Sunday, September 26, 2010

City of San Dimas 5K

I haven't raced a 5K since last December 2009. The ones before that were July 4 in 2009 and 2008 and I ran those with other people at their pace, just for fun. A couple of interesting points about the race - my church, Christ's Church of the Valley was the title sponsor. Like me their were many of us running and even better a whole host of folks came out to volunteer and to cheer us on. The other odd fact about the race is that it is in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the city of San Dimas. In a country that has 300+ year history, especially on the east coast, I get a kick out of the fact that our history is only 50 years old. Yes, we on the west coast have history older than that but we have plenty of cities that are even younger than San Dimas.

Back to the race - since I'm at the end of marathon training (Twin Cities is next weekend) and my training has been mediocre and completely devoid of speed, my expectations were pretty low for this event. My best case scenario was somewhere around 24:00.

The field was fairly small at about 250. I ran into a bunch of folks I know, including a coworker, parents whose son played youth sports with our kids, and a guy that I run into routinely at other local races. Plus there were a bunch of friends from church and a few of my Zimbabwe team mates either running or cheering. Lisa even signed up and walked the route.

I started off the race right next to my coworker, but he left me behind fairly quickly. He'd just won 3rd place in his age group at a big 5 mile race a couple of weeks ago, so I had no expectations of staying with him.

I was more than pleased with my 7:39 first mile time. Mile 2 clocked at 8:00 pretty much to the tenth of a second. I was able to cross the finish line with an official time of 23:46 (7:39 pace); a decent cushion on the predicted 24:00 finish. I was the 26th person across the line out of 252 which included a host of walkers. My time was good enough for 4th place in my age group (M 46-50). The guy who clenched 3rd was the guy that routinely see at local races. He's on the mend from an injury, so going somewhat slower than normal. When he's trained well, his dust is settled long before I get there.

It was a fun little event. I was surprised at the relatively low attendance considering the 5oth anniversary status of the city. Our church came out in a big way but if we had really gotten behind it we could of jammed the streets of San Dimas, church attendance is well over 3000.

It was fun to try to run a little faster than normal. I should consider adding a few more 5k's into the mix in 2011. For now it's time to take it easy for the Twin Cities Marathon next weekend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pre-Marathon Angst

Preparation for the Twin Cities Marathon has not gone as planned or nearly as good as necessary to tow the line in two weeks. I got off to a rough start with the trip to Europe. Then my hike to Mount Whitney disturbed the plan, too. In general I just slower than I used to be. I haven't been able to get in any kind of speed work and the couple of times I attempted it the weather was cooperating; being over 100 degrees. The most recent disturbance to the the training plan was the two week land and sea tour of Alaska. It was a wonderful trip with my parents. The opportunity to vacation with my parents was a rare opportunity. I haven't vacationed with my parents since I was 18 and our whole family went to Florida from Ohio. We drove the whole way in our new chocolate brown Ford LTD station wagon. I visited my parents at their home often when the kids were young but we've gone any where significant with them.

I ran in Fairbanks (12 miles), Anchorage (7.5 miles on the Tony Knowles Coastal Bike Trail), on the ship (3.3 miles on a treadmill) and in Juneau (@4 miles on the Loop Trail Lower Daley Lake). Fun runs to be sure but not up to par with the marathon training schedule that called for 47 and 50 miles each of the two weeks I was gone. The first week including a run on Monday at home I got in 28 miles. The second week including a 22 miler I did the day after I got home I got in 27.3 miles.

The 22 miler ended up a disaster. I ran 16 miles and then my right ankle locked up. It was like it was being squeezed in a vice. At that point I decided it best to stop running and had to walk 4 miles back to my car. I iced it at home and have taken it easy on it this week. To top it off both Lisa and I caught a cold when we got home.

The original plan for years was to run with a friend that lives and works in the Twin Cities. This is his "Brett Favre" run as he calls it. He's aiming to break 3:40 and there's just no way I can keep up with that. I feel bad about talking him into coming out of retirement to run and not being able to run it with him. He's still a young guy so he'll do fine. We share some grub and drink after we both make it to the finish line.