Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Race Report: Amy Thompson 8k

As I mentioned in my weekly report, I got a free race registration late last week through Amanda's (my sister-in-law) company.  I waited a little bit to register so as to make sure I didn't take the spot of someone who actually works for the company.  I was debating about my goals for the race because I knew my legs would be tired after running 12 miles of the Hospital Hill course on Saturday with Joe VI as well as ensuring I was fully rested for the actual Hospital Hill Run 5 days later.  I was still planning for a threshold run this week, so I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to get it in.

That being said, I still decided to set a goal for the race.  Based off of recent race performances and training runs, I was hoping a 35 minute 8k was in sights.  That's roughly 7 minute miles, which also happens to be a few clicks south of Boston Marathon pace.  I decided anything under 38 minutes would be more than acceptable seeing that my threshold runs lately have been around 7:20 - 7:30 pace.

The Race
This is the Amy Thompson Run for Brain Injury.  It's in its 25th year of... um.... running and supports the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City.  Very cool!  I'm glad to be there to support this race... through my, uh, free race registration.

My Sister-in-law Amanda signed up for this as motivation to run a longer distance.  Her previous best was 5k, so this was adding nearly two miles to that distance!  My brother Mike was also running to get him back into race events for the first time this year.  Yay!

Today's Race Crew. Amanda, Mike, and me.

Well, if Amanda and Mike are running, someone had to watch the niece and nephew, so TKB signed on for that duty.

Sam and Ella getting their pre-race nutrition in. They had the Kiddie Dash to race later after the 8k!!
Photo Credit: Mingle Kansas City


Food: Banana & Bagel with PB.

I did about a 3/4 mile warm-up and stretch prior to the start of the race and had a Gatorade G1 about 20 minutes prior to the race.  The temps were starting to rise, as well as the humidity.

After getting hugs and kiss from the kiddos and the wife.  We headed over to the start line on Wornall Road about 10 minutes prior to the start.

Amanda looked pretty happy to be doing something she'd never done before!!

Mike with his game face on.
I'm the tall guy... in the shirt with orange sleeves... shocker
Since I'm not a Speedy McSpeederson to get positioned up on the front, I was hoping there might be some pace markers to help people line up.  I've learned to not care for the dodging and weaving, considering the fact that I ALWAYS go out too fast.  I don't need that to wear me out.  I ended up running the first 1/4 mile on the left (outside) of the group.  This helped me pass people that I should have otherwise been in front.

Mile 1: 7:07 Pace
Yep.  Too fast.  This even had a nasty hill that I was planning to take slooooow.  #fail  In all honesty, it did feel like a slow pace for what I was trying to accomplish.  I don't want to stare at my watch the entire time though.

Mile 2: 7:13 Pace
Some more inclines but these were a bit more gradual with some flats mixed in to get a breather.  It was about this time that I was thinking to myself that I'm trying to do a whole marathon at this pace?

Mile 3: 7:27 Pace
There was an aid station in this mile, so I slowed for a drinky drink.  Actually, I don't remember for sure but that's what I'm going to blame it on.  It could have easily been that I slowed down because I may have started to lose focus.  Or I was setting myself up for negative splits the rest of the way!

Mile 4: 7:15 Pace
Bringing the pace back down on this mostly flat stretch.  It was along scenic Ward Parkway.  I was tracking behind another guy that I was hoping to reel in and pass, so I found some motivation.

Mile 5: 7:02 Pace
I did kick up the pace a bit but there is also a nice decline that I tried to take advantage of because the last tenth of a mile is up the entrance to Loose Park and it's pretty steep.  I hit it as hard as I could and, apparently, gave a guy in a much higher age group a "run" for his money.

I mean that too, he literally kept looking behind himself about 5 or 6 times in that last .1 of a mile as if I had any chance of catching him...or any need to catch him.  He was 19 years my senior.  He said something to the effect of "Thanks for the chase" at the end, which marks the second time that has happened this year.  I didn't even know we were racing each other.

