Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2010 You Gotta Be Crazy 5k

pre-race & the start of YGBC 24
Hannah working hard as always
the homestretch

last weeks blister still alive & kicking
Last Sunday was the 24th Annual You Gotta Be Crazy run, kicking off the local race scene here in Northern Nevada. This was the 5th time I've run it, making it the first race I've ever done 5 times (I beleive I've done the Daffodil Run, Bridge to Bridge, & Run Through the Colors 4 times each). I've been all over the place too...ran a high 16, but placed third, back in 2000 or 2001, ran it as my first race back after several YEARS off in 19-something in 2005, placing 6th. Won it the following year with a 17 & change. Ran it again last year as my first race back after a 2 month trip to the DL, placing 3rd in 18:29. This year, the goal was to get under 17 on this slightly hilly (& slightly longer than 5k) course. Then...the snow started. The forecast was for an inch or two, tops, but really; what do they know. In the morning I had to get the shovel out, just to get to the car. Close to two feet on top of the Subaru, probably close to a foot-and-a-half on the ground (just north of Reno). This was an odd storm, though. I was thinking there is no way they're running this race, but I remembered the name, and I wasn't going to be "that guy"...you know, the one member of the team that doesn't show. So, after digging out the car, we eventually made our way to Verdi, where Dave had opened the "hospitality suite" complete with Jittery Joe's Coffee.
I was feeling somewhat unmotivated at this point. It's been a rough couple weeks. Between the half-dollar sized blood blister, side cramps during the majority of the previous few runs, and another dose of the knee pain that sidelined me for a few days last week. This week, it happened on Friday (after 3 days off because of the foot, I'd run well enough that morning). After a post-run breakfast with Hannah, the knee almost gave out as I put weight on it to get up. Same sharp pain, but I caught it a little quicker. I muttered a couple choice words that I'm glad Hannah didn't catch, and limped around the rest of the day. I took Saturday off, which meant if I was able to run Sunday, it would be the only quality run of the week. Then the snow hit, & it became obvious that there would be no 5-minute-pace running this week. I warmed up on the course, and had no real problems with the footing at warm-up pace (although it would obviously be slower) & the knee seemed like it was going to hold. At the start, I noticed the lack of local elites (good for me I suppose), but it made me feel good that TLD had all showed up despite the weather. At the start it was about 28, and wouldn't get a whole lot warmer til the sun peeked out that afternoon.
We first headed down a hill, and it became obvious that footing wasn't as good at the faster pace, which was actually nice, since the big hill was coming not too long after the downhill & bridge crossing. Because the heart rate wasn't spiked at the bottom, and I had a lead, the hill wasn't too hard, but my breathing was pretty eratic. I hadn't settled into any kind of rythm, which I felt in my lungs & my legs. After the hill, there was a long straightaway, which can be mentally tough in most cases, but since we kept our eyes down due to the snow, this section didn't seem as long. It was during this section, though, that I developed another side cramp. Couldn't tell ya why, especially at a pace halfway between workout & race pace, but it was there, & didn't go away. So...hard to push the pace the rest of the way, so I was just in survival mode. I even made the rookie move (a couple times) of glancing back to be sure nobody was coming. A big fat jerk in a giant gold SUV sprayed everyone with freezing slush & ice whilst speeding dangerously close to the runners (& volunteers), but outside of that, the rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I came across about a minute and a half slower than my goal time in 18:25, but it was enough to win by almost a minute and a half. No cooldown for a 2nd straight week. I should probably break that pattern.
After some quick eats, drinks, & awards, we headed to the hospitality suite for brownies & beer.
Good combo. Thanks Turi for the Maui Coconut Porter Brownies, & to Amber for the Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout! Bourbon County - always nice as well. So far this week I've been able to run, but not particularly well. Tomorrow will be my first hard interval day (hopefuly) since the first knee flair-up, so I'm a little anxious to see how that goes. Til next time...
Here's the link to Sunday's results:http://www.silverstatestriders.com/Results.aspx?id=2

