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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Planning

Nearly 30 miles of racing within the last 4 weeks are now behind me. I have PRed in the 10K, 10 Mile, and 13.1 Mile distances this Spring. It will do no good for me to race another 13.1 right now. I have already maximized those distances this Spring. The Fall is the next time for me to aim for a PR in 13.1 again and attack 26.2 as well. I am working on a summer/fall training plan as well as build a great base again over the summer. But before that begins...

I am working on the shorter stuff right now. The fine tuning. Training this week was better in the sense that I was able to run a bit more. Hit 70 miles this week with a 2 hour slow long run. I also did a moderate track session on Saturday that consisted of 3x400 and 2x800 all at goal 5k pace. I hit 72s(15:00 flat pace) on all the 400s and 2:23 and 2:24 on the 800s. Not very fast but fast enough. I think I will feel a lot better next week to be able to do more. I am looking forward to doing some more track work like 5x1000 or 3x1600 which are a couple of my favorites for the 5k. I have 3 solid weeks until the Swarthmore 5K, so its nice to have some time to train until then. 5000 meters is a tough event, and even though it is so short respectively to the other races I train for, it is tough because it is pretty much your VO2 Max pace, which is all out full aerobic capacity.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pikes Peek Race Report, Etc

I'm not sure how much there is to say about Pikes Peek besides how fast it was. The wind was blowing in the direction we were running as well as the course already being fast. Despite having a few uphills, most of the course is downhill, and produces lightning fast times. Joe and I(who live literally next to the finish of the race) drove the opposite direction on the pike to the Sahdy Grove Metro where the race started. We were both looking for PRs today, for him 30:30 and for me somewhere in the low 31's. The wind was powerful...but then we noticed that it was going to be a tailwind in the direction we were going to run. Times will be fast today. I met friend and teamate Dave Miller and his fiance Erika for a warm-up before heading to the start line. I felt really good on the warm up and knew I was ready to race. The race start was delayed 10 minutes for some unknown reasons, and many fast and super fast runners showed up. I also saw Rebecca, who was shooting for a PR.

The start was superfast and I sprinted and found myself(only for a moment) the lead white guy on the tail of all the 28 min Africans. Haha, this may happen one day, but lets be realistic for now, Chris.

After the first few 100 meters, the race got more realistic and I settled into a rhythm with several other white guys ahead of me/with me. I saw Joe pass me and he nudged me a "lets go." He was haulin'. His first mile would be a 4:38. Too fast for me. Dave Berdan, Elite American 2:14 Marathoner Jeffrey Eggleston was up there. I was definitely one of the top white guys however. It's great seeing these improvements. As I get faster, I am closer to the front, and I begin to realize how much hard work and consistent training pay off.

But I also run even, and that's where I wanted to stay, I did NOT want to go out faster than 5:00.

First mile: 5:00.

Mike Wardian just ahead. Dirk De Heer and Dave Burnham passed me...but I focused on keeping them in sight. Even Wardian was still in my sight.

There was no 2nd mile(and I really get annoyed when races do this because I have NO IDEA where I'm at until 3.

Then Dickson Mercer(2:29 marathoner and like me, has also run 1:10 in the half marathon) tucked in right behind me and I acknowledged him and gave him encouragement. He's a great guy and a great runner(really knows the marathon well)

3 Mile was on target: 15:05. Perfect. 5K was 15:36. My PR in the 5K is 15:26. This is obviously soft now.

I caught several runners before mile 3, including a few Africans who tried to hang on with my pace. I hammered. Damn it feels good to be fit. I dropped them. I also lost sight of Dickson but had a feeling he wasn't far behind. I knew he was running a good race. I could feel the other runners I left behind straining. I looked ahead...

Dave Burnham and Dirk De Heer of Georgetown Running Co. were in my sight. I focused on catching Dave and closing the gap.

Mile 4: 20:08. 5:02 pace. Still perfect pacing.

As I approached mile 5 I definitely noticed I was closing on Dave Burnham.

I PRed at Mile 5: 25:18.

Before Mile 6 I saw Jerry Outlaw going nuts and cheering. It helped. I tried to keep closing on Dave Burnham but I was going to run out of real estate to catch him.

At Mile 6 I saw Jake Klim(aka the Red Fox) cheering and I sprinted the last .2 to close and finish in a whooping time of 31:26 (5:03 per mile average), good for 23rd place. 23rd place! Geez! This race was competitive! What's also amazing-the race didn't even feel that hard. It's not like I could have run faster, but longer. I feel like one day this could be my half marathon race pace(1:06). Key phrase "one day" though-that's not tomorrow.

Although not totally happy, Joe ran a PR of 30:40 and is in great shape. The day after the race he and I went for an awesome 12 miler on the C and O Canal and were hitting 6:20s like it was a walk. I looked over to him in the middle of the run and said, "We are in awesome shape." He nodded.

