Saturday, February 27, 2010

SLTC Winter Training Series 15K

Catherine and I have been racing in the Salt Lake City Track Club's winter training race series, and today's 15K was the final race (we raced a 10K two weeks ago, and a 5K four weeks ago). All three races took place on the frontage road out by Saltair. The only difference was the turnaround point.

Looking back, I think I've progressed steadily throughout the series. I ran the 5K at 6:05 per mile, the 10K at 6:07 per mile, and the 15K at about 6:14 per mile (I won't know my official time until they post the results online tomorrow, but it was around 57:55). From what I can tell, a runner's pace should decrease by about 10-15 seconds per mile with each extra 5K, so I think I got noticeably stronger at each race.

Speaking of stronger, the guy who dominated the first two races today got beaten (bad) by a newcomer this morning, a 17-year-old high school student and one of the Sudanese Lost Boys (Catherine found this story about him). The guy who won the first two races is impressively fast, so I think this kid must be something special.

As for my race, I wasn't anywhere near those two. And despite my progress, I wound up farther down in the overall rankings than I was in the 10K (although higher than I was in the 5K). Maybe it was the nice weather, maybe it was the longer distance, or maybe it was something else altogether, but it seems like there were more elite runners at today's race. I could be wrong, though.

Anyways, once I settled into my groove I ran pretty consistently, but I went out too hot, which cost me at the end. From the splits on my GPS file you can see that while I ran miles 3-7 between 6:11 and 6:14, I was significantly faster for miles 1 and 2 and significantly slower for miles 8 and 9. I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned.

Now that the series is over Catherine and I are both glad we participated, but we're both also glad to be done running at Saltair. Very flat and very boring. I can't wait for the spring so I can get out and start doing more of my running on the trails.

GPS Report - February 27, 2010 (SLTC Winter Training Series 15K)

*Update: Results are online. My official time was 57:52.2 at a pace of 6:13 per mile. I was 3rd in my age group, 13th overall.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

One for the road, one for the trail

The weather has been fairly nice lately, and I've been able to run outside twice since the last time I posted.

I set out on Saturday to run farther and more slowly than I did on Monday, but I did neither. I ran essentially the same route, with a longer loop through Rose Park. Unfortunately, my intestines began acting up as I ran back up to the capitol. At first I thought I could just push through, but by the time I came off of Bonneville Boulevard and onto 11th Avenue I felt like I was risking a potentially embarrassing (and messy) situation. Instead of continuing along 11th Avenue to Virginia Street, I ran straight down B Street and then home. I was disappointed to have to cut my run short, but I stand by my decision.

Yesterday morning I was back on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Although the sky was clearer and the trail drier than last time, it was much colder, and my hands were freezing until the sun came out halfway though my run. Still, I ran farther on the trail than I did last time, all the way to the ridge above Ensign Peak. Next time, I think I'll run to the radio towers on the summit.

GPS Report - February 20, 2010

GPS Report - February 23, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Testing the trails

After talking to a few people, I realized that most didn't notice the link to my GPS report at the top of my last post, so I moved it to the bottom. That's where it will be on all posts from here on out. You don't have to click through, but I think the reports are pretty cool. Someday I'll ask someone to show me how to post the routes directly to the blog.

Rather than running on the treadmill this morning, I drove up to City Creek Canyon to try some little trail running. (Yes, I know it's lame to drive a mile and a half to go running, especially since I finished with about that much running on the road, but running down from 11th Avenue destroys my legs and I don't want to try it again until I'm fully recovered from last time.)

I hopped on the Bonneville Shoreline trail and ran one mile up the west side of the canyon before climbing some switchbacks up to where the trail overlooks some very large houses behind the capitol. I was surprised at how slow I ran up the trail, especially considering my level of exertion. At first I assumed it was because of the uneven terrain and the mud (about two pounds of which ended up on my shoes), and both certainly slowed me down, But looking at my GPS file, it's obvious that what really slowed me down for that first mile and a half was the elevation gain. Which explains why the return trip was so much faster.

After running back to the mouth of the canyon, I finished with a trip down Bonneville Boulevard and a loop around the capitol, for a total of just over 5.5 miles. I was pretty tired afterward, however, so I don't think I've recovered completely from Monday. Just to play it safe, I think I'll take tomorrow off so I can do another long run on Saturday.

GPS Report - February 18, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Long run in the rain

I decided to use my birthday money to buy a Garmin Forerunner 305, and after using it the first time on a long run this morning, I'm pleased with my decision. The 305 seems like be a good fit for me. I don't want to monitor my training too obsessively, but I do like knowing how far and how fast I've run. Plus, I can use the unit for cycling, skate skiing, hiking and just about anything else that involves my moving from one point to another.

Another advantage to the 305 is the Garmin Connect software. The reports (click the link at the bottom to see today's) are pretty useful. Garmin Connect automatically maps my route on Google Earth, because I set up the 305 to start a new interval every mile, I can see how fast I ran each individual mile, and how much elevation I gained or lost. Cool stuff.

About today's run (for those who have known me for a while, yes, running)--this was my first non-race run outdoors this year. The weather reports last week predicted nice weather for today, so I decided to take advantage of the holiday to get off the treadmill and onto the road. Unfortunately, today was gray and drizzly, but not bad enough to keep me indoors. I looped up through the Avenues, down past Memory Grove, around the state capitol and down to Beck Street before looping through Rose Park and returing (mostly) the way I came.

This was the longest I've ever run in my life, and my legs held up pretty well, although I ran into trouble in the last mile and a half. It wasn't the fatigue (although I was tired) as much as it was the strain of running downhill, which I haven't really done before. Living in the Avenues, I imagine I'll get used to it, but today it was agony.

I also had some trouble eating and drinking along the way. Meaning that other than a handful of Jelly Bellies after one hour and a can of Coke after 90 minutes, I didn't eat or drink anything. In the summer, I can use the drinking fountains along the route, but for now I'm going to need to figure out a way to carry my water if I want to finish strong.

All in all, it was a good run. I'm still new to this, but I seem to be progressing nicely, and I think my cycling fitness should be mostly transferable. It had better be, If I'm going to survive my plans for the next two months . . .

GPS Report - February 15, 2010