Monday, November 26, 2007

10K trot times are up

The fastest trotter completed the race in 33:17.

I missed finishing in the top 1000 runners by 13 seconds.

Official results: I came in 1015th place (of 1445 runners) at 1:03:48 for an average of 10:16/M

In my age bracket (M 30-39) I was 184th of 224, yet I take solace in the fact that the fastest in my age group came in second overall at 35:01.

Kinda bummed that my time was well over an hour and my pace was so far above 10:00/M, but it provides a good starting point to build from. I'm not in it to win, I'm in it to have fun. But I'm still planning to break the 50th percentile next time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Trot completed

Not feeling too many ill effects from running the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot yesterday... sure, my legs are sore (I could have stretched more post-race), but in all, I'm feeling pretty good about the run.

Woke up barely able to breathe through my nose thanks to the lingering cold, but I popped a dose of DayQuil and had my oatmeal, coffee and oj before leaving the house at 7:15am to drive down to San Jose. On the way down (taking I-280), my car's outdoor thermometer clocked a low of 35 degrees in the hills above Stanford. And when I pulled into the parking lot at the HP Pavilion, it was up to 47 degrees. I was very glad to have my long-sleeve shirt on for the 10K run.

The layout of the race area was pretty straight-forward and while picking up my racing chip, I ran into my (old friend) Thom and (new friend) Neil. Looking around, I could see a lot of folks that obviously were here for the 5K walk and not the 10K run. Both events started at the same time from the same place, and I think I'd encourage the organizers to re-think this in the future (more on this later).

Thom and Neil and I swapped race stories (they did most of the talking) until about 20 minutes to go and then I ditched my sweatshirt at the sweats check and went to line up in the 8-9 minute-miler section of the staging area. While waiting, I amused myself watching all these folks with strollers trying to push their way through to the back of the pack. There just wasn't any room for them to get through, and I should have taken this as a sign there'd be a bunch of folks stacked up behind them deciding to just launch from where they stood at the front of the pack. But I ignored this and stayed put by the 8-9 sign.

Big mistake.

When the gun finally went off there was a surge to take a quick first step, and then we walked up to the starting line and began the mad scramble to dart around the walkers. Seems the 5K folks were more than content to walk three- and four-abreast down the race course gabbing away while the runners desperately tried to navigate around them.

And the darting around continued for the first mile-and-a-half until we hit the 5K turnaround point where it culminated in a U-turn for the mostly clueless folks in front while the 10Kers continued straight. More than one 5Ker darted right in front of me from my right to my left without looking and I almost tripped over one kid but kept my balance and kept going. I was lucky, as I heard the thump of bodies colliding and the scraping of knees as kept running out on the course.

Neil did the favor of mapping the course (see below), and if he'd plotted the 5K turnaround it'd be just about where the "Pkwy" is in Guadalupe Parkway.

So, the ran continued, and I was thankful for the double-back sections as it kept me running instead of walking if only for the pride of not letting Thom or Neil see me walk on the course. I shouted out to them as they passed me (ahead and going in the opposite direction) and they finished about 12 minutes ahead of me... final times TBD.

The 5Kers came back to haunt us again after the 5 mile mark, as we shared courses from there to the finish, and the 5Kers still on the course were the slowest and the least concerned with folks trying to get by them on the somewhat narrow one lane of road allotted to us. Turns out I didn't get it nearly as bad as Neil and Thom who were darting through the thickest parts of the 5K crew as they finished.

I sprinted out the last 200 meters and caught up with some folks I'd been pacing all along, and within 15 minutes of finishing I was feeling good. The endorphine rush was in full swing, and I'd notched my second 10K race in 8 years and am one step closer. The Mercury News was documenting the race and you can go see their pix here.

Goals for the next 10K:
  • better position myself in the starting area
  • run the whole way (even at the water break areas)
  • finish without blisters (got a nasty one on my right instep)
  • finish under 53 minutes

The next local 10K looks to be in January, so I've got some time to train for it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

illing before the run

I'm 36 hours away from the 10k, and I'm finally shoing the symptoms of the cold my daughters were fighting late last week and over the weekend.


Even though I don't feel bad enough to consider not racing (yet), I'm hoping this stuffy-headache-tired-drained feeling goes away tomorrow.

Gotta love the timing on this thing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

four days to the 10k

Can it really be this week already? Oh yeah, that's why I signed up for the 10k, because time has a way of slipping on by if you're not careful.

So, in order to register to run in Thursday's Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, I had to join the web site. Nice that sent me a reminder this morning with all the event details inside. They even included a handy "don't forget" list with the essentials:
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • sunscreen
  • safety ID tag (like the RoadID)
  • post-event snack
  • plenty of can-do attitude
Can-do attitude, indeed! I got my race packet including my runner's bib in the mail over the weekend, and I can feel the excitement coming on.

It's been seven and a half years since my last 10k when I ran the 2000 Rockville Pike's Peek in 52 minutes.  I'm looking forward to getting this next one out of the way to see how far I've yet to go in terms of performance.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

calorie counter for fast food joints

If I still ate at Fast Food joints, I'd find this calorie counter page an invaluable resource.

Since I gave up Fast Food (In-n-Out Burger notwithstanding) as a New Year's resolution in 2004, it's not of much use for me now other than to remind me why I need to stick to my resolution.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday morning 5 mile run

I decided to make the most of my extra hour today by taking a run on the Sawyer Camp Trail, a great paved trail that follows the shore of the Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo County. As a family, we've been on the trail several times to go bike riding, so I knew what I was getting into by running it this morning, and I knew I needed to go early to avoid the crowds.

So, by 7am, I'd parked the car at the trailhead, slipped on my Sennheiser PMX70 headphones, fired up my iPod and started running.

Not too many folks running at that hour, and by the time I made it to the 2.5 mile marker (my turnaround point), I'd only overtaken a handful of walkers/slow joggers and passed about a dozen folks running the other direction. At the 4 mile mark, the crowds were picking up and as I finished my 5-mile run, I saw that the Dolphin South End Runners were setting up their 5K/10K race that was to start at 9am. Whew, a stroke of dumb luck to miss that one!

Highlights of the run?
  • watching the mist rise off the reservoir in the low-angle sunlight
  • nice shuffle of music on my iPod (I'd added a bunch of songs from the collection the day before) that matched the pace and scenery perfectly
  • not too many bicycle riders on the trail, so no near-misses as they rocket by
Lowlights of the run?
  • residual GI turmoil from last night's Indian takeout (luckily no mid-run interruptions, tho). Glad I didn't let this condition stop me from running, tho.
  • a blister on the arch of my left foot that I think is because of my socks, but also because my shoes are still new. Will get some good socks before the next run.
  • annoying nipple-chafe. It was just cool enough this morning to make this a problem. Gotta remember to bring bandaids/tape next time
Oh, and on the drive home, I watched as a speeding convertible Mustang got caught by a cop in the exact same speed trap that caught me six months ago (I'm a reformed speeder now). I'll save my need for speed for running and biking and swimming, thanks.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

my 10K is just three weeks away

Gulp! 21 days to the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on November 22.

Even now, referencing Runner's World's Four-Week/Five Days Per schedule, I'm way behind in training. But this is exactly why I signed up for the race: to keep me moving.

My saving grace? I'm not worried about finishing. I just wonder how this one will compare to my only previous 10K that I ran seven years ago in 52 minutes.

Time to get running, thank goodness Daylight Savings is this weekend so it'll be easier to get up early.

Oh, and I hit a weight loss milestone today: I've weighed in every morning for the last week at less than 200 pounds. Context? I haven't weighed this little for this long since 2002.