Race Anxiety – What it Feels Like

Photo by Sue Morris
Photo by Sue Morris

Imagine that you have one of your major goal races coming up this weekend. It is an important race that you have trained hard to prepare for this race.

You have big dreams and goals for how you will do.

Then when the race comes around, you want to be somewhere else, to be honest anywhere else, but at that race.

That is how I feel for most of the races I go to, it does not matter how big or how small they are. It got better for a while, but it is starting to raising its ugly head again.

Where did it start?

I am pretty competitive, sometimes I am just too damn competitive.

In high school, I did not run or compete at the level I could have or in some of the more important meets or “Regionals”, because I just could not do it. I couldn’t go.

I was too scared of failure, to have my own visions of glory dashed against the rocks of reality. I would fake being sick, go somewhere else, create reasons not to go, fake injuries and all the other tricks to get out of doing something that scares the hell out of you, so you do not have to show others “how good” you really are. Continue reading “Race Anxiety – What it Feels Like”

Still Just a Little Competitive

LHS-Track-Finish-pic-4-2812.jpg
An awful lot of gray on top of this runnah

 

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am a crotchety old fart and that I haven’t completely lost my competitiveness.

The truth is I don’t think I am all that different from a lot of other older runners, who are also still very competitive.

Just because we have more salt than pepper on top, doesn’t mean we are no longer competitive or that we have gone into “ease” on down the road mode.

You may have read about some of my competitive adventures. “That” training run in Central Park, the time a 20 something passed me and didn’t acknowledge me on the Tiffany Road or my infamous treadmill gotta keep pace ego run a little while ago, along with a few many others.

Those “training” runs really give a good impression of what I mean when I say that “I am just a little competitive!”

The other person probably didn’t even realize what I was doing or considered me one of those “annoying” old farts trying to be more than he is.

In truth, looking back I was using them to improve my workout – they were just an excuse for me to do better that day.

Peter Golding Memorial 5K 7-28-12Racing

Yes I did actually run some races last year and while I did far better than I would have ever expected to have done. I can hear it now what do you mean that you are still competitive?

“Harold you can’t and don’t compete with the young guns or even other old guns, they kick your butt ALL the time.”

My response to them is that the races were not really about competing with the other runners.

Who do I compete with?

The biggest competition for me, is – me, myself and I.

I don’t go to a race with the idea – hey today I am going to win my age group or beat a certain individual, is not why I race or run.

When I have earned an age group award it has always been accidental. It usually happens as a result of having a super good day (which are few and far between) or more likely the other runners who are better runners than I am (and there are many), were racing somewhere else that day.

I go into a race with the idea of a goal time that I want to achieve and work hard to achieve that time. My competition is pushing me to meet my goals.

Other Runners

There is the challenge of competing against other runners and I do enjoy that part of racing. Without a doubt I want to go out and attempt to finish ahead of Jen, Sarah, Amanda, Erik, Mark and a few others, but I also know that I have bust my butt to do so, because they are busting their butts to make sure that I don’t.

Running and competing with others, especially when I know them, is just added motivation to do well and helps me to continue to improve or at least attempt to maintain (which does get tougher as you get older – just the way it is).

However, I think that I am like most runners, the biggest competition is with ourselves.

Surprise, Surprise

So if you happen to running along and see a gray-haired old fart up ahead and you go by without acknowledging he or she exists, run beside them on the treadmill or attempt to pass him/her at the end of the race (especially if they know you)…

Don’t be surprised if suddenly you see that old person’s form suddenly improve – dramatically, that there is an intensity on their face that wasn’t there a second ago and he or she flashes that little smile, gives you “the look”, and whispers more to themselves “let’s go”, then does their best to kick your ass!

I have a feeling if they can’t keep up with you, they will be the first one to shake your hand and say “GREAT JOB!!!”, but if they catch and pass you, they will give you a shy smile and say “you almost got me this time, next time you might just do it”. Knowing full well in the back of their mind that they will keep working their butt off, to do their best to ensure you don’t.

The reality is that you need to

Be careful around us older guys and gals, we might surprise you. Once upon a time we might have been a little better runner than we are today and for a moment, we might try to re-live some of our glory days and you might be admiring our derriere.

After all we are just a little more competitive than you might think and every once in a while…well lets just say we might surprise you.

What do you think about getting “Grayzed”, is anything like getting “Chicked”?

