At today’s 5K race, I had a conversation with a runner that I met back in 1997. We talked about how we met; she said “those were good times”. I immediately agreed.
Now what was meant by that?
The situation: I had joined a running group (“Team Steam”) in the summer of 1997; the idea was to get “group coaching” so as to improve my running times. Then in the next year, I joined the IVS marathon training group in hopes of running a decent marathon.
I have vivid memories: I remember all of the colorful running gear. I remember the sense of community, people pushing each other, etc. I also remember how the interactions went. Most people knew who could run what sort of time, and we shared both joy and disappointment when we saw our results. I was disappointed with my 3:46 at the Chicago marathon, and one of the Running Central guys winced in sympathetic pain upon hearing my time. I WAS looking for 3:30.
So, I’ll list some factors which might be missing today:
1. I was recently “born again” into running; I had a hiatus from the running community from 1985 to 1995, at which time I gained to 320 pounds and lost it all. So this was a “return of the Prodigal Son” sort of thing. I wept when I finished my first “post morbid obesity” 5K (23:15 in 1996).
2. The body worked better; though I wasn’t a “runner” I still finished much higher up the pecking order than I do now.
3. I was in the “improvement stage” of my running. I never got to my “early 20’s” times, but I moved from 23:15 to 19:53 in the 5K.
4. I was meeting new people.
5. The atmosphere was slightly different. Today the conversation goes something like this: “I finished a 5K in xx:xx”. Reply: “Oh, that’s AWEsome!” In that era: “I finished a 5K in xx:xx” was met by “Wow..that’s a PR, isn’t it? Or “sounds rough; there are days like that” or “wow..conditions must have been tough”. When the response you get actually depends on the result you give, you get the impression that the person you are talking to has made an effort to get to know you! There was something a bit more intimate about that than a token “AWEsome” response.
I think that this “happy face, everyone is AWEsome” culture is colder and less intimate.
Today: it was overcast, 69.8 F, 83 percent humidity and there was a 10 mph (gusting to 17) headwind. Yet, it was easier to run against the headwind as it felt downright sweltering with the wind. We aren’t used to the heat yet.
I drove down with Tracy and I got a good feel for the conditions as I warmed up. I knew it would be a tough race though I felt ok.
The first person in my age group had the same chip time I had; he just lined up near the front and I couldn’t catch him. BUT, the older age groups actually had faster times.
One hilarious incident: an older couple had accidentally switched bibs; hence the lady got credited with a 10 minute faster time than she ran. They fixed it, and happily both got the medals they earned.
I held back and even tracked Cheryl for a bit. I had Dianne and Jerry in my sights, but early on I trailed a bespandexed lady with sweet, subtle granny VPLs. She fell off the pace a bit so I went after Cheryl and kept three other “targets” in sight. I was ok with my first mile split as it was against a 10 mph wind; I knew conditions would be hard later. The next mile I slowed, but not as much as others. Some experienced runners faded here.
Then on the way back, I did talk myself out of walking. It was tough to keep going, but I was encouraged by my gaining on Dianne. I even caught her but she got me back. When I finished: yep, I felt it.
Afterward: I went back for Tracy and then got to reconnect with some old running friends. Finish photos below:
Cheryl: looking good at the finish
The “Maybell” like lady and Mike at the finish
Dianne: I am just out of sight. Behind her is the guy who beat me out in my AG
Closing in, trying to not to walk
Clicking my watch; you can see the results of my weight training
Tracy closing in; I am in the background
Tracy puts another one in the books
Sunday: evidently I ate some bad meat; had “the runs” (minor) and I still feel it a little. I worked out with it yesterday and today, I got it. I have minor cramping and it affected my run, just a little.
Treadmill: 1 mile in 11:03. Track: 9:03/8:39 (4:33/4:30/4:23/4:16 were my .5 mile segments, lane 2). Then 2 miles of walking. it wasn’t bad; and by “affecting” my running I am talking about perhaps 5-10 seconds per mile on my run. It wasn’t bad; I was just a bit off.
I should be ok though.
I “ran” the first course in 2:53:15 (11:12 pace; 1:27:11/1:26:04) and walked the second course in 1:19:46 (15:20 pace) for 20.7 miles in 4:13:01 (12:17 pace). It was a good day; some northwest wind (mild, by Illinois standards) and though the run was nice, the walk was a zoo. There was a high school graduation at Bradley and the West Peoria massive yard sale…cars parked EVERYWHERE. I wonder if people were merely swapping the contents of their respective garages and attics.
Temperatures were in the low 60’s at the finish.
