December 29, 2013

Saucony Type A6 (Preview) Review

Thanks to the guys at Saucony Racing and the Saucony Performance Engineering Lab, I was able to get a pair of the new Type A6 racing flats a few months before they are released so I could wear them at CIM. I've been wearing the Type As for racing since I got back into running seriously in 2011, and I was especially excited for the A6s because of some of the enhancements made to this newest version.

This is a FAST shoe. For most people, the Type A6 is ideal for 5K to Half-Marathon. For lighter, efficient runners it can be a fantastic marathon shoe. Like I said, I wore them at CIM, and while I'm also a big fan of the Fastwitch 6 and have had great success with that model, I'll stick with the A6 as my primary marathon shoe in 2014. This new version of the Type A felt a little more cushioned than the previous models, and I had no problems with my feet over 26.2 miles, even on a cold day in Sacramento.

What stays the same? The A6 continues to be a very light and responsive racing flat. The fit is the same as previous version, although I would say this new version is a little more "glove" like - which is great!

What's new? Saucony has incorporated new materials throughout the shoe (outsole, midsole, and upper) to make the entire shoe more durable AND lighter. That isn't an easy thing to do - but the Saucony lab is full of really smart people, and they hit a home run with the design of the A6. The outsole is now iBR+ blown rubber, and the upper is now all FlexFilm, which creates that seamless glove-like fit.

Other specs: Weight - Men's 9 = 5.1 ounces, Women's 8 = 4.5 ounces. Drop = 4mm. 

Release date: February 1, 2014.

The Saucony Blog has more details on the new Type A6.

My collection of Type As, going back to version #3. I wear all of these!
Another view of my A6s
As you would expect, Saucony's designers have come up with some sharp-looking color schemes...

Women's Purple/Slime and Men's ViZi Orange / Black
Women's Coral / Citron (from

Men's Citron / Blue / Orange

December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas, Marathon Recovery

We’re a little late on getting that obligatory Merry Christmas blog posted… we also haven’t mailed out our holiday cards yet (they've been ordered, though!). You’d think I’d be on top of things after actually taking some time off from running after CIM.

For once, I actually did take a decent period of total time off after the marathon (after putting it down beforehand in writing to hold myself accountable.

The down time was good – it allowed my body to recover from all of the damage a marathon (and training for one) does to it.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how much I ran in the 2 weeks after my other marathons. TOU 2013 was a “train through”:

I posted some thoughts about my 2014 season on my training blog entry for December 18th, and I’d like to share them here as well (although the 10.5 weeks I mention below is actually 9 weeks now):
From right now, I have 10.5 Weeks to the Phoenix Half Marathon (March 1), then another 8 weeks from that point until the Indy 500 Half Marathon (May 3). Those will probably be my two target races for the winter/spring. Since I'm going to continue to lay relatively low for the rest of December (but start phasing in some lighter efforts next week), it essentially breaks down to two 8-week training blocks with a little lead-in to the first one. I'm going to mainly use a 14 day / 5 quality efforts cycle. A lot of things will be similar to what I've done before, but with some tweaks such as wave tempos and different ways of using intervals to get the body good at clearing lactate.
I've built the outline of the calendar for the next four months, and then a sketch of what the rest of the year might look like... of course that is somewhat (but not completely) easy, the devil is in the details. I don't plan specifics of workouts this far in advance, for obvious reasons. I mainly like to have an outline to see how the types of workouts will flow, and it gives me an idea of where to start (from working backwards).
I'll run some other races during the first eight week cycle (USA 1/2 in Houston, and the SLC Winter Series). I'm not going to try and cram for Houston, I'm just going to slot it in as a hard workout and part of the buildup, with an extra easy day or two on either side of it. If it wasn't a free trip, I wouldn't be going. But it is a free trip, so why not? If nothing else, it will be a good checkpoint, and opportunity to race on the course that will also be hosting the USA 1/2 Champs in 2015. The fitness I'm carrying over from the fall should at least put me in a position to run a decent time. The winter series races can serve as a substitute for tempo runs of varying intensities (and they are on the best course in SLC!). Between Phoenix and Indy, I don't really plan to race at all. There isn't much that interests me during March/April other than the USA 15K (and Jacksonville is expensive and logistically difficult to get to). Plus that's the bigger and more important of those two training blocks, so there would be a lot of advantages to having no interruptions.
I like many of the things I did this fall, but there are obvious areas to improve. Spacing out workouts and giving myself more recovery was a sound move. I'll continue to do that. I'll take more breaks, and more days off. That doesn't bother me anymore. Mileage needs to be lower in January/February, then build cycle to cycle. I'll also continue to do more of the huge workouts, especially when preparing for a marathon. On the flip side, racing a half marathon (that you want to do really well in) five weeks before a marathon isn't necessarily bad, but I've found it isn't ideal. In the future, I'd want at least 7 or 8 weeks between a target half marathon and a marathon.
My spring marathon will be Grandmas Marathon in Duluth, which is more like a summer marathon (late June). Like Indy, they take good care of runners who want to come there and run fast. There are a lot of reasons why Grandmas is a good fit - I know the second half of the course well, they'll assemble a top-notch field, and if I decide in May that I want to keep my focus on the half, I can drop down to the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon. Plus, I like visiting Duluth. Its become something of a summer tradition for us.
And assuming all that goes as planned, I'd take a good break (like I'm doing now), do a short summer speed cycle, then train exclusively for a fall marathon with a proper, longer (10-12 week) marathon-specific buildup.

