Tuesday, May 19, 2009

5,000m race report (and a 1,500)

This was my first masters track meet. "Masters"? Yup, masters running or "veteran running" starts at 30 here. In fact, the Girl xould run because she is born in 1979 and will turn 30 this year.

I was going for a 16:40, which is exactly a 5:20 mile. At the gun, I tried to find my favorite spot in any track race (second place). That lasted about half a lap, after which I went to the front. The first half mile was run in 2:44, so 4 seconds slow. I pushed the pace and one guy hung on. Maybe we could work together, I thought. One of his teammates shouted at him "you're on perfect pace. Just stay there. Don't do any work." With that, I started to try to shake him off. There was a pretty stiff wind down the backstrecth. Three times in a row, I would accelerate off the curve onto the backstretch, so he had to close a little gap in the headwind. The third time, he fell off the back.

The whole race, my time was hovering around 16:40. With half a mile to go, I realized I needed a 2:35, which was doable. My time was 16:38. I am satisfied but not thrilled. The upward curve is still looking like faster times are ahead.

The 1500m was just fun. One guy, who supposedly medaled at the masters world championships took off like a rocket. The rest of us stuck in a pack. I was, seriously, in second place (in that pack) for the first three laps. Then I found my old kick and got 50 yards on the third place guy. A cheap, but fun, way to run a race.

Then I ran a 300m leg in a 1000m relay (100 + 200 + 300 + 400). It wasn't pretty.

Will post some pictures later, including one of the Girl in the starting blocks before her quarter mile debut. She won't want me to post a report from that race but I might anyway.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10,000m race report

25 laps is a lot, which is probably why this distance isn't used all too often. I had never raced one before. Knowing I would likely run by myself, I had brought music and had a mental pace chart prepared.

I planned on doing the first 5K in 17:30 and then speeding up, with whatever speed I had left. It went pretty well; got through the first 5K in 17:25 and did the second 5K in 17:13, for a total time of 34:38.

It felt pretty good and I definitely could have gone a bit faster, especially had I had someone to run with.

The Girl lost count of the lap she was on and lost some focus. There was also only one other woman, and she turned out to be five minutes slower than the Girl. Her time was 42:11, which really isn't too bad. She as run three 10Ks around that time now and, in my opinion, is ready to get close to 41 minutes.

This weekend, we took a trip to Sweden. Ran the trails of Söderåsen National Park three days in a row. A great trip but, boy, was I exhausted on Monday. This last month, I have been losing weight and Thursday to Sunday were all hard days. I was almost to the point of being a little depressed Monday.

I have come to enjoy the "running vacation" almost as much as a "race vacation". When you go somewhere simply to train, it seems like there is less stress and more time to enjoy the trails. Of course, running a race has its own charm.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First 10,000 ... Ever

So these last three weeks have been spent in intense training and dieting. I can't remember the last time I had three weeks like those. Sunday, I ran the best training session of the year in the nearby woods. I has such intense runner's high that I kept getting tears in my eyes for absolutely no reason. And I wisely concluded that the reason why Tom Petty is so unfairly excluded from the musical canon is that he had a cameo part in The Postman.

So it's not his hair or the fact that he didn't know when to retire. It's Kevin Costner rubbing off.

We've been talking a lot about moving back to the US. I don't like it here; I'm not sure why but I don't. It's a stupid subjective sense of not being anything special here. I am just like everyone else. I went to the same medical school, get paid the same, drive the same car and watch the same TV shows as everyone else. These is no way to fail or excel here. No one cares if I do my job right. It's almost impossible to get fired but it's equally impossible to advance in pay or status by working hard.

So last night the Girl suggested that we move back. I got excited. We wouldn't move back now, of course, but after our programs in hematology and ophthalmology are complete. It's out there as a prospect now.

I run my first 10,000 on Thursday. After failing so terribly at the first two races this year, I want a good time. I expect to be running all alone, with music, keeping track of pace. Modest goal is 35 mins. Anything under 34:30 would make me happy. We shall see.

The Girl is running, too. She is hoping to break 41 but I am quietl thinking that she could come close to 40. There is a group of guys, who will all be shooting for 40, so she'll have plenty of pacers.