Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Time for the Half Marathon/The Spring Plan

It is dark, and yes it is winter. The snow storm is here. My power flickers delicately as I type this up, Joe, me and Danielle are just hoping it holds out...
But the sun will also rise...
The day after the race I felt remarkably good, in fact, I felt good enough to get in 20 miles Sunday. Ran 66 miles last week. I have been getting so used to running 2-2.5 hours every Sunday regularly now, it is becoming second nature. I think this Sunday though I will do at most 17-18. This week is definitely a bit of a recovery week and I have made sure to recover from a monster 5000m PR. I took Monday off. I am very happy with my first race of 2011 and am looking foward to the new year. I do want to make another assault on the 5k and I found another great opportunity in the middle of May in a college outdoor track meet called the Swarthmore Invite, PA Outdoor Track Last Chance Meet. I don't see it worthwhile in "rushing" another 5k right now, especially since I probably wouldn't improve much right now and am preparing for my assault race in March: the Shamrock Half Marathon. I have less than 8 weeks to prepare for one of my favorite events, have a solid base, and need to ramp up the LT/Tempo Workouts. So other than coaching, I will probably stay away from the track and stick to the roads/canal for the most part, although I could very well see myself doing some 1600m repeats again-which will be good for my speed in the half. I'll feel it out.
So the next stage begins with the Shamrock Half Marathon on March 20, followed by Cherry Blossom 2 weeks later, followed by Pikes Peek 2 weeks after that. Then, I will have a month to prepare for the Swarthmore Invite 5K. So I will be gradually going down in distance and turning up the speed.
The goal I am shooting for I feel should be 5:20 pace(give or take) for the half, or slightly faster. This should be feasible if I can run 4:57 pace for 5K. 1:10:00 is the target, and actually, 5:20 pace is technically 1:09:55. I need to do some solid tempos at 5:20 or faster. I love tempos. Track is more work to me, but tempos just feel so natural for my body. I'm sure as you can tell, I am excited to do these workouts in the next few weeks. I will carry this fitness over to Cherry Blossom, and start fine tuning my speed from that point on.
May 16 will be the last race of my spring season, then I will take a vacation to Naples with Beth's family, and write up a Fall Training Plan for some sort of race...I really do not know what I want to do for the fall...but I'm sure that decision will come when it is time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

RACE REPORT: UMD 5000M 1/22/2011

Besides High School, I have never had a good 5000m race, ever.

I never ran up to my potential in college, was injured all the time, and just flat out didn't train right.

But the 5K is an event I do like. And I do have some speed. I knew it was only a matter of time before I got back to it, and on Jan 22, 2011, it was the day to annihilate my mediocrity in the event and show what I am made of. I had been training well in my track workouts and knew I was capable of 15:30 or faster.

I got to the race with an hour and a half to spare and warmed up with Ryan. We warmed up around the Redskins stadium, had a little chat about the race, and came back with the cold wind in our faces...I kept thinking how nice it was for once we were to race inside. The race was stacked with several 14:40 guys so like my roomate Joe said this was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the competition. Ryan was also looking to run 14:40s. There were to be 2 heats in the 5k. I was put in the faster heat, but there was some disorganization among the officials towards the beginning, and I was almost put in the 2nd heat...

The officials told me and a few others to go to the second heat, but I declined and said I was initially put in the faster heat. I looked at the guys in the first heat and knew some would beat me, but not all. I did not come out here to run another 16:00 5k..

I could run with these guys, I thought, be confident.

The night before I had watched "Without Limits" and thought of the scene where PRE in his comeback after the Olympics is nervous about running against Shorter, Kardong, and Lindgren in the 5000m, throws up, and says to Kenny Moore, "I can't run with these guys anymore, they're going to hand me my head." Then as he hears the announcement of a "name" the crowds cheer, Kenny says, "I think that's you." Pre ends up winning the race, beating the Marathon Olympic Champion Frank Shorter to the line in a new US 5000m National Record.

After basically forcing the officials to let me run in the first heat, I toed the line. The gun went off and runners exploded. I was racing in my Nike Zoom Victories, a 3.1 ounce spike that is no doubt the lightest shoe I have ever run in. Dave(who suggested I wear the victories) was right, I thought, these shoes are made for me.

About 15 runners were in my heat, and 9 of them surged in front. Jake saw me and told me to stay relaxed and in control-i.e. not go out too fast. Still I went through the first lap in 35 seconds(4:40 pace) but got on pace from there on. Next lap was 37(perfect-right where I wanted to be). 2 laps in I felt the indoor air-it brought back memories. 10 years ago I ran in the State HighSchool Championship 3200m here. I was 7th in 10:08. Suddenly, I realized how much I had missed this. TRACK. Running FAST. SPIKES. I soaked it all in.

