Monday, October 27, 2008

Loot!

As mentioned in the last post, I worked the Clif table this past weekend at the Marine Corps Marathon Health and Fitness Expo.  As always, I had a blast giving out products and wishing people well in their race.  I worked a full 12 hour shift and the time just flew by.  Part of that was due to the fact that it was so crowded, it was just a constant rush of people.  There was rarely ever a chance to think about time, let alone keep up with the pace of people in order to restock the various sample products we had.

The best part was at the end, when we realized that we had way more pro
duct than we could give out.  Not only did we get to take home tons of loot (see picture below), but we basically had a fire sale for the last hour of the expo, constantly handing out products to anyone who stopped by.  So many people were happy to get the products to use in the race, because it appeared that the stores that were selling them might have already run out. 
Sunday, Rebecca and I ran all over town watching the marathon.  We saw runners at mile 2 in Arlington, mile 10 by the Kennedy Center, Mile 12 entering Haines Point, Mile 16 by the Lincoln Memorial, Mile 20 on the 14th St Bridge, and Mile 23 in Crystal City.  It was like we were running the in the actual race, only we took shortcuts to get everywhere, so we cheated.  It was great though to follow the leaders the whole way, plus I got to see a bunch of people I knew who were running.  We took some pictures, but they are on Rebecca's phone, so I got no race shots for ya. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Be On The Lookout

For anyone going to the Marine Corps Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, I'll be working at the Clif table all day today.  Feel free to come by, sample some products, and say hi!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I've Been Rescued!

If you remember from my last post, my Yankz laces managed to bust after many, many hard run miles and races.  They lasted more than 2 years through snow, sleet, and extreme heat. But alas, they ran out of oomph.  That is, until I was contacted my Yankz in response to my post.  The wonderful people at Yankz were nice enough to send me a replacement pair.  


And thankfully, they arrived just in time so I can go for my long run tomorrow morning.

See how happy my shoe looks now?


Thanks Yankz!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Day I Busted My Yankz

For several years now, I have been running with Yankz laces.  Love em.  They have served me well through training for many races and multiple pairs of shoes.  Never have I had to worry about a loose lace to tie, because they were always the perfect tighteness.  Until today.

While on my run, with about 1 mile up hill to go, I started feeling my right shoe loosening.  I just figured, eh, that's strange, I'll check it out when I'm done.  And then it happened.  My Yankz lace just blew up and out came my foot!  That last mile sucked.  I still managed to jog back, but it was difficult.  You know that feeling in your legs after you have run a little with flip flops on?  The tight calves and shin muscles from gripping your toes to the bottom sole so your foot doesn't slip out?  That was me and my right foot.  

See examples of what my shoe looks like below if you can make out any details from the grainy picture from my cell phone:











Needless to say, I need to get me a new pair of laces!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Race Report: Army 10 Miler

Sadly, its time for my last race report of the season.  I'll recap the season in another post, but I have really been looking forward to this race.  Due to my IT band injury following the marathon, I was unable to run in the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler, so this was my one and only chance to take a crack at my 10 mile PR.  However, I am well aware that the Army 10 Miler course is a more challenging course.  Neither could be classified as hilly, but the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler is a net downhill, while the Army 10 Miler has some gradual ascents and several bridge crossings, which could classify as hills.

Pre-race
Rebecca and I got to the race site right around 7 am, just in time to see the Canadian and US paratroopers jumping out of the planes and making their way toward the race site.  No matter how many times I've seen this from doing this race before, there is nthing quite like seeing someone freefalling toward earth and pulling up at just the last minute for a smooth and easy landing.  I get nervous everytime for those guys, but they are amazing.  Before we knew it, I had to go get lined up in my corral, since I was in the first of 2 waves to go off.  I placed myself toward the front of my green wave to give myself as much free space as possible, since the start of a race with 26,000 people can get kinda hectic.  After the national anthem, an awesome flyover by some helicopters in formation, and a few minutes of waiting in the packed corral area, we moved toward the start line.

Race
Even though I was in one of the first groups to go off on the day, it was still crowded enough that I was unable to begin running until after crossing the start line.  I can only imagine what it was like for other racers.  I know Rebecca said it was a little chaotic for her wave start.  Shortly after, I was able to find some open room and began my race.  Aside from a race PR, my only other goal for this race was to not do what I have done in the past years of doing this race: Go out too hard and crash and burn toward the finish.