I'm struggling up that hill.
And there is the guy looking back at me.  While he did finish before me, I still beat him by 2 seconds by chip time.  Good times though.

It was a good race and definitely hot.  The post-race grub:  Bottled water, frozen custard, muffins, bagels, bananas, oranges, milk options from Shatto (they had cotton candy milk?  I grabbed a chocolate milk which turned out to be latte flavored), and at the end was a table of crab rangoon.   Interesting!  I felt like I was at the Thai-Japan Mini-Marathon!

Time: 36:11 / 7:16 pace
Age Group: 9 / 48
Overall: 77 / 913

I will say that I'm happy with my progress.  My Garmin time actually showed a 36:05 time (started/stopped them at the timing mats).  I only point that out because, according to my Garmin, I was cruising along under a Boston Marathon pace.  Doing that pace for 21.2 more miles seems quite daunting, consider Chicago is less than 19 weeks away.  What I'm learning that focus is going to be KEY.  I've completed two marathons and have never really had a problem with miles 20+ but this is going to be different.

The Proof
Mike in the yellow visor.  PUSH IT!!
Amanda smiling to the finish of her first 8k race!  (Or crying, I can't quite tell)

The kids with Sluggerrr!

The K. C. Wolf also showed up to cheer us on! 
This is apparently what I look like to a 4 year old.  Sam stole the camera for a couple shots.

Sam flying into the finish line for the Kiddie Dash!!
Ella waiting for the start.  She got the memo about no race shirt on race day.  I have a few things to teach Sam.

I see some marathons in her future!
Look who got first place in his age group!!!  Although, I saw every kid holding one of these.... I think there might be something wrong with the timing systems.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Week-in-Review: May 21 - May 27

Swim: 1000 Yards / 19 minutes
Bike: 0 Miles
Run: 22.11 / 3:05
Weights: 2 hours

Second week in a  row with swimming but also second week with no cycling.  The first week of no cycling was because I was taking a rest week.  No excuse for this past week other than I had a lot of hard running workouts (threshold, treadmill, near race pace 12 mile long run, and a race this morning), so saving the legs.

Planning to take advantage of Shawnee Mission Park's open water swim on Tuesday and will follow that up with a bike ride since my first triathlon is in three weeks.  I'm feeling great about my running so just need to make sure the bike is in order.  As long as I float, I'm good with the swimming.  If you are in the KC area and want to get an OWS in, I'll be at SMP at 6pm.  Join me!!

Met up with Joe VI on Saturday by Crown Center and we basically completed the last 12 miles of the Hospital Hill Half-Marathon course.  It was hot that morning and I'm hoping for cooler temps next week.  The 10 day shows an overnight low of 55 with a high of 78 degrees on Saturday.  Considering we started our run at 78 degrees, I think we are in good shape.  We'll see how that changes over the week.

I haven't really talked it up but I did the Amy Thompson 8K Run for Brain Injury this morning.  I got a free race registration late last week through Amanda's (my sister-in-law) company.  I had a lofty goal of 35 minute but was going to be happy with anything under 37 minutes.  This was suppose to be my weeks threshold run for me anyway.  My official finish was 36:11 for the 4.97 miles.  That was good for 9th in the age group and 82nd overall.  I'll take it.

In other news....getting a new HVAC system on Wednesday.  This 80 - 90 degree weekend has kept the house somewhat warm, so we spent a few hours at Panera yesterday after packet pickup and today, well, I'm enjoying it outside with my favorite Boulevard beverage (or 3):

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Race Announcement: GOOFY CHALLENGE!

Race Announcement: 2013 Disney Goofy Challenge! January 12 AND 13

For those who aren't in the know or willing to Google it, the Goofy Challenge is a two day event in Walt Disney World.  On Saturday, you complete a half marathon and follow that with a "recovery run" of a FULL marathon.  39.3 miles in two days.