December 9, 2013

California International Marathon

2:20:41 (PR). 13th Place. 

Top 50 Results.

Here's my race report, which I also posted on my running blog.

First mile started off easy (after a starting gun that caught everyone by surprise) and the pack was huge (50-70 runners?). During the second mile it started to get rolling and strung out a bit. By the third mile there were three distinct groups formed - the lead pack, the chasers (which seemed to be the guys going for sub-2:18), and then the slower chasers (Fritz, Nate, me, and about 5-6 more guys aiming for ~2:20). I like to think of our group as the wolfpack. The first 10 miles went by quickly. A couple of the guys in our group fell back, but we had 6 guys working together for most of this time. As we hit the 10 mile mark I heard a guy counting out places and I was in 26th or 27th. Aerobically I was feeling great, but the combination of the cold temperatures and rolling hills was making my hamstrings feel tight - I started to notice it by mile 7 and I was actually a little worried about them until the halfway mark. From 10-13 miles we lost the two Kenyan guys in the group - it was down to the 3 Utah guys and a runner from Mexico (Castillo). We came through the half-marathon in 1:09:32, which was surprising - it felt like it was going to be closer to 1:10, but my math skills and sense of pace were apparently a little off. I'll blame the lack of precision on numb feet (due to the cold, not from the shoes - the A6s were awesome!).

First half splits: 5:32, 5:19, 5:15, 5:10, 5:19, 5:19, 5:18, 5:23, 5:23, 5:13, 5:15, 5:19, 5:16 = 1:09:32

Castillo started picking it up right as we crossed the timing mat and I went with him. That was the last I would see of Fritz and Nate, but it was really awesome to run with them for the first 13.1. Racing alongside your friends and training partners makes the effort feel more comfortable - more like a workout, and that can make a big difference, especially with rationing mental energy during a long race.

I got into a really good rhythm for the next six miles and started to loosen up. It was still cold but the sun was now on us. Castillo pulled away from me (he ran 2:19:30), but during this stretch I caught a few other guys. Andrea was on the course at 16.5 and then again at 19.5 (after already seeing me at 6 and 11.5 - she is really good at this spectating thing). I got another surprise when my friends Nate and Nora were jumping up and down just before the 20 mile mark (Nate and I were roommates in college and they drove over from San Francisco to come and watch). Came through 20 miles in 1:46:19 and sub-2:20 was still in play...