I went through the first mile in 4:58. Dead on pace. I felt a runner breathing right behind me. Good, I thought, I NEED someone to give me an edge since the pack ahead was just a tad fast for my pace. I broke the race up into sets of 8 laps, concentrating on maintaining each mile. I saw Beth and her family cheering for me every lap, which was awesome, it was great they came out to watch, and I was happy they were enjoying it.

The second mile is all about maintenance in the 5000m-you can't fall off your pace or else you are in trouble the last mile. I worked hard to keep it going-but also stayed calm. I caught a few runners who I wasn't sure whether they dropped off the pace or if I was lapping them. I think I caught one and lapped another. I maintained and hit 5:00 for the 2nd mile(9:58 3200m split), setting me up nicely to book it the last mile.

Now is where the pain starts. Time to push.

The 3rd mile was the race for me.

With 4 minutes left the AU leaders began to overlap me. I latched onto them and told myself to not let them go. I didn't.

You can run with these guys, Chris.

I went around again, and Jake yelled, "4 MINUTES OF PAIN LEFT SLOANE-YOU GOTTA WANT IT!"

4 MINUTES? THAT'S IT? I thought. Damn, I thought, I've run marathons telling myself I have 40 minutes left. This is cake.

I hung on to the AU leaders and pressured them to run faster. FASTER, I THOUGHT. PUSH IT!!!!

4 laps to go...

I began to kick with 3 laps left and knew I was on pace to break 15:30. With 1 lap to go the leaders were finishing and I began to sprint. I instantly thought of the frustrating Chicago Marathon I had and ran even harder...I began to see another runner I was able to catch on the straightaway...GET EM...


I surged and blew by the guy to finish 2 seconds ahead of him and crossed the line in 15:26.51, good for 10th overall. I Calculated my last mile must've been between 4:53-4:55, hard to say with the blistering last lap I had. Average pace overall was 4:58/mile. Technically, I PRed by 51 seconds...but this PR was long overdue. Jake said, "Once it settles, you'll realize how great you ran. Certainly your best(time) race of all time." Ironically, with the struggles I've had in the 5k(like the marathon), perhaps, yes, it may very well be.


1 Eustis, Colin SR American 14:30.00 14:44.11
2 Olsen, Josh JR American 14:30.00 14:46.90
3 Allen, Mark SO American 14:40.00 14:49.58
4 Williams, Ryan JR American 14:30.00 14:49.91
5 Hanson, Ryan Georgetown Runni 14:40.00 15:04.07
6 Leinenger, Mark SO American 14:30.00 15:07.07
7 McGee, Brandan FR UMBC 15:15.00 15:11.34
8 Cowing, TJ SO UMBC 15:00.00 15:12.39
9 Kidd, David SR Virginia Wes 15:45.00 15:17.84
10 Sloane, Chris Unattached 15:30.00 15:26.51
11 Whitson, Sean JR Virginia Wes 15:13.30 15:28.01
12 Pope, John FR American 14:45.00 15:44.55
13 Taylor, Ryan FR Shenandoah 16:05.00 16:27.05
14 Branson, Jeff FR Mary Washing 16:30.00 16:31.88
15 Harrison, Aaron FR Howard 15:08.00 16:35.54
16 Brown, David FR Lynchburg 16:18.00 16:43.13
17 Guo, Yufeng SR Johns Hopkin 16:46.55 16:57.21
18 Cicero, Craig SO Methodist 14:57.00 17:04.25
19 Keen, Trevor Unattached 15:58.00 17:14.23
20 Turner, Blake SO Mary Washing 16:40.00 17:14.69
21 Darley, Patrick SO Lynchburg 16:30.00 17:15.61
22 Pointer, Maurice Unattached 17:20.00 17:16.75
23 Tumolo, Benjamin SO Lynchburg 16:15.00 17:20.48
24 Chuang, James FR Johns Hopkin 17:00.00 17:51.60
25 Spangler, Colin FR Mary Washing 17:00.00 18:00.10
26 Giordano, Andrew SR Christopher 17:47.11 18:16.79
27 Wallace, Michael JR Bowie State 17:50.00 18:55.73

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Official: 15:26, 10th

Splits: 4:58, 5:00, ~4:55, ~:33

The race was the last mile.

Official Time: 15:26.51, 10th place out of 27

Race Report coming...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1/19/11: 2X1600, 1X800, 1X400

Last Track Workout today before the 5000m this Saturday. Did 2x1600m with plenty of rest between each set. The idea of this workout was to rest enough so I was well recovered. I hit the 1600s in 4:58 and 4:55. Felt good to get the engine going. I then threw on my Nike Zoom Victories and did some test runs in them. Boy, did these shoes feel GOOD. I did 1X800 which felt very fast the first lap(and it was-I stupidly went through in 65) and I hit 2:18 for the 800-not exactly even-but quick!(for me). I then threw in a 1X400 for a final interval and hit 64. Quality Workout Overall-I am ready.