I know when I was younger, I hated it when some gray-haired old fart passed me or I couldn’t catch them.

or

Are do you have a little more salt on top than pepper, are you still competitive?

Tentative Race Calendar 2013

Bond Brook 5K Trail Race
Bond Brook 5K Trail Race

 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been attempting to put together my race calendar for 2013. I am focusing on local races to save my money for my big destination race this year – the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th (if I can get in on 3/27) and hopefully the Runner’s World Half Festival the week before.

I have tried to mix trail races in with my road running, because I enjoy trail running a lot, it would be even better if I didn’t have to drive to a trail head – the problems a runner faces.

Below is my tentative schedule:

Date Race Location
3/9 Chamberlain March Half Marathon http://www.chamberlainmarch.com/
Brewer
3/17 5th Annual Lucky Leprechaun 5K

Trackside Restaurant, 4 Union Street, Rockland at 10:10 am on Sunday, March 17th.

4/6 Race the Runways 1 miler & 5K & Half Marathon http://www.racetherunways.com/
4/27 The George Kohl Memorial 5K The George Kohl Memorial 5K
Oakland, ME 9:00AM Messalonskee High School, 131 Messalonskee High Drive
Contact: Kirby Reardon (George Kohl Scholarship Fund). 1-207-446-8272 http://www.running4free.com/RaceDetails.aspx?raceid=206
5/19 Sugarloaf 15K Kingsfield
http://www.sugarloaf.com/eventsactivities/marathon.html
5/26 Pineland Farm Trail Running Festival 5k or 10K http://www.pinelandtrails.com/
New Gloucester, ME 10:00AM Pineland Farms, 25
Contact: Erik Boucher (GiddyUp Productions). 1-207-210-8655 Email
6/23 Rail Trail Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, and Rail Trail 5K
http://kennebecriverrailtrail.org/rail-trail-half-marathon/
Augusta, ME 7:30AM Old Fort Western, 16 Cony Street (5th Annual. Flat and fast course.)
Contact: Sarah Dunckel (Friends of the Kennebec Rail Trail). 1-207-622-9009 Email
7/4 Friends of the 4th 5K Winthrop
8/3 Beach to Beacon 10K Cape Elizabeth
http://www.beach2beacon.org/
VARIOUS Bond Brook Trail Race Series July to Sept Augusta
 8/10  Doc & Mardi Brown 5K  Waterville
9/* UMA Trail 5k  Augusta
9/27* Rise N’ Shine 5K  Augusta
10/6 Maine Half Marathon Portland
http://www.mainemarathon.com/
10/19-20 Runner’s World Half Festival Bethlehem, PA
http://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/
10/27 Marine Corps Marathon Washington, D.C. (Arlington, VA)
http://www.marinemarathon.com/

*Date has not been published yet.

I have left a couple of open slots, in case I want to add a race or two onto the schedule. I plan to try for the Beach to Beacon, but there is no guarantee that I will get in. There might be a 5K or 10K down in the Portland area that I want to run, but the long runs are pretty much the ones that I will be doing.

After the Rail Trail Half, I will be focusing on training for the Marine Corps Marathon, so races after that date will be tempo/speed sessions instead of all-out races. Just because I am training for a marathon does not mean that I plan to miss the social side of running that racing can be. 🙂

I want to attend the Runner’s World Half Festival and run one of the races as a final tune-up tempo run for the MCM, if my finances allow it. It would be great to go back down there and be part of the re-union of last year’s crew, that I had so much fun with last year.

If you live in the Augusta/Waterville, Maine area and you want to car pool together to a race or even better to meet up at any of these events, contact me and we can try to work something out :-).

This looks to be a very busy year of racing, but it looks like a lot of fun.

Have I missed any that I really should be running up heah in Central Maine in this year (other than the Acadia 1/2 in June – just too many races in a short time period to fit it in – that is on my 2014 schedule though)?

Now to find a way to pay for it all 🙂

October 2012 – AVR Reviewed

October was a great month for me!!!

A Veteran Runnah is now a self-hosted blog!!! Yes I finally took the step and you can read about it here: A Veteran Runnah is Now Self-Hosted. I am excited about the change and the opportunities that I can now pursue without worrying about the constraints of WordPress.com’s Terms of Service! Ryan at WP SiteCare did a GREAT job of working with me during the transfer and answering my many questions.