This race announcement is actually TWO race announcements.  In addition, I'm going to run the 5k on Friday with TKB.  You always need a warm-up run, right?  I think this is unofficially called the "Dopey Challenge", so 42.4 miles in three days.  Let's do it!

Last week Disney announced their new course for the 20th Anniversary of the marathon:

This is going to be a great event because this "vacation" is being planned with Jill and my brother/sister-in-law Jake and Rebecca.  Rebecca ran the Las Vegas Half-Marathon back in December when I did the full.  Rebecca will be running the half and Jill will be running the full!  It is Jill's FIRST marathon.  I'm waiting for a couple more people to get registered for this (*cough* Joe VI *cough*).  This is going to be great!

While I'm not looking past my marathon goals this year, I'm already planning 2013.  I'm hoping for a big 2013 and it is going to require a lot of advanced planning as registrations are going to sell out quickly for some of the events.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week(s) in Review: May 7 - 13 & May 14 - 20

Even though this past week was a recovery week for me, I had other projects keeping me busy at home so I didn't get a chance to post about the Heritage Park Duathlon or my weekly workouts.  So I took care of the Duathlon write-up here and killing two birds with one stone on the weekly review.

May 7 - 13
Swim: 0
Bike: 74 miles
Run: 24 miles
Weights: 1:15

Totals: 98 miles / 8 hours

Very large volume week but that's mostly due to increased bike miles.  I did a 30 mile ride on Monday, rode to work on Wednesday, and tacked on 11.5 miles at the Heritage Park Duathlon.

I am also in full training mode as I have added hill work to my routine.  I just did three hills to get used to the idea.  Basically I found a 1/4 mile hill that's about 5% incline.  I take off at the bottom and push to the top.  I then jog/walk back to the bottom as the recovery and redo.  It is suppose to make your legs stronger.  That's beneficial on both hilly and flat courses.

May 14 - 20
Swim: 1,000 yards
Bike: 0 miles
Run: 23 miles
Weights: 2:00 hours

Totals: 24 miles / 5:26

This is a recovery week or me.  No bike but the same amount of run miles?  And 3 of my four runs were fairly hard sessions?  Yeah, not the smartest guy here:

Run 1: 3 mile "naked" run.  I didn't bring my Garmin and all the electrical goodness that comes with it.  I also went with a cotton shirt and gym shorts.... so it wasn't exactly naked. I even did something else I never do, I ran with headphones on.  I listened to the Royals game (they won!) Just decided to change it up.  This easy, mindless run was to help recover from the duathlon the day before but I still averaged an 8:06 pace (I did keep track of my time on my cell phone but never looked at it during the run).

Run 2: 4 mile threshold run.  I did a one mile warm up and then 4 miles at a hard pace, which averaged 7:28... with a few nasty hills.

Run 3: TRACK!  I did my first track session. 1 mile warm up, then 2 x 200 with 200 rest. Times: 44.4 & 46.1. 2 x 400 with 400 rest. Times: 1:35.5 & 1:34.9 and then an 800 at 3:20. Then cool down. Felt pretty good to do my first track session. I tried to run at a speed I knew I could keep over multiple repeats and looks like I did OK!  Although, the next day Jill asked if I was still sore.  I was never really sore, so I guess I didn't do it hard enough!

Run 4:  11 Mile Hilly Run, somewhere between Long Run pace and race pace.  Joe and I ran this together.  I wanted to do a try-out for Hospital Hill, which is why I chose this route and pace.  It was hard but we managed the 866 of elevation at an 8:23 pace.  Just three weekends prior we did 8 fairly level miles at 9:30 pace and that was a challenge, so I'm seeing some great improvement! I feel ready to take on Hospital Hill after this!!

I did got back in the pool finally.  I was able to get 1000 yards in without resting.  Looks like I can still float with motion ok.

