Competitive Jerks Racing and Training - 2023 (Read 574 times)


    Wow, awesome work Cal!!



    Mother of Cats

      And Cal delivers again.  At this point, I'm not sure he's human.


      Flavio - great report, and I'm impressed you turned it around so quickly.


      Do you think the fact that it was 13 C at the end (and I understand it was sunny) contributed at all?  I had quite a few friends from here run Valencia this year, and they all struggled at the end, with more than one saying they felt warmer than ideal.  Of course, we've been training for the last month in between 0 and 6 C, so 13 C would feel warm by contrast.


      Based on your report of a sore throat, I also suspect you are already fighting something off, and that played a role today.  But well done in gutting it out and coming away with a confidence boost that will benefit you down the road.


      Steve - I take that your hill repeats are not going up and coming down, but going up, take a break, going up, taking a break, so that each repeat starts where the previous one ended?


      Jmac - good to see you back.  You didn't ask my opinion, but I'll give it anyway - I think that going ahead and running on it is a solid option at this point.


      Two articles that may be worth reading:

      Navigating the Pain Trail – Tissue Sensitivity, Defusing the Threat – iRunFar

      The Remodel Project: An Inner Look at Injured Tissue Healing – iRunFar

      Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


      And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


      Hot Weather Complainer


        Steve - I take that your hill repeats are not going up and coming down, but going up, take a break, going up, taking a break, so that each repeat starts where the previous one ended?


        Pretty much - these ones were 4 minutes up, 90 seconds slow jog downhill then turn around and go back up.  So I ended up about two thirds of the way to the summit.

        5km: 18:34 11/23 │ 10km: 39:10 8/23 │ HM: 1:26:48 9/23 │ M: 3:34:49 6/23


        2024 Races:

        Motorway Half Marathon February 25, 2024 1:29:55

        Christchurch Half-Marathon April 21, 2024 1:27:34

        Selwyn Marathon June 2, 2024

        Dunedin Half Marathon September 15, 2024


        Mother of Cats


          Pretty much - these ones were 4 minutes up, 90 seconds slow jog downhill then turn around and go back up.  So I ended up about two thirds of the way to the summit.


          Ah - that makes sense.  And then jog back down for the cooldown.



          My week:


          64 miles running, 500 yards swimming, and 90 minutes pool-running.
          M: 8 miles very easy (9:32) and upper body weights/core
          T: 7 miles, including a failed track workout of 1600 in 7:31, 4x200 in 53, 52, 53, 55. Followed with leg strengthwork.
          W: Streaming yoga and 10 miles very easy (9:12) on the treadmill
          Th: 10 miles, with 3200, 2x1600 in 14:42 (7:24/7:18), 7:18, and 7:17. Recoveries of 5:0x after each. Followed with injury prevention work.
          F: 10 miles very easy on trails (10:30) and streaming yoga.
          Sa: 18.5 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 5 miles, 3 miles, 3 miles at marathon effort (paces of 7:42, 7:39, and 7:47). Injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming after.
          Su: 90 minutes pool-running and upper body weights/core


          I made it 3 weeks on the Lexapro (medication I was taking with the hope of dampening some overactive reflexes), and then we decided to pull the plug. The fatigue, drowsiness, and weakness I noted on it just weren't improving enough. Training-wise, easy runs were OK, but trying to run faster was getting harder and harder - my heart rate just wouldn't rise, meaning that I was going anaerobic at paces that should have been not-that-hard.


          I took my last dose on Thursday night. As of the weekend I was starting to feel better (certainly not as drowsy) though Saturday's long run was still sub-par.  I hope I'll improve enough over the next week to be able to race my 15K decently this coming Sunday.

          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


          Are we there, yet?

            Flavio: no cramps is always a plus. Impressed that you were able to maintain focus and make rational decisions as you began so slow down.  Also agree that simplifying race day morning logistics really helps.  I managed to book a room at a hotel right on the starting line at Mount Desert Island Marathon in Maine back in 2016. Being a little chilly that morning I could stay warm inside literally until the race started.