I got to go to the Runner’s World Half Festival as a FitFluential Blogger. While there I got to meet face-to-face many of the bloggers that I “see” on social media sites, which was to me – the highlight of the weekend. I also set a PR in the Half Marathon of 1:41:10 (it was my first time running a half in a race) and a this year PR for the 5K of 21:23 (I also finished second in my age group for the 5K).

Something I learned while down in Bethlehem for the RW Festival was that the Runner’s World editors are really great people, who are so enthusiastic about the sport of running. I also got to meet people from Altra, ICON, Swiftwick, The Stick, Aardvark Sports and Zensah, who also showed their enthusiasm for running and their products.

Meeting all the different people who I met was for me, at least, the highlight of my trip, we can run just about any where, but it is the people who make trips like this special. Meeting other runners was also very cool: Bart Yasso, Shalane Flanagan, Amby Burfoot, Golden Harper, the AltraManiacs ;-), Michelle, Amanda and so many others.

Unfortunately, after the half marathon I finally decided to rest my body. My hamstrings haven’t been quite right since August and during the half, they really bothered me. When I tried to run an easy 5.0 on the following Wednesday, they told me how unhappy they were about it and I decided to take 10 days off from running this is day 8. I needed the rest, since the most time off I have taken this year has been a few 4 day rest/recovery days. So I have been listening to my body.

The Central Maine Striders have restarted their Sunday group runs, unfortunately, it started during my down time, but hopefully this coming Sunday I will get to participate. Central Maine Strider’s Group Run

Yes my mileage is way down this month, but between my taper for the RW Festival and rest afterwards, it doesn’t bother me. I have accomplished my original mileage goals and the Runner’s World Half Festival Races were my big races this year. Also I have to learn to build in a couple of these 10 day off periods into my training cycles, just to let my body and mind recuperate from running.

As I get older, I am finally figuring out that I do need more down-time, not something that I really want to believe or will give in to quickly or easily, but it is the reality of my aging body.

Running In October Summary 2012

  • October Total Miles Run: 117.1
  • Days Run: 20
  • Days Off: 11
  • Longest Run: 13.1 – 1:41:10 Runner’s World Festival Half Marathon – 10/21/12
  • Fastest Run: 6:53 – 21:23 Runner’s World Festival 5K – 10/20/12
  • Best Week: 41.74 – week ending 10/14/12

Most notable run: The Rise ‘N Shine 5K – where I established a PR for a 5K for this year Smile.

Shoes Run In

  • Mizuno Elixir 7 – Media Sample through the Mezamashii Project. 77.2 Miles. I have been running a lot in these shoes since I received them. They are comfortable, fast shoes that let me run the way that I do. Ran PR in Half Marathon in these shoes. Mizuno Wave Elixir 7–50 Mile Review.
  • Mizuno Ronin 5 – Personal Purchase.  13.7 miles. Initially I thought that they would be too snug in the forefoot. However, when I run in them I don’t notice it and ran a this year PR of 21:23 for a 5K in them. They feel fast and don’t cause any hotspots.
  • Altra Instinct 1.5 – Media Sample – 7.1 miles. I got them from Altra and wore them almost all the time while walking around and then on a treadmill and easy 4+ miler, before shutting everything down for my 10 days off. They feel a little softer than the 1.0 and I like the looks better. The toe is designed to be off the ground a little more than the 1.0 which gives it a little faster feel to me. It will be interesting to see how they do after I get my hamstrings healed back up.
  • Altra Instinct 1.0 – Personal Purchase. They have a 166.7 miles on them now and I have been running in them a little more often, but mostly on shorter runs. I ran in them during our Rave Run in the rain around Bethlehem and they did great.
  • Adidas Adizero Sonic 3 – Personal Purchase – 108.7 miles. I haven’t been running in these shoes, but have started using them as my primary walking shoes.
  • Skora Base – I received these as media samples from Skora and they are definitely Minimalist shoes – here is my initial review. Skora Base Initial Impressions
I am still in the process of moving to more minimalist shoes like the Altra’s and Skora’s, but until my hamstrings really heal up and I can run a few weeks without any discomfort, I think that I will stay with my Mizuno’s. That way I am not switching between the different styles, but I foresee a three shoe rotation, plus my trail running shoes over the course of the next year.

Racing

  • Runner’s World 5K Recap 10/20/12
  • Runner’s World Half Marathon Recap 10/21/12

My scheduled races in November are:  None, but I am thinking about the Champions 10K in Waterville if my hamstrings are completely healed up.

