Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hobby Jogging: 8/28/10 - Greenville, NC - Greenville-Pitt County 8k

Being a little unsure of my fitness, I chose this race as a "competitive tempo run" of sorts as I had one (tempo run) on my schedule and the event started about 100 yards from my apartment. I have been going by a planned scheduled in training for Chicago and it is very different than the training I have done in the past where I have just coached myself. It is all leading up to one big peak, where in the past I have tended to get in good shape fast and then hold it. All this being said, this was the inaugural Greenville-Pitt County 8k Road Race and the course was interesting. It had a lot of slow inclines and declines and finished with about 2 miles straight up and down 10th Street in the sun. After my longest mileage week of the season, I was excited to see what my legs had in them.

The race got off a few minutes late and I may have charged down Cotanche a little hard as I was in the lead at the left turn onto Reade St in front of Chico's. Soon up the half mile long hill, Phillip Rowan passed me on his way to a 55 year old age group state record. With more speed, I feel like I could have run with him. My stamina has been lacking a bit lately. Maybe it's because I've been hitting it hard for 18 months or so after not really competing for 12 years and maybe I am still developing this season. I hope the latter! Ran up 5th St and was passed by one more guy before the mile mark (5:45) before almost being hit by a sorority girl driving home. This happens a lot in Greenville, so it doesn't shock me. After this I cruised down Elm St and got into a pretty good groove before the 2 mile (11:43). Miles 3 and 4 were slow. I was in no man's land after turning it on during mile 2 and hit 3 up the hit on 5th St in 17:53 and 4 up and down 10th St in 24:07. Tried to focus on staying in 3rd in the final mile and staying straight up although I was pretty tired and my feet hurt. I was trying out a new pair of flats as my trusty Victory's are running out of racing miles and I am hoping to squeeze Virginia Beach and Chicago out of them before retiring them. Can't believe Nike discontinued those. I have raced 2 marathons and countless road races in them in the past year+ and they still feel pretty good.

Anyways, I weaved through the mini-maze at the end where we turned around Joyner Library and the parking lot behind Wendy's to finish up in 30:02 or so. I was 45 seconds or so ahead of the next competitor, but not 100% pleased. At minimum, it was a great tempo run! Got in a long cool down to finish up a 60 mile week, which was my longest since February. Hoping that'll wake my legs up enough to race a half at not too much slower of a pace next weekend!

More info available at: http://patprice.com/running/races/

Follow writing about running on Twitter and Facebook

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hobby Jogging: 8/15/10 - Falmouth, MA - Falmouth Road Race

I had always heard great things about the Falmouth Road Race growing up and through friends in the running community, so when I saw information on the race's website this spring about the lottery to get in, I figured "why not?" I knew it was tough to get in out of state, but luckily they selected my ping pong ball and I began planning the trip. Had to fly into Boston and take a rental from there (about 75 miles) and it was a busy weekend on the cape.

Falmouth was beautiful and the race was run perfectly. The first night we arrived, there was an event called the Falmouth Mile at Falmouth High School where the packet pickup was and everyone got right up on the track to cheer the runners on. It was pretty cool seeing Olympic Silver Medalist Nick Willis from 2 lanes out in his first comeback race after injury. He was outkicked in the final meters by Russell Brown from the Oregon Track Club. Here's a photo I took at about the 650 meter mark with Rob Novak leading Brown and Willis. Laid low after this and went to the Falmouth Cinema Pub to see "The Other Guys" before calling it a night and resting up for the race.
Rob Novak leads Nick Willis and Russell Brown

Race day started about 6:30am as the race didn't start until 10am. Got everything together and hopped on a school bus at the Lawrence School to head to the starting line at Woods Hole. Was on the first bus and got there very early, so had time to kill. Searched out the area around the start and found a nice shaded backyard of a restaurant right on the water with picnic tables. Set up shop there early and soon after all the pros found my location. I knew I had picked the right place at this point. After relaxing for a bit, did a 2 mile warmup and went pretty slow, but still passed all the Kenyans and Scotty Bauhs. I was going slow, but they must have been going 10 minute mile pace. Am I missing something? Was lucky enough to get seeded in the first corral, which I have found is essential for big races. As long as I can run the times to get me up front for the start, it's worth it! Lined up and a slightly older gentleman bumped into me at the starting line, just some guy named Frank Shorter, gold medalist in the 1972 Olympic Marathon & Silver Medalist in '76. Not a bad resume. 

The gun went off and it was a pretty controlled and rolling first mile around 5:45. The hills kept coming in mile 2 and a big cheer came up from behind me at about 1.5 miles. I look to the side and Joan Benoit Samuelson had drawn beside me; gold medalist in the 1984 Olympic Marathon. I did my best to hang with her for a mile or so. On the up and downhills, I would pass her (or catch up) and she would speed away on the flats. Hit the 3 mile around 17:45 before the long run along the cape and that's where she took off. I ran the hillier sections of the course much better than I did the flats, probably due to all the base and strength work in my training cycle thus far and my lack of speed/track work. That's fine though, 2 more big races this fall. Miles 3-6 were pretty tough as it got a little humid and we were fighting some strong cross winds off the ocean that felt like they were going to blow my number off. Turning back into the neighborhoods shortly before the 10k was a godsend as I was able to get my legs back under me and start the drive home. Went through the 10k in 37:55 and started to roll past people. Maybe I had saved too much, but I think the heat just zaps me as all my best races are in the far cooler weather. We headed back out to the cape and had one more big hill before the downhill finish. I charged it and then took the brakes off for the downhill finish, getting home in a respectable 42:44 for 7.1 miles (6:01 avg) and 128th overall in a field of 10,000 or so.

After the race, we hung out at the big field beside the beach and had a few gatorades, hot dogs, clif bars, cape cod potato chips and Sam Adams (from the British Beer Company). That afternoon was finally able to get some chowda! Everyone was very nice and it was a great experience. New Englanders take their running seriously and know how to put on a race! I hope to make it back next year!

More info available here: http://patprice.com/running/races/reports/20100815FalmouthRoadRace.htm

Follow writing about running on Twitter and Facebook