            Another tough week:
            M: Confirmed that after avoiding it throughout the pandemic, I had COVID thanks to a Thanksgiving dinner guest. Got a prescription for an anti-viral medication.
            T: Rest and treat symptoms
            W: Rest and treat symptoms
            T: Rest and treat symptoms
            F: 2 miles slow jog and walk, symptoms gone except for feeling tired
            S: 3.3 miles alternate jog-walk, normal pace felt very hard
            S: 3.5 miles alternate jog-walk, eased off pace enough that effort felt easy


             2024 Races:

                  03/09 - Livingston Oval Ultra 6-Hour, 22.88 miles

                  05/11 - D3 50K, 9:11:09
                  05/25 - What the Duck 12-Hour

                  06/17 - 6 Days in the Dome 12-Hour.





            Mmmm Bop

              Flavio - I’m glad you aren’t upset at the outcome but at least that means you won’t be retiring from marathons.   I am genuinely baffled at the slow down as your training was perfect and you ran a great 1:22 half. Yeah Valencia is the perfect marathon for a PR and brilliantly organised.


              Cal - Big congrats, you now have one more sub3 than me and that hurts. 

              darkwave - Thanks for posting those links as they’re interesting reading and make a lot of sense. 👍

              5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)


                Cal way to get it done again!!!  I think you said it best that sub 3 is sweet and not something to be taken for granted. Great pacing and mental toughness.  I hope you’ve caught the bug again and this is the beginning of the next chapter not a spectacular conclusion.  Rest, recover and enjoy the rewards of your hard work.


                Flavio. Thanks so much for the report and congratulations on a great race.  The marathon is certainly a cruel distance and can definitely wreak havoc with your psyche.  I think your decision to recognize and adapt to the situation was smart.

                5K 18:36 (2023), 10K 39:40 (2022), 1/2 1:24:37 (2023), full 2:58:36 (2015) 


                  Omaha Half Marathon 2023 (Auckland Half Marathon series race 2 of 5)


                  This is one of my all-time favourite events.  One of the slowest flat courses you'll find due to at least a third being on beach, gravel or grass, as well as the time of year meaning it's always warm and often humid, but it's a really fun course.  And to be honest, it's been a good course for me too with a couple of wins there, the last in a sprint finish.


                  The temperature didn't budge off 19C / 66F the whole drive up and the rain is threatening in that annoying way that results in all the humidity but none of the actual rain (which unfortunately arrived after the race, and during prizegiving).  There is a northerly wind but luckily it has dropped off a bit from yesterday.  So, conditions weren't great, although equally it could've been warmer and / or windier.  It's not a course you run for time and my objective today is mainly about placing.  This is the second race in the 5-race Auckland Half Marathon Series, and my main goal is to beat the guy who beat me in the first race at Devonport to keep the series tight.  Ideally with a bit of a margin since that'll help, but anything will do.  And the second goal is to try and go a bit deeper than I did in Devonport where I felt I could've pushed a bit harder, earlier.


                  I warm up with a short lap on the trail around the back of the water reservoir, which was originally part of the course but got removed when the numbers increased as it's a little narrow.  The event sold out this year (2,500 capacity) which is great as the organisers did a lot to keep races going despite disruptions over the past couple years.  Felt a bit sluggish most of taper week and I still don't feel super fast but that doesn't mean anything.  On the start line there are a few faces I recognise and a few I don't.  One guy says he remembers the sprint finish from last year, so that was cool.  Another guy asks me "how fast should I run?".  I said "as fast as you can hold for 21km".  That was a new one.  I don't think English was his first language, nor was he a rookie, as he actually ran just over 1:20.


                  Anyways, the hooter goes, and I try to resist the urge to take off too quickly.  The plan is to not start too quickly and just adapt based on the conditions, how things are feeling, and how the placings are looking.  A guy in a white shirt is out in front, and a guy in a blue singlet goes with him, I don't recognise either of them.  Series rival - purple shirt - is a little bit behind them and then we have a group of 3 forming up, with another two series runners - mini-Dean (because he looks like a mini version of a guy I work with) and a lanky guy who I ran with for a bit in Devonport who reminds me of sports journalist Martin Devlin for some reason.