Weight

I ended August 145 and today 11/1 the scales read 144 – I did get down to 141 for a day, but I am not trying to lose anymore weight and want to maintain my weight right around 145. My goal weight at the start of the year was 155, so I am doing great on this goal.

At least 50 pounds lost since June 2012

Injuries

I have been fighting discomfort that was getting worse in my hamstrings, pereformis and right hip since August. After my half-marathon, my hamstrings crossed over from discomfort to pain, so since the 25th I have not been running to rest them and plan to give them a full 10 days to rest and recover. After having a massage on the 30th, other parts of my body needed the rest too :-). It is just time to rest, a lot of training and not very much rest is part of the reason for my issues – at least I believe that is the problem.

Run Blogging

Top Ten Blog Posts for September – based on page views

  1. Tommie Copper Sleeve Review – First Impressions
  2. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles
  3. Newton Gravity–After 50 Miles
  4. My Transition Plan to Minimalist Running Shoes
  5. 50 Mile Review of Altra Instincts
  6. Tommie Copper – Is Working
  7. What Does 12MM Drop Look Like
  8. Runner’s World Half Marathon Recap 10/21/12
  9. The New Nike+ Website is Up
  10. Initial Review & Run in Adidas Vigor TR

My personal favorite posts this month were: The Hardest Part of Running is Not Running and Central Maine Striders – Resurrection

Reviews

One of the things that I really like to do is to review new gear. Whether I buy something myself or provided a product to review, I enjoy trying it out and seeing if it works as advertised or not. But more importantly – whether I like it or not and why. Blogging about running related products makes me think differently about what I am using – which is a good thing.

I have done the following product reviews this month:

  • Swiftwick Socks Review
  • Mizuno Wave Elixir 7–50 Mile Review
  • Mezamashii–First Run Mizuno Wave Elixir 7 Was a Brilliant Run

FTC Disclaimer – Unless indicated by {Personal Purchase} I was provided products from these companies free of charge, to review them on my blog. I received no monetary or other forms of compensation to do the review. My opinions about each product are my honest observations, based upon my experience while using the product.

Running Goals

A slight change to my goals – is to make sure that I am enjoying running and not letting it become too much like work.

Good progress, while I worked hard at my running, I didn’t allow it to become work. I still look forward to my runs and don’t get too wound up about them if they are not what I am looking for that day :-).

This year my big goals are:

  1. Run 1,200 miles – I have 1,571.6 miles for the year – I met this goal pretty easily and am going to try for 2000 before the end of the year.
  2. Run a sub 20:00 5K  – No changes here – This will be very tough to do, I did run a 21:23, but this one is going to be a real tough nut to crack before the end of the year.
  3. Get through 2012 without any significant down time or injuries (running related or others). I am in the middle of a 10 day rest and recuperation  so it is not really an injury, but something that I think that all runners should do to let their bodies heal.
  4. My unadvertised goals from the start of the year are to be able to finish a half-marathon. I ran the Runner’s World Half Marathon in 1:41:10 :-). Very Happy with the results.
  5. Run a few trail races when the weather gets better – I did 4 of the Bond Brook Recreation Area 5k Trail Race series.

My long-term goal is to run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I finished the 1983 MCM Marathon and to run/finish Marine Corps again 30 years later would be very cool. This is one of the major goals that I have in mind for my running and it would be even more fantastic if I could qualify for Boston that same day. Therefore, I am doing a 2 year work-up to the Marathon distance, just to see if my knee will hold up.

The reality is that

October was a busy and a great month for me.

Changing A Veteran Runnah to a self-hosted blog allow me more freedom in my writing or if I decide to do other things with it that I couldn’t on WordPress.com. So that is something that I am very excited about, but plan to go very slowly and not rush into anything.

Running at Runner’s World showed me how many great people who there are out there who run. I also figured out that I am in control of my race-day anxiety issues now and can enjoy running in bigger races, as long as I get there early.  Participating in the Runner’s World Festival as a blogger and runner was a great experience and a once in a lifetime thing that I will always remember :-).

I am also glad that the Central Maine Striders are working to rejuvenate, resurrect or whatever term you want to use their presence in the Central Maine running scene.

