Competitive Jerks Racing and Training - 2023 (Read 573 times)


Mother of Cats

    Marky_Mark - congratulations on the course PB.  And congratulations also to Miss 6!


    DKTrotter - I believe you are racing as well, and I missed it.  So, a belated good luck!

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


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    Part of TLC

      me - I'm gonna pull a page out of Chris Watson's book and write down the percentages of outcome from my race this Sunday:

      1% - race day miracle and I manage to PR somehow (sub 1h22 at a time trial), contrary to what I could think from every recent workout. I might drink a Kölsh beer if that happens.

      39% - Good weather and I manage to break the old PR which was run at a proper race (sub 1h23:30)

      30% - The hot early pace gets me in the later stages and I fade to something like a 1h26

      30% - Race day weather is crap / plantar fasciitis decides to show up and I fade badly to something like 1h29


      Saw your result (assuming I've got your surname right, otherwise you can tear me into little pieces ) including some splits at odd distances - should make for an interesting RR. Since I don't know your immediate reaction at the finish line, I'll postpone any congratulation (which in my opinion is due) until later. Have a good time!

      Don't hurry - next AG will start 2026


      Part of TLC

        Mark - That sounds like an interesting course. Congrats on time and placing - it's always nice to finish faster than the people (formerly) ahead of you.


        DW - Seems like you can go ahead with Chicago?

        Don't hurry - next AG will start 2026


        Are we there, yet?

          Nice race Mark, congrats!!




          Great to see the huge PB for Miss 6, too.

           2024 Races:

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

                05/11 - D3 50K
                05/25 - What the Duck 12-Hour

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





            Tomorrow is the Twin Cities Marathon. I had looked at that one—a month or so ago I found out I had a business trip to Minneapolis the following week, so it would’ve been a free flight. I had already been targeting the race I did 2 weeks ago, but I hadn’t actually registered; I really waffled for a while on which direction to go. You know the choice I made, and even though it worked out pretty well, I’d been having some FOMO ever since. Especially because I really do prefer larger urban races. But as it turns out: weather at the start tomorrow will be 67F and ~90% humidity; high for the day is 84F. No mo FOMO! Oh man did I dodge a bullet there, I would’ve been seriously pissed if I had gone with that race.


            Update: race CANCELLED due to “Black Flag—Extreme and Dangerous” weather conditions!


            Running Problem

            Problem Child

              Luck > skill. 

              sucks for everyone who trained for the race.  I can’t imagine many would enjoy running it.

              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


              Intl. correspondent

                Mark - Congratulations on a very well executed race. And Kudos to miss 6 for her PR too!


                Dave - Woah, that sounds scary! I'm glad they made that decision, cause they probably wouldn't have enough ambulances on the course later on.


                Josh - I'll reflect on the results below.


                me -


                What: Köln (Cologne) Half Marathon

                When: 2023-10-01 09:00

                Result: 1:22:12, missed my PR by 14 seconds


                We arrived on Friday and got settled at the hotel. There was a bar in front of the hotel playing Unheilig, one of my favorite German bands, that was nice.

                We most likely walked too much on Saturday, but it's hard to contain the excitement of being in a new place.


                We woke up at 7am. I had half a protein bar and some water. And then did my routine foam rolling though this time it was only with the massage ball.


                We walked to the race start place and got there with about half an hour to go.

                Enough time to do some light warm up, and it was incredible just how easy it felt to run.

                We then slotted into the allotted starting block, RED, which probably meant everybody under 2 hours. I have positioned myself up front where I thought it would be a good place, so that I wouldn't be slowed down but also wouldn't get in the way of faster people. With about 150 people ahead of me.

                I knew the first mile would be slightly slower due to the light climb onto the bridge and the light climb on the other side as well. Then there was some congestion as well, so I couldn't get fully moving until the end of the first mile.

                Yes, mile, for the first time ever I have raced with 'Murica units, just because.

                Well, the reason was because I thought it would be easier to do Math since my desired pace was 6:10.