                  The first couple of km's are on the road before hitting the concrete boardwalk behind the dunes.  The rollers on the boardwalk were kind of funny, because I would always pass purple shirt on the downhills (he was always leaning back and I'd just roll with them), and then he would always try and get me back on the uphills.  I notice he was wearing headphones so I guess he can't hear the runners around him that well, but he clearly wasn't interested in letting anyone else hold the front for a bit (even more so because this part was upwind).


                  The beach was a pretty clear opportunity for running tangents.  It's about a 2.5km stretch, and slightly curved.  Below the high-tide mark it's all relatively hard-packed so it's not too tough to run on.  The trade-off here was whether to take the more aggressive line by going further down towards the waterline, or sit higher and drift off someone else into the wind, as it was a straight headwind through here.  The wind is there but not as strong as I expected so I duck further down.  I'm not sure if anyone followed me but everyone else is sitting higher and I felt pretty smart.  By the time we get to the end of the beach the same group of four merges back up, about 15 seconds behind white shirt and 10 seconds behind blue singlet, so maybe it didn't make any difference (but I still felt smart).  Getting off the beach through the soft sand is horrible but thankfully short-lived.


                  Around the 6-7km mark coming back down the road towards the causeway I started to negotiate with myself a bit, which is rare that early in a race.  The humidity might've been getting to me a bit.  Purple shirt is definitely the one pushing the pace and the other 3 of us are sitting just off his heels.  Blue singlet has faded and runs with the group for a bit before dropping off.  I was so busy negotiating with myself I forgot to take my first gel but I do that around the 8km mark.  Nowhere to throw the rubbish so I try and jam it back in the pocket in my shorts.


                  The gap closes by the time we hit the causeway for the loop around Pt. Wells.  On the causeway I push the pace just a bit, a couple of times.  Both times purple shirt immediately responds to take back the lead spot.  If he wants to do all the work and isn't used to pack running, that's fine with me I guess.  Running with a group does seem to be helping the km's tick by faster and I stopped counting km's at about 10.  Conversely purple shirt seems to be far more comfortable in his own zone, and almost gets a bit rattled when he can sense someone going past him or in front of him.  I did think to myself "it'll be funny if this comes down to a sprint finish like last time".


                  The second aid station is at about halfway, just at the end of the gravel road past the strawberry fields through to Pt. Wells.  I've been doing the usual "grab a cup, drink a bit, dump the rest on your head" strategy but I seem to be the only runner in the group getting water.  It's definitely warm but with the cloud cover, doesn't seem to be heating up too much further, which is a relief.  There's the odd spit of rain but it's just enough to create that "water evaporating off warm tarmac" smell and not enough to actually cool things down at all.


                  There's a bit of slightly boring suburban running here before the grass reserve, which is scenic but also quite hard work on spongy kikuya grass.  You don't really notice it until you come off the reserve and back on the road and your legs feel noticeably beat up.  I'd like to think those trail races through winter helped, but I'm not sure they made any difference.


                  Back through the suburbs of Pt. Wells, and now we're seeing the slower runners on their way out as well.  This is always a welcome distraction as there are generally a few faces I recognise, the odd joke about my shorts, and the occasional cheer as well.  I'm feeling in a good rhythm at a "tough but manageable" pace.  Occasionally I will just push the pace past purple shirt to see if he reacts - which he inevitably does.  Coming past the strawberry fields, I grab some water again and had to watch my footing as I wasn't totally concentrating and almost ended up in a ditch.  I briefly reflect how that would've been a horrible way to end the race.  Roughly 5km to go when we turn off the gravel road and it's all road / concrete from here.  I suspect mini-Dean and not-Martin Devlin have dropped off slightly now, although I can't tell by listening as there are so many footfalls from runners on their way out.