Then life started to get pretty hard after 20, as it typically does. There was a little bit of a wind blowing as we started moving into downtown. It wasn't much, and it wasn't the reason I slowed down, but it was definitely something that I noticed. I think the main reason I even noticed it is because it flashed me back to just over two years ago in Philadelphia. After almost identical 13.1 and 20 mile splits (see the bottom of this entry), I had a flat, straight 10K to go... and was hurting a bit. My hamstrings were starting to feel shot, and just like in Philly, I could feel some wind in my face. But this time I was NOT going to fall apart. No way, not an option! I faded to ~5:30 pace, but didn't bleed any worse than that (what we call a "Paul Petersen crash"). The day before, Andrea and I talked about how important "backup" goals are... that if I wasn't going to break 2:20, I needed to make breaking 2:21 JUST AS IMPORTANT. So that's what I did... I fought hard to break 2:21. I caught Matt Dewald, then went after the last guy in front of me (Stephen Shay) and passed him with about 3/4th of a mile left. I tried my best to sprint from 26 to the finish (I'm sure it didn't look smooth, and it hurt!). My legs were wrecked and it was hard to even walk after crossing the line. But I was happy... to run a PR, to finally see some improvement in the marathon, and to finish knowing I gave it everything I had.

Second half splits: 5:14, 5:18, 5:16, 5:16, 5:22, 5:22, 5:29, 5:32, 5:31, 5:32, 5:32, 5:32, 5:34, 1:09 = 1:11:09

I knew that realistically I was in shape to run 2:20 +/- a minute, so I consider this within the range of a good performance. A Top 10 finish was another goal, and I ended up 13th in a strong field. I don't like the positive split, but I can live with it.

Other thoughts (and then pictures):

Weather - Cold. 27 degrees at the start, actually dropped down to 24 during the race, and it never got above 30 degrees. Cold is definitely much better than hot, but the combination of rolling hills and cold temps is not great for my hamstrings. I actually came into this race a few pounds heavier than I would have liked to be, but that might have actually played to my advantage a bit, because with a little extra insulation I wasn't totally freezing.

Course - Fast (drops 300 feet from start to finish), but could be deceptive. I was mentally prepared for the rolling hills in the first half (because I heard so many people tell me not to underestimate them) but if I run CIM again, I'll do a lot more training on routes that specifially simulate this course. I want to run a Chicago-type course next year, because I think that's what I'm best suited for.

Competition - CIM doesn't draw an "A" list field, but the depth in the 2:15-2:30 range is as good as you'll find anywhere.

Organization - First class all the way. Major kudos to the Sacramento Running Association (especially Danielle Domenichelli) for taking care of everything. There was nothing to worry about... we even knew thing like specifically where our bottles would be ahead of time (For me - table #1, 4th bottle on the right). That kind of attention to detail is awesome.

Nutrition - I'm making progress here, and feel like I have it figured out pretty well now. Gels don't bother me anymore, and I actually take them. I've also have my pre-race / breakfast dialed in. I didn't drink more than 3-4 ounces total during the race, but also didn't really need to in those temperatures.

Post Race Activities - Fancy brunch with a jazz band, hot tub, then flew home.

Training Analysis - I'll save that for another blog post. I'm taking a week off so I'll have nothing better to do. I enjoyed this training cycle and did a lot of smart things. I also learned some things that will affect how I want to approach my running in 2014. Things I am excited about. My buildup to this race was documented on the blog in 3 posts: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Thank You! - Everyone here who follows the blog, etc. I've said this before, but I realize how lucky I am to have such a great network of friends and family (especially my parents... I know they get nervous waiting for the tracking updates to come in). Fritz and Nate, for the camaraderie of training and racing together... let's make this a habit. Andrea, for not being afraid to battle against me when we disagree (often!), and then for 100% support when we go to war... together.

The three packs. Thanks to ViZiPRO, you can see the wolfpack in the back

3/4 of a mile left...

Just close your eyes and it will all be over soon...

Our friends Nate and Nora

With Fritz and Nate post-race

And here's CIM vs Philly... I like the final outcome better this time. Now I just need to nail that last 10K.

