Monday, April 25, 2011

Who Bothers With a 2 Mile Race These Days? Answer: Me

I really don't recall reading a blog out there in blog land that talks about running a 2 mile race.  The shortest distance I remember reading about are 5ks.  My theory is most runners serious enough to blog are also serious enough to target a race that lasts longer than what it takes them to drive/walk to the starting line, and let's face it, 2 miles is barely a warm up to a (half) marathoner.  I don't even bother doing training runs under 5 or 6 miles, except at the end of a taper (or unless I'm late).

So what am I doing running a 2 mile race?  The short answer is I got into a habit of doing one per year, particularly this one. There are other reasons like, I try to PR, I can recover quickly, and the probability of an age group award goes up as the distance goes down.  Besides, it can still be a challenge trying to maintain a stride that's about 2 minutes per mile faster than my marathon pace.

Saturday I ran the Easter SunRun here in Wichita.  Before the 2 mile race, there was a 10k, which I believe thinned out the pool for the 2 miler.  What I'm foreshadowing is, a lot of the runners who can run faster than me opt to run the 10k instead.

There is not a lot to talk about during the race.  The weather was near ideal:  Fifty degree temps with cloudy skies, but a bit of wind out of the North.  It was a loop course, and the wind was nice to have at my back for the last part, but that didn't make up for running into the wind the first mile.

Who has really tried and actually raced 2 miles before?  It is some of the most painful running I do.  My heart rate goes through the roof right from the start.  In fact, I'll include my HR chart from the race:

As you can see, my HR hits 180 within 2 minutes of the start, and tops out at over 200.  I don't usually have reason to mention it much, but I've got a combination of allergies and asthma, and about the halfway point, I felt them both starting to act up on me.  After the race was over, I couldn't get back to the car fast enough to take a few puffs from my inhaler and blow my congested nose.  I was disappointed to find there were more of my wife's maxi pads (∞) than Kleenexes (1) in all my car's compartments, WTF.  I wonder if feminine hygiene products make good facial tissues?   So that was one more adversary I had to deal with that day.  (BTW, if you know what the "∞" symbol is, you might be a nerd)

I digress, so back to the race...  I was up far enough in the race that the runners were pretty spread out.  In the last mile, I managed to pass a couple dudes, and even pull a reverse chick without being passed myself.  Down the home stretch, I was all alone, so no drama there, but I did have some kick left, so I tried to shave an extra second or two off my final time.  My Garmin says I finished in 12:14, but the official results think it's more like 12:22.  My race stats:

2Slow4Boston Easter SunRun 2M
Chip Time12:22
Overall Place10/834
Age Group1/34
Average Pace6:11

Notice, contrary to 2Slow4Boston's style,  I placed 1st in my age group, so for my troubles, I received a medal:

My fingernails don't look half bad for a guy.

One of the draws of the Easter SunRun is post race food.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, chips, potato salad, cookies are all standard fare.  You don't even have to have a bib number to partake.

Tons of volunteers and several serving lines to handle the hungry crowd.

About 4 tables full of mostly home made cookies to choose from.

One last thing.  I wrote a blog post about a week ago, that never showed up in the blogger list/dashboard/reader, so I'm going to back link to it in case you're going through 2Slow4Boston withdrawal, you feel sorry for me, you need more blogs to read, you care ☺.  To paraphrase, I blogged about getting into the Pikes Peak Ascent and my training.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pikes Peak, My Awesome Workout, and Some Funny Wedding Photos

I'll bet you didn't know I was keeping you in suspense.  So before you go mental on me, it's time for the big reveal.  On March 16th, I signed up for the Pikes Peak Ascent, a 13.32 mile run/jog/hike/baby steps up the side of a mountain. I'm not sure why I haven't blogged about it before now, maybe so I could have a big build up for today's press release.  I have had my eye set on this race for several years now, but I kept telling myself I wanted to get a little faster before I did it.  Well, I'm a little faster, so it's time to put up or shut up and run.  I logged in and signed up the minute online registration was available, since this race has sold out quickly before, and we all know how fast Boston sold out this year.  Turns out, the ascent hasn't sold out yet even though they are over their stated capacity.