                  There's the odd "helpful" comment about how first place is "only 30 seconds ahead"... which is actually a pretty big gap to try and close over 4-5km!  Not impossible but probably would require a blow-up by the race leader.  Coming back over the causeway there is now a lot more shoulder-to-shoulder running with purple shirt, as opposed to me being on his heels.  It's obvious this is going to be another close one, and I need a plan.  I opt to go with the same one that worked last time, knowing that forcing it with 3km to go is a bad idea as there's a few turns and rollers through that section, but that the 2km mark is a great place to start cranking it up with flat / gentle downhill all the way to the finish.


                  3km to go and purple shirt almost takes a wrong turn at the surf club, which was a fear of mine in the past.  Turning off the rollers I catch a glimpse of not-Martin Devlin over my shoulder and he is probably only 15-20 seconds behind so it's pretty tight between 2nd and 4th.  Purple shirt doesn't do a great job of running the tangents on the pathway that takes us back to the road - in fact he didn't do a good job of running tangents at all.  I don't grab anything at the final aid station because now it's game time.  The hamstrings are getting a bit tight and the breathing is getting heavier but it's time to find another gear. 


                  (incidentally - when I looked at the download after the race - I can see how my cadence was very tight around 195spm for practically the whole race until the 19km mark where it picked up to 200-205spm!).


                  It's all shoulder to shoulder now.  I've picked it up but he's definitely trying to match me as we charge through the final suburban stretch.  Km 20 is noticeably faster.  1km to go and it's time to push harder again.  Definitely in the pain cave now but the two things giving me confidence are the fact I've done this before, and the fact that I'm the one that seems to be dictating the terms.  Around this point, purple shirt reached into his pocket and pulled out his watch, which seemed to be a fairly extreme case of darkwave's strategy of ignoring the watch pace.  It seemed to me to be an odd thing to do at that point as this is neither a PB course, nor PB weather, but perhaps I have gotten in his head just enough.  With around 600m to go I did momentarily think "what if I can't hold this" but helpfully at that point I realised there were only two turns until the 200m finishing straight in the reserve, and that I was slightly ahead.


                  One left turn, keep it going.  Final left turn, home straight, last 200m here we go.  I know I'm ahead but I don't know by how much and I'm sure as hell not looking back now.  I crank it up but save just a fraction in case I REALLY need to go absolute full tilt like I did last time.  My daughter and father-in-law are there for a high five... I think I said "I'm hurting!" but it doesn't matter as I know I've got second in the bag.  I heard the race announcer call my name out (and the fact I was a previous winner) and did a big fist pump as I crossed the line.  Not sure I've ever been that excited to be second!


                  The 1 second (!) margin over purple shirt isn't gonna help a lot from a series perspective, but hey.  I had two objectives today and I ticked them both off, in conditions that weren't great, but could've been worse.  Pretty rewarding to out-kick someone 15-odd years younger than me, at the tail end of a well-executed race.  Time is about a minute slower than my course PB but that was in far better conditions so I'm pretty happy with this as an overall marker of where things are at.


                  Now I just need to find another minute or so over the last 3 races lol.


                  Official time: 1:17:22, 2nd place

                  3,000m: 9:07.7 (Nov-21) | 5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20)  

                  10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) | HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                  * Net downhill course

                  Last race: Runway5 / National 5k Champs, 16:22, National Masters AG Champ!

                  Up next: Still working on that...

                  "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


                    Cal - awesome work. Hope that one felt rewarding.


                    Flavio - gotta take the wins, and no cramps sounds like a big one.  Your training was as good as I've seen you put in over the 7-8 years we've been on various threads and you gotta trust that will pay off, I guess yesterday just was not the day for it.


                    Steve - I run hill repeats the same way on longer hills sometimes. IDK it just seems more fun than going back to the bottom every time.


                    wcrunner - fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.


                    Darkwave - frustrating when medication that is supposed to address one thing, just creates other problems.  I remember how bad I felt when trying to run while on doxycycline a few years ago, that was rough.


