Beginners and Beyond


Gate River Run 15K, 3/9/2013 - short version (Read 78 times)


    Tom - Congrats on a fabulous new PR!!!    You ran a strong race and it sounded like you had a good time as well - loved the singing bit!   Thanks for sharing your story and the great pic!!

    But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.


    Smaller By The Day

      I feel like that sometimes too, and I always feel like a short race like a 5K is a great way to see if it's in my head.  The reason is that in a 5K it's really easy to leave your watch in the car, and just put in the effort.  I feel like in longer races, I'm holding myself to a pace that I feel like I need to maintain because of uncertainty.  All I learn about my fitness in my longer races is if I can maintain the pace that I decided ahead of time.  I guess that says something about my experience level.


      I guess I should elaborate a bit on the training. I think my big improvement came during my HM training last fall. I was basing my expected performance yesterday on my HM performance back in November. I felt like I had hit a plateau since then, but apparently, I was progressing a bit after all.


      Weight 100 pounds lost

      5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

      10K 48:59 April 2013

      HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

      MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013



        Without getting too long-winded, here's my relatively brief race report for yesterday's Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, FL.


        Prior to race day, my training was a little lacking. Yes, I was running. Yes, I was getting some variety. But I wasn't really able to get in the vigorous speed work and hill training that I wanted, or at least not as much. So, going into this race, I felt as though I'd probably finish around 1:24:00, based on my VDOT prediction from Daniels' training table.


        My initial plan was to go out at around an 8:35 pace and see how it felt the first 3-5 miles. If I still felt strong, I would hold that pace at least until the uphill portion of the Hart(less) bridge (locally known as the Green Monster) where I knew my pace would have to drop.


        I arrived with plenty of time to warm up, though I really didn't do much of a warmup at all. Less than a half mile. I was more concerned with making sure that I was done getting rid of the coffee I had consumed earlier in the morning (3 trips to the porta, if anybody's counting). Anyway, we got lined up in our respective corrals and awaited the start gun.


        Mile 1 - I held an 8:33 pace for the first mile, and it felt pretty good. Adrenalin was definitely assisting as I felt no need to slow down. This feeling would last for the first 5 miles or so. Mile 1 was relatively flat.


        Mile 2 - My pace for mile 2 was also 8:33. It did include a modest uphill/downhill portion as we ran across the Alsop (Main Street) bridge over the St. Johns River. The elevation change wasn't huge - maybe 50 feet up and 50 down.  So far, so good.


        Mile 3 - 8:24 pace. I don't know why this one was faster, but I felt good so I went with it. Perhaps a little bump in the Garmin measurement, but no big deal. I was on a roll.


        Mile 4 - 8:40 pace. I didn't notice my pace slowing, but it did back off a bit as we meandered around the residential streets on the south side of the city. Still feeling pretty good, though I think I was getting just the beginnings of a bit of fatigue. No problem - felt strong.


        Mile 5 - 8:38 pace. Still holding my pace. I was beginning to think that I would be meeting that 1:24 finish time. I was starting to get a little bit tired, and I was starting to get those mid-run negative thoughts. You know the ones - the little voices start saying things like "slow down" and "conserve your energy for the Bridge". I ignored them for the most part, by telling myself repeatedly that I was past the halfway point.


        Mile 6 - 8:37 pace. Still holding a steady pace, fighting off fatigue, and trying to keep myself moving. Closing in on the 10K mark helped keep my mind on the goal.


        Mile 7 - 8:43 pace. Still hilding it steady. It was somewhere during this mile (I think) that a couple of runners and I passed a band playing "It's the end of the world as we know it". We started singing. Kind of a silly thing to do when you're already fighting for oxygen, but it was worth it!


        Mile 8 - 8:50 pace. I kept pressing on, having regained my wind after the singing episode. Pace began to drop towards the end of the mile as we approached the beginning of the climb that would be the Hart Bridge.


        Mile 9 - 8:43 pace. The surprise mile. The eitire first 4/10 of this mile were uphill, and I was struggling to maintain just under a 10:00 pace. My breathing is usually synchronous with my footsteps, but I went into asynchronous mode here and sucked wind in a major way. I probably sounded like a steam locomotive with a bad piston!  Anyway, once I crested the hill, my average pace dropped so that it was around 8 - 8:10 the second half of the mile. Downhill is much more enjoyable than uphill.


        It was during this portion of the race that I thought my long legs would help out - nice big, long strides gobbling up real estate would seem to be my advantage. But, alas, it wasn't. Although I sped up, so did my competitors including the young lady with the Savannah shirt on (really wanted to catch her, but she was always 3 steps ahead of me - story of my life).


        Last 0.3 miles - 7:51 pace. My attempt at kicking was somewhat feeble, as I had left all I had along the course. From about the beginning of the hill to the end of the race, I was constantly fighting off the urge to quit. I never did quit, and I did cross the finish line fairly strong with a surprising 1:20:55 net time - a PR by over 10 minutes, and about 3 minutes faster than I thought I would be.


        Needless to say, I'm very happy with this race. And a little sore, but that will pass. Calves are complaining loudly today! Smile


        Without getting too long winded?  Relatively brief?  Ha-ha!




        Congrats on the race and PR!  Your splits look good.

        Ball of Fury

          Great job Tom!  Congrats on the PR!

          PRs:  5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15

            Tom, congrats! That was an awesome race.

            delicate flower

              Awesome job, Tom!  I agree that downhill is better than uphill.  Eight ball


              Just B.S.

                Awesome race Tom!


                To PR and exceed your expectations is always a good day!


                Healed Hammy

                  Nice race Tom: gratz on the PR.


                  15k is a nice distance, not too long, and after 4.5 miles you are over half way done, makes it kinda manageable.  Splits look good with a tough effort in the latter stages.  Keep on training.


                    Well no wonder you weren't able to pick it up at the end, you gave it all during the race.  Great job, and awesome PR.  Love the picture, and thanks for sharing!


                    "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson


                    Wickedly Average

                      Thanks, Everybody!


                      OK, LRB, so it wasn't quite as short as I hinted that it would be. It still took less time to write than to run. Smile


                      I felt pretty good about the race myself. OK, I felt VERY good about it!


                      Now, I wonder if I can break 1:20:00 in April.....

                      Tom (formerly known as PhotogTom)

                      5K - 25:16, 10K - 55:31,  15K - 1:20:55,   HM - 1:54:54


                      Fear is a Liar

                        Job well done! Great race report too! Good splits. Now you have a good number to plug into the pace tables!

                        I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

                          If something in your body isn't raising hell with you, then you didn't run hard enough.  Very nice race with excellent splits before the hill.  Good job.

                          Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                          Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                          Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


                            Great! You've got to be proud. Good fairly even splits too. And the fact that you had no kick at the end shows what you did out there. You represented well, my friend!