Category Archives: Races

Winter and Spring 2014

Hopefully this is the last catch-up post I have to write!

Track?! Nah.

I left off the last post talking about how I was recovering from injury. While this is true, I wasn’t able to quite make it back into full shape in time for indoor or outdoor track season.

I was able to start doing some track workouts and long runs again after the beginning of 2014 with minor soreness in my foot resulting from them. I got more diligent than ever in stretching and rehab exercises and continued to make slow but distinct progress in the healing of my plantar fasciitis. I was extremely out of shape when I started doing workouts but they soon got at least a little better. I began thinking that maybe I could run a decent mile on the track before refocusing my efforts on training for the Bayshore full marathon that I happened to sign up for early in the year.

While I never quite ran what I would call a decent mile, I was able to run a 5:11 at an indoor meet at MSU. This isn’t close to my PR at all but at least I was able to start racing again! I also raced a 3k that went very poorly at Illinois – 10:49 for that. I later ran 18:10 for 5k at the NIRCA outdoor track nationals meet without pushing all out during the race. That’s one recent race that I can be happy with. Still not near my PR but it’s beginning to show some fitness – especially given the limited mileage I’ve been able to run.

Ultramarathon?! I guess so.

Somewhere between signing up for Bayshore and the end of the track season, I got the crazy idea to sign up for a 50k trail race. Over distance training for the marathon, right?!

A little over a week ago I completed this race. I ran 5:15 for the 50k, it was a trail race so the distance wasn’t exact. I enjoyed this race a lot – the trails were great! It was very painful after 20 miles – for context, I crossed 20 miles at just under 3 hours. I’d love to do this race again – but better trained. I knew going in that it would be  rough given my little winter training. My longest run was something like 14 miles and I hadn’t done many trail runs because of the harsh Michigan winter. Despite that I still gave it a go! I ended up 30th overall which wasn’t quite what I was looking for but was still good enough to win a cool clear-glass mug!Photo: 26 miles down, 5 to goMe, 26 miles down.

And another photo of the medal and the mug:Photo: So this morning I ran 31+ miles through the woods and when I got done some random people handed me this cup. Strange.

Onward to a Full Marathon!

My racing for the spring season doesn’t end at that 50k. Just 4 weeks after my first ultra, I’m still scheduled to run the Bayshore full! I’ve been focusing on trying to recover quickly enough from the 50k to get one more long run in before it’s time to taper for the marathon. That’s a tight schedule and I’m hoping it gives enough time.

My goal is to run a sub-3 hour time and qualify for Boston. We’ll see how that works but I’m telling myself that 20 miles in 3 hours on the Poto trails last weekend were pretty darn close to 26.2 in 3 hours on a flat road course. Only time will.

And Beyond:

After Bayshore I think I’ll take a little time away from long distance running and focus on building mileage again with some 5-10k races. And GLR, can’t forget that!

Then I’ll be moving to SF soon after that for a new job! Exciting! Maybe I’ll return to the trails when I get back to California.

Summer Running Recap 2013

This post has been a long time coming… and has morphed into a recap of all running I did between summer and the end of the year in December

Summer 2013: In which I learn about trail running, run more miles per week and per day than ever before, have some crazy trail running adventures, and become injured.

Summer Training

I’ll start with my summer training. I picked my training back up after taking a little time easy after the Bayshore Half and began to ramp up the mileage again. It was a little more difficult to do this than expected: I had a few nagging aches and pains despite the time off and moving to San Francisco for the summer on a new work schedule disrupted my running a bit, but overall, I was pleased with the ramp up period.

I was able to start hitting 40-60 mile weeks again fairly quickly. My goal for the summer was to ramp up to consistently higher weekly mileage than I had done before – I wanted to run 80 mile weeks. By the end of July, I had run my first 80 mile week. That was exciting! More on that week in a bit.

Training was going well. I was enjoying my internship and enjoying my running. I was hittings the mileage hard to have a great last NIRCA cross country season. What happened?

