Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Turkey Chase 10K Race Report

The Turkey Chase 10K is one of my favorite races every year. It is a great way to start Thanksgiving and get my run done for the day as well. I did a moderate warm up and some strides before getting to the start line with only a singlet, shorts, and gloves on. The sky was overcast and it drizzled slightly. I love this course as well...though usually not a PR course...however I have PRed here before and wouldn't be surprised if I did again ...challenging, rolling hills in the first 4 miles with the last 2.2 flat/downhill. The last 2 miles of this race I always feel pretty good. I saw Gurmessa Megressa, some college guys, other studs as well. But I was gunning to win money today. Top 5 get $100 or more...

The start was TERRIBLE. The starter had us stand behind the mats and then all of a sudden said "SET"...and we put out feet on the mat...and then there was confusion...the starter said something that people didn't understand...and everyone stopped and backed up to restart....but then the starter said NO, NO, NO, GO, GO GO!!!!....shit!! I cursed and began racing. What an awful way to start...probably one of my worst ever. I figured the net times would fix the problem...

10 guys surged in front of me to the front...I just hung off the rear. Damn, I thought, this race was going to be fast, and I'm gonna have to work for that top 5...

BUT I stayed patient. I knew I would run them down if I ran the race right.

We made the turn-slight downhill-the ground was a bit moist...but still ideal for racing. I made sure to take the turns carefully however with all the fallen leaves. We made another turn and now the uphills started coming along...especially after mile 1-which did have some downhill to it but was a bit quick(5:02)...this mile is always quick though...every year I hit the first mile of this race faster than my overall pace. But soon after I began reeling guys in...I started catching up to the 10th place guy and then the 9th place guy and so forth-some just went out too fast or could not hold the pace...because I surely wasn't holding 5:02 pace...Mile 2 was 10:20(5:18 split) I slowed up some but going uphill as well...

Then we made the turn onto Wisconsin...and at this point I had past 2 or 3 guys and was in 8th or 9th place. I could see the leaders way out front-Gurmessa was hammering this race...the guy is just in his own league...but I concentrated on catching one runner at a time. Then Paul pulled up next to me right around mile 3(15:40ish), and I tailed off of him to catch another runner. Now I was starting to feel pretty good...despite going a slight uphill grade up Wisconsin Ave. My stride and turnover were excellent. The next guy(Gareth Peters) I caught just before mile 4. Now I was in 7th place. I was still keying off of Paul and we made the turn onto Georgetown for the last 2.2 miles. I felt great-I really did. Man, if only I can tear up a Marathon running like this, I thought. I saw Paul gaining on an African who was falling off the pace as well as another college runner(who ended up being Andrew Palmer). So slowly...ever so slowly...I began reeling in these 2 guys...

Just before Mile 5, I caught them. Boy, was this familiar(to last year)...when I caught up to an African last year but got outkicked the last 400 meters...


I ran next to Andrew and began to surge-he went with me. I looked back over my shoulder to see if the African matched us. He did not. We kept surging-no sign of the African. We had broke him. Now it was me and Andrew-who was actually sharing some brief words with me about Syracuse-I encouraged him to stay with me. But the last 800 meters I began to kick, and surged brilliantly toward the last quarter mile. The crowd was cheering...

HE'S COMING UP ON YOU! some people yelled to me...

CATCH HIM ANDREW! I heard someone else yell behind me...many were yelling GET HIM!....Dammit-Andrew is coming up on me! I was kicking all out at this point...I didn't have any more turnover than I already had...

100 meters....50 meters.... PUSH IT!!!

I crossed the line...

Andrew crossed just 2 ticks later. I earned 5th place overall. $100.

My time was 32:54 gun-timed, but my net time got screwed up along with some other runners behind me. Almost everyone's net time was 3 seconds faster...My official net time was probably 32:51 or 32:52.

I am happy with how I ran this race. I passed at least 6 guys and worked my way up to earn top 5. Also ran a PR, and the 3rd time I've broken 33 for the 10K...AND on a much hillier course than my previous PR.

One more race to end the year:


Monday, November 22, 2010

November Workouts

I am starting to become confident in the runner I am developing and have developed myself into for the past 3.5+ years. I am proud of the way I have coached myself, and have gotten myself to a level where I can compete pretty well in the 10K-Half Marathon. Of course, I haven't gotten my marathon right yet but at this point in time I am still young and it is important for me to furthur improve my times for the 10K this winter. Despite a dissapointing Chicago Marathon, I have built a solid endurance base of marathon training over the summer and throughout the fall, and now in November I have cranked up some nice hard workouts.