Thursday, February 18, 2010

(LATE) Folsom Winter Trail Run Series #7

approaching Brian @mile one
2nd place?
Sorry it took so long to get this out. I sincerely hope all 2.5 of you that read my blog are not too disappointed with my laziness.
The forecast was clear for the weekend, so Dave & I drove down the morning of (with Abby & Hannah in tow). I'd say I'm getting a little old to drive to out-of-town races on race morning, but I'm usually met with sarcasm, disbeleif, etc, when I bring that up. For me, at 32, 8 years removed from Achilles surgery, and much less removed from a partial tear in the other Achilles, it's more about chronic injuries & tightness than age...but I reheheally don't like going further than 30-40 miles on race morning. Dave was kind enough, to his detrement, to prove my point by pulling his calf three steps into his warm-up. As I got back to the car after warming up on the short course, he was taking off the race gear. CRAP! At least he's got his six races in, so missing this one didn't hurt his points. Hopefully it's a quick heal, although it's likely related to recent knee issues. So, he joined Abby & Hannah in spectating (good course to do that on I guess) for 17 minutes or so while I ran the short course.
I'd decided that the course was not so technical, and decided to wear my Asics Piranhas, even though they are an ultra-light road shoe. BAD. IDEA. I think I'd have been fine if I hadn't already made the mistake of wearing them at the Davis Stampede 10k without socks, but, well...I get away with that with the uber-comfy Nike Mayflys, so I took a chance. At the end of that race, I noticed a couple hot spots on both heels, and a blood blister in-between the balls of my left foot. No biggie yet. I ran a normal week, and did one of my best workouts EVER on Wednesday (a 14:57 all downhill 5k on the treadmill - which irritated the blister a little more) before experiencing some nice & sharp knee pain after my (pretty mellow) Thursday run. So, I kind of tapered off at the end of the week & didn't hit any of my weekly goals, but the knee was feeling good enough by Saturday that I expected to be able to race Sunday, and the warm-up confirmed that it could stand up to hills & uneven terrain. The Piranhas (with socks this time)felt fine at first, but as my feet started sweating profusely, they moved around a bit on the loose gravel and rocks, and I could tell I was making said blister angry.
On my way back, as I hit the one mile to go mark, I picked up the pace a little, as the next .7 miles were basically flat, but about a minute later developed a side cramp. What the hell?! Can't explain that one, but I ran through it just fine, if a little slower. When I came across, I looked at the clock and saw :46 at the end, meaning I had run 4 seconds slower than last time we ran this course. No biggie, except I ran the 17:42 the day after running a 16:10 at the Davis Turkey Trot, so my goal had been to break 17:30 this time around. Not until later did I realize the clock was for the long course runners. I'd actually run a 17:38...still a little off my goal, but at least faster than when I ran it with tired legs. I did, however feel the CostCo sized blister immediatley when I started my cooldown. I usually jog the short course, but as I hit the levee, I knew that wasn't happening this day, so I walked about a half mile in, talked to a father & daughter waiting for their family members to come in, and gingerly jogged my way a half mile back. The kicker? The circular blister had grown and morphed into a very clear (and very red) heart. How sweet...if it didn't hurt with each step.
So, a little bit of a rough day for this half of Team Library Dork, but...if the good weather holds and there is no double points race in the finale, the 100 points from this race locks up the series for me. There's a battle a brewin' between my two closest competitors, with John Couillard currently sitting 3 1/2 points ahead of fellow Nevadan Kirk Ferris with one race to do. Up until this week, John had done the long course each time. Kirk had signed up first and chosen the long course. Maybe strategicaly, maybe not...John then signed up for the intermediate course, so there was no head to head between them. I'm rooting for that in the last race, though. Kirk has been in front when they've done the same race, and only has one more shot to make up those 3.5 points.
On the way home, we met up with Gretchen at 50 50 in Truckee, for the 3rd release of barrel-aged Imperial Eclipse Stout - Jack Daniel's style. Apparently, the $20 they'd been charging for the previous two releases wasn't enough, so they jacked it up to $22.95, which made Dave & I purchase less on principal alone. There are some awesome, awesome barrel aged beers out there for less than half that price, so I'm not feelin' the price hike 50 50. Of course, since it was the most expensive release, it was also the weakest of the three. Still good, but a bit one dimensional. We had a great lunch though, and I "traded" a lunch & beer for a plethora of Hammer products that Gretchen had won in the Ultrarunner series. We even met up the next day to run 1 1/2 times around Donner Lake. Thanks Gretchen! That was, however, my last run of the week to this point. I'd never - ever- skipped a run for a freakin blister before this week (now I'm at 3), so I'm either a panzy, or it's a doozy of a blister. Maybe a slight combination of the two. It was nice to lift legs this morning, though, with out putting in 10 miles first. Makes things just a bit easier.
Well...I'm signed up for the You Gotta Be Crazy 5k in Verdi on Sunday. In the Mayfly's, where I can go bearfoot with moleskin protecting my tattered tootsie! My goal had been to run under 17:00 on the hilly road course, but I can feel the rust. Hopefully I can get out there and run tomorrow and Friday without starting the pissed-off-foot process all over again. No rest for the wicked...2/28 back in Folsom, 3/6 Bidwell Classic 5k in Chico, 3/14 Shamrock Run 8k in Portland (I think there may be a few breweries up there too), one weekend off, followed by a 5k* out at Scheels. 15 minutes from home...just what the doctor ordered. Til next time...
Results/pics/points link -
I'll add a couple of Abby's pics tonight. As always, thanks to Diane & Co for the great race, and to Brian for the pics!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Team Library Dork takes over Davis Stampede

