Sunday, July 4, 2010

07.04.10: Back in the game.

Last race:
  • July 26, 2006
  • West End 3K
  • KG wasn't born yet
  • RG wasn't running races yet
  • I had a bad left foot - neuroma, stress-fractured sesamoid, achy achilles
  • July 4th, 2010
  • Firecracker 4K - almost a full 4 years since my last race
  • 13:37 - 2nd Overall - 1st 40-49 (winner Lendon Hartshorn 13:20)
  • RG 22:04 - 4th 8-12
  • KG ran a kids' race
  • My left foot isn't perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better, and has let me put in some big miles and just maybe some good racing.
Today really worked out to be an ideal race to see where I'm at purely off of aerobic base work. Based on Wednesday's tempo run, I settled on sub-14:00 as a tough but realistic goal. I figured the race would be somewhat of a low key affair, and that turned out to be pretty accurate. 

When the gun went off, it was back to old times, meaning I was quickly left behind by all the "kids" who sprinted out. The "kid" who went to the front was 20-year old Lendon Hartshorn, who proceeded to gap everyone in the field. I was in about 10th place at the first turn (from Powers St @ the Erie Community Center north onto the sidewalk paralleling Erie Parkway), but closed quickly on the stocky guy wearing headphones. I started to reel in a loose pack of guys which included Dean Maruna and a handful of other guys. A little after the 2nd turn (from the sidewalk onto S.Briggs St), I had moved past those guys and had my sights set on the guy in 2nd. As we approached the 1M mark, I caught him and moved past. He hung pretty close for awhile, but I lost track of him. I hit the mile in 5:25, and thought "that's a little quicker than I was thinkin', but it was somewhat downhill and I feel decent." Hartshorn had a healthy lead at this point, which I measured at :26 at the turnaround (6:19 vs 6:45) at Briggs/Evans. Heading back south on Briggs, I realized I had 2nd tied up unless I completely fell apart. I also realized that it was going to take one hell of a finish for me to win it. I seemed to gain a few seconds on the return  trip down Briggs, but as I passed 2M in 11:05 (5:40), I probably gained more on one curvy section as we approached Erie Parkway. Hartshorn was content to follow the lead bike, which just followed the curve of the road, while I, the sneaky veteran ran the tangent. By the final turn, his lead was down to 17 seconds, but there wasn't much left, and that was all I could gain on him. My last .485M(?) was in 2:32.

So, my overall pace was just under 5:29/M. While the race was a pretty short distance, I'm pretty happy to be able to handle that pace coming off of pure base training at mostly slower than 7:00 miles and a heart rate capped at 130.

I'm not sure what's next - it just feels good to be back in the game.

In other news, next Saturday I'll start coaching the Saturday / Long Run group for BoldRunning. I had a good talk with Ewen North on Friday, and I've committed to coaching through the end of the program on October 17th. Looking forward to that...

More later...

Checked out the Boulder Four on the Fourth results - I'm confident about getting "all the way" back (whatever that means?), but I made the right choice about what 4K to run for my first race back. Saw at least a couple of guys doubled with the Superior Downhill Mile. Fun. Yeah, seeing James @ 13:01 and Ken @ 13:31 as the top 2 masters guys shows me the work I need to do and inspires me to do it. All things being equal (which they weren't), my time would have placed me 16th in Boulder today.

The morning's warm-up, race and warm-down netted me 9M, and I just added another 7M on the treadmill (48:58) for 16M on the day, and 50M for the week. In a change from the last several weeks, I compensated for the reduced running mileage with 26K rowing and 14M on the elliptical. So, 50M of running and ~30 "miles" of cross-training still gave me some solid volume for the week.

Next week will bring more running miles, a long run and a tempo run. I haven't seen the training plan for  the BoldRunning group, but I think this Saturday calls for only a 75-80 minute run. I'm not sure how I'll work in those long runs yet. I'll know more when I see the full schedule and get a feel for how quick and long those runs go.

Have a happy and safe 4th.