Stomp of Approval!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Village Creek 5K, the Race Report!

Well, I didn't hit either of my goals, but I still feel pretty good about the race.

I wore my Vibrams, but I'm pretty sure I could have gotten away without wearing them and actually done a little better, but too late now!

It was cold at the start, somewhere in the low 50's I think, so that was a major plus! I also ran into a few of the usual suspects that I see at the local running events including Daryl. I met Daryl at work a few months ago when I noticed a guy from another company with a "26.2 sticker on his hard hat. So of course I go and start chatting it up with him. Glad I did, because he ended up playing a crucial role later on!

I also saw little Julian Perez. So instantly I knew first place was out the window. This kid can FLY! He is just now a freshman in high school and set a road 5K PR today with something in the 16:30's!!! Unbelievable! He's also very respectful and down to earth. Always a pleasure to loose to!

When the gun went off the pack thinned out within a few hundred feet. This 5K has grown to encompass 300+ people now! Julian was already 100 feet or so ahead of me before we even got to the first quarter mile marker. Did I mention that the kid is fast?

There were the typical rabbits, and I passed all of them up within the first half mile. At this point I was in 4th with Julian in the lead, some guy I don't know in second, and a younger kid named Seth in 3rd. Seth works at the local HEB. My goal was to catch Seth and snatch 3rd overall. I stayed in 4th through the first mile and started to second guess my ability to catch Seth in 3rd.

Around mile 1.5 I got passed by 2 other runners. These guys were pretty strong and I'm pretty sure I've seen their names ranked pretty highly in other local races. At the turn around point Julian was blowing everyone away, of course. The other 3 guys (whose names I don't know) were in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The gap between 2nd and 3rd / 4th was pretty extensive. There was also a decent gap between 5th (Seth the HEB guy) to 3rd. I was about 30 seconds behind Seth and sitting in 6th place. When I hit the turn around I noticed I had a good 15~20 seconds on 7th and 8th places. One of which was Daryl.

I knew I was too far out to catch Seth and grab 5th overall, and Daryl was too far behind me to catch up. So I was running for a PR now. Of at least that's what I thought....

At about mile 2.8 Daryl came up on me fast! I let him start reeling the distance in and slowly picked up my pace in hopes that it would demoralize him enough that he wouldn't pass me.

But he did.

But I stayed on his ass. I refused to let him pull too far ahead. As we came up on the final portion we had to turn off of FM 421 and take a sharp left, a sharp right about 50 feet afterwards and then it was a straight run to the finish line.

I knew I could gain a lot of speed and momentum coming off the corners, somehow I'm good at that. So I decide to overtake Daryl on the last corner and go balls out to the finish line. Apparently he had a very similar idea, but was going to wait until after the last turn to deliver his final kick.

I did manage to pass him in the corner and it really was a guts race from there out. My legs were on fire, as we're my lungs and heart. The muscles in my arm and late were screaming at me as well since I use them only when sprinting, and I never sprint anymore. Daryl wasn't giving in either. I could feel him breathing down my neck the entire way down the stretch into the shoot.

Somehow I managed to push myself hard enough I stay in front of him across the line. I haven't ran like that in a long long time, and it felt GREAT!!!!!! Everything was pins and needles burning as I crossed the line. I was breathing harder than I had since I was running 5K's in high school competitively. I could hardly think straight, let alone stand up straight. I immediately turned around to congratulate Daryl and was happy to see he looked how I felt. At least I know it wasn't a walk in the park for him either!

Oh, by the way, Daryl has a daughter that graduated the same year that I did and ran cross country and track. So the guy is probably 47~55 in age! I'm not good with guessing ages, but I figure he has to be somewhere in that range. I wasn't aware at the start of the race that he was as fast as, if not faster than me.

So, now I know that with almost no speed training, 4 weeks off from running, and being sick the week leading up to; I can still do decent at a 5K!

This really makes me wonder what I could do at these shorter races if I actually trained myself for them! There seems to be a local 5K almost every weekend these days, compared to Ultras where there's only a handful in Texas that I could realistically attend. Not saying I'm out of the Ultra world. I still love running long! I'm just saying that I might start using a few of my week day training sessions to focus more on speed and turn over, then use my weekend long runs to focus on the long slow runs and building real endurance.

Oh yeah, back to the actual race report!

I managed to grab 6th over all with a time of 20:46.1. Not the sub 20:00 I was looking for, but not too bad either I guess. Only 3 seconds slower thank was 2 years ago. Daryl got 7th with a time of 20:47.1. But I think that I had to have been closer than that since I could practically feel his pulse screaming back against mine!

Great race! These shorter faster runs are enjoyable because A, I still get to enjoy the rest of the 23.5 hours of my day and B, I'm not drained of energy for the rest of the day. Hell, I felt perfectly fine within a few minutes of finishing the race.

