February 27, 2012

SLC Winter Series 15K

Off the start at the SLC Winter Series 15K
The final installment of the SLC Track Club Winter Series was held this past Saturday. Back in January I won the 5K in 15:20, then missed the 10K when Andrea and I were vacationing in Arizona. As I posted earlier in the week, training for Boston has been going really well, and I expected to throw down a pretty good time in the 15K - as I definitely get better as the races get longer!

Despite very windy conditions, I won in a course record time of 48:04. 

Here is a portion of my race report from Fast Running Blog (you can click here to read the whole thing), and then some more thoughts and the photographs that Andrea took...

Originally my plan for this race was to hit 10K in ~32 minutes, and then try to hammer the last 5K. But when my jeep was getting tossed all over I-80 on the drive over this morning, I realized that negative split plan wasn't going to happen. The wind (according to NOAA's station at the airport) was consistently 20-30mph from the NW with gusts around 40mph. And that means major headwind on the second half of the course. So I changed my strategy to "go out quicker and hang on."

My garmin decided to erase all the data when I plugged it into my computer, but I can piece together most of the splits. I ran the first 7.5K in ~23:32. All of the splits were either 5:02 or 5:03 for the first 5 miles. Pretty consistent. After the 180 degree turnaround we hit the hurricane, and the pace slowed down. I ended up running the second half of the race in 24:32, so I was bleeding 10-15 seconds per mile with the headwind. The splits were something like 5:18, 5:25 (totally lost focus!), 5:11, 5:14. I was very content to just average marathon pace on the way back. Finished in 48:04 (Average pace = 5:09/mile). 

As far as I can tell from looking at old results, the course record was 48:37, so I came in 33 seconds under that time, in less than ideal conditions. Last year at this race I ran 50:29 and was thrilled with that time... its cool how the spectrum of what I think is "fast" has shifted so much in the past year. 

A good effort this morning - I'm happy with how it felt, and putting it into context of the accumulated workouts and volume of training, its another indicator that everything is moving in the right direction.

The 15K in Arizona on March 11th is going to be a great test for me. Considering the competition I'll be facing there, I'm thinking I can run 2+ minutes faster than today.

According to the McMillan calculator, my time from the 5K (which was run in pretty much perfect conditions) would suggest I should run ~49:20 for 15K on that course (at our altitude). Obviously I'm a "bit" more geared towards the marathon at this point - as I came in well under that time on a solo effort (unfortunately my buddy Fritz wasn't having his best day, as we separated within the first half-mile of the race) and in windy conditions. The tailwind on the way out is nice, but the headwind on the way back definitely takes more away. Its like running all uphill for 7.5 kilometers! Considering the 3 workouts I did early in the week, and that I only cut back to 120 miles this week, this race was a nice confidence booster for me - it tells me that I am being smart about my training, and I'm absorbing the workload.

Next up is the Bandidos 15K (Fountain Hills, AZ) on March 11th. I'll be up against an incredible field of runners there. That will be my big test to see where I'm really at heading into the last cycle of training before Boston.

I'll also mention that I haven't restricted Andrea's access to the blog! :-) She is still working hard on bouncing back from a couple of annoying injuries - her commitment to PT and x-training is pretty inspiring to me (I don't think I could handle it mentally). We actually ran about 30 miles together last week, which was probably the most since Christmas - so that was pretty nice.

Fritz and I at the start. Walter (in red) finished 3rd overall and was the 1st master.
Finishing it up

Windy day!
A lot of "no-shows" due to the weather!


  1. I feel Andrea's pain. I was diagnosed wit a femoral neck stress fracture mid Jan as I was getting to some high mileage from Boston and have been aqua jogging the heck out of every poo. But it gets pretty boring fast. Keep up the incredible training.

  2. An amazing performance Jake and such a great indicator that you are right on track. Seriously amazing how your pace barely slows when the distance is added. Wow that is awesome!

    Okay so my last leg of Ragnar was in Fountain Falls. It is really pretty there will lots of little rolling hills. Is the race in the town there or outside of it? I think you will do great at the race and the weather should be perfect.

  3. Yeah Rachelle - the 15K will finish right at the big fountain in that town. Its a point to point, but the last 4 miles are going to be some rolling hills. It should be a perfect course to simulate Boston... except that I'll be going out at 4:40-something pace :-0