Saturday, June 18, 2011

Intro to Summer Trail Run RR

What: Intro to Summer Trail Run
Distance: 2.8 miles
When: June 18, 2011
Where: Wyandotte County Lake Park
Finish Time: 23:44

This morning I ran a great event put on by the KC Trail Nerds. Last year, this event was my first ever trail race. I finished it about 5 minutes faster this year than last year.

Overall I am really pleased with my performance. As usual, I started way too far back and had to work to pass people. Since the majority is on singletrack trails, passing space is limited. At one point I decided to run through the woods to the left of the trail for about 100 yards so I could pass a line of people.  The issue wasn't that the runners wouldn't let me pass, just that passing space was limited without forcing someone into a tree or the high weeds.

I ran a negative split and don't think I was passed by anyone during the last half of the race. I believe I was 19th OA out of 64+. Either that or I was the 19th OA male out of 64+. Either way I'm still pleased with my performance.

I think my camera has taken too much of a beating over the last few years due to being dropped so my pictures aren't that great, but I hope you still enjoy them. I didn't take too many pics and most were during the first mile.

Pre-race Photos:

Registration area.

Picture of the trees hiding the trail.

Lining up ready to race.

Mile 1:

Heading into the trail.

I'm moving so fast it's blurry.

A look at the narrow conditions that were along most of the trail.

I'm starting to look for a place to pass.

I made the pas and was finally moving at a good pace.

Wider portion of trail where we have two-way traffic.

Mile 2:

The wide section of trail where I made my move and surged ahead. It wasn't long before we headed back on the singletrack. Since I was running at a 7:45/mile pace, I decided not to take any photos when we hit the singletrack again. After all, I didn't want to face-plant by tripping over a rock, root, or slipping on the mud.

All finishers received a "2.8" sticker. I figured WTH, why not put it on my Jeep and make everyone wonder what the 2.8 means.

After the race I went back out on the trails with a buddy of mine and managed another 7.5 miles. Here are some pics from that excursion.

Running across the dam to hit the trails again.

All in all it made for a great 10+ miles on the trails and a great way to spend a Saturday.

I hope you enjoyed the pics.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hospital Hill Run Half Marathon - RR

What: Hospital Hill Run Half Marathon
When: Saturday, June 4, 2011
Where: Crown Center, Kansas City, MO
Temp: 80F at the start / 86F at the finish
Finish Time: 2:03:43 (New CR by almost 20 minutes)

I wasn't quite sure how this race would go. I ran the Amy Thompson Run 8K on Memorial Day and my left knee acted up at around the 3.5 mile point. I've run a total of a little of 25 miles leading up to this race and the whole time my knee felt a little "off", but it wasn't sore. I rested the last 2 days and hoped for the best. On Friday evening my knee felt sore walking upstairs, so I focused on foam rolling last night.

I decided to set 3 goals for the race. First goal - have fun and finish upright; Stretch goal - finish under 2:05:00; dream goal - finish under 2 hours.

The morning went well, my legs felt good, and I was ready to run. I decided to say the heck with it and line up near the 2:00 pace group and go for my dream goal.

Facing the starting line

Facing backward from the line

This course was slightly changed from last year, but the change was adding a steeper hill in the first couple of miles. They also had all the distances start at the same time this year. To be honest, I didn't like the mass start.

The first 2 miles were done at an average pace of roughly 9:38/mile. I started off slow to manage the hills and then started to pick up the pace on the downhills. At roughly the 3.5 mile point, I felt a twinge in the same knee that acted up on Monday. I started to think that this might be a very long race. I decide to take it easy on the uphills and push on the downhills, and see what my knee was going to do. By Mile 4, I had reached the 9:09/mile average.

I really don't remember much about the individual miles other than the oppressive heat and humidity. I do remember that up until Mile 11, I maintained an average pace between 9:07 and 9:16. That all changed during Mile 11. The heat finally started to take it's toll on me and I felt on the verge of heat stress. My HR barely dropped during my walk breaks so I probably walked from the 10.5 - 11.5 mile point. It was all uphill during that point and I didn't want to push myself to the point of exhaustion, or at least I didn't want to take any chances.

During that walk break I decided that I would still try for finishing under 2:05. I figured that if I could average a 9:50 mile for the last 1.6 miles, I had a decent shot. I picked up running again and went for it. I could see the 2:05 pacer way up in the distance and it gave me the motivation I needed to push a bit harder. I was running up a gentle incline, but knew I had a decent downhill awaiting me, but there was also one more steep hill remaining during Mile 13. I paid close attention to how I was feeling an resolved that if I felt there was potential for heat stress, I would walk the rest of the way; thankfully, that never happened. Outside of my downhill kick at the end, Mile 13 was my fastest mile.

After finishing, I drank some water, partook in the free ART, ate some good BBQ, and had my 2 free beers. While drinking the beer I chatted with a great gal and just relaxed. Of course, the clouds rolled in and it felt cooler after the race than it did before the race. Granted, it was still around 88F. All in all, it was a great race and I'm glad I decided to run it.

If interested, you can view my scattered split times after the rest of the photos.

Now for the rest of the pictures.

Mile 1:

Near the start of the mile.

Following the 2:00 pacer.

A little over 1/2 way through Mile 1.

You can see the Sprint Center up near the stoplight on the right.

Closer view of the sprint center.

Nearing the end of Mile 1.

Mile 2:

Near the start of Mile 2.

About 3/4 through Mile 2.

Mile 3:

About 1/4 through Mile 3.

About 3/4 through Mile 3.

Near the end of Mile 3.

Mile 4:

Near the start of Mile 4.

About 1/2 through Mile 4.

A little further

A little further.

The end of Mile 4.

Mile 6:

Near the end of Mile 6.

Mile 8:

About 3/4 through. I had to post a blurry picture. :)

A little further.

Mile 9:

About 3/4 through Mile 9.

I didn't take any photos after Mile 9, but I did get a picture of the shirt/medal after I made it home.

My knee is a tad sore, but not bad at all. Now as promised, my splits:

Mile 1: 9:30
Mile 2: 9:45
Mile 3: 8:54
Mile 4: 8:28
Mile 5: 8:55
Mile 6: 9:50
Mile 7: 9:07
Mile 8: 9:23
Mile 9: 8:27
Mile 10: 9:15
Mile 11: 11:58
Mile 12: 11:17
Mile 13: 7:47
.1 at a 6:13.

I hope you enjoyed the RR.