I will make another "What worked, what didn't work / review" thread here soon. I need to go back and review the data before I can do that. I don't even know what my splits were yet!

Below are a few pics my wife grabbed. As usual, I'm the ugly bald guy in the "Barefoot Runners University" shirt.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Village Creek 5k... The Suspense!!

It's 10:35 Friday night, in 10 hours I will be toeing the line in my first 5K in 2 years. I'm a little nervous!

I haven't been blogging much lately because... Well... I haven't been running much lately, so very little to blog about. We've been in a big push to finish the remodel on our house (we started it almost 8 years ago...), so all of my spare time has been devoted to things like laminate wood flooring, trim, paint, and cabinets and such.

So once again, I feel like I'm going into a race underprepared... Again...

2 years ago I ran this race on the old course which starts literally .23 miles from my driveway and runs down one of the worst chip seal roads this side of the Mason Dixon, so I wore my VFF KSO's although they tended to bother me when I ran in them.

This year thy has moved the course to the new city park, which is where I have been parking my truck lately when I go on my long runs down FM 421 (my favorite running road!). The new course configuration is 1 loop around the parks cemented road, then 1 mile down 421 and 1 mile back in.


...Almost. The problem here is that the first mile is ran on a cement loop. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but the last time I was there (which was a few weeks ago...) the road was COVERED in little pebbles and rocks. The type that make a barefoot runner cringe with anticipation of pain.

My plan for footwear in my new VFF SeeYa LS's. These should provide enough protection for the majority of the debris, but not be too much show to slow me down. I do intend to jog a lap or 2 before the race to see if they bothered to clean the road off some, but I doubt they did.

My plan as far as running the race is concerned is somewhat simple.

Just run.

I haven't timed a 5K in 2 years, I haven't timed myself in a standing mile in probably 8 months or so, and I haven't done any real speed work in... I don't even know. So I have no clue what time I will run. Based off my half marathon results from a month or 2 back, I think it might be possible to set a PR! Maybe... I ran a 20:36 here 2 years ago (I think) and I think I'm a stronger runner now than I was then.

I would like to place in the top 5. It really depends on who shows up. Last years champ ran a low 17 minute time, 2nd place was high 19's, and my time from 2 years ago would have placed me in 5th or 6th I think. I would LOVE to run a sub 20:00, but I don't think that is going to happen.

In a way, it makes this kind of fun! Because since I don't have an ideal pace to run at, I'll just kind of be running really hard and fast. I do plan on running sort of like I did at my last Half Marathon, where I steadily get faster and faster throughout the race, but instead of 1 mile intervals, I think I will base my increases in speed off of every half mile, and plan to run the last 3/4~1 mile all out!

Ok. Got 9.5 hours remaining! Hopefully they will have cleaned off the road and I can proudly represent BFR!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Proud day for a father!

I love being a dad. Having a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old princess is probably the greatest thing in the world! And although it can be stressful at times, I wouldn't change it for the world.

The other day my son did something that made me very happy. It reminded me a lot of myself and my mind set on a lot of things.

The road we live on is a dead end that's about 4 houses long that ties into a more prominent road. In order for our trash to be picked up we have to bring the big can out to the big road which is probably 200 yards away. Sometimes if the can is full this can be quite a chore and you can really feel it in the legs because you have to pull the can through the grass and it doesn't want to roll very well.

Well my son, Preston, insists that he help me bring the can to the road and then race me back. And he's gotten a lot faster. To few weeks ago I went to grab both mine and the neighbors trash cans to bring them out, and Preston insisted that he grab one and pull it down there himself. So I let him take the neighbors since it wasn't very full and therefore not too heavy. He was ecstatic!

Then last week he decided that he had to bring ours to the road. This time the can was quite full and pretty difficult to pull behind you, but he instated none the less.

It was obvious that he was struggling. His breathing was taxed, he was straining, and his path wasn't very straight. So I kept asking him if he was alright and if he wanted me to take over for him. He kept telling me no of course, then he said something that blew my mind.

He told me "No daddy, it makes me more powerful."

Huh? What do you mean it makes you more powerfull?

"It makes me stronger!"

Definitely my kid. I will intentionally take on harder tasks, no matter how mundane, and consider it "training" in a way due to it being difficult. I look at things like this as making me stronger, either mentally or physically. This is why I will go climb the tallest tower at work just for the hell of it. It's why I enjoy running so much. It's why I saved 3 pieces of the tree that we had cut down the other day, then bought a 10 pound sledge hammer to go outside and beat on it with. It's why I enjoy bringing a heavy trash can to the road. Because they all make me stronger, or "more powerfull".

I was do proud of my little guy that I didn't even know how to respond to him. I just smiled and said "well... Alrighty then!"

I can't wait till he's. little but older and I can wake his ass up at 4:00 in the morning to go run a few miles with his old man!