                I was trying to run the blue line, but I wasn't perfect, I was also not sure if the blue line was for the half or the full marathon race, heh.

                In the first few miles I kept trying to run together with people who were at a similar pace.

                However, it seemed that over some time they would lag behind.

                Eventually at around km 13, mile 8, a pair of dudes caught up to us and they were running just the pace I needed. It seemed one of them was pacing the other, so I thought why not also take advantage of this personal pacer.

                I was able to hang on until about km 18. By then the effort was quite high and I lost contact. I glanced at the heart rate and it was already 164 which is bad news. On a cold day my heart rate will never even approach 160. This meant that, a) it was warm and b) I was already red lining for a while.

                After the race I can see that I was red lining from 15km on.

                Regardless, I still had a fighting chance as late as km 19. I had 8 minutes to go at that point, with roughly 2250m to go. It was slim, but it was there.

                But then real trouble started, and I couldn't maintain the pace needed. It was quite frustrating knowing that any slowdown meant no PR and that there was nothing I could do about it.

                Especially since I was seeing the 2 dudes running the pace I was supposed to run, and they were slowly getting away.

                After crossing the finish line, and catching my breath, I caught a glass of water and then realized it was sparkling water. Why would you serve sparkling water at the end of the race.

                I know Germans mix sparkling water with Juice, or even beer with juice, but that was very unexpected.

                Anyway, I threw it away and grabbed a cup of coca cola instead. 

                I then realized that I had pulled my back and even walking was hard.

                Anyway, on the way to the hotel, I saw the sign "Einfahrt" next to a parking lot.

                And I thought to myself, woah parking costs just one fart, that's so cheap, no wonder they consume so much sauerkraut 🤡


                Then once I arrived at the hotel I started realizing the levels of damage. 

                I had pulled my Lower back, and as such I couldn't take off my shoes.

                I then did that lower back stretch that Piwi taught me where you place your leg on a bed or couch and try to bend forward. That helped and my back cracked into place.

                I also had a very bloated belly. Maybe if I pay for some parking I'll get better heh.

                And all kinds of aches throughout the body. This was definitely way more damaging than any half I've run before. 


                By the way, the air quality was bad. I have a sore throat from the first day we arrived

                I'm not sure it is possible to find a race in a place without bad air quality. It seems to me high pollution is a big issue in most major European cities.


                It's a bitter sweet result. I knew PR was an outside chance, but I'd be doing a disservice to myself if I didn't try. 

                So I'm happy that I chose the hardest path.

                Seeing the finish clock counting up and seeing my PR slip away was very heart breaking.

                But I can't be too mad about it either. There were lots of people spectating in short sleeve t-shirts, it was quite warm over the last 40 minutes or so.

                I have now submitted a request to change my starting block in Valencia to the 2h50-3h block. I hope it's enough.

                My coach told me my result today could be a 2h50 to a 2h58 marathon. Obviously I'm tagging to the slower value.

                There are not many sub 3 hour marathoners weighing around 180 lbs, the cards are sort of stacked against me.

                But the dream to run a sub 3 lives to fight another 2 months.

                PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

                Tool to generate Strava weekly

                  Flavio - nice job coming so close to PR, on a warm day! Your splits look really good other than the little slowdown in the final mile. Sounds like you pushed it as hard as you possibly could have. Sorry about your back, that’s unfortunate; hopefully that heals up quickly. 

                  And yeah what is with the Germans and sparkling water? It’s more common across Europe in general than in the US; I don’t like it at all, and whenever I travel there I need always remember to ask for “still” or “no gas.” But one time in a restaurant in Germany, I started drinking my “still” water and noticed it was actually a little bit carbonated. I mentioned it to the German colleague I was traveling with, and he said “yes but it doesn’t have much carbonation.” I felt like I was in the Monty Python spam sketch.


                    Dave you really did well to miss that race !


                    Mark excellent race. Sounds like you left a little out there but it must be tricky with the hills to gauge effort. Another of my strava mates came 5th in 1.22.


                    Flavio 1.22 low is amazing especially in that heat. I've no doubt you could run a 1.20 on a good day.