I still have that race announcement to work on for my previous training report.  I'll work on that now for posting later in the week!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Race Report: Heritage Park Duathlon

Background and Goals
This race wasn't on my calendar originally.  One of my friends, coworker, and race buddy Kristen signed-up for our company's Duathlon for Kansas City Corporate Challenge.  She had never completed a multi-sport race before.  We were given the opportunity to participate in the Heritage Park Duathlon with a nice discount through the Corporate Challenge and our company.  This was a good opportunity for Kristen to practice racing a duathlon before she had to do it in front of many of her co-workers.  After some begging from Kristen (wasn't a lot), I agreed to race it as well.

I didn't think much about my goals for this race since it wasn't "part of the plan".  So on Saturday I decided to go with:

2 Mile Run:  7:30 pace.
11.5 Mile Ride: 38 Minutes -- 17 mph
3 Mile Run: 7:30 pace.
Transitions: 3 Minutes

7:30 pace for the runs because I knew I could manage that from my previous two races.  I figured I would be saving up for the bike ride and slow coming off the bike.  As for the bike, I just threw a number in there.  I haven't been spending very much time on the bike since I've focused on running, but I did throw down 62 miles during the week.

So I'm looking at 1:18 minutes.

I'm pretty predictable.  Banana followed by peanut butter on a toasted bagel.  TKB has been having a problem with a sore ankle since Saturday morning and she elected not to make the trip.  So I got into the truck and took off for the 40 minute drive down to Olathe.  I arrived around 6:30 and found Kristen.  She had already setup her transition and got marked up with numbers and letters.  Nice!

The transition area had pre-assigned racks. Once I figured that out, I re-racked in position 509.  Kristen and I took off for a warm-up run and a trip to the bathroom.  Besides the bathroom at the dock, they had 7 port-a-pots.   We staked out the transitions entrance and exits then off to the start line.  It was odd not being at the beach at the start but knowing I didn't have a complicated first transition was nice.

Run #1 - 2 Miles
I hit a groove pretty quickly.  The first mile was on the road around the lake and pretty flat.  It then turns up an incline, but it's manageable.  I noticed my pace was around 7:00 minute and just kept cruising because it felt "good".  The second mile was a nice decline on the trail system and so I tried to take advantage without wearing out my legs.  I knew I'd be running up this hill during the second run.  Before I knew it we were in the transition area.

Time: 13:31 / 6:45 Pace

I was pretty pleased with this pace.  In the back of my mind I really wanted to see it around 7 minutes and went past that.

Not sure why but the official results include T1 in the first run time, so this is my Garmin's time.

Bike - 11.5 Miles

This starts in the park and then hits Pflumm and turns south for a mile and a half.  There are some nice rolling hills that are quite manageable if you have done your hill work.  I had not.  The course turns back into the park for some more rolling hills but you could really get some speed going on the downs.  The last part of the course is on the same road that started the duathlon, near the lake.

The roads were in decent shape and I didn't have too much problem with overcrowding.  There was one participant who seemed hell bent on passing people on the right.  He was in a tri-suit and riding a tri bike, so I don't think it was his first rodeo.  I will say it seemed dangerous as he'd fly by when you are not expecting him, utilizing the two feet of road to my right.  I eventually got in front of him on the hills (he didn't work on hills much either, apparently) and got over so he had to pass me on the left just to see how much he really wanted to disobey the rules of the road (and USAT).  Didn't see him again.

I took it a little easy on the first lap due to unfamiliarity of the course, I pushed it on the second lap, and pushed harder on the third except for the last mile.  I tried to stretch out the legs a bit in preparation for the run and kept the RPMs up.

My mounts/dismounts were old school.  I didn't try any flying dismounts/mounts so they were rather awkward.  

Time: 34:51 /19.8 mph

19mph average?  I'll take it.  I definitely tried to take advantage of the downs.  I guess it worked.

Run #2 - 3 Miles
Same as the first run.  I got into a comfortable groove that I thought I could take for 3 miles, considering the impending hill.  The first mile clicked off at 7:15.  The hill really wasn't that bad, but it was a pretty constant incline and my second mile turned in at 7:30.  Fortunately, I knew there was a nice downhill ahead of me and I tried to take advantage of it.