I am now planning out my final attack for my Spring Racing Season: the 5000m. It's time to get on the track. The race is on May 14 at Swarthmore College and collegians/club runners compete. The winning time is very fast usually(last year it was sub 14:00 minutes), and there will be plenty of runners for me to compete with. I have made a full circle from January-May 2011. January was the start of 2011 with the indoor 5000m in 15:26. Now I am finishing it up with an outdoor 5000m. What can I run/what's the goal? I'm going to do some speed workouts targeting the 5000m for the next weeks leading up to the race, so those will tell me, but I don't see why I cannot run under 15:00 minutes. I would say with some more development on my speed even as fast as 14:45 is surely a possibility.

The Marathon is also on my mind for the fall...I am long overdue for a PR.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

OFFICIAL: 31:26 FOR THE 10K

SMASHED my PR and ran 31:26 to claim 23rd place in the highly competitive Pikes Peek 10K this morning. Averaged 5:03 per mile and PRed through 5 miles(25:18) as well. The winning times were World Class and Julius Kogo won in a course record time 28:04(4:31 pace)!!! SICK. Top American Jeffrey Eggleston(2:14 Marathoner) was 7th in 28:33. Dave Berdan was the top local runner in 29:30. My Roomate Joe was 20th in 30:40(4:56 per mile pace) and my teamate Dave Miller was 31st overall in 32:01. Race Report coming... Splits: 5:00, 3mile: 15:05, 5k: 15:36, 4mile: 20:08, 5mile: 25:18

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Training April 4-10


Had a good training week on 6 days in terms of quality/getting the legs going again. I felt refreshed after taking Monday off and ventured out to Edward's Ferry on Tuesday to enjoy an 11 mile run in pure solitude. Then, Wednesday I did 4x800 on the track in 2:22 average each(4:45 mile pace). Thursday I ran with Joe for about 12 miles in parts of the trolley trail and Rock Creek Park. We both felt good and know we are very fit and ready to roll for the Pikes Peek 10K. Friday I took an easy shakeout 5 miler due to a scheduled tempo I wanted to do on Saturday morning. I met Karl, Sam, Joe, and Dave Burnham on the track at BCC Saturday morning. The workout Joe was going to do was a 5 mile tempo on thr track working down each mile faster. Sam decided to do the last 4 with him while I decided to do the last 3(this was perfect for me since Joe is a bit faster and I wanted to get in a solid 3 mile pace effort for the 10K next Weekend-plus I would be able to help him out with his pace. After 2 miles, I jumped on the track with Joe, Sam, Karl, and Dave and the pace was just progressing to 5:05s as I started with them. We took turns leading and I hit mile 1 in 5:05, and mile 2 in 5:04. Then Dave and Karl dropped out(since they had already run 4) and it was just me Sam and Joe for the last mile(this was Joe's 5th mile, Sam's 4th, and my 3rd). We picked up the pace the last mile and all stayed together through the last lap. Final mile: a 4:58. Total time was 15:07 for 3 miles. Ideal pace I wanted to hit so I was happy about it. Sunday was an easy Long Run at Difficult Run-got in 14.5 miles or so. 60 miles for the week. I am looking foward to Pike's Peek 10K. I think 31:30 is a very good goal to shoot for in this one(5:04 pace).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's Next: the 10k, and the 5000m

This week I have started to feel good again, and I think I'm finally over the hill of recovering from the Shamrock Half. The Cherry Blossom race, I'm starting to realize, went particularly well for having such little time to recover from the half, and I am pleased with PRing in 2 events within 2 weeks that are worth over 23 miles of grueling racing. But this is where I get stronger and more resilient doing so and I am already feeling it will turnover to the marathon eventually. Yesterday I had a wonderful run. I drove out to Edward's Ferry and did the usual 11 miler I do. The Sun was starting to set as I started and I took it slow the first few miles(I also took Monday off after Cherry Blossom), but as I approached White's Ferry I began to get into the zone and ran effortlessly on the rolling gravel road that led me through the secluded areas of Poolesville that looked a lot like Kansas. I felt great, fit, and happy. With every step I felt like it was meant for my body to be doing this. I am proud of all the hard work I have done to get my running where it is today. I still have many challenging goals, but I have clearly made a jump this year, and I am looking foward to taking a shot at the 5000m again in May. Today I did my first track workout since before the Shamrock Half. It was 4x800m with 1 lap jog rest, nothing crazy, but still a beneficial workout. I averaged 2:22s on all of them(4:45 mile pace), which is a good goal pace for me to aim for in the 5000m at Swarthmore on May 14. I am definitely set on doing this race and I think it is a great opportunity to get in a fast race and see what I can do. I ran 15:26 back in January(INDOORS) and I think with some more work and speed development I can really make a strong statement in the 5000m, 14:59 is definitely possible on the track. Because, yes I am a distance guy, but I DO have speed. And speed needs to be developed for improvement in longer races. The 10K: The Pikes Peek 10K is my next race, and I am very much looking foward to it. I think after today and with another workout this weekend(tempo run perhaps), I will be good to go for the 31's next Sunday. Cherry Blossom was also in a way a really good training run for the 10K. I went through the 10K in a PR(32:25ish) and had to hang on for 20 more minutes. Now all I have to do is race for less than 32 minutes and I'm DONE.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Race Report