I have a good goal for Saturday's race: sub 15:30.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

72 Miles/Week for the past 2 weeks

I have hit 72 miles this week and the week before. I did a long run last week of about 20.5 miles and this week's long run I ran about 19.5 miles, at the same place, Carderock. One of my New Year's Goals is to get used to running 20 or more miles like it's second nature. I did do speedwork this week of 4x800 and will continue that as well especially with the 5000 coming up. I am also getting excited about my 2011 racing schedule. There are many unknowns yet still for 2011, particularly in the fall-but that is a ways off from now. The Spring I am pretty much set for-I know what I am doing for my peak races in March and April. I am on the fence about adding Broad Street 10 Miler on May 1-it may also not be doable since my dad is getting remarried on April 30.

This week I will get a good idea of what kind of 5000m pace to aim for. I'm thinking 3x1600m w/ 400m jog between sets this week. I feel like 4:55s would be optimal and a good goal pace. I am long overdue for a 5K PR-time to get some confidence.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1/05/11: 4X800

Today I did 4x800 repeats on the Richard Montgomery Track. Felt good overall, and didn't push it too much, just enough. I did 400 jog rest between each, and hit 2:29, 2:28, 2:25, 2:27. I felt like I could've done 2 more reps but didn't. I will do another solid workout next week.

I ran 72 miles last week with 1 day off and did a 20.5 mile long run on Saturday, wearing my Chicago Marathon T Shirt. One of my goals for 2011 is to get used to 20 mile weekend long runs like I can do them in my sleep.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review of the Year 2010: 3,333 Miles(Avg 64 Miles/Week)

February, 2010: The Colonial Half Marathon: 1:12:57, 6th overall, Current Personal Record

I dueled most of this race with Berhanu Zeleke before dropping him around Mile 10. It is my current 13.1 PR on a hilly course.

March 2010: My 1:12 hilly 13.1 PR indicated that I was capable of a very strong Spring Marathon. I was in the top 5 for the first half of the Shamrock Marathon before having to stop. It was a sign that the Marathon was not going to be my event this year. I did finish though and signed up for the Chicago Marathon.April 11, 2010: CHERRY BLOSSOM 10 Miler: 54:16, 46th, Current Personal Best

Cherry Blossom marked the turnaround in my running. This was clearly one of the year's highlights for me. I suffered through mile 5 and came back to finish strong and caught as many people as I could. Will run again in 2011.April 25, 2010: Pikes Peek 10K: 32:54, downhill course so not really a sub 33 IMO. First time wearing the Potomac River Running singlet.

10.10.10: THE CHICAGO MARATHON: This Marathon I have so many mixed emotions about because it was going so well at the half...13.1 split was 1:16.. The middle of the race was one big adrenaline rush, crowds of people cheered, I felt amazing. My legs were strong, I was ready to attack...
Unfortunately, it was not the way I envisioned it to be. I had always wanted to run this race-it is a beautiful city, and the crowds are spectacular. Despite slowing considerably to a shuffle after 16 miles, I still finished the race, which I do not regret. My time was 3:04. I have questioned my ability as a marathoner, I have questioned whether I am able to push through. My PR is 2:38, which Dave thinks is my softest PR compared to my other times. But I have conquered the marathon before(twice)...I hope one day I will come back to Chicago and conquer.

November 9, 2010: Dark times. The death of my cousin was and is still a very difficult time for me to accept. Jeff meant so much to me, and I will never forget him. I decided to run the Veterans Day 10K to honor him.

Dickson Mercer wrote a wonderful paragraph in the Washington Running Report on the Veterans Day 10K race I ran:

"Running philosopher Dr. George Sheehan wrote that the race is where we keep the faith, and perhaps no runner put those words into action quite like Potomac River Running's Chris Sloane. Earlier in the week, Sloane received news that his cousin, Jeff Klein, had died at 23. Sloane did not return home from Klein's funeral until late the night before the race, but the Potomac resident still showed up to the Veterans Day 10K with his cousin's name on his bib. Sloane was overcome with emotion while crossing the finish line, but the 27-year-old runner had reason to be proud. His time was 32:58: Sloane gave his cousin the fastest 10K of his life."
November 25, 2010 and December 12, 2010: My last 2 races of 2010 were high placings, 5th at the YMCA Turkey Chase 10K in Bethesda in 32:54 over rolling hills and a 3rd place finish at the Jingle All the Way 10K in a current personal best of 32:51.

Here's to 2011...