Thought for the Day

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Foothills YMCA 5K/Run For Literacy 5K

This past weekend I ran the Ahwatukee Foothills YMCA 5K on Saturday and the Run For Literacy 5K at the Glendale Public Library on Sunday. Both of these races were timed by the Arizona Road Racers, a club that handles many of the races out here and usually does it well. the timing in both of these races was botched, so they gave awards on the days of the events based on order of finish instead of chip time.

Ahwatukee Foothills YMCA 5K

The YMCA race started at 8 AM. I had gotten there with time to jog over the course. It was a gradual uphill for the first half, at which point there was a 40 yard steep rise, then all downhill back to the finish. All of it is in suburban Phoenix blacktop streets.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have jogged the course. It's usually fine for me to do that, but it was a hot day already at 7:30 AM, and there were hills. I'll say it before anyone else points it out. It's hot, but not humid in Phoenix, so the conditions were nothing like Boston on Monday.
I started toward the back, mainly because I didn't feel like swimming through the crowd. I felt okay about being able to pass the slower runners once the race started, but it may have cost me some time in the first mile. I ran a disappointing 21:20. I ran a 5K on a tougher course in 21:34 at the end of March, and I thought I was in great shape for a PR this weekend.

1. 6:37
2. 6:51 13:28
3. 7:18 20:45
3.1. 0:35 21:20

That third mile split is very strange, because as I said, the second mile had the big hill, and the third mile was all downhill. And I was pushing it. So I think the third mile was long.

Run For Literacy 5K

The next morning was cold, probably in the 50s. I know, to many of you, that doesn't sound cold, but remember it was in the 80s the morning before. We get used to being warm.
I didn't warm up very much before the start either, because I got there kind of late.
Once again I lined up toward the back of the pack. It was a smaller crowd in this race, and I was able to move at my pace once the race started.
The course was perfectly flat, paved streets around Glendale Community College and the library. I never saw the 1 mile marker, but someone told me it was probably placed at about the 1K point in the race, because his split there was 4:39. I reached the two mile mark in 13:20.
Shortly after that, I passed a 10 year-old girl, Nathalie Nguyen. I didn't see her again until after the finish, but I heard people cheering for her every time she came around a corner behind me.
She ran the 5K in 21:33. (gun time since the chip timing was screwed up)
My gun time was 21:22, but my watch time was 20:56. Still disappointing, but at least I can blame it on having run a race the day before.

I haven't run since Sunday. Lots of things going on is all. I feel like I have no time to breathe.
I'll take another shot at the 20 minute 5K this weekend, then forget it for a while.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

ARR Open Mile

I know I was supposed to do my Doctorvals, and I said that was my plan, but I wasn't thinking about the fact that the Arizona Road Racers were having one of their Open Miles yesterday.
Monday I bought a pair of racing shoes, Brooks Racer STs, for my 5K on 4/17, and this was going to be my first test of them, whatever I ran. I decided to go ahead and do the mile and see if I could still do the Doctorvals after.
These Open Miles are pretty neat events. They are just a little more formal than a track work out, and a little less than a real race. They have a group start, call out your splits on the quarter miles, have a big, digital clock so you can see your time as you come down the starting straightaway on each lap, ring a big bell for the last lap, and record your time. No charge except club membership.
There are two heats, the first for folks who expect to finish in over 7 minutes, and the second for sub-seven minute milers. A lot of the faster people use the first heat as a warm up. I ran the first three laps of the first heat at two minutes a lap, then stepped off and just moved around to stay loose.
I started the mile a couple of steps back from the line. I knew a lot of the guys there were much more serious about the mile than I was.
One of them did a sub-5 mile as a warm up.

The mile:
1/4: 1:26
1/2: 2:54 1:28
3/4: 4:31 1:37
1mi: 6:07 1:36

I'm very happy with that, much improved from the last time I did this, and for the first two laps, I felt great.
Then I started jogging around, waiting for the crowd to thin out so I could start my scheduled workout. After the miles, a large group of people usually run descending distances to complete a track workout, 1200 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters.
At the same time, other members of the club are getting together in the parking lot for pizza and drinks. (no beer since the school doesn't allow it)

I decided to slip into the 400, and did it in 80 seconds.

Then i jogged another lap and started my 200s. the track i usually do these on is sand. this one is rubberized. i've been doing these intervals in training shoes. Last night I had on my new racing flats.

1. 34.06
2. 36.38
3. ???

At the start of the third 200, I pushed the stop button instead of the split button, so I got no time. Then I walked off and got some pizza. I don't know why I stopped. I was tired. I goofed up my time. I was self-conscious because the timer and some of the volunteers were still hanging around and I felt like they were watching me. I told myself it was two weeks to my race, so I could do the workout another day, like maybe Thursday.
Last night I was pretty jazzed. After a lot of hard running, including the fastest mile I've run in years, I easily whipped off a faster 200 than I have in a while.
But I should have gone ahead and finished the workout. I just let one little thing throw me off track.
However, I am fairly certain I can break 20 minutes on 4/17.

Monday, April 5, 2004

Mummy Mountain 10 Mile 2004

It used to be the Mummy Mountain Madness, but now they're calling it the Roy Hay Memorial Mummy Mountain 10 Mile Run. Roy Hay was a popular local runner and the director of this race until he passed away. The race still seemed like madness to me.
I think I told you it was billed as having "just enough hills to make it interesting." It was interesting enough for a mountain goat. Sir Edmund Hillary would have found it interesting.
But it had lots of flat, too. Really, it was a great race with lots of variety. The weather was fairly close to perfect. It was slightly overcast, and early in the morning it was sunny but cool, a very rare combination in Phoenix.
The first 3 miles were fairly flat, with long, straight stretches, but I was anticipating the coming incline, so I reined myself in.
Mummy Mountain was looming overhead.
I didn't get the first mile split.
2. 14:26 (7:13)
3. 21:31 7:05
Then there was some climbing. At the same time, the streets became curvy, following the contours of the terrain, hiding ups and downs, mostly up, around each bend.
4. 29:16 7:45
Then we came back down out of the hills.
5. 35:55 6:39
6. 43:08 7:13
Just before mile six, the runners could see the school where the race started and would finish, just a couple blocks away.
Then we turned back up into the hills.
7. 50:38 7:30
8. 58:10 7:31
These last two miles were fairly flat. It seems from my splits that the last mile marker must have been off, mile 9 must have been long, and mile 10 short.
But I was darn tired going into mile 9, and I concentrated on putting everything I could into the last one.
9. 1:05:46 7:37
10. 1:12:40 6:53
This was a really good run for me over a hilly course. I'm very happy with my time. It was a very competitive race, though. I was 7th in my age group in spite of running a pace which got me 3rd in a 10K the week before.