The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is one of the most exciting, fantastic races in the DC area. Top runners from around the world come to compete for the $46,000 total monetary race awards. Africans win this race-no question. The top dozen or so of this race are East Africans. No joke-the winner runs 45-46 minutes(typically a 4:35 per mile pace!!!!). Insane I know. With a 16,000 runner field, it makes it that much more interesting, and you get all kinds of runners in this race. The competition in the Metro area was fierce. Georgetown Running Company brought an ARMY of 20 runners including Olympic Trials Qualifier Karl Dusen, Samuel Luff, Jerry Greenlaw, my roomate Joe Wiegner, Dutchman Dirk De Heer, David Burnham...and the list goes on. Other runners in the field like the famous Michael Wardian(2-Time Olympic Trials Qualifier) showed up. The top 2 American Elites in the race were David Nightingale(sub 4:00 miler and 1:04 half marathoner/Olympic Trials Qualifier) and Lucas Meyer(from Connecticut/also easily an Olympic Trials Runner). Capital Area Runners' Rich Saunders(who ran most of the Shamrock 13.1 with me) was also in the race. Pacers had their own Bert Rodriguez. Ex-Gtown racer Patrick Reaves also showed up. As for =PR=, we had Adam and I as our top 2, with Aaron being out due to sickness unfortunately. Still, our team finished 3rd overall. Georgetown obviously dominated the race. Now on to how the race unfolded...

I got to the race SUPER EARLY(6:05 AM). The sun had yet to rise. The Washington Monument stood tall. My roomate Joe and I got up at 4:45 AM and drove to the metro to meet Karl and Sam to catch the 5:39 train from Grosvenor. We all sat and talked/chilled out. It was nice metroing with these guys rather than being alone and getting all nervous, I thought. There was hardly anyone on the train. We got closer to DC and more people were there once we got off Metro Center but still very stress free. It was nice. We dropped our stuff off at the Elite Tent and I met Peggy who is on the =PR= womens racing team as well. We then saw some of the Africans show up and GOOD LORD they looked fast. Intimidating indeed. I did a nice warm-up as the sun came up and the sky was clear. BEAUTIFUL DAY. After the warm-up, I was ready to go and put on the flats. Whew...nervous. Gotta relax. Gotta stay relaxed...


START LINE: I was happy to find fellow PR Racing Team Member Adam Condit at the start line and he and I were ready to go. We had a plan to run hopefully together much of the race and shoot for 52:00 minutes. We also wanted to go through around 26:00 at the 5 mile mark. The gun went off and immediately everyone sprinted. FAST FAST FAST Africans SURGED to the front like a stampeed. CRAZY. Adam and I jostled through a few runners to get in a good starting position. Wardian right ahead. Top G'Town Runners' Karl, Sam, Jerry, and Joe also right ahead. Stay Relaxed. The first mile flew by...5:05...5:06...5:07ish. Not bad, knew the first mile would be fast. I ran fluidly and actually felt quite good. Adam and I ran side by side. We went over Arlington Bridge and people cheered everywhere. I could see the Elite Africans up ahead HAULING around the cul-de-sac. PHENOMENAL. Adam and I ran with ease around the cul-de-sac to come back over the bridge again. 2:21 Marathoner and G'Town racer Paul Geuvara was hanging off our shoulders as well. We eventually pulled ahead of him but really only because Paul is coming back from a long layoff from injury(the guy is a damnnnn good runner). Then the Dutchman Dirk De Heer pulled alongside of us. Another great runner who is a 1:07 half marathoner. But I knew he was triathlon training so maybe he couldn't beat me? I went with him. I thought I could beat him, for an instant. At Mile 3 we had a pack going as we caught some runners and I made a move to go in front of the pack. Why do I do this, I thought? Is it just that I like to lead? I guess I like making moves, not necessarily a bad thing but don't I need to also be more tactical of a racer? ah fuck it...JUST RUN CHRIS! I lead the pack to the turnaround where I saw the top G'Town guys Joe, Sam, Jerry, and Karl tearing it up on the opposite side. Mile 3-Dirk surged AGAIN. Goddamn. Adam and I keyed off of Dirk from miles 2-4 but then we lost sight of him after 5. Adam and I continued to run together and shared the lead. Mile 5 was a nice highlight of the race. We went through in 26:03. PERFECT, we both said to eachother. I was also happy to see Beth and her mom and many others cheering for me and the =PR= team. Adam and I gritted our teeth for the second half, the brutal part of this race which goes around Hains Point. The wind wasn't easy. The pain started to set in. I was starting to hurt.


