Wednesday, July 25, 2012

5K In Less Than 20

Raced my second 5K on Saturday morning.  My only goal for the run was to try and go under 20 minutes.  I didn’t go in with a particular strategy, other than trying to keep all my splits under 6:26.  Unlike most everything else, I tried not to overthink this.  Run fast, try not to puke.

The race itself is an interesting affair.  They are in the process of building a toll road through our town, which is being opened in phases.  Just prior to opening a section last year they ran a 5k on the road, with profits going to MADD.  This year they did the same thing, only they ran in the new section set to open next week.  So, although this was the second of these events, each one is a once-only race unless you’re planning to play some human Frogger.

The course was a straight line out-and-back with more hills than you’d expect on a highway.  I started out with a group of 6, and slowly folks started dropping back until there were 3 of us around the turnaround, when technically I was dropping back as well.  The first mile felt good, but I went out a little too fast.  The second mile was tough, but it was cool to make the turn and be running the opposite direction of the whole field, who were all very supportive and cheering for the leaders while they were running.  The last 1.1 miles was pretty tough, and I was tasting my granola bar for the last half-mile or so, but I managed to keep all my food where it belonged. 

Net result - 19:40:
3rd overall of 375, 1st in age group.  Here are the splits:
Got a nice hockey-puck/paperweight/boat-anchor for finishing first in my age group:
I really enjoyed the race, and like the all-out racing aspect of a 5k, but I’m still more interested in the longer distances and testing my mind as well as my legs.  I might throw in a 5K now and then just to mix things up, but I don’t think I’ll make a habit of these.  I guess my next goal would be to run one with an average pace below 6:00, but that will take some serious speedwork, which isn’t part of my Ultra training plan.  Maybe next Spring.

After the 5K on Saturday I drove directly to a local trail and did another 16 miles with a friend  to hit my training target for the day.  The long run was ugly.  The race took a lot more out of me than I thought, and it was hot and humid by the time we started the long run.  Just more confirmation that early-morning running is my friend.  Also, woke up all kinds of sore in my quads and calves Sunday morning, which I think is a result of the sprinting rather than the distance running.  Good sore, but sore nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back in Track

Made a rare appearance at an actual track this morning for my training run.  The group that I ran a relay with back in the Spring does a regular track interval workout on Wednesday mornings, and for the first time this morning I didn't have some sort of conflict and was able to join them.  I'm running my second 5k this Saturday, and I'd like to try and go sub 20-minutes, but haven't been doing speedwork as part of my Ultra training and didn't really have a feel for my potential to blow-up if I tried to go out fast.

The results were moderately encouraging.  The workout was a 1-mile warmup, 10x400m intervals with 200m recovery between, and 1-mile cooldown.  I generally felt good throughout, and was able to do the last 2 400s at sub 6-min-mile pace, which is really pushing it for me.  Here's the data:

So .... in terms of the 5k this weekend, I'm confident enough to roll the dice and shoot for a 6:15/mile or faster pace, still with the real possibility of a spectacular flameout at the end.  That's part of the fun of a 5k though, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Winner - Mizuno Running Shoes Giveaway

Per, here's the winning entry for the Mizuno shoes:

Congrats to will1494!  Can't access your Blogger Profile to get your email address, so please email me at so we can get you setup to order your shoes.  The offer from Mizuno expires 7/15, so please send me a note quickly.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mizuno Shoes Giveaway - Last Day (and a half) to Enter

Entries end Thursday (7/12) at noon Eastern, with a winner announced later in the day.  Click this link to go to the post and get your entries in:

Good Luck!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Giveaway - Mizuno Running Shoes - Mezamashii Project

You’ve probably seen a few Mizuno Giveaway blog posts in the last few days.  Here’s another.  I was recently invited to be a founding member of Mizuno's Mezamashii Run Project.  Mizuno’s goal for the project (aside from marketing) is to help runners have a more brilliant run, hence the name Mezamashii, meaning "eye opening" or "brilliant" in Japanese. Harnessing the power of real-world experience and social media to spread the work about Mizuno and their products.

I was offered a free pair of their shoes to try, and I took them up on their offer.  This is no small step for me since I’ve been running in Asics Gel Nimbus for at least 6 years.  I went with the Mizuno Wave Creation 13.  I’ve only done one 10-mile run in the shoes, so I’m not yet ready to put together any sort of review.  My initial impressions are good.  They are decidedly more stiff out of the box than the Asics, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Once I break them in and put them through their paces I’ll put a review together.

In addition to my free pair of shoes, they’ve given me another pair to give away to help another runner find their ‘brilliant’ run.  The offer from Mizuno expires fairly soon, so this will be a quick giveaway.  I’ll take entries through Noon Eastern on Thursday (7/12), and announce the winner Thursday afternoon.  There are multiple ways to enter, each earning an individual entry.  You must add an individual comment below for each way you enter … each comment equals and entry and one more chance to win:
  1. Follow this blog, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment)
  2. Add a comment below letting me know your current ‘go-to’ shoe, and how long you’ve run in that make/model – curious if others are as overly loyal as me
  3. Follow me on twitter - @EvolvingThruRun – or let me know you already do (leave a comment)
  4. Link to this Giveaway from your blog (leave a comment)
  5. Share with me @EvolvingThruRun and @MizunoUSA in a tweet saying why you want to give Mizunos a try (leave a comment)
  6. Like the LoveAllTennis page on Facebook (  Unrelated to this post - this is a new company my wife is launching, and ‘Likes’ make her very happy (leave a comment)
Entries close Noon Eastern on Thursday (7/12) – Good Luck!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 First Half Review - Ready for Ramp Up

With the start of July I’m trying to take stock of my year thus far, and figure out what is working, what needs tweaking, and where I need to man-up.

I consider the first half of the year to be successful based primarily on one criterion … no injury-forced downtime.  That’s not to say that I haven’t had some angry body parts along the way – IT Bands, Plantar Fascia, Calf knots … but I’ve been able to pay attention to them and manage them such that they haven’t put me on the sidelines.  Adding the bike and swimming (but far too little swimming) has helped, as has mixing in some PT exercises to keep my right knee/quad working well with the rest of my right leg.

I was doing a much better job of cross-training early in the year, but once I made the decision to run a 50k, and then train for a 50-miler in the Fall, I shifted back to a more run-heavy plan.  I know this runs counter to the notion of cross-training to reduce the repetitive strain of running, but I need to get a feel for how my body reacts to higher mileage than I’ve tried for marathon training, and I need to ramp up to the peak of 70 weekly running miles that my current plan calls for.  I’m still getting out on the bike at least a couple times a month, and I should be doing better with the swimming now that the neighborhood pool is open for the Summer.

Here are the stats for the first 6 months of the year:

Running:  90 runs, 757.34 miles total
Biking:  18 rides, 349.8 miles total
Swimming:  10 swims, 7 miles total
Weight training:  41 trips to the gym

March was my best month so far this year, with 157 miles run, 99 miles biked, 2 swims, and 8 trips to the gym.

Race-wise, I paced a friend in a half-marathon in March, ran a 200-mile 12-person relay and my first-ever 5k in April, and ran the Outer Banks 50k in May.  No races in June, and nothing firmly planned between now and the 50-mile run on 11/3, although I’m hoping to run a few 5ks, maybe a half-marathon, and a full-marathon close to the Ultra as a long training run.

I’m really liking the training plan I’ve got going now, but the mileage is a lot higher than anything I’ve done in the past, and I’m pretty wiped out by the end of each week.  I HAVE to start getting more sleep to keep with this plan and stay healthy.  Unfortunately, knowing what to do doesn’t magically get it done.