I had noticed during the run that I hadn't seen a lot of people in my age group.  Many of the people I was passing (or being passed by) were doing the triathlon.

Once we hit the road by the lake (which was the opposite direction of the start), I tried to push it.  I didn't want to leave anything on the course, naturally.  7:02 pace.

Outside of my splits, I hadn't looked at my watch at all.  I saw the finish line clock ticking at 1:11.  Nice!  I knew I had smashed my run expectations but wasn't sure on the bike.

Time: 21:11 / 7:04 pace!!
Note:  This is the time from the results and my splits above are from my watch.  They don't quite average out correctly.

I picked up my finisher medal and had my photo taken.  It was off to take in the post-race food (yogurt, chocolate milk, oranges, bananas, water, PowerAde, Pop were the options).  I then waited for Kristen to finish who came flying in at 1 hour, 28 minutes!  Great job Kristen!!!

We meandered around waiting for Jeff (Kristen's husband) to get back from his bike ride.  He took off for a bike trail to ride while we were racing.  Since the roads were closed for the bike, he couldn't come back until after 9am.

In the mean time I saw that they posted some of the results so I walked over and, to my amazement, I got SECOND in my age group!  I have never made the podium in any race, small or large!

Kristen in the background.  She always has to get in the photos somehow.

Time: 1:11:42
Overall: 15 / 60
Age Group: 3 / 6 (the guy who got first in my age group received 2nd overall, so he wasn't eligible for the age group award, that's why I got bumped up to second).


Am I starting too fast?

I'm right in the middle... the tallest dude out there.

Angled fairly well for this photo... but you can still see the muffin top.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week in Review: April 30 - May 6

I shifted my training schedule this week so I wouldn't miss another long run with my 5k race on Saturday.  I did a 9 mile run before work on Wednesday.  Plus I started adding or converting a run workout that was more than simply watching my heart rate (HR), a 5 mile run at pace on Tuesday.

Swim: 0
Bike: 21.86 miles / 1:23
Run: 22.33 miles / 3:21
Weights 1:00

Totals: 44.19 miles / 5:44

The race was for Corporate Challenge and was rather NASTY.  Nasty in that the event had the 3 "H"s involved, Heat, Humidity, and Hills.  I do plan to put together a short race report on it.  I finished in 22:32 (chip time based on my Garmin).  I was very pleased with this, which I'll put my reasons for in my race report.

My pace run went fairly well.  I was able to keep an 8 minute pace going for 5 miles somewhat easily; however, it was all on a treadmill.  I'm planning to move all runs outside now unless weather dictates otherwise.

Speaking of outside runs, my 9 mile long run was outside before work on Wednesday.  It was going quite well at a 9:30 pace and then everything started to shutdown on me around mile 8.  Maybe my body wasn't used to that distance that early with nutrition.  I took my gel two miles too late too, so that didn't help.  Still learning, I guess!

On Thursday Joe VI and I did a bike from his car dealership to his house. Joe needed to drop his car off for some work, so we drove out there and rode our bikes back.  We happen to ride by the Zarda BBQ restaurant and that immediately trigger a starvation response in my stomach.  While it may have been BBQ that triggered it, pizza satiated it.  We stopped by a pizza-by-the-slice place about 12 miles in for dinner.  

Joe's Comment from Facebook: The net calories loss on this bike ride with Scott is in question.

It was delicious. I thought about ordering two slices but I'm glad I didn't.  One "slice" is about equivalent of 3 slices of pizza.  It's freaking HUGE.

Following Saturday's race, Kristen and I stayed at Shawnee Mission Park to practice transitions for our upcoming Duathlon this Sunday at Heritage Park.  Kristen is doing the Duathlon for Corporate Challenge and she got the opportunity to use Heritage Park Triathlon/Duathlon for free as a practice.  I was able to get the same deal (even though I'm doing the triathlon for Corporate Challenge), so I will join her to help her figure out setup and such.  We did a one mile run, 4.5 mile bike, and 2.15 mile run.  We kept the distances short because of the heat and the fact that we both raced a 5k a few hours before (which Kristen really kicked butt!!!).