At the beginning of the summer training cycle I started using new shoes for some of my runs. The Saucony Mirage 2, I actually really love that shoe and it took a beating this summer and was still in great shape.

There were a few problems though, mostly my fault. The first was that I probably ramped up the amount of mileage I was doing in the new shoe too quickly, especially since it’s way less of a shoe than my normal super supportive Asics. Next, while I wasn’t doing a lot of running on the San Francisco hills, I WAS walking up and down an extremely steep hill to get to the bus each day. One of the steepest in the city, I’m told. While this isn’t really a big deal, it probably didn’t help my already too-tight calves. Lastly, I started playing weekly games of Ultimate after work with some other interns. While that was a lot of fun, I played barefoot much of the time and I think that also contributed to my situation.

In the end, it all culminated into an injury. It was relatively minor at first but progressed to the point where I couldn’t put any weight on my foot in the morning before I finally accepted that I needed to stop running. Plantar Fasciitis. Fun times. I’ve learned my lesson as I’m still dealing with it.

Summer Races and Adventures

Over the course of my summer in California I  met some great people and had some fantastic adventures, all thanks to running!

I was convinced to go race Table Rock with new friends who were into trail running. I did the 10k while they ran the 27k. This just happened to be at the end of my first 80 mile week.

It was a great race and I had a lot of fun. Going in I knew that there was a crazy hill at the beginning of the race but I was confident that I could compete for the win – and the possibility of a course record. For context, nobody has gone under 60 minutes on the 10k course. The winner was able to set a new record of 60:07 which was a few minutes faster than the previous record. I didn’t really know what I was getting into but still managed to eek out a 68:26 which was good enough for 4th place after I took two wrong turns. What an introduction to trail racing that was!

As far as racing goes, that was the only serious race of the summer for me – and turned out to be one of the few races I ran seriously for months after.

Ultras and Mountains and Glaciers, oh my!

I did manage to have a few other running related adventures. On a whim, I agreed to pace and crew for my friend Lucas for part of his first 100 miler since one of his other pacers had to back out last minute. This was an interesting experience for me and Lucas ran a great race (and won)! I had a lot of fun and this was my first introduction to ultras.

I could write much more about that day but I’ll just say that running on the trails in the Marin headlands was simply fantastic and running through those hills with no light but a headlamp was both eery and peaceful at the same time. one of the fantastic views during the SF 100 miler

Later in the summer that same group of us went to Alaska and did some running. Through the woods and in the mountains and even up Exit Glacier.

Exit Glacier!

This trip was essentially the end of my summer running adventures. After this point I started trying to rehab my foot a bit because I realized that I would have not even a small part of my cross country season if I didn’t attempt to take care of it.

I started taking days off and biking instead. I started stretching more. However when I got back to Ann Arbor I got caught up in getting in shape for cross country again. I began running higher mileage again, did a trail half marathon for fun, and did the first track workout of the year. The next day I couldn’t put weight on my foot – I had to accept that it was time to take more drastic measures.

I eventually started going to physical therapy. Through I wasn’t told I had to take off completely, I took about 3 weeks off and then began running maybe 20 miles a week again. This didn’t completely heal my foot but I was able to run. It wouldn’t hurt while running but still got rather tight after runs. Uneven ground such as trails and grass was even worse than flat pavement.

In the end, my lesson was that I didn’t listen to my body when it was hurting and then was too stubborn to do what was right. As a result I missed out on both cross country and track. I ran some races but was doing them non-competitively. Thankfully, now I’m well on my way to recovery.

2246.9.

All said, by the end of 2013 I had run 2246.9 miles. To reflect a bit on 2013 and some of my running goals for the year: The only main goal that I achieved was to complete my first (and second, trail) half marathon. I did that at Bayshore. The other two goals of sub-17 and of running a 100 week didn’t happen partially due to my inability to train.

Some of my secondary goals were a sub-36 10k, 3000 miles for the year, and to finish a marathon. None of these were completed either. I was on pace for 3000 miles until I had to reduce training volume in the late summer. Hopefully in 2014 I can run a few more total miles for the year than in 2013!