PHL 2011  1:09:33 - 1:46:05 - 2:25:57
CIM 2013   1:09:32 - 1:46:19 - 2:20:41

I've run 4 good marathons in a row now (2:22, 2:23, 2:23, 2:20 in the past 15 months). I'm ready to make the leap in 2014!


All splits - 5:32, 5:19, 5:15, 5:10, 5:19, 5:19, 5:18, 5:23, 5:23, 5:13, 5:15, 5:19, 5:16, 5:14, 5:18, 5:16, 5:16, 5:22, 5:22, 5:29, 5:32, 5:31, 5:32, 5:32, 5:32, 5:34, 1:09 [1:09:32 / 1:11:09 = 2:20:41]

December 5, 2013

CIM Tracking

Here's the live tracking link for the 2013 California International Marathon. There will be splits at 5.9 miles, 13.1 miles, 20 miles, and the finish. That link also will take you to the race leaderboard.

I'll be wearing bib #55. Two of my friends and training partners are also running - Fritz (bib #41) and Nate (bib #69). We are aiming to work together for the first half and come through right around 1:10.

The weather looks like it will be cold (mid-twenties) but at the moment, it doesn't seem like we'll be dealing with any storms like they had last year.

My high school teammate Hector used to say "Run Fast, Big Trophy." He was right, its not all that complicated. So I wrote that on the bottom of my racing flats to remind myself to just believe in my training and RUN FAST on Sunday morning.

December 4, 2013

Training Summary - 5 weeks up to CIM

Last 5 weeks leading up to CIM

This is Part 3 (of 3) of my marathon training summary leading up to the 2013 California International Marathon, which will take place in a couple days.

The TOU Marathon was essentially the start of my CIM training. The next 3 weeks after that race are summarized here, followed by 3 more weeks leading up to the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. After that race, I had 5 more weeks until the marathon, which is summarized in the table above.

Week of November 4: After the race in Indianapolis I bounced back pretty quick. I gave myself 4 easy days, got a great sports massage, then got back to business with a pair of solid workouts - 3 x 5K at ~5:12 pace, and then a 23 mile long run with 26.2K AT Tempo (16.3 miles) at a little slower than goal marathon pace.

Week of November 11: Another solid volume week of volume with a track/hills/track workout in the middle of the week, and then I won the Saltair Half Marathon in a controlled 1:10:01.

Week of November 18: The midweek workout was a good one, 2 x 10K at ~5:13 pace, and I did my last longer run over the weekend - a 19 miler with a 10 mile AT progression, dropping from ~5:40 to 5:10.

Week of November 25: Headed to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. Won the Mesa Turkey Trot 10K in 31:00 (unchallenged) and then did an 8 mile AT Tempo at ~5:15 pace. I cut down my mileage by about 20-25% this week.

Week of December 2: Race week! I'm writing this midway through the week. I took a day off on Monday and came out of it feeling pretty good. This morning I did a 4 mile AT progression on the treadmill (not by choice, the roads were covered in ice). I'll probably throw in one faster mile on Friday, then we head to Sacramento for the race on Sunday.

Nothing fancy here. Just two solid, longer workouts each week. I feel fit and ready to roll. My "A" goal is to finally break 2:20. I'm planning to hit the halfway point in 1:10:00 or just under and see what I can do from there. 

Andrea just gave me this pre-race good luck stuffed wolf!

November 30, 2013

AAYS Renegades Run 3-Miler (Andrea)

This morning, I ran the Renegades Run to support the Arizona Academy of Youth Soccer. This was my last race of 2013. The course was one big loop and very flat. It was a small race of ~150 runners, mostly kids and parents of the academy. Jake and I debated whether he should pace me or not, and we finally decided that it wouldn't affect his training negatively and would help me a lot.