                    I hope your back improves. Sounds like the sacroiliac joint again. The stretch I use now is to sit on a firm chair and push the bad side knee upwards while resisting it with your arms.

                    It relieves it if that is the culprit. Keep doing it a few times a day for a few days.

                    55+ PBs 5k 18:36 June 3rd TT

                    " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

                    Somewhere in between is about right "      



                    Intl. correspondent

                      Thanks Dave and Piwi. For the record, my back was "solved" once I did that stretch and it cracked.

                      PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                      Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

                      Tool to generate Strava weekly


                      Intl. correspondent

                        Also, though it was warmer approaching 18C/65F by the end, I don't think I'm in 1h20 shape. But I guess if I get back to this shape and race in 10C/50F weather I might break it.

                        I'll probably need a race in February for that though

                        PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                        Up next: some 800m race (or time trials) / Also place in the top 20% in a trail race

                        Tool to generate Strava weekly


                        RIP Milkman

                          Congrats to the racers. Flavio I'm still impressed with how much better your times have gotten after those couple of years in the doldrums. It's hard because I feel like you really want temps in the 40s but don't live in places where that's possible (or there aren't races run that time of year). I think you need to move to the US for a few years!


                          DW - thanks for asking, yeah it was really bad here. I actually had part of my wall/ceiling form a water blister that eventually burst, so that was fun dealing with on Friday and now the aftermath. We ended up getting about 8 inches of rain in just a few hours, so it was quite the day.


                          Of course Friday was another day I was gonna ease back into running, but there was no chance of going out in that. Probably only 3 conditions I don't run in - lightning, ice, and flooding. Yesterday was the first time I had to cross that one off the list. I guess tornados fit the bill too but if we ever have a real tornado in NYC the world has gone officially upside down.

                          5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 




                            Flavio - well that's a tough one.  It sure sounds like you left it all out there, which is all you can do, but coming up that close to a PR is frustrating for sure.  IDK maybe I'll try and channel that death or glory attitude for my next race.


                            Piwi - yeah it's a tough course to pace. You sorta feel like you need to hold something for the last hill at the 18km mark which is a tough one, but once you're over that, and the grass section around the top, there's really only 2km to go.  Most of the hills are relatively sharp ones too so it does break up your rhythm.

                            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: Waterfront HM, 7 Apr, 1:15:48

                            Up next: Runway5, 4 May

                            "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


                            Hot Weather Complainer

                              JMac - Pleased to hear everyone is okay although property damage is still very annoying and draining to deal with.


                              Flavio - I know nothing will stop you obsessing over that 14 seconds but I really think this is a PR worthy performance in warm weather and bad air quality.  You may not think you are in sub 1:20 but it's amazing the time gains you can make on a good day with a strong finish.


                              Your HR is so low!  Redlining is 160???  For my race last week I didn't wear my HRM because sometimes knowing how high it is messes with my head.  In training it's good, but for the race I just want to run by feel.  I have no doubt I would have hit 180 by 14km and probably 190 for the last 2km.  I was "redlining" in that I was giving everything and trying to use it all up, but not in the sense that I was holding on for dear life and slowly fading, which is a whole different and worse level of redlining.


                              I was worried with my step count on the Friday and Saturday before the race too, both days were over 15000.  I guess it didn't matter but I'd be more careful before a full.


                              This result is a very good sign for your marathon.


                              Mark - Really solid performance.  The balance between having something left and blowing up is so delicate, especially on a course like that.  I'd say you got it about right given you had a great day out without major suffering.

                              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

                              Selwyn Marathon June 2, 2024

                              Dunedin Half Marathon September 15, 2024



                                Marky_Mark - congratulations on the course PB.  And congratulations also to Miss 6!


                                DKTrotter - I believe you are racing as well, and I missed it.  So, a belated good luck!


                                Thank you, Darkwave. I actually raced yesterday (Sept 30), and I am feeling pretty good about it, but how I recover this upcoming week will determine if it was an okay training move or just stupid (to be honest, I'm kind of on the same boat of train 3 weeks rather than race an ultra and have to take things easy for a while). I'm feeling better today than I have felt after any recent marathon or ultra, so I am leaning towards the former. Since it wasn't a goal race or anything, I just have the report in my log.