Bayshore Half Marathon Race Report

This weekend was finally the day I’d been training almost six months for: the Bayshore half in Traverse City!

 

The Training

I began base building at the end of December after taking time off from Fall cross country / road races. I was consistently hitting 50 and 60 mile weeks with a weekly tempo run. By mid February, I was consistently hitting 70 mile weeks with down weeks in the mid 60 range usually. At that point I mostly transitioned from tempos to weekly indoor track workouts with MRun because running workouts with people is better. I maintained that mileage through outdoor track season which I competed in, and then just a couple more quality weeks before getting to Bayshore. The week leading up to Bayshore was probably among the worst of my training weeks ever – I never felt fresh or healthy and the small nagging injuries didn’t seem so small anymore.

You can view my training long for more details.

The Race

We woke up early. Very early. The shuttle from our campsite to the race’s finish area left at 5am so I was up at around 4:30. I ate a poptart when I woke up and then about an hour before the race had a granola bar. When we got to the race’s packet-pickup/staging area we then had to take another shuttle out along the bay to the half marathon’s starting point (it’s a point to point race). It was a pretty cold morning and we got to the start line too early to start warming up so it was kind of cold standing around. When it was FINALLY time to start warming up I just did some light jogging for about 10 minutes and then changed into my flats and did just a few strides to make sure they were tied tight enough. When I got to the start line I finally saw the rest of my friends on MRun!

The start was a bit weird since they had to synchronize with the marathon that started 15 minutes earlier and then we were off! The first mile I was left wondering if I was really on pace since it felt so easy – I was right on pace but almost none of my training miles felt quite so easy as that.

For about the first half of the race I was right on target of staying between 6:00 and 6:10ish with splits of 6:05, 6:08, 6:06, 6:11, 6:14 through mile 5.

About 5.5 miles in I started slowing down a bit and it also happened to be about the same time that I got stuck in no-man’s land with nobody to run with. It wasn’t that I was dead or even felt that tired but my legs were heavy and I didn’t know how I should be feeling and was worried about crashing later on at mile 10 or 11 so I just tried to keep my effort up. The number of “Go Blue!’s” that I got from wearing my MRun singlet from both spectators and marathoners once we crossed paths with them was astounding and helped me keep going. I even got a “Go Blue!” from the 3rd place marathoner!

Splits for miles 6-12: 6:31, 6:29, 6:29, 6:43, 6:46, 6:42, 6:41

I wouldn’t say that I ever felt good during this time but I never felt exhausted either. I guess I’d say I felt pleasantly exerted. After how I felt for the last 1.1 miles and the day after, I now know that I could have probably pushed these miles much more.

Right at the 12 mile mark my friend Caspar caught up with me. We picked it up for the last mile and I told him we were going to catch the guy that was up in front of us (who had passed me earlier). My 13th mile was my fastest mile with a split of 6:04. After I picked it up for that mile I knew that I had been going to slow for the second half of the race – I felt like I could have hung on at that pace for another few miles at the finish.

I ended up finishing with a time of 1:23:57. It wasn’t quite in my A-B goal range of 1:18-1:20 but I’m not disappointed with it either. My fallback goal was faster than 1:25 and I did just that. In any case, it left me wanting more.

The Analysis

I’d say that I ran the first half of the race very well. I went out conservatively and felt pretty good because of it. I now know that I could have hung on at that pace for the rest of the race but this one was a learning experience. A number of friends told me they dropped about 5 minutes between their first and second time racing a half. That’s exactly what I intend to do next time I do one – even though I don’t quite know when that might be. Some people are trying to convince me to do the Detroit half in the Fall but I may just want to focus on cross country then instead since it’s my last chance to race cross country with MRun.

I ended up finishing in 28th place overall and 3rd in my age group. I’m reasonably happy with my result but not completely satisfied. I just keep reminding myself that I’m still less than a year in to training competitively again and that I don’t have that aerobic base from years of running high mileage in anymore. I’ll improve with time and patience.

