Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Show Me State Games 5K

Left home about 7:15 during a thunderstorm and it was raining hard and lightning.. Plan was to sign up if it quit raining. I don't mind running in the rain, but the lightning was scary. They said the race was being delayed 1 hour and wouldn't start until 9 am since the storms were supposed to clear. It had momentarily quit raining when I arrived. Saw Dan E. and he ended up running back home since he had planned to run to the race, run it, and run home and couldn't wait an hour. Andy S. was there too undecided as to what to do. Eventually, I signed up for the 5K and Andy signed up for the 10K. At 8 am there was another bad storm so was glad we waited. Quit raining again so ran a 1.5 mi warmup with Andy, Bill, and Mark.

Earlier the temp had been 80 so the rain cooled off a bit but was still very humid. Hugh had arrived to watch the race since I called earlier that it was delayed and they might need help too. I lined up in the front and middle. We started a couple minutes before 9. I nearly ran over a smaller kid that started in front of me. The 5 and 10K started together and I think there were about 7 runners ahead of me. Andy S. was ahead. First mile had a small hill before turning on to South Hampton. I passed a couple runners on the hill. First mile split was 5:58. I was hoping for better, but wasn't feeling great. Breathing hurt a little and had a pain on the left ribs.

I caught up to Andy and stayed with him which seemed the right pace for me. Second mile was 6:12. I was ready for it to be over but glad I was running with someone or not sure what would have happened. Last mile was 6:04 and last 0.16 was 58 seconds. Overall 19:11. Andy S. turned around and headed out for another loop. I was glad I did not. Hugh and I headed over to the 10K finish line and Andy came in about 38:26 so didn't slow down much at all. He won the 10K. I was 3rd in the 5K and first in my age group. I was actually the only person in my age group. I am not sure how many runners yet, but we had a decent turnout in spite of the threatening weather.

I had a much better race on this course last year. I wasn't feeling fully rested today and also felt bloated and weight was up quite a bit today. Lots of excuses, but fun to get out and push myself a little.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 Red, White, and Green Run - 5K - Mexico, MO

Hugh and I traveled to Mexico, MO Friday evening to run the Red, White, and Green Estate Run 5K. They also had a 1.5 mi walk that was free. The name comes from a play on words, the patriotic colors of July and is run on the Green Estates park in Mexico. It is a cross country style 5K that an effort between the Mexico YMCA, city, and cross country team. We both ran the inaugural race in 2006 which was a very hot and humid run that year. Temp was 88F and times were slow due to the heat. It was a fun race then so I decided we should run it again this year. Temps were better at about 80F.

This is an evening race so we skipped dinner and I ate some bars on the way there. We arrived early since we had not yet registered. We arrived just in time to get the shirts we wanted since they were almost out but planned to take orders. Soon after we got there, a 30-something friendly guy walks up to us and asks where we are from and says we look like runners. He was the cross country coach and thanked us for coming and hoped we could talk others into coming next year. We had plenty of time since we were there an hour early. We had several conversations with a lot of nice people and only one person there that we knew.

We met a really nice couple that had met in an online running forum and then were married a few years ago in Forest Park by a pastor that ran and performed the marriage while they were running. There is a video of the running ceremony here. They had driven all the way from St. Louis to run the race.

Around 7:15 we all headed to the start line. Since it was kind of warm and we were so busy talking to people, I skipped the warm up. At about 7:30 a guy described the course which was different than we ran a few years ago. It mostly followed a paved trail with about 3/4 mi on grass. There would be a 3 wheeler with a flag leading, the course was marked and people telling us where to turn. Without this, the course would have been a bit confusing as we crossed the same intersection a few times. The guy said they measured the course many times. Another guy, a Green heir started us off and just said if we fell, they would spray orange paint around us and pick us up later.

I lined up in front behind some young and fast looking kids and we were off with the starting gun. I quickly got up to speed without having done a warm up and felt okay. One guy clearly took the lead and then about 4 of us were running together. I decided I needed to go faster so went between them. I felt kind of odd passing these kids since I was old enough to be their dad. They were discussing catching the lead runner and talked like they were going to hold off. I pulled ahead and one guy catches me. We run together briefly and then I slowly pulled away. First mile was 6 min.

Second mile was the section that we ran on the grass. It didn't slow me down as much as I thought it might, but there were a few holes and wet areas from the recent rains. I was focused on the guy ahead of me and the 3 wheeler to make sure I knew where I was going. Second mile was 6:13.

Last mile were were back on the paved trail. I couldn't hear anyone close behind. No one to push me, but I kept the pace. 3rd mile was 6:10, and last 0.1 was 30 seconds. Overall time was 18:53. Course was exactly 3.1 miles.