                    My week below.  Miss 6 ran a 20 second PB in the kids 2km as well, very proud of her as she paced her race far better than I normally do.  Photographer got a brilliant finishing line picture of her with both feet off the ground looking super-determined and leaving me well and truly in her wake!


                    Weekly for period: From: 27/11/2023 To 03/12/2023

                    <caption>Weekly Grid</caption>
                    Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
                    in m
                    28/11 That run where that bridge is starting to look almost done 6.24 10.04 00:41:31 06:39 04:08 28
                    30/11 That run where there’s no weirdness like race week weirdness 5.77 9.28 00:36:07 06:16 03:54 4
                    02/12 That run with pretty much a perfect weather match for tomorrow 4.44 7.14 00:29:23 06:37 04:07 35
                    03/12 Warm up 0.81 1.31 00:05:49 07:11 04:26 3
                    03/12 Omaha HM 2023 🥈 13.07 21.02 01:17:24 05:55 03:41 54
                    03/12 Kids race 1.27 2.04 00:13:33 10:40 06:39 2

                    Totals: Time: 03:23:47 - 🦅Imperial: 31.59 mi - Metric: 50.83 km

                    3,000m: 9:07.7 (Nov-21) | 5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20)  

                    10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) | HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                    * Net downhill course

                    Last race: Runway5 / National 5k Champs, 16:22, National Masters AG Champ!

                    Up next: Still working on that...

                    "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


                      flavio - I am still confused why you slowed down so much between 30 and 35K? You didn't say the reason or I missed it. I had really bad quad pain - that was a reason from my slow down, but why yours? Also, how much mental effort you applied during those first 35K ? My marathon was another confirmation for me that mental strength is as important as physical one. Of course I knew that before, but today was just another confirmation of that knowledge. I am glad you didn't give up on the marathon's sub 3 - you are just around there - very close. And of course I am surprised you didn't have sub 3 today.


                      Thanks everybody for the congrats!


                      That was very interesting marathon... Never felt great during last two weeks before the race - if somebody says it's normal - it's not - I felt great before many races Smile . Didn't feel good during warmup 1.5 mile before the race - felt pretty shitty Smile


                      The race started and I hit 6:44 pace for the first 15K - and it felt ok, I was really thinking about hitting sub 2:57. But then it started to be more and more difficult to maintain pace - these rolling hills are not especially difficult, but they are lasting and and whatever you lose on uphill you cannot get easily on downhills. It's just hard to get the rhythm right with those. Plus the weather was not actually ideal - it was very warm at the start - it felt comfortable even in a t-shirt. Plus, somewhere around mile 10 the sun came out - it still felt ok, but not really ideal - I sweated a lot Smile


                      Somewhere around mile 14 I started to have pain in my quads, I still managed to keep a good pace, but around mile 19-20 it started to hurt really bad, to the point where even my mental strength didn't allow me to keep desired pace. I knew I could not get sub 2:57 by mile 15-16 and then by mile 20-21 I realized I should be happy even with sub 3 - I don't know what happened but the quads pain was really really bad. I used all my mental effort but physical limitation overpowered.


                      Then the funniest thing happened... Less than a mile from the finish my calf started to act - like a pulsation after pulsation - some short moments of pain - I never had that in my life, so I have no clue what is going to happen. But 100 meters away after I finished, the calf crumped so badly, I could barely walked. Talking about timing - if I cramped that way 100 meters before the finish, I would never make sub 3.


                      DW - you are exaggerating about "non human" - there were 4 people in 55-59 AG who finished faster than me. And there was one guy in 60-64 category (actually 64 years old) who ran 3 minutes faster than me (64 !!!).


                      Btw - kayry from old RWOL forum won my age group with 2:51 result. (but all runners in front of me 2-3 years younger  Smile

                      paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

                      Running Problem

                      Problem Child

                        cal I had really painful calf cramps at the finish line of Boston. Nothing ever indicated I would and I’ve never had them before.   It went away by walking and didn’t last much of the day after.  I didn’t do anything besides walk around and eat what I want so hopefully you have the same condition.

                        Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                        VDOT 53.37 

                        5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22

                        Dad on the run.

