Thursday, June 03, 2010

Astros 5K Race Recap

I went into the Astros 5K this past weekend shooting for sub 19 minutes and expecting measurable improvement over the 5K I did in Tomball in early April. Yeah Tomball was cooler and a flatter course but still, when I've done a 5K in the mid to high 19s it's always been on the way down to faster times. But this past weekend showed that I've made no improvement at all. Either that or I had a bad day, which I don't usually have on race days.

I hit the first mile in 6:13 and knew I was in trouble at that point. That's not an auspicious beginning to a sub 19. It wasn't likely that I was going to get faster in mile two and three so I just held on the best I could. Miles two and three were probably around 6:25. I finished in 19:46, ten seconds slower than my 5K in Tomball. But I must admit that my training hadn't been going very well leading into the race. I've had a rough few weeks, with many training runs cut short due to fatigue, lack of will, breathing issues, etc. I haven't done enough consistent speedwork either so I shouldn't have expected much.

I did manage to win my age group though, which is really just a statement about all the fast 45-49 year old guys who didn't show up (thank God). That was good for four field box seats to an Astros game of my choice, and a pair of Asics from Academy. But as with most runners, it was small consolation. I know I didn't have a good race, so while I'm grateful for the awards, I'm not proud of my effort.

This week though I've had a good couple of runs to go along with two easy run days. On Tuesday night I did 10.37 at an overall pace of 7:25, but the first five miles were at a 7:11 pace, and I also did about .75 miles somewhere around mile seven at about a 6:10 pace. I walked a bit to recover from that which impacted the overall pace number. And tonight I did 9.50 at an overall pace of 7:30. Most of that was with Anthony, one of the new guys I met two weeks ago. He's going to make a nice addition to the (invitation only) Brian, Steve and Lance Sugar Land running club. I'll try to get in some miles in the morning before work then a long run of 16 on Saturday morning with Brian.

No more 5Ks until July. I'd better be under 19 by then or I quit!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Couple of Nice Training Runs So Far This Week

A busy day Sunday limited me to just over four miles but they were quality miles. On Monday my wife and I both needed to run after work, so, me being the gentleman, I let her go first. She came back after about 40 minutes and said if I had any hope of getting in even four miles before the rain hit I'd better go. I headed out the door so fast I forgot to get the watch or Garmin. But there was a spring in the legs that I hadn't been feeling lately so when I got to the loop it was decision time. I initially turned to the right to try to get in one big loop loop (4 miles) before the rain came. But then I decided that I couldn't waste the way I was feeling on routine milage. So I turned around and headed for the .7 mile loop around the lake for some speedwork. I didn't have the watch so I had to run on feel but I hammered five repeats and left it all out there. The lightening was fading away and still no rain so I finished the workout with about 2.5 miles of easy cool down running for a total of about 8.6 miles.

Yesterday I couldn't get out because I had to go to Fort Worth for work and got home after 9 PM. But tonight I headed out for 8 miles. A mile into my first big loop around the neighborhood a guy came onto the path from my right, and going about my pace, maybe even a little faster. It was perfect timing. Turns out he lives in the neighborhood and is training for an Ironman in Nov. We nailed the next three miles at about a 7:15 -7:20 pace and I got his e-mail for future runs, especially since his Ironman training should coincide with my fall marathon plans (Columbus, October 17). He had to turn off after three miles but there had been a guy jump on the loop up ahead of us about 40 feet who was running even with us, if not even a little faster. It was a good night I tell ya. Usually I'm just dodging walkers. Anyway, once the first guy got off the course I picked it up a bit and caught up to the guy who had been in front of us. He was young, 24, but is training for 5Ks this summer and targeting sub 20 minutes at one in early June. We did about three miles together in the low 7s and I also got his e-mail. Overall I covered 7.87 miles in the heat at a 7:15 pace. Good run.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bayou Bash Relay, Saturday, May 8

Did the Bayou Bash relay yesterday. I was on a male masters team composed entirely of Houston Strider members. We finished 2nd in the division, losing only to a hand-picked team of master runners from several clubs (including Tommy King from the Striders, sigh). Our team time for the 4 x 1.9 miles was 46:03, a 6:04 pace. I ran my leg in 11:41, which is about ten seconds faster than last year.

Next up is the Astros Race For The Pennant on May 29.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Okay, I'm Back

Sorry I've taken a few months off from blogging. I just struggle to find the time. Still running and training though and will try to get back into the swing of it.

Tonight Steve S. came over for a great workout that contained both quantity and quality. There's a 3.19 mile 1/2 loop in my neighborhood that is part of a larger, 3.82 mile loop. We did the smaller loop first as a warmup, plus the little bit of distance that has to be covered to get from my house to the loop. Once we had completed the small loop we then did the larger loop but turned it into irregular intervals. We'd hammer the path until we'd completed that block, however long it was (anywhere from about .2 to about .4), then jog a recovery on the next block. We did this until we'd finished the big loop, which equated to six fast sections. It was great because some fast blocks were short, some were long, some recovery was long and some was painfully short.