17:20 (1st place) - [FRB Report]

The start was as crazy as always when lots of kids are racing. I squeezed myself onto the start line and we were off. I knew that 5:47 pace would be a stretch and it felt really fast from the beginning. We "settled" right on pace and hit the first mile in 5:47. I passed the first girl shortly after the mile then focused on keeping good form. Jake pushed the pace a bit on the 2nd mile with a 5:42 in order to give me a confidence boost. The final mile was a straight shot to the finish. I really started hurting at 2.25 miles and said to Jake "Help!". He pushed me through that last bit to keep pressing. The course ended up being exactly 3 miles, running the last mile at 5:49 and with a finish time of 17:20. That was HARD - I ran as hard as I could and am proud to have run that fast :)

Part of me was disappointed not to race the full 5K and the other part was really happy it was over! I am confident that I would have finished barely under 18 minutes for the 5K which has been my fall goal since I had surgery back in May. It's been a long journey since then and I still have a long way to getting back to 100%, but this fall season has given me a lot of hope that I will continue to feel better every month.

I really appreciate all the encouragement that I have gotten in the last year. I have had a lot of ups and downs, and the support I get from my on-line friends have helped me in so many ways.

Running to the finish w/ Jake
This one shows I gave it my all!

November 29, 2013

Mesa Turkey Trot 10K

Happy Thanksgiving (day after)! Yesterday I ran the 44th annual Turkey Trot in Mesa, AZ. I won the race in a controlled 31:00.

Here's my report (cross-posted from Fast Running Blog):

It was 60 degrees and sunny at the starting line this morning... I love coming down to Arizona for the winter holidays.

The goal today was to get in a good workout and to be disciplined enough not to hammer, because that would serve no purpose with the marathon so close. I came in exactly at the faster end of my target range.

Some other guy went out with me (actually, ahead of me in the first mile). Not sure why he thought that was a good idea. I dropped him during the second mile, then caught some of the wheelchair racers. After about 2.5 I was all alone. Kept the pace under control, dinked around a little too much with the crowd at the end, then ran back along the course to the 5 mile mark and met up w/ my Dad (who was being paced by Andrea). His goal was to break 48 minutes and he ended up running 47:20... his final sprint was the stuff legends are made of. If I could learn to kick like that...


Fun morning. Won a turkey. Bring on CIM.

If you don't count 10K splits in half-marathons (which don't count because they aren't certified), this was actually a 10K Road race PR. I'm in much, much better shape than when I ran the 10K in Kansas City earlier this fall, that's for sure.

Course was 2 loops, each loop with one (gradual) 50 foot climb.

November 16, 2013

Saltair Half Marathon and 5K

Andrea and I ran in the Saltair Half Marathon and 5K this morning. I won the half in 1:10:01, and she won the 5K in 18:45. We went into these races with the idea of getting in solid workouts and walked away with a little cash. Not bad for a wintery, gross Saturday morning! Here's our recaps...

Jake - 1:10:01 (1st place) - FRB link

The inagural Saltair Half Marathon was timed perfectly - 3 weeks before CIM, which is when I'd be out on that same road doing a 13 mile MP tempo anyways. As usual for runs out there, the weather was slightly uncomfortable at times, but being able to get in this kind of effort in a race setting with some company makes it well worth it.

We started off with a good sized group. Chris Rushing was off the front quick (unaware, unfortunately, that the 5K started 30 minutes later). Fritz moved ahead after a half-mile and had a pretty good lead on the rest of us for the first half of the race. Nate and I wanted to keep all the miles ~5:20 and finish ~1:10. We dropped the rest of the group and slowly reeled Fritz back in, catching him just before the halfway point. During the second half we just tried to work together and kept the miles consistent. Miles 11-12 were a little rough with wind and cold rain, so even though they were a little slower, the effort stayed the same. We were stride for stride until we hit the 13 mile mark, and then it was every man for himself. I ended up winning by about 2-3 seconds. Great run for Nate, and Fritz wasn't far behind in 3rd.

I was very happy my pacing - 35:02 at the halfway turnaround, and 34:59 coming back. Right on the money - I think my official time was 1:10:01. Exactly what I wanted to accomplish today. Strong stimulus but under control.

Mile splits: 5:22, 5:24, 5:15, 5:23, 5:21, 5:20, 5:14, 5:16, 5:19, 5:20, 5:20, 5:26, 5:25, 5:16.