Outline of my November workouts below:

Nov 6: Track: 3X1600(5:03, 5:04, 5:04), 3X800(2:30, 2:30, 2:31)
400 Jog between 1600s, 200 jog between 800s

Nov 10: Track: 2X3200(10:25, 10:24), 1X1600(5:02),
400 Meter Jog Recovery between each set

Nov 14: Race: Veterans Day 10K: 32:58, 5:18 pace

Nov 22: MonoFartlek Workout: 22 minutes running followed by:
2X90 Seconds ON, 90 Seconds OFF
4X60 Seconds ON, 60 Seconds OFF
4X30 Seconds ON, 30 Seconds OFF
4X15 Seconds ON, 15 Seconds OFF
followed by 22 more minutes of running:
Total 64 Minutes.~10 Miles
This was the workout I did today which is a great Turnover Workout. Started at Old Angler's Inn and ran South on the Canal. You are supposed to start the 90 Seconds feeling like it is tempo pace and then progressing with each interval until you are running pretty quick the last 15 seconds. By the time you are done you are pretty tired but still aren't totally depleted. I felt pretty good and am ready for 10K #2 coming up this Thursday: The Turkey Chase!

I hit 3000 miles for the year so far after last week-already a yearly mileage PR by a lot. Before this the most I have ever run in one year is 2400. Maybe I'll hit 3400 by the end of the year?

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Race For Jeff

Abiyot Endale(sub 4:00 Miler), Steve Hallinan, Demesse Tefera(former Olympian), Rod Koborski, Gurmessa Megressa, Steve Magness....the FAST names were endless going into the Veterans Day 10K on Sunday, November 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. Not to mention my speedy roomate, Joe, as well as a few other GRC guys who have all run 30-31 min 10Ks, in addition to some Pacers runners like sub 31 guy Bert Rodriguez. This field was STACKED. And there were to be fast times today. In addition to Steve Magness, representing =PR= were me, Dave, and Dustin. I was aiming for under 33 minutes today for the 6.2 Mile Race. Last year, I had run 33:53, and was 16th. So, realistically I was shooting for top 10 this year(which got money). I warmed up with Dave and Dustin and got to the starting line feeling tired from the funeral but so motivated to run at the same time. I had gotten home the night before around 11:00 driving back from NY-and then got up at 5:00 AM the next morning. But the adrenaline was there. I was needing a good race today-for my cousin, my friend, Jeff.


The Gun went off. I went out conservative, making sure not to go too fast, for I realized that the field was MUCH more loaded than last year. 10 guys surged to the front. I saw Joe, who was not too far ahead near the 1 Mile mark-dangerous for me-Joe is clearly on another level than I am right now-and going out with him at his pace for the first mile would be too fast too early. I stayed calm and went through 5:15 the first mile-perfect. Andy was running with me at this point and we both went through the 2 Mile in 10:32(5:17 split). After that, Andy dropped back a bit and I was on my own-so I started focusing on catching a few guys up ahead. One of them was Dustin-who I wanted to run with since he was aiming for 32's. I up to him and another runner who was dropping off the pace. I went through the HALFWAY 5K in 16:30. 33 FLAT pace. Ok, gotta run the second half faster, this is what I am good at. We made the 180 degree turn around. Dustin was sticking with me as we caught an African runner who actually stuck with us. We were now a pack of 3. Dustin and I tried to work together to reel in more runners up ahead(as well as drop the African guy-cause lord knows what he had in store the last 800 meters of the race). We hit 4 Miles in 21:10ish. A little more than 10 Minutes of pain left, I thought. I got hungry to catch more runners. I was leading the pack of 3 and kept pushing the pace. Dustin and I could not drop the African guy. He was hanging on. 5 Mile split was 26:30 something. 1.2 Miles left. I started making my move, I felt the African guy hurting a bit. I was strong. Dustin was hanging off my shoulders. Come on, I thought, you GOT this. I wasn't sure if I was on pace or not to break 33. I was starting to think I was going to run 33:10 or something. Then, the last 800 meters, The african surged ahead of me and Dustin, and we could not match his turnover. Dustin and I ran together trying to reel him in. Then Dustin surged. I was running just a few meters back from him. Alright, probably not going to break 33, I thought...

6 Miles. .2 TO GO!!!

THEN, I thought of Jeff-I forgot about the pain. I still had the strength in my legs, my body had MORE to give. GIVE IT!!! I yelled out loud, THIS IS FOR YOU JEFF!!! The crowd cheered-and with that suddenly my turnover changed and I ran faster, and faster, AND FASTER-the last 10 seconds were like one long moment of sheer joy and pain and everything else in between-all wrapped into one. It hurt-but it felt so good at the same time. I ran my heart out.

The clock read 32:58.


As I crossed the line, I bent over on my knees, exhausted, and started to cry. Joe(who ran a great race in 31:15), held me up. I cried while he hugged me. YOU DID THIS FOR HIM, he said. I saw Beth who came with her Mom, and hugged them both. I was happy, and I was happy to do this for Jeff.