Once the intervals were over we did the small loop again, then back to the house. Total milage 10.46.

Next race is the Bayou Bash relay this Saturday at out Rice U.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Angleton 10K

I did the Spectacle Spectacular 10K down in Angleton this morning. Not because I'm in race shape but because I've done this race every year since 2003, making it my longest streak going, and it's a good little race down there. I've finally been able to start training again the past four weeks, though not all-out. The leg still bothers me but is better and running doesn't seem to make it much worse. But most of my training runs have been at an 8 minute pace - not enough fitness to go much faster, plus I'm just trying to lay down some base milage.

So my expectations this morning were non-existent. I just wanted to treat it as a training run while still seeing what kind of fitness I've re-established. It was nice and cold, but also windy, especially going out. But I ran relatively relaxed and the cold was invigorating. With the wind in my face I hit two miles in 14:53, about the pace I expected. Shortly after the two mile mark we turned, which took the edge off the wind. I hit three miles in 22:11, meaning a 7:18 mile. After three miles we turned 90 degrees again, putting the wind to my back. There's a 2 mile straight away from the end of mile three through the end of mile five so I felt myself running a little faster, and began targeting the guy up in front of me, the only person I'd have a real shot at catching. At four miles the guy calling splits told me I was 20 seconds back, which probably represented a five second improvement over where I was at mile three. By the time we got to the end of mile five I had closed it to about 6 or 7 seconds, but when we made the turn the guy noticed me over his shoulder and that would be about as close as I got. That was too bad because he appeared to be in the 40-49 age group.

I kept the hammer down in case I got an opening, but it never appeared and I finished nine seconds behind him, at about 44:17. I still managed 2nd in the 40-49 age group and I was pleasantly surprised at the 7:08 pace I managed. I was even more surprised when I did the math and determined that I had run the final 3.2 in sub seven pace. Now I know that type of pace is slower than what's expected of Lance Collins, but given the injury, and no training for four months, I was pleased that I was actually able to "race" this morning. Looking forward to getting back in shape, if the leg continues to not interfere.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


True to form, if I'm not blogging it's usually because I'm not running, and therefore have nothing to blog about. I've run once in the past six weeks - t he 1/2 marathon four weeks ago. Following that race my right leg was fairly sore but so were my calf muscles so I took a couple of days off. The tenderness in my calf muscles went away but not the tightness along the hamstring of my right leg and across the gluteus. So I took a week off, then another. Then finally last week it was much better and I thought I might be able to run soon. Then I tripped over my feet and stretched the darned thing out, putting me right back where I'd started from. I've given up on trying to hang on to the fitness I had and have resigned myself to starting over when this thing has finally run it's course. Which sucks.

Maybe a few more days and I'll be running again. My 1/2 in January though won't be anything to write home about.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where I'm At

Today's Koala/Lukes Locker/Houston Striders 1/2 Marathon was an excellent opportunity for me to take stock of not only where my fitness is but also whether the two injuries I've been dealing with were behind me. This past week I didn't run at all due to continued discomfort in my right hamstring. I ran four days the week before last, for a total of 30 miles, culminating in an 11 mile run last Saturday morning. But none of those runs were tempo or speedwork and the 7:27 pace I held for the 11 mile run was an effort. So I knew I was nowhere near the fitness level I had attained over the 800 miles of training I did from May through August, but I didn't know exactly how much things had regressed. Now I do.

My pre-race estimate of where I'd end up turned out to be slow by five minutes so obviously I was in the dark. I really didn't plan to race today, just run, and therefore thought I might come in around 1:38 (a 7:29 pace). I honestly didn't think I had any sub seven miles in me, but miles one and two were both around 6:50 and didn't feel too fast. I had another one deep in the race, maybe mile nine or ten, right after a 7:04 effort. In fact, I sorta caught my second wind somewhere late in the 2nd loop, which was a pleasant surprise. Upon finishing I initially thought I had run a negative split on the back half but after reviewing the stopwatch (no Garmin today) I realized that I was just a bit slower in the 2nd half, though not by much.

Even though today's chip time of 1:33:05 (I think - I glanced at my watch at the finish but forgot to stop it) is nearly ten minutes off my PR, it was still five minutes better than my pre-race guess, and even better, my right leg wasn't an issue. Slightly uncomfortable and a little tight this afternoon, but at no point did it compromise what I wanted to do. Since this injury wasn't related to running I might have been able to run on it the whole time - who knew? I plan to begin training again this week in earnest, though my wife is out of town for a few days later in the week, meaning I'll have daddy duty for my two little cavemen and won't be able to train much Wednesday through Friday.

The only downside this morning was for the competitor in me to see all those guys well in front of me that I should be beating, knowing that if I was 100% I'd be giving them a run for their money. The interesting thing though is that I'm signed up for the Houston 1/2 in Jan., 12 weeks from today. Peel one week of for taper and I have 11 weeks to see how much I can bring that 1:33 down, provided my right leg truly is going to be okay to run on.