Saturday, January 26, 2008

First 5K of the Year - Texas Med Center 5K

Well the last time I ran a 5K was back September I guess, the Lunar...Then came marathon training, then the injury...focus obviously was not on speed for the shorter distances.

I didn't expect anything spectacular today, I just really entered the race to see where I that I knew what I had to work on. The only reason I was nervous was because I had completely forgotten how to 'race' a 5K. All I knew is that I would shoot for 9:40 averages, and pray that I didn't completely suck today. Yeah the 9:40 didn't happen, but I came closer than I thought. My Garmin for whatever reason completely didnt register the run, but yet it was counting splits because I happened to see one of them, and the distance read at 3.16, so I know it was working.

I remember looking down at my watch at one point and it read the distance at 1.01 and the time was at 9:24. As usual...too fast for me to go out at. I never saw the mile 2 split, but I did happen to see the 3rd and it read 10:13.

I had some problems in mile 2... but it was during that mile that Sam jumped in with me, but I had to send him on his way after a bit because he makes me nervous :) and I was struggling and I figured I needed the time to focus on trying to get my groove back... So we agreed he'd pick me back up in what would be the last 400m or so...

Once I made the last turn on my way back I started to pick it up a bit, trying to forget about the fact that for whatever reason I was having some pain in the ankles. Sure enough right as the watch clicked over to 2.75, there he was. And I had one last turn to go.

If I have anything remotely resembling 'afterburners' I put them on and cruised on in, over the mat, and I was done.

Looking back on it now, and as I told him, don't listen to me next time. Just keep running and I will keep running along side of you as best I can.

Given the fact that its been so long since a 5K, no speed work to speak of, I am very happy with the 30:47 time today, averaging 9:52 miles. The last time I did this race, back in January 2006, I ran something closer to 36 minutes. Sure it would have been nice to get the 9:40, and even a PR, but like I said, it was not my goal today.

I accomplished what I set out to do... 1) finish with a decent time 2) to not suck and 3) figure out where I am and what I need to do for the Spring races. At the very least I can count today as some good speed work.

I didn't think I was going to do another 5K until March 1st, but there is one on February 9th, and I am leaning towards doing it. Like Sam said, to him it makes more sense to keep racing to get better at racing.

Makes sense to me too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chevron Houston Marathon/Aramco Half Marathon Recap (edited from earlier)

Gun Time: 2:25:35
Chip Time: 2:24:x

Garmin Time: 2:21:36

Previous times from 2 half marathons completed:
Koala Houston Half - October 2006 - 2:31
Surfside Half Marathon - February 2007 - 2:33

Not sure why my chip time was off from the Garmin. My mileage was correct on the Garmin, and I didnt start it late, so I have no idea. Nor did I stop it at any time during the race. So anyhoohoo...

I guess I will start with the splits:

Mile 1: 11:26
Mile 2: 10:42
Mile 3: 10:40
Mile 4: 10:56 (slowed down to wait for Amie as she needed a portapotty)
Mile 5: 10:23
Mile 6: 10:38
Mile 7: 10:49
Mile 8: 10:24
Mile 9: 10:15
Mile 10: 10:23
Mile 11: 11:10
Mile 12: 10:52
Mile 13: no data (lost signal in downtown)
.1: no data (lost signal in downtown)

I had to stop twice for the bathroom. Once to pee, and then to be honest the 'lost focus' in mile 11 and on was due to G.I. issues. So much so that I had to stop otherwise I would have come in hearing people yelling "here comes poopy pants!". As much as I appreciated those peanut m&m's close to mile 9, well lets just say, not a good idea. Even after the potty break, the fastest one I know in the history of womankind, the constant feeling was there. I really wasn't sure exactly what was going to happen, so I would slow down and then speed up because I was so close. Slow down. Speed up. So there's that. Nice huh? As it is, I haven't been able to keep anything in my stomach since. I've tried. And within minutes I am in the bathroom. Blah.

Anyway, I dressed perfectly for the race. I went with the short sleeve compression and the pull away sleeves, which were pulled off around mile 4 or so, the gloves way before that. The head/ear band came off at the same time as the sleeves. Almost to mile 9, Margo got all my gear from me and I was so damn happy to be rid of it all. Evidently Margo thought I looked quite chic! ha!

I never really broke a sweat as the weather was perfect for the half. I do wish it would have been closer to 40 deg at the start, as it was it was about 47ish. I'm afraid it would have been too warm for the full. More than a few times I was running into a headwind but it didnt seem to bother me. Nor did that small, but steep inclines around Montrose between miles 5.5 and 6.2.

What I didnt realize is when you do the half, you get to miss the 'hills' of Allen Parkway. Glory be to God because I was sweatin that shit all the way back down Montrose. What you do get is that little decline right smack dab into Downtown Houston.

Once I hit Allen Parkway, with just a couple of miles to go at this point, the pace cars were on the opposite side of the street with the lead marathoners running right beside us. That was very cool indeed. I also saw the lead woman who basically finished the full about the same time I finished the half.

To me it seemed the crowds were much bigger this year. And louder. Especially during that one part, which escapes me now where the road becomes much more narrow. I think its around just past the 6.2 chip mat. Again I cant remember now.

As I said miles 11 and 12 were brutal, not because of pace but because I lost focus due to the stomach issues I was having, but once I hit Milam and made the turn I was good to go. Just a few more streets and I could turn right on Rusk and make my way home. It was however on Rusk, that the GI issues were REALLY bad and seriously, I um...yeah, it was bad.

I had long but forgotten my disappointment at having to drop to the half once I turned on Rusk, because I knew I was gonna PR and that I was close to goal.

I went inside, got some Gatorade and asked the time. 9:40. I gotta get back outside and I pushed my way to the front of the fenceline lining Rusk, just feet from the finish and waited. I saw several people I knew finish on the full but of course I was waiting for one person in particular. And finally there he was, arms pumping in the air as if he'd just won the thing! That was all I needed to see. And then I sprinted back inside. Here I was still running! I had to laugh out loud a bit at that. But I still had so much energy it was hard not to run.

I will say that the wave start was genius. We were close enough to the front of the second wave, and even though that first mile was 11:26 it wasnt due to crowds. It was because we wanted to do training pace the first mile. As I was watching the dvr'd coverage, it was even mentioned that a 3rd wave could be added to the half marathon next year to even allow more people to sign up. They didnt mention a 3rd wave for marathoners, but why not? So many people didnt get to run because it sold out so quickly.

P.S. GID ran the full 26.2 in a gun time of 3:03 and some change, and qualified for Boston! He's fast huh? :O) And our coach, Sean Wade of Kenyan Way won the masters division of the Half Marathon in 67 minutes!!!