                          Hello all,


                          So quick introduction, name is Jimmy, I am 40 years old, I live in Alabama (USA), I am a father of 4 (currently girl 13, boy 9, girl and boy 17months), and husband to a wonderful gal who's put up with my bullcrap for the past 15 years. I did some running back in my mid to late 20s just to try and lose weight (went from 250 to 193) but never really got serious about trying to be competitive.


                          Once i stopped running consistently I made sure to keep my weight somewhat in check and never got back up to 250. Now though my 13 year old daughter has found a love for running and does track and XC and she has made some big improvements over the past year even while dealing with IT band issues.


                          My 9 year old can sometimes be a little lazier than what I want him to be and has recently switched from public school to home school and has put on a little more weight than he should had. I told him that I wanted him to start a C25K program and finish out the 8 weeks and run a 5k with me and his sister and see how he enjoys running. He always wants to race with us but he never wants to put in the time to actually get to where he can run a solid 3 miles.


                          With that all said we are looking to run the Rumpshaker 5k on March 25th of next year. The last 5k I ran was a couple of months ago and it was 29 and some change. However, I have started putting in more miles and have started a running program that has my target time at around 25:30-26:30 in 8 weeks and there are 17 weeks before race day so I will do this program twice, adjusting to the new time the second go around and am aiming for a sub 25min 5k in March. My long term goal is a sub 20min 5k.


                          Anyways, glad to be back running and hope to make some big improvements and hopefully through these forums, the training log and participating in the miles game I can stay on track for my, also planned, full marathon in 2025.

                          Chasing the sub 20 5K.

                          Speed Surplus

                            Welcome, jblack!


                            Congrats to Mark and Cal!


                            Sorry to hear that flavio didn't get the sub-3, but I hear you about being knocked out vs. losing by decision.


                            It took me 3 marathons to complete one without any walking (3:22 at Eugene in 2016), but it was still a positive split. The fourth one was the best but STILL a positive split by about 2 mins.

                            So, grading the races by that metric...


                            1st marathon I was knocked out Mike Tyson-style. (1:49/2:10 positive split, but did achieve goal of sub4)

                            2nd marathon was actually worse based on my fitness (don't remember the split, but ran 3:38 off of near 1:30 half marathon fitness)

                            3rd marathon was a TKO - no walking, slight positive split.

                            4th marathon was a loss on a controversial decision (2 min positive split, BQ, but not fast enough to get in)

                            5th marathon I was beaten to death in the ring by Tyson Fury (1:30 first half, then was injured and walked the entire last 10k for a 3:52).

                            Not the best week for me, but reasonable as a "cutback" from peak post-injury mileage of 31 the week before.


                            Weekly for period: From: 11/27/2023 To 12/03/2023

                            <caption>Weekly Grid</caption>
                            Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
                            in ft
                            11/28 Treadmill, starting to feel somewhat fit! 7.03 11.30 01:01:18 08:43 05:25 0
                            11/29 Tread shakeout 4.03 6.48 00:35:00 08:41 05:24 0
                            12/01 Short shakeout - back sore from ill advised workout a few days ago 4.04 6.51 00:34:43 08:36 05:20 125
                            12/02 Been too long since I've done a Ramble! 5.37 8.64 00:46:00 08:34 05:19 131
                            12/03 Cut a little bit short, but at least got something in. 9.6mph briefly on last lap which is the "fastest" I've run since the injury 4.98 8.01 00:41:27 08:19 05:10 0

                            Totals: Time: 03:38:28 - 🦅Imperial: 25.45 mi - Metric: 40.94 km

                            5:27 / 18:49 / 40:32 / 88:12 / 3:12

                            Running Problem

                            Problem Child

                              that nick bare guy went sub 2:40. congratulations to him. better than I could ever do in my entire life.

                              Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                              VDOT 53.37 

                              5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22


                                Congrats Cal, you are a beast! Sorry it was not your day Flavio. And Mark, it looks like you had a blast with exciting finish.


                                 RP , how did your pacing job go?