The Aftermath

After the race we hung around downtown Traverse City for the day and even went to the beach! It was a fun day involving pie and other delicious food. The day after the race we packed up camp and headed home. When I got home I did what I planned to be an easy 5 miles for recovery around argo (which just so happens to be my last run in Ann Arbor until I get back there from San Francisco in the Fall). It started off nice and easy but I ended up picking up the pace for every mile with the last two miles in the 7:00 to 6:50 range. I guess I felt pretty good by the end! Afterwords I felt well enough to go play a couple hours worth of volleyball and frisbee with some friends (and even biked there). It was fun but was also yet another sign that I could have run harder during the race. I just never got that sore after the race – in fact I felt better immediately after the race than I did during most weeks of training towards the end of the cycle.

I’m now going to take a week off of running (maybe try to squeeze in a long bike ride or two before I fly to California on Friday) and then the next week will just be easy running every other day. After that, I’ll jump right back into training! It will be time to start thinking about cross country season and I intend on taking full advantage of summer training! I’m hoping to run more than I ever have with a peak of high 80s or low 90 mpw to try and have the best season possible.

Winter Training Recap

 

 

Now that we’re leaving the cold months and entering the final stretch of my training for the Bayshore half, I thought I’d take a look at my winter training.

Weekly Mileage
My weekly mileage since late Fall. I’m very pleased with my ramp-up after some rest. That most recent week is still in progress and should be in the 55-60 mile range…

Early in the winter through early March I got some very solid base miles in with a few encouraging early tempo runs. I’ve managed to keep my weekly milage above 50 for every week of this year with the average closer to 60 miles per week. So far I have only taken one day of for the year. I also managed to hit a new weekly high of 75 miles a few weeks ago.

I had been trying to avoid racing for a while but sometimes it’s just too hard to resist. I ran the Ice Cube 10k in February and then the Chili-Heart 5k later that month. It was early in the year still and I mostly used those races as tempo efforts. I ended up coming in 1st place for both of those races and won some cool trophies:

Finally, I have been putting in some good workouts with MRun through the cold weather on the indoor track. We recently moved back to the outdoor track and I could not be happier – as nice as it was to do speedwork all winter, it was rough on my hips and legs.

I also was fortunate enough to be able to participate in Race Across Michigan with MRun which was a 24 hour relay that we held that started in Detroit and ended in South Haven that we used as a fundraiser for the special olympics. It was an incredible experience and worth the lack of sleep and many miles run – I ran 18 miles across 3 runs that day including a 13 miler. Some others ran even more than that breaking 20 or 25 miles for the day!

The past two weekends I raced some track meets with MRun racing the 5k. Neither of those races went particularly well but they were my first two times racing a 5k on the track. I ran 17:56 at our meet with MSU and then 17:49 this past weekend in Indiana at NIRCA track nationals. I also ran a 4:52 1500m after my 5k at NIRCA but that was more for fun and I didn’t even bother wearing my flats for the race. I went out in a 70 second 400 and just decided to hang on and see what I could do after going out hard (on purpose).

What’s next? The next two weekends, I will race twice more. This coming weekend I’ll race  the Martian 10k which was a race I also did last year when I was barely in shape – this year I hope to go about 36:30s or even sub 36 if things go well. I’ll use it as an evaluation for my half marathon fitness since that will be just under half marathon pace – if I can’t hold that pace now then there are some serious issues with my half marathon goal. The following weekend I’ll race another 5000m on the track at EMU with MRun. It’s a varsity track meet but I’ve been told that it’s still possible that we’re competitive. Either way, it should be a cool experience and I hope to finally break that 17 minute barrier in my 5k.

