Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CASA Superhero 5K

This 5K was going to be my PR effort weekend race. However, recent events--mainly a recent car crash--had left me not quite ready to put out a PR effort. The recent week of rain leaving a muddy and mucky course also left the conditions shy of PR worthy. In the end this was still going to be a hard race effort but also one that I wanted to enjoy with some friends.

While this was not a first year race, it had first year race directors--and it showed. Fortunately, this is a smaller event with just a couple hundred runners or the general disorganization would have been a complete mess. This overall disorganization included parking mixups in the state park, not having a good setup in the race area, not being prepared to post run times, no preparations in being able to announce the winners during the awards ceremony and perhaps worst of all an improperly marked course that led to the leading runners running an extra two tenths of a mile before the organizers realized the problem.

As for myself, I ran a mostly even race this time around. I kept from going too hard the first mile out and this enabled me to keep a good pace throughout. Even though I was one of the runners who ran too long, I don't think it led to a different finishing place in the case of the 8-12 runners that it affected. I finished with a second place finish in my age group and 8th place overall. I think the special part of the race came by finishing just behind and just in front of tow great training partners, who finished overall women's winner and master's woman winner. The three of us are pictured below.

Next up for me is off season, beginning with a cruise on the Disney Wonder cruise ship. I have another 5K later this month and maybe I will go after that 5K then, or maybe it will be just for fun. Until then, however, I will have some fun.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Finding the Silver Lining

It was just this past weekend that I had my one year anniversary with a serious auto-bike crash that left my body broken and my spirit battered, but it was also a point from which I refused to back down and give up. With several months of recovery I began to live a normal life again, with several months of training after that I managed to complete an Ironman race, with a couple more months of training I managed to make it to the podium of a couple small races and finally began to believe it was going to come back to me.

It didn't seem to take too long after that to become the victim of a likely intoxicated hit and run driver who ran a red light at high speed and T-boned my new car just behind the driver's seat. I was spun several times and came to a stop just out of the intersection and facing the opposite direction of traffic in a road perpendicular to the one on which I had been travelling. A whirlwind of a night in the emergency room and following visit to my own doctor revealed I had some muscular damage and a concussion but seemed to avoid more serious injury. Air bag deployments may have also helped me escape more serious injury as well.

Even though I have only had this vehicle a few months, it is just a thing that can be repaired. Even though I was injured I can recover. I could have been seriously hurt and was not. I will recover in time and go on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Running of the Bulls 2013 5K

The Running of the Bulls 5K is the official 5K race of the Houston Texans football team, with the bull as the team mascot and hence the race name. It seems the only bulls I saw all day were mascots and none of them raced.

I went into this race with the idea to lay it all out effort-wise and go for max effort. I figured a strong effort would put me in striking range of my PR, and perhaps a really good race day effort could push past that. I lined up pretty near the front of the pack since there was a beginner feel among many of the racers. The day was a bit humid and warm but not too bad. Although I was going into this race rested, I wasn't feeling at my best today and had an elevated heart rate as well.

I ran this race on a pure heart rate goal plan. I opened with a strong opening mile around 6:44, in which I hit my target heart rate around a half mile and then worked on not going too hard after that. Mile 2 went by at a slower pace in the mid 7:30 range. By the time the second mile was done I was feeling like I was just hanging on for dear life. Mile 3 went by at a slightly slower pace in the mid 7:40 range and I really did feel like I was giving it my all. I pushed past the finish line in a time of 22:46.

22:46 really did feel like all I had in me on this day, at least following the plan I followed. On this day it was good enough for 5th place in my age group, and I just missed my PR by 3 seconds. I'm not disappointed by just missing my PR as I gave my all and just didn't have more to give on this day. Certainly it is also a positive sign in my overall recovery that I posted a second best effort and a competitive time in a large field. I left this race feeling very positive about the next race or two a few weeks ahead of me before looking at an much needed and welcomed upcoming off season.

I snapped one quick photo of myself from the field after I had recovered enough to walk off from the finishing area to show that I was down on the field (at least without having to buy one of the expensive professional race photos).