No pics from this one, as the wife and kid stayed in Reno. I can't blame them - the car is getting old, but the racing is just so much fun, it makes it all worth it. With any luck, this will be the first of six consecutive weekends of racing (4 5k's, a 10k, and a 7.5 miler).
I'll say right off the bat that I missed my goal time (for the first fairly flat race of the year) by about a minute, or 9-10 seconds per mile). I think I'll have a limited number of races to acheive my "time" goals for the year...and I laid a bit of an egg on this one.
between the four of us, we had all three distances covered, with Amber & Dave in the 5k, me in the 10k, and Turi running the half. I warmed up on the course and found the Sudwerk Brewery (which we'd be visiting after) at mile 1. Rather convenient. I missed the start of the 5k at 8:00 as I was just getting back to the car to change shoes and de-robe. It was chilly & overcast, but not cold, with a light wind. At 8:10, the nearly 2000 people in the 10k & half took off together, and by 2 or 3 minutes in, we were starting to thin out the lead pack. By the time we hit the brewery, the 10k leader had seperated a bit, which was a little discouraging this early, but I was still comfortably tucked next to the half marathon leader. There was no mile marker, so no split, but we kept our positions 'til mile 2 (10:42) before our courses went their seperate ways a couple miles later. There were a couple tight turns (including one poorly manned one) and an overpass that made mile 3 slow, but I still hit the 5k on pace to run under 34:00 in 16:59, but I knew I was fading. My legs just didn't seem to have that extra gear. The leader was just about out of sight on all the turns. I'd catch a glimpse every once and a while, but I was in no man's land. Too far back to push for the lead, and not being pushed by anyone from behind, so when things started to get tough, my pace suffered. I kept about the same pace between mile 3 and 6.1, before I saw the finish after the last turn. I had enough of a kick for the last hundred or two that I wished I'd have pushed a little sooner, but it wouldn't have made much difference. I ended up easily in second, a minute behind the winner (who ran my goal time) and a minute ahead of third, in 34:24. The winner was a Foot Locker Nationals competitor (and only 17) so not in my AG, so I was able to add an AG win to the 2nd overall, and take home a New Balance hat and running pants for my pains (not to mention a pretty cool race shirt).
Amber finished 157th overall out of 852 in the 5k, running 26:24 (and won her AG!). Dave was 180th in 27:12. There were 973 in the 10k and 855 in the half, where Turi finished 287th in 1:52:54...not bad for a guy that hasn't been running and chose the LONGEST DISTANCE POSSIBLE. As I mentioned before, we had lunch at Sudwerk afterwards, before heading home and watching the big game. That was futbol, right?
Anyway, got me some work to do to run 16 flat, or 26 & change for 8k (passed the 8k mark at 27:19...49 seconds off the season goal) or a 33 minute 10k, but I'll do what I need to get there. My next three races are slow courses, so my next shot at a decent time will be at the Bidwell Classic in four weeks. Til then...