HARD WORK: I had to work the second half of this race. I was starting to hurt I think also because only 2 weeks ago I had raced a half marathon in a huge PR. It's tough to recover from a race longer than 10 miles, whereas a 10K it isn't so bad. So, all in all, the last 5 miles hurt like a mother. Rich Saunders caught up to us. I spat out, "good to see you again." He began to pull ahead. Adam also began to pull ahead of me just slightly around mile 6. I keyed off of them however and worked my ass off to try to get back up there. I think I was 32:20's at 10K which is a PR. I knew I was on pace to run 52:something. And I knew 52 anything would be solid, since my current PR was 53:25(split in the shamrock 13.1). But still I wanted 52:30 or faster. I went around the tip of Hains Point and could still see Adam and also Rich was up there-I was keeping them in sight. Mile 8 I really started to hurt and saw the famous Jake Klim(who has run this race in 50:55) yelling his ass off at me. I happened to look down at my watch when Jake saw me and he yelled, "DON'T LOOK AT YOUR WATCH!! LOOK UP AND RUN!!!" Gave me a kick in the arse. I started to surge.


THE BATTLE:

I ran with all my might the last 2 miles but had no turnover. I was running close to empty at this point. I had very little left in the tank. Even so, I saw a runner up ahead who I was gaining on, and Adam still did not appear that far away. I ran under the bridge nearing the finish. Close. Damn I am hurting...just keep going...keep fighting. Mile 9. ONE MORE MILE. HIT IT HARD! I surged up the last hill before the finish. I could see the runner I was catching, closing on him....I made it up the hill and heard the roar of the crowd as I kicked as hard as I could but barely had anything to muster. I was out of gas...and real estate to catch the runner..I just finished right behing him and woah...Ok this is gross but I puked(AGAIN) at the end...actually in mid-air for the first time ever and then again when I stopped. I felt a whole lot better afterwards though. I don't typically throw up after races but the last 2 have been double wammies. I crossed the finish line in 52:54, a new personal best and an average of 5:17 per mile. I placed 32nd overall(19th American). Adam was 30th overall in 52:28. Top American was Lucas Meyer(13th overall, 48:26). Karl was 16th overall(3rd American) in 50:06, and my roomate Joe was 23rd overall in 51:34. I am happy with the race and considering I ran Shamrock 2 weeks ago and did nothing but easy running in between races, it was a solid effort and I couldn't have run a step harder. I think I will feel tremendously better for the Pikes Peek 10K on April 17 since the distance is shorter and shamrock will be a few more weeks back. Gradually going down in distance here with each race this Spring. I am excited to attack the 10K again and I am already feeling recovered after taking a day off today from running. I want to thank everyone for cheering me on out there and supporting me. Compliments to PR Racing Team Member Dustin Whitlow for the fantastic photographs!





Sunday, April 3, 2011

52:54, another PR



I clocked 52:54 for 10 miles today at the 2011 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. Another PR!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

COMPETITION: THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 10 MILER

April 3 will be a clash between not only some of the world's best runners, but also some of the Washington/Virginia/Maryland's best runners. There are numerous racing teams competing in the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler including my ex-team Georgetown Running Company. GRC is bringing an ARMY of runners to this race...Karl Dusen, Wiegner, Sam Luff, Jerry Greenlaw, the Dutchman Dirk De Heer...to name a handful. Patrick Reaves is coming back to town. Pacers has plenty of runners as always. I'm sure there are plenty of other studs I haven't even mentioned showing up. The top 10 in this race is taken by World Class East Africans, the winner running anywhere between 45-46 minutes for 10 Miles. It's an incredible event, Cherry Blossom. But I cannot be afraid to compete. For the =PR= Racing team, Aaron Church and Adam Condit will join me in trying to take on as many top runners as we can. We don't have as big of a team as some of the others, but we'll give a good fight. Adam and I have a solid plan as well to attack a monster PR. My last 10 miles in my shamrock half marathon race were run in 53:15(5:19 pace). 5:10-5:12 pace is certainly within range based on many workouts I have done the past few months and the weather conditions look OPTIMAL. I need to run as EVEN as possible and kick the last 800 meters. I can't go out too fast. I need to remember my strength and the reason why I am a good runner and use that to my advantage. The ultimate goal is to compete well and hopefully break the 52:00 barrier. 10 Miles is really a great distance. It's longer than 10K but not quite as long as a half marathon so it is a distance for me that combines my high lactate threshold(half marathon) and VO2 Max(5K). Time to put it all together. LETS GO =PR=!!!!!