Thursday, February 14, 2013

Run your heart out 5k - 2/10/2013

So, on the 27th I decided to be a big strong guy and life something heavy.  Wrong.  Strained my hamstring tendon a tad but didn't hurt the next day so I put in a good 4 miler with a nice pace.  Soon after it started aching pretty good but I kept up with the training the rest of the week.  Took the week after off and decided to run the Run your heart 5k out with my son Zach who is 8.  So we get there  and it is Freeze your ass off cold, temp at time of wake up was 17F...yikes!  It was tough getting the kids out of bed for that one....So I hit a mile on the track to warm up the legs, hammy tendon is feeling not bad but not good enough to push a 6 min mile pace for three miles and its cold.  So I tell zach lets just have fun buddy.  I don't think he shares the same enthusiasm as I do but he is excited to possibly break 30 minutes....Looking at the elevation profile before the run, I don't think that would be happening.  So we get to the start, heather is running with nic and I am running with zman.  And were off - first .5 miles is around the track most likely to spread out people before they get onto the trail.  Zach's first mile is somewhere in the very high 9 min mile range...not bad for a hilly course...his next mile is around 10ish and he finished up with a high 9 min 3rd mile.  Coming into the  stadium, I see there might be a chance for zach to break 30 watch is saying 28:10 and I am thinking we have a full lap to go...hmm, should I push him, I tell him that he might be able to break he is giving it his all...I can see it in his face...around the last turn on the track, I am thinking I don't think he is going to make it.  We get to the finish line and its 30:07...and then he starts crying and snots is just dripping from his nose b/c he is out of breath...he was actually crying b/c he didn't get 30...the parents around the finish line must of thought I was some monster but I could give a crap pain, no gain!  Even though he didn't get a sub 30, he got a new PR which was great news...I tell him, always look at the positive in things..something my Dad used to tell me all the time when I would have bad outings playing baseball.  Additionally, zach was 12th out of 28th...and first of the 8 year olds....Of course, big Nic rolled in some time later ...even running the race at age 6 is a big deal so I was very proud that he finished and did a great job!!!  It was off to the SBUX for a recovery coffee...
Freezing pre-race

Little Z near the start

On another note, I just found out that I did not get into the Bull Run 50 miler so I signed up for the Blue Ridge Mountain marathon.  Apparently, this marathon is called "Americas toughest road marathon" which should be perfect training run before the North Face 50k.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Run (or Freeze) Your Heart Out 5K and PR Trophy Series

Yesterday we kicked off February with another fabulous Potomac River Running event. We decided to make this one a family event to give the boys a second 5K for the year. Since I'm in the middle of marathon training, I didn't want to run the 5K hard so I ran with Nickel. It was also a good opportunity to honor a lost runner in the Virtual Run for Sherry.
I also got a chance to try out my new outfit from Running Skirts. I had the running skirt version which has the briefs underneath. It was cold so I added some shorts for a little more warmth. It was pretty comfortable although I still wouldn't want to run long distances in it. Cute and fun for 5Ks. It was about 25 degrees at race start, but the boys and I did a warm up lap around the track. The race starts at South Lakes High School, alma mater of the famous Alan Webb. We do a lap on the track and then head out for the rest of the race on a trail behind the high school. It was a nice paved trail through the woods so it made it almost like a trail run without the terrain. We got to go over several cool bridges and through some tunnels as well. The race was sold out so the start on the track was pretty slow and crowded for mid pack runners. The trail itself was also pretty narrow. In addition, the course was an out and back so at one point you were sharing the trail with the lead runners coming back. All of these aspects would make it difficult to PR this course if you were a mid pack runner and didn't get out in front quickly. Nickel and I started out at a comfortable pace around 10:15. He did great for the first mile, and we were having fun. We hit a small hill (for me), but it probably looked huge to a 6 year old around the second mile so he took a walk break. From there on out, I used a 4 minute run/1 minute walk strategy to keep him motivated. I tried to place our walk intervals when we would hit an inclines and leave the run intervals for downhills, flats, and bridges/tunnels. He was really doing well, and he responds really well to other runners cheering for him. I have to say a lot of the women runners on the course were awesome at cheering and encouraging him as he went along. We made it to the 2.5 mile mark and saw the high school up ahead. The problem was there was a pretty steep short hill coming back to the high school (another PR buster if you were trying for one). Thankfully there were cheerleaders there from the West Virginia Badgers Indoor Football team.
At first I thought it was weird to have cheerleaders at a 5K, but I was thankful for them as I told Nickel that he didn't want to walk the hill in front of the cheerleaders so he put on a burst of speed and powered up the hill.
We had to make a hard right turn into the track (just one more PR killer) and then do a 3/4 lap around the track. He ran his hardest around the track and finished around 36:42, not his best 5K, but a great job for the cold weather. He had a lot of fun. Also the swag was pretty nice for this race, black short sleeve tech tee as well as a race series lanyard with a collectible pin. The boys really like the collectible pin idea and want to do more races to get more pins. Last night was also the PR Trophy Series party for the 2012 season. It was a nice little event at the PR Tysons store. We ran at least 6 races in the PR Trophy Series last year so we got a nice little tech t-shirt for the accomplishment. That had been one of my goals coming into 2012 to keep me motivated to race and train so it was nice to get my little reward last night.