As long as I get to the top I will set a PR since I am a Pikes Peak virgin.  The race isn't until August 20th, so I've got some time to worry train.  Anyone know how to simulate altitude sickness in Kansas?  Although it's only about the distance of a half marathon, Pikes Peak takes about the same amount of time (or longer) than a full marathon.  That's due in part to the average elevation gain of 11%, and the last part of the race being above the tree line (oxygen is so overrated).  I might not be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon yet, but this race is a different story.  By running a sub 3:45:00 marathon, I was able to get into the first wave, which means I shouldn't get stuck behind the slowest runners in the field while going up the mountain single file.  Maybe I'll be the bottleneck instead.

This last week, I signed up for a local 2 miler on the 23rd, and a half marathon the weekend after.  Although I consider myself a marathoner first, I do enjoy the shorter distances.  By enjoying shorter distances, I mean there's more pain, but it's over quicker and you still get food at the end.  However, how does a marathoner train for a 2 mile and a 13.1 mile race one week apart?  This brings me to my awesome workout.  Thursday, I planned to run a 2 mile interval at just slower than 2M race pace (6:24 pace), kinda like a dress rehearsal.  It was tough, but I did it.  After recovering a few minutes, I decided to do it again, only a little slower.  By a little slower, I mean I was still running a 6:54 mile which is around a minute faster than my marathon pace and about equal to my 5k race pace.  After completing that one, I had to recover, but I felt good enough to do another.  By the time I finished my workout, I had done 10 miles total, and 4 - two mile repeats @ 6:54 pace or faster.  Honestly, I didn't know I had that combination of speed and endurance in me.  I'm still pretty psyched and knew I had to post the details.  I also figure that was a great workout for both my 2 and 13.1 mile races.

2 Week Mileage
4/2178:30 pace
4/30rest day
4/46interval 8 x .5 mi @ 6:18
4/587:24 pace
4/6108:36 pace
4/769:00 pace
4/8810:00 pace
4/9148:15 pace
4/100rest day
4/116treadmill incline 1 - 4%  @ 8:30 pace
4/1288:45 pace
4/1339:00 pace
4/1410intervals 4 x 2M @ 6:24 - 6:54 pace
4/1559:25 pace

Something else noteworthy, I had a nice change of pace a week ago Friday.  Fair Weather Runner and I met up for a recovery run, which turned into an 8 miler after we ran the last 6 together.  I do a lot of my training without a running partner, mp3 player excluded, so to run in a different locale with a fresh face was invigorating and made the time/miles pass by quickly.  Our conversation evolved into what I can only assume all chicks talk about when they run:  shoes, spouses, kids, and last but not least, menstrual cycles.  Go with the flow FWR!

I leave you with some wedding photos:

Just so there is no confusion "Wifey" is airbrushed right on your ass.

Can I vote all of them off the island? 
And the Duck decoys are for?

This would be less creepy if a veil was involved...

Try our new Rainbow Bridge Collection.
Flip Flops not included.

Silver tube top wedding dress minus 2 teeth =  Queen for a day

Alice in Pimpland?

Jerome's grand idea.   Professing his eternal love for Tamika by stabbing a life size cake replica of her.

I guess eating the 4 Chalupas was a bad idea the night before our wedding

The moment you realize your mother-in-law is moving to your town

Camo tux. Nuff said.

I now pronounce you Jedi & Paduan

Kegstands...not just for frat parties anymore


Sadly, the Elvis Preacher is the least disturbing part of the picture


Who needs a limo. We've got a whole damned front end loader just for us!

Gravity 101, pay attention kids.

Was he liberated or captured? (Does anyone else hear the Dueling Banjos????)