After those two races, I’ll refocus on training for my half. I’ll have 5 weeks until Bayshore and will be getting rid of much of the speedwork and transitioning back into tempo runs and workouts at half marathon goal pace. I’d like to do a few more 4-6 mile tempos at pace and one time do a 3×20 minute workout at goal pace (6 minute pace). If I do well in that workout then I’ll be very confident in my goal for Bayshore and if not then maybe I’ll start out the race with a pace 5-10 seconds slower than that and try to hold that and maybe work down to a faster pace if I feel good later in the race…

That was my winter in a nutshell! I’ll be passing 1000 miles for the year in another week or two which puts me in a very good place to hit my goal of 3000 miles for the year!

Ice Cube 10k Race Report

Today I drove up to and ran the Ice Cube 10k with some fellow a2runners (they actually did the half). The highlights are that I took first overall with a time of 38:12. Also, I got a really awesome race award. It was handmade and now I have a collection of unique race awards (including the one from my first win)!

This is my second ever race win and my first race of the year – looks like things are off to a great start!

If you want to read more details, I’ve posted a more in-depth report here: http://openrunlog.org/u/david/run/51201295f69d202ebd0e09c3

 

Holiday Hustle 5k: Race Report

Yesterday I ran the Holiday Hustle in Dexter.

I’m just going to say that i think the mile markers were placed a bit off but am pretty certain the course was still 3.1 based on a few different measurements. Given that, I think that my mile splits were something like this: 5:35 or maybe a little faster, 5:45ish, 5:30. I wish I knew exactly what they were.

This course was deceptively hilly and tough. There were lots of rolling hills and there was a pretty long hill right before mile 2 that was very rough. I’ll admit that for a little while around that 2 mile marker I was thinking that this PR wasn’t going to happen. I just kept telling myself to stick with the people near me and not let them get to far. To just to hang on. It Worked.

I finished at 17:12 which is 5 seconds faster than my previous best set 4 years ago! I have been working so hard this Fall to achieve that goal and all of the hard work and many many miles have finally paid off. It may not be a sub-17 which was my other goal but I now know I’m well on my way there.

Full results here.

I’m now done racing hard for the rest of this year. I plan on taking about a week off entirely after this morning’s long run. After that I’ll start training again for indoor and outdoor track with MRun this winter and spring. I also signed up for the Bayshore Half-Marathon yesterday morning (it sold out in less than 2 hours)! This will be my first half and the longest race I’ve ever done. The distance doesn’t scare me too much because I’ve done 12-14 mile long runs regularly but racing the distance is a whole other deal. I’ve got time to train for that thankfully.

I’m 3/3 in PRs in my last three races and that’s awesome! I’m finally faster than high school me from four years ago!

Detroit Turkey Trot 10k: Race Report

Last Thursday on Thanksgiving I raced a 10k at the Detroit Turkey Trot. This was a big day for me because it was my first 10k encounter since Bayshore in the summer. I knew I had a chance for a major PR because I am in much better shape now that I was then.

Going into the race, my goal was to hit 6 minute pace for as long as possible and then just see if I could go faster for the last mile or so. It turns out most of that worked out. I missed all of the mile markers until mile 5 so for most of the race I had no idea how fast I was going but was just focusing on keeping things fast but smooth and not pushing too hard. After the 1st mile or so where I had moved up though the pack I found a group doing about my pace and just sort of tucked in. I crossed the 5 mile mark at 29:55 and was extremely happy to see that everything was going according to plan.

The last 1.2 was a bit rough it turns out but I still finished in 37:34 which is a huge PR of almost four and a half minutes! Awesome.

Then it was time to go chow down on some delicious Thanksgiving day food. The Turkey Trot was a great start to the day though, even if I did have to wake up at 4:30am.

Lightfest 8k: halfway race report

Back in mid-November I did the Lightfest 8k. This wasn’t *really* a race since it wasn’t timed and also the course was longer than 8k, which I’ll get to in a second. Additionally, we had trouble finding the right place to park so we were late to the start and didn’t warm up.

Despite all that I decided to run fastish and see what I could do. The first 4 miles were Between 6:05 and 6:20 but I missed most of the mile markers so I don’t know exactly what they were. I was okay with this – I just enjoyed the course (it was fantastic to see the light displays) and also kind of had fun weaving through people playing catchup to the runners.