                                Weekly for period: From: 09/25/2023 To 10/01/2023








                                Elevation Gain 

                                in ft


                                Relaxed I-95 Overpass Work








                                Easy + strides








                                Morning Run








                                Shakeout and lazy strides








                                Tick Tock 6-Hour







                                Totals: Time: 13:54:22 (includes some cross training) - 🦅Imperial: 52.6 mi - Metric: 84.65 km


                                Otherwise, darkwave, I was happy to know that the government has not shutdown, but I hope that even the impasse has no negative effects on your Chicago plans. That kind of uncertainty is not what you need before a major race. Thanks for the note about cross training! It helps me feel a little better about it. And I guess it's working? Because things have been going well (knocks on wood). Smart call to not run during a storm, but a TS is usually still okay... you just have to watch out for flying debris.


                                Steve, great race report (yeah, it's been a while since I last wrote. :-) ) I'm glad you were feeling as pumped as you deserve after you crossed the line! Really great splits. And great prognosis from your coach! He's quite likely right about the brakes part. You clearly have better than 3:20 in you.


                                CK, glad the 21-miler last weekend was just a one-off, and hope your taper starts off well this week!


                                mmerkle, glad to see you're mostly recovered from the marathon!


                                Fishy, solid training. Also, are we still meeting up in Philly? I'll be there Fri-Sun. :-) My vote is for the 10/14 race. It's enough time to be a proper tune-up without being a trail, which would come with its own challenges and dangers.


                                Re: Cal/Mikkey, my vote for Cal purely for patriotic reasons (both the US and the Russian side; I was actually also born in the USSR). Though I like Fishy's and Flavio's answers.


                                JMac, I'm happy to read someone else around here reads paper newspapers. And I'm sorry to read about the damage, but glad that you're otherwise okay, and hope the repairs are not as difficult/ frustrating as they sound.


                                Josh, weiterhin gute Besserung.


                                MickJogger, you'd probably want to write "Ich bin Berliner," unless you're claiming to be a jelly-filled donut.


                                Mark, congrats on the course PB! And by a lot, too. Nice job running down those folks, which is a mental boost, but it sounds like next time you run the course (and assuming they don't change it), it could be another PB). Congrats also to your daughter!!


                                Dave and re: Twin Cities. I guess it's all relative, because those were the conditions for 3 out of 4 of the long-distance races I've run in Florida over the past year, and people would have looked at you funny if you suggested to cancel the race. It is probably was the right call for folks who aren't prepared for those kinds of conditions, though. I bet you're really glad you didn't go through the hassle of signing up and picking up a bib or anything. Sorry for all the folks that did, and trained to boot. Are there any plans for replacement or possible alternate races?


                                Flavio, I have so many thoughts about your experiences in Koeln... not just the race, but also the trip as a whole. I have a friend who once (astutely) pointed out that the Germans may have their priorities right. They rush you at the checkout of the supermarket (not just the cashiers, but the folks behind you, too), but they let you sit and linger at a restaurant. In the US, they let you leisurely shop, but they try to get you out of your seat at a restaurant as quickly as possible. I have heard my share of fart jokes, both in German and English, and the sparkling water thing... to be fair to my experiences racing in Germany, I actually never had sparkling water offered to me... they have "still" water too (cue Ted Lasso joke about it still being water). It is odd even to me that they'd have that after a race. As for your race itself, if you look at that percentage layout... you gave yourself a 1% chance of PRing, and you got within a quarter minute of PRing, which must be less than a 2% chance of what you gave yourself, so I think you can still be pretty proud. Especially since it does sound kinda warm. Glad the back thing was a relatively quick fix! Hope your recovery goes smoothly.

                                Qualifications: I like to run. In Florida. In the summer. At noon.  

                                Last race: Community 5K, March 2nd. Speed test run with 2 walk breaks. Went pretty well.