Friday, September 20, 2013

RunDown: 29th Annual Palo Alto Moonlight run 2013

I ran this race at 8:15pm. The first race I've run NOT in the morning...and on a weekday no less. 

Recall my prevous PR 10k was a 8:01 pace (49:45) and was set 4 long years ago when I was a 53 year old sprite ;)

Below is the course, you can see the levy with water on both sides (and lots of birds at some times along there)...a bit over 2.5 miles on dirt and the rest on pavement. Mile 5 you  are back on the pavement!

Toni decided to do the 5k walk which was the first event. We parked on the west side of the 101 and walked over the bike overpass and down to the athletic center to make sure we could leave without parking crazyness.

Here I am at the 10k start...onward to pick up our bibs. 

 A coworker we ran into took our pic together. This race benefits a bunch of non-profits in Palo Alto.

Toni is ready to go..but sun not down yet. 5k not much of a challenge for her, she was the one that got me to sign up for the 10k and so I guess she felt she should have something to do as well ;)

This is a pic from Toni of the river along the levy for the 5k walk. I run this trail all the time but never in the evening.

Here I am at the 10k start...first time I've been behind motorcycles! Well, at least for a few seconds after the start.

Seriously, there were a lot of people at the start that were slower than me so I felt no guilt getting up there.

Toni's 5k walk started at 7 and ended for her before 8pm. I gave here the bag with the long sleeve shirt booty and went to the 10k start. 

I had met a nice guy, Roland, a Stanford Radiology prof, originally from Austria, that was wearing a SF marathon shirt. It was fun to talk about marathons, etc as we waited for the start.

My plan was to run about 7:50 m/m and hope to shave 5s per mile off my previous best. I had one gu before the start. I ate a partial bowl of cereal about 3 hours before the normal dinner for me.

The race started on time and off we went in a frenzy. I had my Garmin 610 set up to show only two numbers: average pace and this lap's pace (1 mile laps). Right away we saw goofy numbers like 6:30 but I slowed right down a bit and settled in at my 7:50-ish goal pace.

The crowding was not that bad! I was not bothered too much. I did wear a headlamp just in case as about 10% of the field did. We did have some cones to watch out for and posts and things but people were calling them out.

Hit the first mile in the 7:50s and was happy. Lots of young folks were yakking and joking. I was already doing 2:2 breathing and NOT talking. I felt good but this was not a walk in the park but a serious effort. 

Another older guy blew by me at the end of the first mile....he was really breathing hard! Annnd of course we passed him back looking not so good at about mile 4. 

at about mile 2 we got onto the levy and YUK. Even with the headlamp the slight ups and downs of the dirt track were impossible to see. depth perception! I eventually settled on toe-strike as the best way to have some give...else I was struggling with the footing too much!

The effort seemed about 10% higher doing all this.

Soon we had a great view of the full harvest moon playing cat-and-mouse in some lines of cloud out over the water. Wow. Amazing. Sorry I don't have any photos of THAT.  I passed a couple of 'plugged in' people listening to their tunes that seemed to be ignoring it. 

The crowding was not bad but there were the usual doofus people running 4 abreast, etc. After about mile 3 all the chatty cathy types were silent and we could get down to business.

I kept cranking out the 7:50's, and even got a little faster. It was not "easy" but I was feeling like I could sustain that pace for the whole distance without too much plan was to speed up in the last two miles if I could.

My watch was my cattle prod. If I saw the lap split average pace flagging I would concentrate on my form and cadence until I got it back in line.  

For most of miles 2.5 to 4 I was by myself with somebody in the dark about 40 feet in front of me and nobody behind me that I could hear.

By mile 4 I knew I had a PR in the bag. I was hurting but not too bad. The big question was how much could I speed up in the last bit?  Come mile 5 we got back on the pavement...BLISS!  I started speeding up then a bit.
Here's the raw splits:

2013-09-21 Sat
SplitMiles  Pace      HR% WHR   YPB

Time: 49:19 (vs old 49:45) so NEW 10K PR.  A solid race, smartly run if I do say so myself. HR was 149...previous PR was 152, so more efficient there too. This race not so good for tangents showing 6.4 miles (previous PR race was a clean 6.2).

Official results:
Chip time: 49:18
144/727 Overall
122/388 Men
   5/23   M55-59

A 5th place in my age group..not too shabby. First time I've been that high in my AG in  a road race....the 4 guys ahead of me were all super speedy 45, 46 minutes. After me were a several 49 minute folks (including one 2s behind me!) 

I think with 10F cooler temps (it was in the mid-60s), no levy running but good pavement, better tangents and some proper 10k targeted training for a few weeks earlier I could shave another 30s off this time.

But I'm satisfied...2013 a good year for PRs: 10k and HM @ age 57!

This race was well run with many, many good an enthusiastic volunteers. I would do it again!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

10k PR possible?

Moonlight 10k coming up on Friday night.

I did a search of all my runs that were faster than 8:15 pace and least 5 miles long and came up with  three:

Date Miles    Pace     BPM   WHR%   Elev+ Elev-     YPB
2009-09-27 Sun 6.3 7:56 153.4 88.0 94.3 90.5 1.451
2011-10-08 Sat 6.2 8:07 142.9 79.4 16.7 18.5 1.513
2013-09-17 Tue 5.0 8:02 139.8 76.9 19.5 19.9 1.598
Summary 17.5 8:02 145.7 81.7 130.5 128.9 1.515

The 2009 run was my PR in the 10k (8:00.5 min/mile pace actual), the 2011 run was a time trial that Jill had me do in my CIM marathon buildup. 