The biggest thing that I learned this month was that while running might be about getting out the door or stepping on a treadmill to see how far or how fast you can go, it is more about the great people that you meet. In running you can form positive relationships with people that can last a lifetime. While running is often done by yourself, going to races or group runs is when you get to learn about the social side of running. The part that unfortunately, I missed for over 25 years. That part that I don’t want to miss over the next 25!

Keep smiling and good things can happen :-).

Looking at the #RWHalf Courses

I just got back from looking at the Runner’s World Half, 10K and 5K courses, which I will be running 2 of this weekend. I had been hearing rumors and innuendo about how hilly the courses are, it worried me a little. I don’t mind running hills and live in Maine so hills are just a part of living and running there, but I wanted to see how much these hills would be slowing me down.

Driving the course is not just as simple as following the map, there are different one-way streets that we will be running in the opposite direction. So I had to drive around, plus not knowing the area made it even more interesting. I am sure that they thought I was some crazy tourist from Maine – well…we don’t need to go there 🙂

Go to the Runner’s World Website for the Course Maps and a video featuring Bart Yasso.

Here are some photos that I took while driving around:

Looking down E 1st Street – flat and fast

Looking up towards Webster Street the first hill.

The Fahy Bridge

There are some hills out towards Moravian College which will get your attention, but I didn’t get a picture of, but one is in the Runner’s World video.

This is the little rise towards the end after coming off Founders Way.

Overall – they look like GREAT courses, they will challenge you, but there are a lot of flat and downhill areas, none of the hills are mountains, but they will slow you down a little bit.

It has the potential to be a challenging, but faster course than I first thought when I looked at the course descriptions. I guess that it depends upon where you are coming from geographically. If you are coming from a fairly flat area, it is going seem pretty hilly and if you are coming from an area with lots of hills, it won’t seem too bad.

I will be participating in the inaugural Runners World Half Marathon as a FitFluential Ambassador. My race registration will be provided by Runners World. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

4.0 Mile Taper Run–Getting Ready for #RWHalf

IMG_0090The taper for #RWHalf and 5K continues. I ran 4.0 miles at a comfortable pace, no pushing allowed Smile. I felt really good the entire run and could have easily picked it up a lot – surprisingly even up Steven’s Hill if I had wanted to – the hill that is my nemesis. I just seem to have a mental block about running up faster than 9:00 minute pace up that damn hill.

Nike 10-15-12

I am going to continue to run daily, during the taper, just slower and not as far as I could.

I just enjoy my runs too much to give them up and also, I think that getting out there and moving will help keep me loose and help me deal with getting ready to drive down to Pennsylvania on Wednesday and acclimate to a completely different environment and location.

I know that on Wednesday, after I get to Bethlehem, I am going to want to run to get the kinks out after an almost 500 mile drive Smile.

RunLog 10-15-12

Yes I am ready for the Runner’s World 5K and Half-Marathon! Now to just get down there Smile – I am not known for my patience, even though I am getting better.

Also I can’t wait to meet so many of the people who I have been a part of my online running community and the other FitFluential Ambassadors who will be down there too.

FTC Disclaimer: My registration for the Runner’s World 5K and Half Marathon were complimentary. I will be blogging about my experiences during this event and all opinions are my own.

The Runner’s World Event is Next Week!

runners-world-half-logoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival – presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador and blogger!

You can still get a 10% discount on your race registration (any or all three of the races) use the discount code Blogger22, but online registration ends Monday.

It is hard to believe that next Wednesday I will be in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania participating in the Runner’s World Half Events. This is my first destination race, one where I have gone more than an hour away from home or spent the night someplace for the purpose of running in races.

To be honest there are a few conflicting emotions going on right now.

I am very excited about going down there, blogging about what see and do, meeting face-to-face some the other runners that I have “talked with” on social media or their blogs, the Runner’s World staff who will be floating around the events and expo, and the other FitFluential Ambassadors who will be there as well.

Not to mention running in a 5K and Half Marathon while I am there. No I do not have any goals beyond trying to meet my annual goals for these distances and I don’t plan to put any more pressure on myself about these races other than enjoying the experience. Racing those distances can happen at other races.