My last mile (yes, full mile. In an 8k.) was 5:10. It turned out that after 4 miles I was warmed up and realized that if I ran fast I could PR my 8k despite all the setbacks I mentioned above. It turns out the course passed the 8k mark, had a 5 mile mark, and then finished just past there. Based on extrapolation for 5mile->8k time I put myself at 30:15 which is a 50 second PR in my 8k! Win!

Race Report: Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 2012

Blargh. This race didn’t turn out to be what I had hoped. I’m not pleased by this but the only thing to do is put this one behind me.

Quick rundown:

Mile 1: I went out with the chase pack, we hit just below 5:20 and I was pleased with that, right on target instead of blasting the first mile like I did last race. But the first mile is always easy.

My thoughts the rest of the race: “Why am I getting passed? … Just keep going … Ouch, why was that 2 mile so slow?”

Mile 2 came by  in right around 11:15 or 11:20. I ran a 6 flat 2nd mile and that right there was the race for me. The target of 11 or under wasn’t even close. Mile 3 was even worse. I finished in 18:23.

End of Season

Since today doesn’t qualify as a good race, I’m now searching for a way to fix that. I was planning on running the Lightfest 8k in Livonia real easy just for fun this coming Tuesday night, now maybe I’ll use it as a tempo run and PR my 8k – should be do able since the only 8k I’ve run was on a cross country course that was hilly.

I thought doing easy running to maintain fitness for the next few weeks was a good idea but now I’m leaning the other way. 2-3 more weeks of hard training while I get through the Detroit Turkey Trot and Holiday Hustle seems like a good plan.

 

Summer/Fall Recap

TL;DR: I ran a 17:19 5k last night – just 2 seconds from my PR!

Well I haven’t posted in a while but I’ve been running really well. I’m going to try to start posting more again but to do that I first need to write up everything since Bayshore… here we go – this could be a doozie.

After Bayshore, I took some time off of. Something like 10 days of absolutely no running. While that was difficult, it turned out to be worth it because I was able to come back with some good hard training.

Weekly mileage since Bayshore - Races marked in blue

That graph basically sums up my training for the past few months. I spent some time after Bayshore not racing at all, just slowly building up my mileage again into the 40MPW range.

Run Thru Hell

I ran the Run Thru Hell 10 miler – not because I was ready for it but mostly just for fun. I had run the shorter race there before so wanted to do the 10 miler too. I went with a group of friends and it was a great morning. It was a really tough course and I was really sore afterwards due to all the hills. Hills, as we’ll find out later, are my downfall in races.

The Rest of Summer

Towards the end of summer I had trouble keeping decent mileage due to vacation and other trips but still managed to get some okay running in (this means average runs and usually a weekly longer run of 8ish miles). After Run Thru Hell, I didn’t plan on racing until September at the Detroit Zoo. The dip after the 10 miler was due to a hiking trip I took for a week but I’ll save that for another post. The day after I came back, I ended up doing a pretty hard workout with a friend and found out that even though I had done almost no running in the week leading up to that, it turns out hiking 40 miles in a week keeps you in decent shape. That workout is essentially the start of a really REALLY rapid increase in mileage that was both risky and rewarding.

Run For The Corn 5k

The only reason this is notable is because it is my first time ever winning a race. I was back home for a weekend and ended up going to this race and I was planning on treating it as a tempo run. This was still just days after getting back from hiking. I showed up to this race and realized it was going to be small – that’s fine it was still just a tempo. There ended up being maybe only 15 people at the race – that’s the smallest 5k race I’ve ever seen by far but I really enjoyed the course. I took off at a decent but not very fast pace and was immediately all alone. It was just me and the lead golf cart the entire time which was a pretty cool experience. I ended up running a 19:28 for the win and got this cool wooden cut out thing.

So that was pretty cool. I have this hanging on my wall now.

