Friday, November 27, 2009

Nov. 26-Turkey Chase Race Report

Always a great start to Thanksgiving, the Bethesda Turkey Chase is a challenging but fair rolling hills course that starts on Old Georgetown Road, cuts through some neightborhoods, out to Wisconsin Avenue, before turning on Old Georgetown to the finish. I met up with Nate and we did a pre-race warm up.

About 10 or so guys were all around me from the start, and I muscled my way up right behind the leaders. I saw Karl out of the corner of my right eye move his way to the front. Colin pulled up next to me and muttered something about the course.
"Hills are in the first half right?"
"Yes." I replied.
I ran this race last year so I was familiar with the course. For some reason though it seemed a little hillier than I recall. Karl and about 5 other guys were leading the race, with me and Colin drafting behind with another guy in a black jersey. Mile 1: 5:07. We climbed up the hills. As Colin and I worked together, it seemed like I was stronger on the uphills, but he was able to surge on me going downhill. So we kept trading off for a while. Mile 2: 10:27. The lead pack was only a few meters ahead of us. We turned onto Wisconsin. Mile 3: 15:56. By now the lead started to break up, and we started gaining on one guy who was falling off. Colin and I passed him, who I think was Gareth Peters? Mile 4: 21:31. As I made my way up the last hill before turning onto Old Georgetown, I passed Colin, who immediately surged past me once we turned and ran dowhill towards Old Georgetown. He moved ahead, and I tried to hold on. I could see a few more guys in the distance who we could possibly catch. Berhanu Zeleke, who surged to the lead from the very beginning, had dropped to 5th place, so Colin and I began rearing him in. Colin put a little distance on me and passed Zeleke, who couldn't go with him. Very soon after, I began bringing Zeleke in. Mile 5: 27:02. As I came up on Zeleke with less than a mile to go, he went with me, and together we worked the final mile. However, I was also trying to lose him, because(I am pretty sure he is an Ethiopian-correct me if I am wrong though) my chance of outkicking an Ethiopian with less than a mile to go are pretty slim. Colin passed him at the right time-I was in deep trouble however. I tried to push. I surged. But he wouldn't let go. He was just toying with me. With less than 100 meters to go, he sprinted ahead and claimed the 1st age group prize-the same age group I am in.

Despite losing to Zeleke, I ran a PR on a not so PR friendly course. This is a positive sign that my running is going in the right direction. I ended up 7th overall. Which I am pretty sure about, despite the results claiming I was 8th. My time was 33:40, average 5:25 per mile pace.

I feel with a little more work and training I can get under 5:20 pace on a flat course. Perhaps I can toy with the 33:00 barrier next time. Splits below:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The 10K-Round 2

Tomorrow morning will be Round 2 of the 10K.

The Bethesda Turkey Chase!
..then it's a long drive up to NY.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shorter Stuff

After the 10K Race last Sunday, I took Monday off and just went for a nice long walk. I needed to rest a day to build back up for Round 2 in the 10K(coming up in next week's The Turkey Chase!). I only ran 33 miles this week, and most of my runs were pretty short. The longest I ran all week was with the GRC on Saturday for an hour and 8 minutes. We had a great group of people and some new people as well, and discussed 2010 Spring Racing Goals, which went very well(more on 2010 goals and schedule to come soon). On Thursday I did a moderate progression workout on the track, starting at 8:00 pace and working down to 5:20 (10K race pace) for 3 miles around the track.

I feel fitter, faster. I will do a track workout tomorrow afternoon for some more tune up. My goal for this Thursday's Turkey Chase is to average as close to 5:20 pace as possible. Last Sunday I averaged 5:27 pace for the 10K.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Veterans Day 10K Race Report/45 Miles-Week Nov 9-15

Well first of all, this week felt much better than last week, for sure. I started to do a little more of quality workouts and decent mileage-definitely not high though. My legs felt more recovered than last week after the marathon. Even so, when I awoke this morning I felt a little stiff/tight. As I loosened up though, I felt better. I wasn't sure what to expect from the Veterans Day 10K race today, as last weekend I ran a 17:04 5K as a workout on a hilly course. But deep down I began to feel like I was somehow ready to break 34:00...

