the same people so many times, it’s pretty easy to gauge whether you are running faster than usual. First mile split was 5:54.

The second mile started off pretty good but then I had to start pushing a bit to keep up the pace. I was afraid to push too much, thinking I would be in trouble in the 3rd mile. Near the end of the 2nd mile, I was slowly gaining on a guy that seemed to not want me to pass him so I stayed behind him for a bit. My second mile split was 6:13 which I thought was not too bad for how I felt at that point. I was tired of hearing the hard breathing of the guy ahead of me so I caught up to him and passed him for awhile, and then wondered if he was in my age group or not since I did not know him. At about 2.25 miles, he pushed ahead of me and I decided to let him go. At 2.5 miles I hear another runner coming up behind me, thinking it was one of the guys that normally place ahead of me. However, I think it was a cross-country high school runner and she seemed to fly by me like I was standing still. I didn’t even try to stay with her but told her “good job.”

At this point, I’m thinking hang on until the end, and “embrace the pain”. I kept pushing and my 3 mile split was 6:02. The last 0.1 mi is up a hill. I was thinking that the 2 guys that are normally ahead of me were probably right behind me, but I never looked back. I pushed hard and noticed the clock said 18:48 so I pushed even harder to get less than 19 min. The last 0.1 mi, I ran in 45 sec with an official time of 18:54. The other guys were 14 and 40 seconds behind me. There was one runner only 4 seconds behind me.

My time is 49 seconds faster than my PR for this course and only 4 seconds off my PR for a different race course in 2003. I’m very pleased with this time, considering some of my training the past few weeks with the painful ankle, and tired legs. Also, I’m pleased that I improve this time while training for a marathon.

I placed first in my age group this year! The next closest person in my age group was 19:55. I placed 8th overall and even got my name in the paper. I had no idea that I placed that well. I wasn’t really paying attention to how many people were ahead of me. The winning time was 15:46 so there were some people quite a bit ahead of me. Hugh's time was 21:09, 2nd in age group, and 48th overall and he beat some guys that he does not normally beat. I'm thinking this might have been a PR for him. After the race, we did a 5K cool down in 28:37. The great thing about running the course before and after is that you can take time to enjoy the sights where I can't usually do that while running a 5K. Race results are posted at

Mid-Missouri Road Runners at the 5K

Hugh and Andy with our coasters

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Love to Run Races

I finally got around to creating a blog! I figured this would be a good way to track my training and since running is such a large part of my life, a running blog makes sense.

Today, I counted all the events that I would like to do this year. I counted at least 25 events that I am considering. I must love to run races so I'm not going to worry about it and decided that would be the title of my blog and my first post. I just wish I didn't get a shirt for every race. At 25 races per year, shirts can accumulate quite quickly and Good Will is the benefactor of many of those shirts.

The second race of the year is tomorrow. It is the St. Patrick's Day 5K and will be my second 5K for the year. This 5K was the very first race I ran after High School. I ran it in 1998 (never raced between 1988 and 1998) and finished 58th of 529 runners with a time of 21:22. In 1999, I slowed down quite a bit, 142 of 545 with a time of 24:18. I've run this race every year. After I lost 20 lbs on the Body for Life Program in 2001, my times for 2002-2005 have been sub-20 min with a PR for this course of 19:44 in 2004. I think it is time to break this race PR tomorrow! Overall, my PR for a 5K is 18:50 in 2003, but I'm not sure if I am up to that tomorrow. Anything can happen though. I will see how it goes.

I'm training for the Flying Pig marathon on May 7th. My training this week has been going well, but the previous 2 weeks were tough. My left ankle was bothering me after my long runs, I was tired a lot, and my legs never felt recovered. Things seem to be turning around this week so I'm hoping I can have a good race tomorrow. I've been feeling better this week, but held back on Tuesday's run as sort of a mini-taper before the event.