Fall Training and Racing

I’m not going to give much information about the other races in the interest of keeping this readable and interesting. In September I started running with MRun, Michigan’s running club, a couple of times a week – mostly on Tuesday nights for their workouts. I also have gone to a few cross country races with them – which have been fun but not fast for me. (This is where the hills come in). I also upped my mileage from about 40 a week to 70 a week in about a month – that came back to bite me but I’m also convinced it helped a lot.

  • Detroit Zoo 5k: 18:18 and much better than last year! First time sub 19 since high school!
  • Michigan Fall Classic 5k (XC): 18:54
  • Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational 8k (XC at Loyola): 31:05 (Automatic 8k PR)
  • Run Scream Run 5k: 17:57 (First time breaking 18 since high school!)
  • MSU Spartan Grand Classic: 18:47 – Fun day, really muddy/sloppy course

All Caught Up?

So that brings me through all the fall races up until yesterday and by this point I’m at 70+ miles a week. All of my runs began feeling sluggish and my legs were always tired, never recovering. Last Thursday was basically when I realized this cannot continue. I ran one of the most difficult workouts of my life – 16x400m intervals at 82 seconds each, 200m rest – and was already exhausted going into it. The early repeats were never easy even though 82 seconds isn’t exactly a fast 400m for me right now (I’m pretty sure I could go sub 5 in a mile right now). I did hit that pace for each of the 16 repeats but boy was it hard. I ended up really down about running for most of last week. I had decided to take the week realllllly easy and see if I couldn’t recover. Maybe 50 miles at most. Even still, most of my runs early this week felt terrible and my legs were just burnt out. Slow runs felt fast and I never felt like I could go faster. I ended up taking this Thursday off and only running an easy 4 miles on Friday. This brings me to last night’s race.

Headless Horseman 5k

I felt okayish for the first time in over a week after Friday’s run. I was beginning to feel confident that I could run fast again. I had looked at previous results for this race and saw that in the past 3 years the winning times were between 16:50ish and 18 flat (last year was 18:00). I began to get it in my head that I could win this race.

I ended up planning on going out with whoever was in the lead for the first mile and see what they were going to do. My plan was to run to win and not worry about PRing because I didn’t think I had quite fully recovered yet (turns out I had).

This race was won in 15:59 which is 5:09/mile pace. Guess what my first mile was? Yup. All I remember thinking after that first mile was that it had to be short, no way I just ran 5:09. Turns out I did. So the winner ended up out of sight pretty quickly and it was just me and someone else in 2 and 3, with another runner not too far behind in 4th and no one else even close. I was trying to keep the pace up but ended up getting passed right before the 2 mile mark. So now I was in 3rd trying to keep 2nd in view and I went through the 2nd mile in about 5:45. At this point my only concern was not dying completely because I knew that I had a shot at a really good time for myself. I struggled to keep the pace up in the last mile but knowing I had finished the first 2 miles in just under 11 minutes kept me going – I knew I had a shot at PRing! I ended up getting passed again right before the final turn and I just had no response at this point – 4th place for me it was. I was just trying to get to the finish. There was a nice long straight portion right before the finish which was really great. I could see the clock from a long way off and it was still under 17 minutes. I put in everything I had but still watched the clock tick up. I was feet away from the line and saw it tick past my PR of 17:17, it hurts that I was so close but now I am 100% convinced that I have that PR in me somewhere. I finished in 4th at 17:19 with 2nd and 3rd at 17:14 and 17:15 I believe.

The race results are online.

Finishing up this racing season

I’ve already signed up for the Detroit Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving and I’m planning on doing another 5k the weekend after that – where I’ll hopefully finally PR.  Until those races, I think I’ll go back to maybe mid-60 miles a week and just play it by ear. I don’t want to burn myself out again. After those races are over I’m going to call it quits on this cycle of training. I’ll take some time off for some much needed rest and then just base build for the winter and not worry about speedwork for a while. I’d like to see what a 100 mile week is like so I may try building up to that very slowly over the winter.