Monday, July 05, 2010

Good, Bad and Ugly

That's the result when you run two races within 13 hours one weekend, and then 3.5 races within 25 hours a week later.

I've been trying to ramp up the intensity by doing even more speedwork (now twice per week - once with the gang and once by myself) and also by concentrating even more on these ubiquitous shorter races. The ubiquitous shorter races I'm referring to?

Start with the Wadsworth 4-miler. The Friday evening temperatures were very decent - probably under 80. They had a good crowd, including some very serious talent. I think I ran well, but it's a little hard to tell. In the midst of some good-sounding 6:30 or so miles came a faster sub-6 mile for mile two. I finished with something like 25:12. It turned out to be too good to be true - mile two was short - by as much as .25 mile. Even so, it was a good run for me, and I won the geezer age group.

The next morning Ladd and I drove to the Green YMCA 10K race. Once again it was fairly cool for this time of year. I ran a steady pace and finished in about 42:55. This was a minute or so better than my other 10K's of the year so far, and I was pretty darn happy with it!

The weather got even cooler and nicer for a few days, I it sure was a relief! The Tuesday's speedwork was downright pleasant! Difficult as always, but I felt good as I was heaving!

This past weekend included the July 4 holiday. I usually do the North Canton YMCA 5-miler because it's part of the Subway/Ohio Challenge series. Because of this, I generally miss out on the Medina Twin Sizzler 5K/10K. This year, since the 4th was on a Sunday, they held the North Canton Run on Monday even though the Medina races were still on Sunday. Of course this meant that I was able to do all of the above. How did this come out to 3.5 races? Read on..

The only other time I did the Twin Sizzler, I ran slow in the initial 5k, hoping to do a fast time in the 10k. I wound up with very slow times in each of them. My strategy for 2010? Go for it in the 5k, and just try to hold on during the 10k. When the 5k began, it was still early, and the heat hadn't really set in yet. I did go for it, and I finished with a 20:01 - about as fast as I've done in the last couple years - I did a 20:01 last fall as well. I had some time so I ran a couple miles with my friends in between the two races. By the time the 10k got going it was sizzling hot - well into the 80s. A seven minute per mile pace would've been nice, but I couldn't even manage that. I did 44:30 - not the greatest - but at least it was a fairly steady pace on a tough course in tough conditions. I won the geezer age division in both races. It was great to see all my MCRR friends out there!

The next morning I found myself driving to a race with Ladd once again. We picked Matt up and drove out to North Canton. I'd been telling the guys that I always do the 2-mile as a warmup for the 5, and Ladd and I did this once again. I joked that the second mile of the 2-mile is always my best mile of the day, beating any of my miles for the 5-mile actual race. We started the 2-mile several minutes late because of a long restroom line. After a few minutes we began to catch the slower runners. After about 9 1/2 minutes we hit the 1-mile mark. A few minutes later we started to think about the start of the 5-mile. I don't know why, but I had it in my head that we had gobs of time. Turned out that we had five minutes. Given that the distance to the finish was about 3/4 mile, we were in for some speedwork.

"On your mark, get set, boom." Ladd and I had just sprinted 3/4 mile, and were about to get into the line when we heard those words. Totally spent from my speedwork, I tried to get going at a steady pace. I suppose I did so. Too bad that steady pace was, once again, so darn slow. Once again I couldn't even manage seven minute miles after that 1/2 race. The heat and humidity were unbelievable. I finished in just under 36 minutes.

So there are a few isolated flashes of brilliance among some very slow racing. A little more consistency would be nice, but for now I'll take what I can get.

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