The gun went off, and an electric current went through my body with a JOLT. Jesus, RELAX Chris, this is your first 10K in months. A small pack of Africans surged to the lead. There were about 4 or 5 guys drafting off of them, while a big pack came together after about 1/2 a mile, which was where I was in. I had about 10 guys to run with from the start so it helped. Mile 1 Split: 5:00. OH SHIT. Too fast, I thought, but I didn't panic because I felt fine and kept running the way I was running. If I feel fine running 5:00 pace, then so be it! Mile 2: 10:33. Ok, that's more like it, I thought, realizing Mile 1 was a bit short. After Mile 2 the pack started to thin out and I found myself trying to keep contact with 2 guys ahead of me. I keyed off of them, and cannot remember if I passed one of them or not later in the race. We passed an African runner who was having an off day. Then around mile 3 Samia Akbar came up on my shoulder(who I knew was a 33:xx 10K runner) and told myself to stay right with her. She went ahead next to the 2 guys in front of me and I kept my eyes on them. Mile 3: 16:00, 5K Split: 16:36. After the turnaround, I felt a little wind but for Hains Point it was hardly windy today. Mile 4: 21:35, probably the worst I felt, but after Mile 4 I began feeling better, and started calculating in my head what I needed to run to dip under 34:00. At this point, I was running alone and could see Samia and the other 2 guys not too far ahead. Luckily, my teamate Patrick Hughes pulled up next to me and we worked through the 5th and 6th mile. Bart Borghuis was also on our heels. Mile 5: 27:10. Perfect. Now I just had to run solid the last mile, keep working it, I told myself, make sure you PUSH. This was truly racing again, for me. I haven't had an honest RACE in a while, so it felt fresh to push. I felt stronger now. After the 5th mile, Bart surged passed Patrick and I. I began surging ahead of Patrick. At the tunnel I heard and saw Max cheering for me and Patrick. Mile 6: 32:44. I had no clue how long the last .2 was going to take, but as soon as I saw the finish line and glanced at my watch I knew I was going to run a PR. I ended up running 33:53, a 23 second PR, finishing 16th.

At the moment I crossed the finish line, I was HUNGRY for more..

And as always, thanks again for cheering Beth!


Mile 1: ~5:13
Mile 2: ~5:20
Mile 3: 5:27
Mile 4: 5:35
Mile 5: 5:35
Mile 6: 5:34
.2: 1:09

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov 11: 75:00 Treadmill Workout

Well, the weather was so crappy yesterday that I decided to do a workout on the treadmill at my local gym. It's always this time of year (Nov-Dec) that I'll hop on the treadmill a few times per month. The treadmill is pretty boring, but I guess since I probably only run on the treadmill literally 5 times per year, it's not too bad. It gets boring quick, however. I did a 75 minute workout yesterday, with 8.5 miles at 6:00 pace/about 11.5 miles total distance.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Cascades and Training Update

I'll start off with the Virginia Tech trip with Beth, which was AWESOME. Last Weekend we took a trip to Virginia Tech to escape the Trick or Treaters. We did a long hike up to the cascades, and as long as it took, it was worth getting up to the viewing spot(photo above). The Hike was done 6 days after the Marathon and it definitely helped my legs flush out a lot of waste products. Beth enjoyed it too. We had a blast. The Cascade Falls in Pembroke(about 20 miles from Virginia Tech) are probably the most beautiful natural attractions on the East Coast. The hike easily took an hour and a half to get there, since the path we took was the more difficult one. On the way back, we took the easy path so that took only like 50 Minutes. It rained a bit on the way back, but nothing too bad. I did a couple of easy distance runs to continue to get my legs going again after the marathon. I ran on the trails of pandapas the day before, and the day of the hike later in the afternoon I went for a nice run on the Huckleberry Trail. I used to train in Pandapas and on Huckleberry all the time, so it brought back a lot of memories being there. Pandapas has a lot of good and challenging trails to run on, as well as dirt roads for soft surfaces. The Huckleberry is a paved path that runs from Blacksburg to Christiansburg, it is about 12 miles out and back. On Saturday, we had a really delicious steak dinner at the Texas Steakhouse, really good place as well as a cheap price for quality beef. The trip rejuvenated and refreshed my spirit and soul.
I am surprised how quickly I am recovering from this Marathon, but then again I am not that surprised, because it's not like I ran a 2:31:00 or anything. I think it would've taken me a lot longer to recover if I DID run that fast.
But even so, I am getting stronger and stronger.