Sunday, March 27, 2011

PR - Sea Rim Striders Spring 5K - March 26, 2011

Sea Rim Striders Spring 5K - 25:25, 8:12 pace. 19th place out of 109.
Garmin data and map:

PR? At first, I thought I'd missed it by a few seconds. I didn't remember the exact seconds of my best time, but remembered 8:14 as my PR pace. Garmin showed my average at 8:17. I finished this race 25:25 by the clock, 25:27 by Garmin. After I got home, I looked up my previous best time and found it was 25:34. So, if the course distance was an accurate 3.1 miles, this was a PR. Garmin showed the distance 3.07, which may be within expected measurement variation of 3.1. I'm going to claim it.

At first, I had no intention of going for it. At the starting line, I told my friend Jeremy that with a still tweaky knee and only two weeks of marathon recovery, I was going to treat this as just a "fun run." But after starting out, I felt too good to not give it a try. I think it really helped to do a slow, longer warmup pre-race.

I normally warm up with 4 or 5 minutes of easy jogging.  That's enough to warm up, but not enough to expend a significant amount of energy needed in the race itself.  However I found recently that my knee responds better with a slower, more gradual warmup, and I modified my aproach slightly.  I just warmed up from a walk to a brisk walk to a slow jog to an easy run pace. About 12 minutes of walking, 3 minues of jogging and 2 minutes of running.  Total warmup: 1.2 miles - 17 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yoga Day 200: Surya Namaskar

Many of my runner/yogi friends on Dailymile have been great sources of encouragement as I started out to see if I could sustain a daily yoga practice for 30 days in the month of September, 2010.  At the time, I had no thought of being able to stretch the daily streak to months.  On March 15, I was touched by the gesture of my friend Rose, who organized a number of other friends to symbolically celebrate my 200th consecutive day with 20 Sun Salutations, each in their own locations.

So on the special day, March 15, 2011, there was no way that I wasn't going join in.  My morning practice for this day was 20 Sun Salutations, in 4 cycles of:
3 Sun Salutation A + 2 Sun Salutation B.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gusher Marathon Video

This was video from the Gusher Marathon and Half Marathon from our local newspaper's website.  My three seconds of fame start at 1:06 of this video, as I come up on the right-hand side, cross in front of the camera and disappear at 1:09 (in red shorts and white shirt - #4076).

The Gusher Marathon - March 12, 2011

The Gusher Marathon - 26.2 miles - 5:13:27
Garmin data and map:

When I hurt my knee during this cycle of marathon training, I drastically changed my expectations.  At first, I thought I'd have to drop out of this race.  I took most of two weeks off from running, during what should have been peak training weeks.  During several of the final training weeks, I trained lighter than normal, substituting cycling minutes for some of my running miles.  It was a trade-off.  If I rested enough to heal completely, I'd have been so undertrained that I'd have no chance of lasting the distance.  If I tried to run my scheduled training miles, my knee would have been in no shape to run at all.  So I tried to strike a balance between the two, and revise my goal downward from PR to simply finishing.  However, the best the balanced approach could yield was to get me to race day both slightly undertrained and underhealed.

As I feared, this race got ugly, was 28 minutes longer than last year's marathon PR, but at least was a finish. Although my knee had made great improvement in the preceding weeks, I knew going in that I was undertrained and not 100% healed. I had almost no pain on my last few training runs, but the runs were short, and that allowed me to deceive myself into thinking the knee was farther along than it was. I even had a few taper-induced delusions of a possible PR. I'd considered possible pacing scenarios, and thought I might be able to comfortably average around 10:30 pace through the halfway point, and assess the situation from there. Even if I had to back off to the low 11's after that, it would be possible to finish a few seconds under last year's effort. The first half went pretty well, but the knee started getting a little sore around 12 miles, and got worse from there. I still managed to keep on track for a possible PR through about 18 miles.  It all came apart at about 18 ½, and by 19, a PR possibility was gone and it was just a matter of survival. I walked more than I ran in miles 19 through 21, got a small second wind around 22, and found a slow jog pace that made the knee hurt less than either running or walking. This pace, plus a few short walk breaks, brought me home. Coming around the final bend, I pulled together what little I had left, and tried to hit the finish chute looking better than I felt. It wasn't pretty, but I'll take it.

Ironically, even with my relatively slow finish, I later found that I'd taken a 3rd place age group trophy.  Only 5 men in my age group ran, and I at least finished before two of them!

The mile 26 sign was such a welcome sight!

After the finish, with two local running friends, Dailymilers Will and Jeremy Fermo.