Overall, I placed 2nd of 78 runners and 1st in age group 40-44. They handed me a water at the finish and I waited for Hugh. He came in 12th and 1st in the 50 - 54 group. We were the 2 oldest runners of the first 12. The winning female was 25 and the rest were between 14 - 17. A 17 year old beat me by 42 seconds, and a 17 year old was behind me by 43 seconds. I think a lot of them were from Bowling Green, MO.

This race seemed to go very smoothly. They wrote the names in order on poster board and posted the times. Soon, we had the finishing ceremony and all 5 year age groups. Post race refreshments were fruit and popcorn they were popping on site. Also had pink and yellow lemonade. Hugh and I were looking at the results at the end and since no one there knew us, they were talking about us right next to us. Several said those 2 guys must be brothers. Well, if any of you are reading this, we are married!

After, we were kind of hungry since we hadn't eaten dinner so ate at DQ and had the Pecan Pie Blizzard of the month which was awesome! Hugh had a chicken salad and I had the chicken fajita. First time we had eaten an actual meal at DQ in years and it wasn't too bad for us other than the yummy Blizzards.

I was a little apprehensive about doing this race after work since figured I would be tired and it was so late too and we planned to run early in the morning. It was fun to do something different and out of town. They were a friendly group and we got to meet a lot of interesting people. I think we will need to plan on going back next year and hopefully can get some other Columbia runners to join us again like the first year we ran it.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

2010 Parley Pratt 4 miler - Columbia & 2010 Fire Cracker Mile - Jefferson City

Parley Pratt 4 miler

Saturday morning, instead of the usual long run with the Lunatics, I ran the Parley Pratt, an out and back race on the MKT. This year we had to go east on the trail since the bridge isn't quite finished going west. I ran a 2 mile warm up with Hugh, Sam, Phil, and Andy. Race started about 8 am after the pre-race ceremony. I started off too fast I think. It felt fast and according to my GPS reading, a 5:30-something pace. I started out behind Matt and he was in 2nd place. I felt good and passed Matt. About mile 0.7 Andy S. and Matt pass me so I guess I should have stayed behind. I wanted to maintain close to a 6 min pace. My goal was to try to run about 6:03. First mile was 5:50.

The temp was around 70F so not too bad, but still a bit humid. First mile I wasn't breathing hard at all, but after that I had to work to keep the pace. At the turn around I had just slightly over 2 miles on the GPS so course was pretty close. 2nd mile I had slowed to 6:13. I had a comfortable lead on Phil in 5th place and Andy S. and Matt had a comfortable lead on me. The just over 6 min pace felt pretty good so that is what I continued to maintain and 3rd mile was also 6:13. With 1 mile to go, I tried to pick up a little. I could see the guy that was in the lead at the beginning was ahead of me, but too far to catch. Ran mile 4 in 6:00 and the last .03 extra in 10 seconds. 4th place overall. Even with the slightly long course, I had a 2 sec PR over the same race in 2007. Overall pace was 6:05 avg. The course in the past the other direction has always been just a bit short. I felt really good about my time with the longer course. I had felt tired all week so took running easy on Tu & Th and then skipped my Th weight workout. This was enough to recover a bit and run a decent race for me.

This year there was an assortment of breakfast food, but I really didn't feel like eating anything so had some kind of breakfast bar someone had made and no idea what it was. I think I was supposed to pour syrup on it since it didn't taste sweet at all. They soon announced the awards. Andy S. won overall (23:37 I think) as well as my age group and Matt was second. Andy had already left so we took his award, a painted watermelon and dropped off at his house on the way home. Then went home and ran a 10+ mile course with Hugh.

Fire Cracker Mile

Today, Hugh and I drove to Jefferson City to run the Fire Cracker Mile. We were up a bit late watching John blow up his back yard and eating way too much sugar so I didn't feel so good at first. We arrived about 15 min early and ran a warm up mile mostly in the parking lot and I felt better after. We all walked over the start which was on a downhill. The timing clock was in the back of a truck and they started us off with an air horn. I was lined in the front but near the center of the road.

We were off at a crazy fast pace flying down the hill at at low 4 min pace. At the bottom of the hill, turned left and the course flattened out, but still supposed to be slightly down although looked flat to me. After we turned I passed a few people and at quarter mile still running a sub-5 pace. Second quarter mile around a 5-5:10 pace. 3rd quarter about a 5:10 pace, and 4th quarter is where I slowed to about 5:28 pace. I was passed by one guy before the end. Running a fast mile is hard! Felt out of breath and took a few minutes to feel good again.

Overall time was 5:06 and I measured 1.02 on the GPS. This is the first mile race I have run since high school where I ran a 5:10 around a track in 1987. Even though this was down hill never expected to run this fast today. I definitely think if I hadn't raced yesterday, ate better, and slept, I could have gone under 5. Overall, placed 5th. Hugh ran a 6:17 and placed 13. I think there at least 40 finishers. There was Oreos, peanut butter Oreos, and water melon after. I highly recommend this miler. It was an accurate course and best of all, it was free to run!