I have complained about knee and hip issues lately.  I'm pleased to say that even after Saturday's long day of training/racing, they didn't hurt at all.  I think my cycling, strength conditioning, and heart rate based running has helped but I'm not a doctor.

Week Ahead
Looking forward to this week I'm planning to do some speedwork in terms of hill workouts.  First time I have ever done that and it is important with Hospital HILL Half Marathon about a month away.  I do plan to get 10 or 11 mile run in but will probably do that Saturday (probably not the best idea to do a long run before the Duathlon but the race is just for practice, right?).  I will probably use the following week as a recovery week anyway. I will hope to get in another swim workout this week.  The triathlon is a little over 5 weeks away, so better make sure I can float.  Right now I'm only eyeing 3 triathlons for the year.

Big Race Announcement
I have already added a big race to the schedule and will plan to get that out in the next week or two.  It's a big race but it is not an "A" race by any means.... not even a "B" race.  Let's call it a "D" race....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Mizunos and Me

NOTE:  I started writing this entry back in November 2011.  Not sure why I didn't post it but I thought it was still interesting.  The start of this post was referencing back to issues I was experiencing during the training for Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Marathon.

Now, back to the feet issue.  See the history of my running shoes:

When I first started shopping for actual running shoes I went to a local running shoe store, Sports Medicine Store and Metro Walk & Run (very long name), that put you on a treadmill and videoed your feet. They then analyzed your step in slow-mo.  Kinda cool but kinda nasty seeing your dirty socks flopping in slow-mo.

Yes, I was expecting the person who helped me to look more of a "runner shape", but he did a great job if you ask me.
So as you can see I went with the Mizuno Inspire Wave line of shoes to help correct my slight over pronation.
  1. Lime green - my first pair.  Did my first half-marathon and a bulk of my marathon training.
  2. Orange (shocker) - I bought these off of a few weeks before my first marathon but due to getting sick, I only wore them once before the marathon so didn't get a chance to break them in.  They were still just fine.
  3. Blue - Went to my local bike shop's clearance sale and picked these bad puppies up.  And by bad I mean they were the previous version (meaning slightly heavier) and the wrong size.  Interestingly, I didn't realize I bought the wrong size until this past Thursday.  Wore these during my first triathlon season (hence the Yankz laces) and first half-ironman.
  4. Silver - Purchased these at the Beach2Battleship expo.  I was wearing my orange ones at the time, so that's what I used for size and Inspire #.

So after Beach2Battelship I decided to retire the blue ones and started wearing the silver ones.  I started immediately having issues with my feet.  I'm sure some of it was because I was suddenly doing 15 mile runs on them :).  But I got to the point where once I put them on my heel hurt. I'm not exaggerating here.  In one step the pain would commence. When I noticed this I immediately put shoes #3 on and it didn't hurt.  That's when I realized that something was up.  I still haven't figured out that particular problem but I have been noticing some foot slippage on the new shoes that weren't in #3.  So the smaller shoe is obviously a bit tigher, so I went back to them.  I figured out I still have a good 150 miles to go on them anyway.

So, not sure I have any lessons learned here but I think I'm going to stick with the size 11 shoes.  I may go back to the silver ones after the marathon and start adding distance slowly on them.

Update May 2012:  I never went back to the silver Mizunos for running.  While I do wear them around for running errands and such, they don't hurt when I put them on any more.  I still won't chance running in them.  What happened is when I visited the Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Marathon Health Expo a few days after I started this post, I bought a pair of Mizuno Inspire 8 at the Mizuno booth.  I completely skipped the "7" line of Inspire Waves as there were a lot of complaints about them on the interwebz.  The 8s are awesome.  No foot pain and they are orange again!  I've logged roughly 300 miles on them.  Getting close to consider ordering another pair.