I am also pretty damn nervous too! :

  • I will not be around my wife and home for 5 days. I admit it I am a bit of a homebody Smile, which is not a bad thing. Yes I will miss TheWife and Bennie Bean a lot.
  • It is over 500 miles from home and I am driving down – driving doesn’t bother me, but it has been 20 years since I have driven that far.
  • I have never been to Bethlehem, so I don’t know my way around down there.
  • I am a planner and like to have things scheduled and this is a more free flowing event and other’s schedules will dictate how I spend my time.
  • I will be meeting lots and lots of people and be on sensory overload a lot while there, I am wondering when opportunities for “down-time” or “alone-time” will happen.
  • I don’t know the course, so I want to at least drive it a couple of times after I get there and run some of the hills that I have read about.

All the above will be a great adventure and actually even though I am a bit nervous about it, I know I will have a great time!

  • Finally, while I have gotten a good handle on my race day anxiety and have raced more this year than I have in 25 years, these races will have a LOT more people running (expected to be over 5,000 for each race) than I am used to, so navigating to the start will be “fun”.

With so many other FitFluential Ambassadors there, I am sure that they will help/push/drag me to the starting line (peer pressure can be a good thing). The Runner’s World event races are going to be a big test of how much progress I have made on this.

The reality is that I have gotten a pretty good handle on my race day anxiety issues and am not putting artificial pressure on myself to run a certain time or anything, instead I am focusing more on the fun that I am going to have.

The people that I will get to meet, the friends I make and memories that I will have from going to the Runner’s World Event I am certain will be great ones. One thing that I do know is that I plan to take lots of pictures and write way too many blog posts while I am there.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE THERE, LOOK ME UP!  Probably the easiest way will be to Tweet me, so we can meet up while we are there. I will be in Bethlehem from Wednesday evening to early Monday morning. Or we can make arrangements beforehand to meet-up, either Tweet me or email me. Smile

FTC Disclaimer: My registration for these 2 races were complimentary. I will be blogging about my experiences during this event and all opinions are my own.

Trust Your Training

IMG_0521Like most runners I have done a lot of running preparing for this fall’s racing season and have accumulated a few nicks, aches, pains and feel pretty tired (both mentally and physically).

So today I took a day off and didn’t do my scheduled track workout.

To be honest, I didn’t do anything but work on the computer and mow the lawn, no weights, no walk, nothing. It felt great! Tomorrow is my scheduled day-off and you know what, I plan to repeat what I did today and then on Thursday, I am seriously thinking about repeating it again. In other words taking off until Friday.

What do you mean Harold!??? You are less than 3 weeks away from the Runner’s World Half and 5K, you gotta get those last workouts in!

Really at this point in my training cycle missing a few days three weeks before my race is not going to affect my performance in those races all that much – if at all.

About the biggest thing that it would affect is my weekly and October’s mileage total, which really doesn’t mean anything in the big picture. But that is one of the things that really bothers me about not running…silly isn’t it. The other thing is that – I want to run, which is the harder for me to not do, since I could if I wanted to.

Actually taking the time off and letting my body heal up some of the small aches and pains that have accumulated, might be much more needed than a speed workout or some other training run this week. I still have one more easy long run scheduled this weekend and a couple of easy track sessions planned along with my regular runs as I start to taper for my races.

Stop and think about all the training miles we have done over the summer, to prepare for our fall race schedule, I have a feeling that most of us are all a little nicked up and tired.

If I had gone ahead and just kept pushing to meet my scheduled runs and mileage while feeling like I am, I believe there is more of a chance of pulling something or hurting myself during a run, which would have a much more negative effect on my running, than a few days off.

Personally, I believe that taking a few days off 3 weeks before your big race might be a good thing! It gives your mind and body a chance to recharge and heal up a bit, which I need now more than, more training mileage.

Most of us have done the work and are now just biding our time until our big race. Now is the time to trust your previous training and not worry if you miss a few workouts at this point in your race training cycle.

What do you think?

Rise ‘N Shine Race Recap–9/26/12

P9280002BRRRRRRRR! That is the first thing that entered my mind when I left the house this morning. The Forester’s outside temperature gauge said it was anywhere from 32-34 on the way into the Rise ‘N Shine Race in Augusta this morning!

I am glad that I had my long sleeve tech shirt and my gloves with me – The gloves especially! My hands get cold pretty easy and I almost always wear gloves when it is below 40. Plus it gives me someplace to put the car keys.

This is my first road race since June and I was wondering if I had improved any with my track workouts and the mileage I have been doing?

One thing that I made a promise to myself for the race this morning was that I wouldn’t kick at the end P9280001and just finish with a nice even pace! I kept my word to myself, because that seems to be when I tend to injure myself, when I get up on my toes and sprint too much.

