Monday, December 27, 2010

Kris Kringle 5 Miler

Yesterday I ran the Kris Kringle 5 miler, the first 5 mile race I ever ran. The weather was cold and blustery, but the course was labeled as flat with "a small hill at the finish." A warm-up run with my buddy Chop L. disabused me of my ideas of a small hill.

We arrived at the race site about an hour early and had plenty of time to check in. Afterwards, we went for a warm-up run to survey the course. I'm glad we did, because the small hill, as daunting as it was knowing it was coming, would have been more daunting had I remained ignorant.

Gun went off at 11:00, and I went out at around 5K pace. Having never run a 5 miler before, and bouyed by my Harrisburg Marathon run, I thought this was a good idea. I figured I would run the first mile fast, settle in for three, and then have a little left for the last mile.

My strategy seemed to be working but the wind and cold took their toll and when I hit the 3 mile mark, I couldn't help but think that if this was a 5k, I would be done in 176 yards with no "small hill" to contend with. I fell apart mentally in mile 4, and even though I was able to maintain my position, mile 5 was excrutiating, especially having to climb the "small hill."

I was somewhat dissapointed with my performance, but then I realized I was 27th out of 575 runners; I was first in my age group, 45-49; and I would have been 1st even if the age group was 40-49. Also, the times were down from last year; everybody must have been feeling the affects of the weather.

Looking back, the only change I would have made was going out just a little slower, but this race has given me confidence for upcoming 5Ks.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lancaster Jingle Bell Run, 2010

Kyler and I ran the Lancaster Jingle Bell Run yesterday. We have been running this race together for three years. It is a fairly fast course, and a good one to shoot for a PR, which is what we had in mind.

Kyler was a little bit upset that he was unable to go under 26:00 at the Iron Bridge Run, so he was determined to crack that barrier at the Jingle Bell. Part of the problem at Iron bridge was that it was a XC course, and he developed a side stitch almost immediately that he couldn't shake.

We wanted to avoid the side stitch again, so we spent a good 15 minutes warming up including form drills and dynamic stretches. We took to the starting line about 10 minutes before the gun, and got a good position just off the front and on the right, so that we wouldn't be boxed in, or have to negotiate a wide turn at the first right.

At the gun, we went out a fast clip, and Kyler was going strong, but once again, he developed a side stitch, however, this time he was able to work through it, and we hit the first mile in 7:55, a full :26 seconds below what we needed to break 26:00. I was thinking that since we had money in the bank, we could hold off a little, but Kyler was going strong, and we held the pace. As we ran, I told him that we were looking at going under 25:00. This encouraged him, he picked up the pace slightly. Around the last half mile, I looked at my watch, and realized we had a good chance of breaking 24:00. At this point, I relayed the information to Kyler, and turned the race over to him meaning I fell in behind, and told him that it was his race. He put on a strong kick over the last 200 yards, and even managed to overtake a few adults. He crossed the line in 23:54.

I was quite impressed with his guts and drive, and he was elated that he shattered his PR by over two minutes. His effort earned him 6/39 in his age group; he was only beaten by kids older than him, and half of them were teenagers.

Great Job, Kyler!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lancaster County XC 5K Race Report

After the Iron Bridge Run with Kyler, I decided to run another XC race, and push it, so I registered for the Lancaster County XC 5K, which is held on Manheim Township's XC course. I heard this was a tough course, but still set a goal to go under 20 minutes. I have a streak going right now, and I was sure that I could keep it going.

My buddy Chop L. and I arrived at the race about an hour early, and decided to go run part of the course for a warm-up and to reconnoiter the route. After the warm-up run, I quickyl ammended my expectation of running under 20:00.

The gun went off at 10:00, and I went out at a quick pace, maybe a bit too quick, but I felt good and ran the first mile @ 5:51 - my last good mile. The rest of the course consisted of steep hills, poor footing and strong head winds. It was by far the toughest 5K I ever ran. I managed to hang on the last two miles, and crossed the line in 20:44. This was good enough for 13th place, and a 2nd place medal in my age group (40-49).

Iron Bridge 5K Race Report

Kyler and I ran the Iron Bridge Run on November 20th. Kyler recently set a grade level record for the most laps in the Kraybill Race for Education, so we were pretty confident that we were going to get a PR. His goal was to get under 26:00.

Before the race, we had the opportunity to meet Billy Mills, the 1964 Olympic gold medalist in the 10,000m. He was really nice and let Kyler wear his Hall of Fame ring. After the race, we heard him speak.

The Iron Bridge run is an XC course and we started out at a good pace, but on the first hill Kyler developed a side stitch, which he had to fight through the entire race. The hills were pretty tough, and this exacerbated the problem.

In the home stretch, Kyler was able to muster up a kick, and he set a new PR of 26:17. It wasn't under 26:00, but given the course, and the side stitch, he did a great job. Congratulations, Kyler!!