My new Saucony Type A6s were great. I'll go with them for CIM.

Overall I thought this was a really good race. Deep fields for both men and women. Great prizes... I walked away with $183 (love that totally random amount) plus Andrea (who won the 5K) and I also took home all of this...

I guess the race was sponsored by Dr. Pepper, GU, and sunscreen.

Andrea - 18:45 (1st place) - FRB link

Typical conditions at any race that starts at Saltair - rainy, snowy, cold, windy, etc. I ran a 2 mile warm-up with Allie and Kassi then watched the half marathon start. The 5k was 30 minutes after and a much smaller race. The weather varied from a calm wind to very windy and raining. The race started, and the first half of the race felt relatively comfortable at just under 6 minute pace. After the turnaround was a different story. I was able to maintain my pace until about 2 miles but was working a lot harder to fight the wind and rain. I looked at my watch at 2.5 miles and was running 20 sec/mile slower. I think the wind died back down at that point, but I wasn't able to speed up. My final time was 18:45 with the course at 5-10 seconds short. Splits were 5:58, 6:01, 6:19, 5:59 pace for .07 miles.

I ran slower than I expected/wanted, but I'm not worried. I've had a great couple weeks of training and the weather wasn't ideal today. Today served as a great workout and I did win the women's race :) Afterwards, I watched the half marathoners come in, froze, then ran a 2 mile cooldown with Collin and Kassi. Overall a well-run event and I was pleased with the organization.

More photos from Andrea...

And here's the elevation profile sketched up off memory :-)

November 6, 2013

Training Summary - 3 weeks leading up to Indy HM

Recently I've been posting training summaries - my daily log is always accessible, but hopefully these recaps are useful to those trying to see the bigger picture and how I try to put the pieces together. I had 6 weeks between the TOU Marathon and Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. The first three weeks of that stretch is documented here. The following three weeks is summarized below...

I've added (in parenthesis) my AM/PM mileage to the bottom of each cell. I think that information is useful for those looking to see how I break up the weekly mileage.

The goal for the two weeks before Indy was to get in a few HM-specific workouts, while keeping the volume reasonably high and not shying too far away from some Marathon-specific (MP, or usually labeled as "AT" = aerobic threshold) work.

On October 16th I did an 18 mile run that included 8.4 miles of hard, hilly, rhythm breaking running at MP or faster. These hills were more challening than what I'll face on the CIM course, but I'd rather be over-prepared for the hills. Later than week I ran a 5K race followed immediately by 7 miles at MP, which ended up being a 20 miler including warmup and cooldown.

The following week I did a hard HM-specific workout 10 days out from Indy: 2 x 5K in 15:22, 15:21. That weekend I did a 5 mile AT tempo at 5:12 pace, following by 2 x 1 mile in 4:53. I didn't try to squeeze in anything extra; those two sessions got the job done.

In the week leading up to Indy I cut back my mileage quite a bit and did a few light workouts to stay sharp: 5 x 1K at 3:04, and then 6 x 1/4 at 5K pace. 

The race in Indianapolis (1:05:54) wasn't fantastic, but wasn't terrible either. Realistically I knew that ~1:05:20 - 1:05:30 was what I should be aiming for, but I got sucked out too quick and basically had to just hang on after 10K. I learned some valuable lessons that I'll incorporate into my training over the next month and race strategy at CIM.

Now I've got 4 weeks of training (followed by a 1 week taper) before the marathon. I'm going to continue to stick with 2 hard sessions per week, keeping the workouts spaced out and of high-quality. Most of the work will be very marathon-specific from this point forward. I've got a 10K race on the schedule 10 days out from the marathon (Thanksgiving morning).

November 3, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon and 5K

Scott, Andrea, and I post-race
Andrea and I traveled to Indianapolis this weekend for the Monumental Half-Marathon and 5K. Here's our race reports...

