Monday, December 27, 2010

Hobby Jogging: 2000 Miles for 2010 (and some highlights)

After taking a 2 week break after the Dash for Cash to heal up from a bunch of nagging injuries, I was itching to get back on the roads and trails to get that last 65 miles to hit 2000 for the year. 2009 was my first year back to training with consistency and I hit 1411.5, so 2000 was a pretty big jump. After getting a solid week of training in this past week (51.5 miles), I was sitting just 14 miles shy of the mark after my Christmas run. Charlotte got dumped on with snow Christmas evening, making a Sunday long run nearly impossible. I took the rest, headed back to Greenville today (Monday) and set out for a 14-miler, only my third double digit run since Chicago. Snow was all over the place and I was forced into 10" of snow during one mile stretch of highway. Made it through and took a gel and a half a bottle of water at 8.5 before cruising the last 5.5 and rolling home in 6:41 for the last mile. I felt best on the last 20 minutes of the run. Hopefully a sign of good things to come. Now, onto 5 highlights from 2010...

Boston - This was a race I have watched since my teens and qualifying for it at NYC in 2009 was one of my biggest sporting thrills ever. Competing at Boston was everything I had hoped it could be. Felt great from the gun, went through the half in 1:22 and was on 2:48 pace through 30k. Didn't quite hold it, but still ran a 9 minute PR and had a blast. A trip and event to remember. Here's the full race report

Gate River Run - Luckily, this race fell over my spring break and a few good friends of mine live in Jacksonville. I was lucky enough to qualify for the top corral and it was cool warming up with the pros and having our own port-o-johns! It was a hot day and the race was tough, but coming down the Green Monster, I turned on the jets and ran from the 9 mile mark to the finish (600 meters) at 5:08 pace (and passed a ton of people); good enough to get me on the scoreboard for the USATF National 15k Championship. Here's that race report

Get Your Rear in Gear 5k - This was my first competitive race back in 2009 and I almost won, just running out of real estate against a high school kid, running 19:29. This year I took it out conservatively and was mentally tough the whole race. I hammered the last downhill mile and finished 3rd in 17:29, my best 5k time since starting to compete again (and only 12 seconds off my lifetime road PR of 17:17 from the Stumptown 5k in 1996). Here's that race report

Lifestyles 5k - After battling a troubling hamstring for the last 23 miles of Chicago, I was eager to heal up and get back to it. I hopped in this race in Little Washington as a test/tempo to see where I was just 13 days later and was rewarded with my first road race win since 1991 (Eastover Fun Run)! Here's that race report

Falmouth Road Race - Probably the quintessential All-American Road Race. Although we stayed in probably the crappiest hotel that $150/night can get you and my girlfriend went to get Meb to autograph a poster for me that ended up being addressed (and personalized) to her (he's charming :), this was an awesome event. It included dueling with Joan Samuelson for about a mile and experiencing the Falmouth Cinema Pub, plus great weather and a very cool race. Here's that race report

Now we'll look towards 2011 and can't wait to up the miles a little more, run Raleigh's Second Empire Grand Prix and Boston again. If you are reading this (or following my twitter), you'll hear all about it!

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hobby Jogging: 12/5/10 - Greenville, NC - Reindeer Dash for Cash 5k

If you are ever going to do a road race in Greenville, NC, the Reindeer Dash for Cash is the cream of the crop. Dawn Cash-Salau does an excellent job and really works hard all year to put on an excellent event. Every year it draws a larger and larger crowd and this year there had to be 700+ (most races here have ~100). It was a very cool day for a race after we got an unexpected coat of snow last night. I was a little worried about the wood bridge finish being slick, but then realized the Army helps put this race on and had it swept and salted by 0700. Now the cold didn't really bother me today, but the wind, that's another story.

Got in a good warmup and got to the line with 5 minutes to spare. The start was called on the bullhorn and off we went up 1st Street. Got out good and controlled and started to settle in on Evans before turning up 5th. By the time we got a half mile in, I had settled in with my buddy Nic Boerio and Adidas Raleigh's Heather Magill, both who were running the 10 mile. Ran up the hill on 5th and went through the mile pretty comfortably in 5:42. I started pressing the pace a little on mile 2 as it was slightly downhill and felt pretty good doing it. Legs didn't have a lot of pop, but was hoping to just maintain what we had going. When we turned left onto Brownlea, the wind came cranking hard right at us (~20mph). I'd like to say it didn't bother me, but it did. We got through the 2 mile in 11:30, which was right about where I wanted to be. I started pressing again, but just didn't have it. Slogged up 1st and started to lose touch with Nic and Heather a little, so started to go into maintain my place mode and be ready to kick if you hear footsteps.

Hit the 3 mile in 17:31 and the last .1 turned into .14, but came home a solid 3rd overall in 18:13. After coming in 4th last year, it felt great to get an overall award. Afterwards, grabbed a cup of coffee and a bagel with Kevin Sheehan and jogged home to throw on my compression pants and pullover to cooldown and see how Heather and Nic were doing. The funny thing about the Dash for Cash is that Kenyans show up every year and rip it in the 10 mile. I think they don't realize the race is in Chris Cash's memory and not a race director making it rain. This year there was indeed prize money for the top 3 in the 10 Mile, so 3 Kenyans took some money home and Heather took the title on the womens side for a nice $200 payout. My teammate, Erin Duke, should have come up as she would have gotten 2nd and $150. No money in the 5k, but got a nice medal, tech shirt and tech hat (things I can use!)

After Nic and Heather got done, did a good 2 mile cooldown with them before some more coffee and the award ceremony, where I met my old friend Laura MacLean, who I know from back in the day when I ran a couple days a week and couldn't break 20 in the 5k. Was good catching up with her and she took home the masters title in the 10 mile (and is doing what I think she told me was her 13th marathon of the year next weekend at Thunder Road). She's a maniac.

As for me, I need 65 more miles this year to join the 2000 mile club. That's my final goal as I am done racing this year and am looking forward to the Second Empire Grand-Prix Series in the Spring and a return to the Boston Marathon in April. So I'll log some easy miles, then take about 10 days off to heal up before getting ready for the 2011 season. My legs are lacking pop and I think a little break will get that back as I get back into Jack Daniels style training in 2011 that I had a lot of success with in early 2010. Can't wait!

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