1 1/88 1 Abiyot Endale 24 BRONX NY 29:35 4:46 14:44

2 2/88 3054 Steve Hallihan 24 WASHINGTON DC 29:54 4:49 14:52

3 1/223 2714 Demese Tefera 27 WASHINGTON DC 30:03 4:51 14:51

4 1/191 2180 Gurmessa Megerssa 31 WASHINGTON DC 30:12 4:52 14:58

5 2/223 3016 Rod Koborsi 27 WASHINGTON DC 30:23 4:54 14:57

6 3/223 21 Steve Magness 26 VIENNA VA 30:31 4:55 15:02

7 3/88 13 Frank Devar 22 ALEXANDRIA VA 30:40 4:57

8 4/223 18 Will Viviani 28 ARLINGTON VA 30:46 4:57 15:27

9 2/191 14 Bert Rodriguez 31 ARLINGTON VA 30:51 4:58 15:27

10 5/223 12 Joey Wiegner 28 ROCKVILLE MD 31:15 5:02 15:37

11 4/88 16 Paul Guevara 24 ALEXANDRIA VA 31:38 5:06 15:40

12 5/88 17 Jerry Greenlaw 22 BOWIE MD 31:42 5:06 15:47

13 6/88 10 Ryan Hanson 22 ROCKVILLE MD 31:49 5:08 15:47

14 6/223 1447 Carlos Renjifo 27 COLUMBIA MD 32:00 5:09 15:48

15 7/88 3146 Seife Gelletu 24 WASHINGTON DC 32:34 5:15 15:48

16 7/223 5 Beruk Deberework 27 WASHINGTON DC 32:51 5:18

17 8/88 15 Dustin Whitlow 24 ARLINGTON VA 32:56 5:18 16:30

18 8/223 7 Chris Sloane 27 ROCKVILLE MD 32:58 5:18 16:30

19 9/223 3 Dave Miller 27 ROCKVILLE MD 33:28 5:24 16:47

20 10/223 1262 Charles Love 25 MADISON VA 33:41 5:26 16:40

My Next Race is on November 25-The Turkey Chase 10K on Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

R.I.P Jeff

Today, I just found out my closest cousin, Jeff, died at the age of 23. Jeff was a wonderful, brilliant human being. He wouldn't harm a fly. Jono,(my brother), and I, haved shared many great memories with him. If possible,(I am getting ahead of myself here with the funeral date and all), I will run Veterans Day in Honor of him. I will post his name on my jersey and hopefully everyone will cheer for "Jeff." More to write later as I collect my thoughts. I miss you, Jeff, R.I.P.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday, 11/6: 3X1600, 3X800

Today I did an excellent track workout. I went to Richard Montgomery High School and did a warmup, (and also trying to find a door that was open to use the bathroom). Once I was ready, I slipped on my Saucony Kinvaras and was ready to go to work. The design of this workout was to do 2 different sessions: 3x1600 w/ 400 jog, and 3X800 w/ 200 jog. I hit the 1600s in 5:03, 5:04, 5:04. Each lap I jogged was about 2 minutes, and then after the 3rd 1600, I did a very slow lap and stopped briefly(total 5:00 jog/rest) before starting the 800s. I hit the 800s right on the same pace in 2:30, 2:30, 2:31, and the 200 jogs were 1:00 each. So it was a success. The design of this workout was to stress my VO2 Max and run as evenly as possible and also not to go too fast. This was critical for me in order to take the next step and progress to a race pace of 5:05 per mile. I'm not saying I will hit my 10K at 5:05 pace yet, but it is a step towards that. 10 for the day. Tomorrow is a 14 Mile Long Run, should be around 67 Miles this week.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moving Foward

I have read some of my fellow runners' blogs about their fall marathons and many, like me, had some tough races. Some dropped out, others finished, and others ran very well. Many, like me, ran well up until 20 miles. The distance of the marathon does not lie. You can train yourself to run it, but to race it at a high level is a completely different thing.

I had a great convo last week with my first high school cross country coach, Jerry Link. Mr. Link was a great motivator, and I learned a lot about pushing one's mind to the very possible limit from him. When I asked him about the Chicago Marathon, he said:

"Chris, I think if you had run Marine Corps again or another hometown race you would have been ok, or even to run Chicago just to "run it", but to jump in a race like Chicago and expect a personal best right now just didn't sound right to me-you are so young and in a race like that you are not just running with good runners-you are running with pros-I just immediately thought it was a bad idea. I think you should build your confidence up in the shorter distances like you have been, focus on those races-get to a point where you reach a certain level, and then come back confident and ready to tackle the marathon again."

Perhaps I am still too young to expect to master the marathon(meaning not just run-but race it). The training has improved. The mileage has improved. I was ALMOST there in Chicago, I feel like. It just couldn't hold together in the final stages. And, with that comes maturity. I am young, and have my youth to maximize my speed now. My 5K PR needs much improvement. My 10K has improved dramatically over the past few years, still though, it is only 32:54. Now, if I can get to sub-32-that would be nice. Now, on to present training. It is going well, the workouts have been sharpening my legs up. Back to more regular mileage, but faster pace. Last 2 weeks were 66 miles, 51 miles, respectively. The cruise interval workout I did last week on the canal was good. Today I did a general aerobic run w/ 8x100m reps. I'm looking foward to hitting the track and doing some VO2 Max stuff this weekend-repeat miles sound very good to me-maybe 3xmile and 3x800.