The 3rd run is the one I banged out Tuesday. Notice how much lower my HR was even though I'm in the same ballpark for distance and pace. 

Here's the splits:

2013-09-17 Tue
SplitMiles    Pace       HR% WHR   YPB

This run was not quite all-out...Garmin gives it a TE ("training effect" ) if  4.0 which is "highly improving". If it has been  an all out effort it would have rated it 5.0 or "overreaching". I will consider my race a failure if I don't hit 5.0 8)

So the question is, can I PR Friday night?.....I haven't done the best 10k training but it seems I have a shot. The course is totally familiar to me..the only downsides are: it may be crowded, at least for a while, and there is about 2.5 miles on the levy...some loose pea gravel on dirt there.

But it's going to be close and I suspect I'll be doing well to shave 30s off my time. Unlikely to be more than 60s.  Really going to have to watch those tangents..easy to lose 10-15 secs right there! 

But there's nothing like a race for drawing out a little extra oomph ;)

The moon is super bright already ("harvest moon") we all should be able to see just fine assuming the fog doesn't roll in. (But if you know SF area weather you know that this time of year is the best time to visit: No fog, no rain)

Today I did my last run before the race: a 3 mile  (the shortest distance I run) I felt pretty good considering yesterday ...but didn't let the HR get up to MAF...taking it a bit easy.

2013-09-18 Wed
SplitMiles  Pace      HR% WHRElev+Elev-    YPB

In the 200 runs I've done since 2008 that are between 3 and 5 miles in length, it's the 4th most efficient. (!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

TL; DR; MAF is working it's magic...

(For the non internet-cognescenti: TL; DR:  means Too long, didn't read.)

Another boring post of weekly summaries for the last 90 days interspersed with pics from various things we've done or visited:

Date    Miles     Pace   BPM   WHR%     Elev+    Elev-     YPB
2013-06-10 Mon 26.8 11:33 126.2 65.7 1609.0 1601.6 1.233
2013-06-17 Mon 33.3 11:30 124.5 64.3 1286.0 1275.3 1.228
2013-06-24 Mon 6.8 10:03 122.0 62.3 44.4 47.8 1.438
2013-07-01 Mon 8.0 9:29 127.0 66.4 91.6 89.9 1.464
2013-07-08 Mon 30.6 9:31 124.1 64.0 152.4 162.7 1.489
2013-07-15 Mon 25.3 9:44 123.9 63.8 430.6 438.2 1.483
2013-07-22 Mon 30.2 9:33 125.6 65.3 255.5 258.6 1.471
2013-07-29 Mon 43.0 9:34 123.4 63.5 490.6 496.9 1.493
2013-08-05 Mon 33.0 9:31 122.7 62.9 394.9 363.3 1.513
2013-08-12 Mon 18.4 9:20 124.5 64.3 72.5 41.4 1.524
2013-08-19 Mon 28.5 9:21 124.1 64.1 417.4 432.8 1.525
2013-08-26 Mon 21.4 9:16 124.3 64.2 127.8 136.1 1.535
2013-09-02 Mon 29.3 8:59 125.1 64.9 112.0 115.6 1.553
2013-09-09 Mon 14.2 8:54 126.8 66.2 44.6 52.0 1.560
Summary 348.8 9:47 122.1 62.4 5529.3 5512.3 1.460

(Two more weeks and the double marathons on 6/16 and 6/17 will FINALLY drop off this report...seems like 6 months ago not 3 months..)

In the YPB column, you can see the gradual progression from 1.4xx to 1.5xx..which means my paces have gone from 9:30-9:40 to 9:00 at about the same MAF-ish HR of 125 bpm. I'm not long run trained or LT trained, but basic aerobic economy is there. Right now sitting and typing this my resting HR is 46 bpm...only gets that low when I've been doing a bunch of running for a while.

8 days to my 'moonlight' 10k.

I've been doing some mile and 800 intervals, as well as some  tempo runs. I don't think my LT threshold is high enough yet (takes 6 weeks)  to get a PR, (even if the crowding on the course isn't bad), but I'm enjoying doing some speedwork anyway just for a change from MAF.

So, it's going well. Last week, I ran 30 miles at an average pace of 9:00..that is a high base pace for me...I've only done average paces like during the Tacoma buildup.

Crunching the data, if I look over all weekly totals, that week is the 3rd most efficient week out of 36 weeks (I am throwing out weeks with less than 15 miles and slower than 9:30
miles..there are only 36 of them). 15 weeks in that list are from the 2013 Tacoma buildup! 

So far, I have no injuries and not even any niggles (knock wood). Pretty amazing.  

I'm running in a new pair of Kinvara 4's, and use my Scotts for days where I feel a bit more tired in the feet. (Not often, about once or twice a week).

I think the Chi running, wearing calf sleeves for every run, and foam rolling are what's doing it. (as well as drills, exercises, etc). 

I'm running using glutes now, not legs. It's quite different from how I was running in 2009!

Ok, the photos: The first photo is of the flukes of a humpback whale right next to the boat! The 2nd photo is not Hogwart's dining hall.... I'll bet nobody can guess where it's from. Here's one more photo that is a clue as to where I was:

PS: Re: swimming: have done some but sorry to say been off it for the last two weeks due to other constraints...when push comes to shove and I'm short of time I do the running. I also feel really feel like I need to work on my neck flexibility to get the most out of it.