I started the race at a moderate pace where I felt like I was pushing but not redlining it.  Just a little slower than 10k pace.  My strategy was to hold anything under 7:26 pace (my 10 Mile PR pace) and once I hit the 6-7 mile marker, let things loose and see what I have left.  Below are my mile splits:

Mile 1: 7:01
Mile 2: 7:04
Mile 3: 7:12
Mile 4: 7:04
Mile 5: 7:04
Mile 6: 7:02
Mile 7: 7:00
Mile 8: 6:58
Mile 9: 7:00
Mile 10: 7:02
Mile .6: 4:38 (7:12 pace)

The first thing you might see is wow, thats a pretty steady race.  And it was.  I stayed in the game the whole time and held true to my race strategy.  You can see where I picked it up right after mile 6 and even though the splits for miles 9 amd 10 aren't that much faster, keep in mind that this was while going over a bridge with the hilliest part of the course.  So while the times were only slightly faster, I can assure you that I was pushing way harder than I was at any other point during the race.

The second thing you might see is that little .6 at the end.  Kinda strange, huh?  I don't get it.  My watch has been spot on accurate for every run, race, bike I have done.  It would seem strange that this one time it would go a little off.  I've had it for almost 2 years.  I know that in longer races like this, runners have a tendancy to record slightly longer distances, due to not following the exact line of the race measurement.  However, in the past, this has been between .2-.3 miles, not .6.  Seems a little fishy.  I know it is the same course, so it has to be 10 miles.  Just a little strange that my watch didn't get it right.  This was also my first year running this race with my distance/pace watch, so I have no other data to compare with.  I guess my only other question goes out to others who may have recorded data on the race.  Did you also record longer distances or was it within the normal threshold of just running extra?  

Based on the official time, my overall time was 1:15:04.  This doesn't beat my 10 Mile PR of 1:13:49, but it crushes my Army 10 Miler PR of 1:20:07 from last year by just over 5 minutes.  So even if the course was just 10 miles, I still PR'd the race by 5 minutes.

Now, factor in my watch and where it recorded when I hit 10 miles and my time would be 1:10:28.  This would be a big PR overall for the 10 Mile distance by 3:20 and an Army 10 Miler PR by almost 10 minutes!  Now that would be progress.  Based on this, my average pace turned out to be 7:03/mile.  

So take from it what you will.  I PR'd either way.  Great way to end my season.

Overall Numbers:
Time: 1:15:04
Pace: 7:30
Overall Place: 1793/18857
Sex: 1553/10584
Division: 275/1309

And lastly, congrats to Rebecca for killing it yesterday.  She beat her expected finish time by nearly 9 minutes!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another Happy Customer

I saw this article in the Washington Post this morning.  Its part race report of the Nations Tri, part endurance sport analysis.  Mike Wise, a sports writer for the Washington Post, it seems, has taken up triathlon and endurance running.  And judging by his article, I think he is sold on the idea and has just become hooked like every other one of us.  Yep, another local advocate for endurance sports...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

1 Month To Go

No, not a countdown for a race.  Though, the Army 10 Miler is this weekend and I will be running in it for the 4th year in a row.  But I'll get to that in a minute.  

There is only 1 month to go till the wedding!  It has been a long time waiting, but we are finally at the one month countdown.  It has been nearly 16 months of planning and waiting and planning and waiting.  We are finally here...just a million small loose ends to tie up.  But at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And what could be more welcoming to the one month countdown than some photographs?  Rebecca and I had a photo shoot with our photographer around town and it was a blast.  Here are some highlights from the shoot.  We can't wait to work with her again at the wedding!  We had a blast walking around DC and Alexandria taking those shots.

Back to the Army 10 Miler.  Every year, the Army 10 Miler has been my last "race" of the season.  And by race, I mean, whatever fitness is left in my body after spending nearly 1 month after my last triathlon sitting on the couch and eating real food.  Needless to say, this race has never produced a 10 mile PR.  Well except for the first race, because that was my first 10 miler ever.  I don't have super high hopes for this race, only because I haven't maintained my fitness as much as I could have.  I do expect to PR the course though, since I have been doing some training in between wedding stuff and being busy at work for the past month.  While my PR for a 10 miler is around 1:13, my PR at the Army 10 Miler is only 1:20.  Thats a pretty big difference.  Needless to say, my goal is to easily break 1:20.  And I should.  Anything more though will be a bonus.  I like this race, because it is fun.  There are so many people running and cheering, and some doing both, that it is hard not to enjoy it (unless it is 95 degrees, which last year).   In previous years, I wasn't in nearly as good running shape.  This year, the forecast is calling for cool temperatures, perfect for racing.  And there is the added bonus of having many more friends and soon to be family running the race, including my very own bride to be, who is running it for the first time.  Let's hope her blisters from this weekend's photo shoot heal in time!

To anyone else running the race, I hope to see you out there.  Come say hi if you spot me!
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