I got waved at by a couple of people who knew me (one was a yoga teacher) and…whistled at by some lady. I think that my walking pace improved by a few seconds a mile after that.
Today: treadmill for the first 8 miles:
Frog boil: 0.5 incline, 5.2 mph then up 0.1 mph every 3 minutes. 21:51 at 2, 41:12 at 4, 50:11 at 5, 58:58 at 6, 6.14 at 1 hour, 6.6 at 1:04:40. Then 1.4 in 14:12 (5.7 mph, up 0.1 every 3 until 9, then up 0.1 every 1 until done)
That was 8 miles in 1:18:52. Then I walked 4.2 miles outside in the cool, overcast weather.
These 12 miles gave me 150 miles for May. Of course, after this weekend, I start to cut back drastically.
Gym tomorrow. Yes, my wife is working out regularly and she probably feels a bit like this:
Ok, she is a bit older and less athletic than the woman in the video..but what the heck.
And yes, there ARE more women at the races than there once were. Though this has changed the culture just a bit, the change isn’t all bad.
(this is screenshot from a business commercial …seriously)
Another 20 miles in the bank:
And yes, the first part was windy.
Out leg (7.74 miles) 1:29:34
Return leg: 1:26:12 (2:55:46 for 15.48 miles, 11:21 mpm pace) The 3 minute difference reflected the downhill and not going into the wind quite as much, as it was a northwest wind.
Break for water then 5.1 mile walk in 1:18:29, or 4:14:16 for 20.58 miles
I did run this course slightly faster once, on a less windy day. I was ok with it, given I felt anxious about the workout, as usual. But it ok.
That left me enough time for Indian buffet with Barbara and then a Bradley Baseball game.
It was a well played game but Bradley lost to Indiana State 4-2. It started off rough; a bunt for a hit then 2 more hits and it was 1-0. But good fielding got BU out of the inning giving up just 1 run, which they got right back at the bottom. The pitching took over, with Indiana getting a solo home run (right into the kid’s area) and Bradley getting that run back late.
So it was 2-2 going into the 9’th when Indiana State got 2 run home run. Bradley started the bottom of the 9’th with 2 hits and a bunt moved the runners to 2’nd and 3’rd with one out. But alas, there was a shallow fly into the outfield and a strikeout. That was a situation in which a single would have tied the game, a home run would have won it, but an out lost it; it was pretty intense drama.
So the series is tied 1-1 (BU won 5-3 yesterday) and we have one more game tomorrow. I hope to be there.
Weather wise: I was bundled (thermal underwear, sweatshirt, jacket, etc.) but the sun came out and I took my outer jacket off.
Today’s run: 10K in 1:02; 6.14 miles in 1 hour; last 3.14 in 27:20. How I did it: treadmill, 0.5 incline. Start at 5.2 mph and raise the speed by 0.1 mph every 3 minutes. I got to mile 3 in 32:40, 4 in 41:13, 5 in 50:11 and 6 in 58:48.
Yes, it was a cool-ish, overcast day outside. But my legs were somewhat heavy and my knees..not really achy but they could use a break.
Why I sometimes use a treadmill in good weather:
1. Knees and feet; I like the soft surface.
2. Change in gait (helps with “overuse injury” prevention.
3. Zone out effect; sometimes I end up going too slowly outside. Here I have to quicken my gait a bit and focus (lest I fall off of the treadmill).
Now while I know that some have used the treadmill exclusively for good effect (e. g. the single member of the 2000 women’s US Olympic marathon team) it is different and I do need to get used to the surfaces I’ll be running or walking on. And yes, even with my variety of workouts (constant adjustment of speed or incline, or both), it gets kind of boring.
So, for me, it is a tool to be used from time to time, but not a staple (unless it is snowy/icy outside).
And I’d use it a bit less if the packed limestone trail wasn’t 30 minutes away; packed dirt/cinders/limestone trails are the best, IMHO.
Workout notes 1 hour treadmill, 4.2 mile walk outside (Cornstalk classic course…after a rain..wet)
Treadmill: I did this to save my legs and to do something different. Incline: 0.5. 5.2-5.3-5.4-5.5, every 5 minutes: 1.78 miles in 20 minutes.
Then 6.7-6.8-6.9-7.0 (every 5 minutes to 4 miles) then every .25 miles: 7.1-7.2-7.3-7.4. This was 3.22 miles in 27:38 (8:35 mpm pace). Then 5.2-5.3-5.4-5.5-5.6 (every 2 minutes) to get to 6.11 miles in 1 hour.
This was just the break that I think that I needed.
The walk felt great.
Weight loss: I control my weight so I CAN run and walk, not the other way around. Eating right is the key.
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