Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Frozen Toe 10k

2014 Frozen Toe 10k

Event History: 5 yr
Personnel History: Legacy Runner (Participant every year since inception)
2010-time 58:31.95, pace: 9:37/M (est), Place 47/90 overall, 7/7 in my age group, 44/72 among men
2011-time 47:30.40, pace: 7:43/M, Place 27/186 overall, 6/21 in my age group, 27/123 among men (PR)
2012-time 48:06.59, pace: 7:49/M, Place 24/217 overall, 4/21 in my age group, 24/142 among men
2013-time: 2:16:19, pace 22:10/M, Place 232/233 overall, 28/28 in my age group, 139/139 among men (Hiked)

 2014 Frozen Toe Results:
2014-time: 51:16, pace 8:20/M, Place 47/243 overall, 6/25 in my age group, 39/130 among men

Garmin Data: HERE

 I knew I wasn't likely to be competitive with my 2011 or 2012 times, so I just went out looking for a good, hard run. I had ran the Chestnut Ridge Loop, which comprises the bulk of the course, with an intense effort and a pace in the high 8's just a week before the race and I was happy with that because it meant I had developed my current tempo training pace to a level equivalent with my prior trail race pace, the 2013 Into The Darkness 4 Miler.
Crazy expression. Running can cause that from time to time.

Coming out today and nailing a race pace in the low 8's represents a 40 sec/mile improvement in my trail race pace, so as long as I'm seeing improvement I'm not stressing on anything else. The fact that I was a hair over 3 1/2 minutes from my 2011 PR is largely inconsequential because my training is still transitioning from long, slow ultra's back to short fast 5k's and 10k's.

Looking forward, I have about a month and a half before I abandon my current training strategy and begin training for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon. The thing is...I will abandon my current strategy on Feb 16th and start training for the Blue Ridge Half regardless of where my short distance speeds are at that time. As fate would have it, the RNUTs races are an excellent spring board heading into the Blue Ridge Half, so if history is any indication I should be more competitive once training starts.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Resolution Run

2014 Resolution Run 5k
 Charity: Bethany Hall
Event History: 2nd year
Personnel History: None. 2014 will be my first year participating
Age Group awards were revised days after the race to standard 5yr groups, so the 2nd place medal above was upgraded to a 1st place.
 Garmin Data: HERE

Final Results:
2014-time 20:33.3, Pace 6:38/M, Place 9/186 overall, 1/15 in my age group, 9/84 among men
In my quest to get back into sub 20 shape for 5k events I have been mostly focused on treadmill training so I needed a relatively flat course in order to better reflect the type of training I've been doing. The Resolution Run 5k course is along a familiar stretch of the Roanoke River Greenway and while it is not flat like a treadmill at zero incline, it is a far cry flatter than any where I train when I'm outdoors, so I figured participation in the Resolution Run 5k an excellent opportunity to test myself.

With around 200 participants, the race was just the right size to ensure a comfortable race start. Everybody who wanted to be up near the front had plenty of room and the flow of the race was not disrupted by people getting too bunched up and unable to establish their paces. I started on the front line and was slower off the line than what I expected, but easily found myself in the top 25 by the time I got my wind (about the first 1/10th mile).

I used the remainder of the first mile to push hard and pass as many people as I could and then when I found myself in a stable position I just worked to hold my spot. The course was an out and back, so I was able to count the runners coming back towards me from the half way point to determine I was in 9th place overall. I wasn't going to burn myself out to hold 9th at this point, but with the scent of a top 10 in the air I knew I was going to have to work for every step.

I was feeling some burn at the turn around, but it was manageable and I kept my pace steady in the high 6's for the last two miles without getting passed. I never looked back, but I thought I could hear someone catching up to me as the finish line came into view about a 1/4 mile away. I figured they were gaming me and letting me hold a slower pace than they were capable of so that they could dash out at the end and take my spot.

If they had made the move to pass with 1/4 mile to go then the spot would have been theirs. I knew my tank only had enough fuel to competitively defend 9th for maybe 1/10th mile. Fortunately, nobody made a move to pass, so when I saw I was within my sprint-to a-burnout zone, I quickly erased any doubt as to who 9th place would go to as I easily threw down the last 1/10th mile in the low 6's or possibly even a high 5!

Finished AND exhausted...knowing I had a top 10, I bellowed forth with about 5 or 6 war cries over the next 2-3 minutes as I fought to regain my breath. It was a good adrenaline rush, a great start to the year, and a great way to spend the morning!
Faith and I chillin', waiting on the awards ceremony.