It was one of the the hardest things for me to do, because 2 people passed me in the last 100 yards!

That hardly ever happens, but I didn’t go with them, I kept my steady pace and held tightly onto the reins.

My first mile was in 6:40, which is right where I want to be for the entire race, but the first part is down hill, so that time wasn’t quite as fast as it sounds. During the race I could feel myself slowing down a little and then when we had to come back up the hill, I lost my chance for sub 7:00 pace. I finished in 21:42 with a 7:02 final pace. Next time I hope to get under 7:00 minute pace for a 5K race!

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I was surprised when I looked at the results!!! I finished 28/340 participants and 1st in my age group (55-59)! Very cool!

Overall I was extremely happy with my time and effort, which was a PR for the 5K this year, but could I have done better – Yes! Next time I need to get a little deeper into the racing zone, instead of just staying at the fringe, but that comes with racing more and knowing how far I can push myself. I really want to break that 7:00 minute per mile pace barrier. Smile

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Overall winner – sorry about cutting off his head.

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Women’s Winner – she raced a lot at Bond Brook trail races this summer

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Race Director – Mark from Kennebec Savings Bank. The proceeds from this race benefit the Augusta YMCA, so it was a good cause and a great way to support it.

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This was my first year I have run this race and I found it to be very well organized (going up to my bank teller window and getting my race packet felt strange), but it was cool. The volunteers were amazing, they were there before 6:00 A.M. and did everything they could to ensure that the runners had a great experience. So thank you very much to all the volunteers!

I even ran into a couple of neighbors who ran in the race, which was great to see and some other runners that I have gotten to know over the summer. That is the part that I am enjoying the most about running in races again, is the social side of running.

When I thought about what shoes I wanted to wear today, I really don’t have a pair of racing flats, so I went ahead and dug out my old Nike Air Flo’s that I bought back in the late 80’s and ran in them. It was kind of funny to think that I was running in a pair of shoes that were older than quite a few of the participants!

They did great! However, they are getting rather long in the tooth and I think I will look around to buy a new pair of racing flats over the next few weeks, so that I will have them for the Runner’s World 5K on 10/20/12.

Overall, it was a great race and I was very happy with how I did!

Runner’s World Half and Festival Oct 20th and 21st

Runners World Half LogoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival -presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador!

You can’t tell that I am very excited about going can you? Well – I am very excited about going to this event. Imagine that, me the guy who doesn’t get too excited about too many things, being excited about this!

This will also be the first big Destination Race and Event that I have ever done. My other racing has always been done within an hour or so of where I lived.

There will be a 5K and 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday – click here for the full schedule.

No – I didn’t go for the Hat Trick – all three races that weekend (5k, 10, and Half Marathon). I opted to run the 5K on Saturday and the Half on Sunday, adding a 10K on Saturday would have made my goal of pushing the Half Marathon as hard as I can, much more difficult. However, there are many people who are doing the Hat Trick – all three races.

If you want to get a 10% discount on your race registration (any or all three of the races) use the discount code Blogger22.

FTC Disclaimer: My registration for these 2 races were complimentary. I will be blogging about my experiences during this event and all opinions are my own.

I am really looking forward to the people who I might be meeting/seeing down there – like: Bart Yasso, Shalane Flanagan, Dean Karnazes, Kristin Armstrong, Mark Parent and I am sure many other runners that I talked with on Twitter in hashtags #FitFluential, #RunChat, #FitBlog or others.

I will also get to finally meet some of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors, that I have talked with online so much over the last year!

One person that I really hope to see again, while I am down there is Amby Burfoot. I had the pleasure of watching him during workouts, when several runners in the New London/Groton area would go to the Coast Guard Academy Indoor track back in 1985/86 – I wonder if he will remember me? I think we both have a bit more gray hair Winking smile.

I know that I am going to take a LOT of photos, blog and tweet about what I have seen, seminars that I am attending, the expo and who I get to talk to, while I am down there.

This will also be a great trial run for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. I will see what things I need to actually bring with me when travelling to a race, what I need to do to prepare for a bigger race, how to recover from the tough race and be ready to travel the next day. It will also give me a chance to see how I do running, with a lot more people around than I am used to. I know that I will do just fine.

By the way did I tell you how much I am looking forward to going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival! Smile.