Jake - 1:05:54 (7th place)

Before I say anything about my race, I want to give a shout to the IMM race organization (especially elite coordinator Matt Ebersole) for putting together such competitive fields. All 4 course records were shattered. An interesting storyline was that 16 year old Alana Hadley and 49 year old Colleen De Reuck (who ran 2:39!) both qualified for the Olympic Trials.

Weather was ideal (low 40s and the wind from the day before died off). The course was also great - an essentially flat loop with no surprises.

I wanted to get out at just under 5:00 pace and come through 10K a little under 31 minutes. The pack was big off the start. I counted 14 guys ahead of me as we came though the mile (4:55). I tried to tuck in the back, but the Kenyans started to string it out in the second mile, and the big group already started to break up. Mile 2 was another 4:55. I had passed a few guys and moved up to a yellow singlet (Andrew Sherman). We ended up running pretty much the rest of the race together. We caught up to Jason Ordway in the 3rd mile (4:50, so 14:40 at 3 miles... too fast, borderline suicidal, although it didn't feel that way). We moved away from Jason and miles 4-6 were 4:54, 5:07, 4:58. Hit 10K in 30:48. On paper that doesn't look too bad, but it wasn't run evenly, and took a toll.

We had no one in sight in front of us, so Andrew and I were basically racing each other. The pace slowed from 7-9: 5:02, 5:08, 5:12 (ugly). A little after 15K another guy (Brandon York) moved up and caught us. Now we had a little pack of three, and the pace picked back up a little. Miles 10-12 were 5:05, 5:05, 5:08. Brandon and Andrew were both a little ahead of me with about a half-mile left. Andrea was waiting a quarter-mile from the finish and told me to be proud of my finish. That was a good thing to say and it got me going. I moved past Andrew, but Brandon still had a little gap on me. My legs felt like lead but I mustered up a some mental fortitude and was able to beat him to the finish by a few strides. I felt good about how I finished. The last mile was 4:59 and then ~29-30 for the last tenth. Here's the full results. Deep race with 9 guys under 1:06.

I knew sub-65 was a longshot, so I'm not at all disappointed in the outcome. I've said this before, but anytime you break 66 on a fair course, its a good performance and you can't be too upset because it doesn't happen by accident. I definitely learned a few things that I think will be valuable as I approach CIM in 5 weeks (and half-marathons next spring). My PR of 1:05:45 from October 2011 will unfortunately survive another year. Before I think about trying to break 1:05, I need to beat that time, and break 1:05:30. Smaller steps. And I definitely run better off negative splits, not going out hard and hanging on.

For the upcoming marathon, I need to be realistic about what my current capabilities are and try to maximize my chances for a good performance (not just go for 2:17 because that's what I want to run). That will probably mean going out a bit slower and not necessarily chasing the OTQ standard. I've got 2 years to chase it... I still haven't run a really good marathon, so that should (and will) be my main goal. Plus, anything can happen if you aren't going backwards in the last 10 miles.

Andrea - 18:16 (2nd place)

Another step in the right direction today. I consider this a better performance than the SOJO 5K and was able to finish a lot stronger.

The elite race coordinator (Matt) was nice enough to let me hang out in the elite quarters (=warm indoors) prior to the race as Jake's coach/psychologist/masseuse. The talent level in that room was pretty phenomenal - truly some of the best in the country ran today. I ran part of the warm-up with Jake and walked with the elites to the starting line. Conditions were pretty good for fast times at 41 degrees and only a little breezy. Because the 5K started after the half/full, I jogged to the half mile mark to watch (and make sure Jake didn't go out at 3k pace). I have never seen such a big race start - the masses just kept coming and coming. It made me happy to see so many people that love the sport!

Obviously I wasn't super focused on my race. Apparently no one else needed to do strides for the 5k so I didn't either. A few mascots danced for a couple minutes then we were off. I was in 50th place at 0.25 mile and I'm pretty sure there were at least 35 epic crashes. I stuck to my 5:55 goal pace and worked on reeling in the runners ahead of me. I was able to speed up in the last 0.5 mile and finish with a pretty good kick.

I hoped to run around 18:15 so I am satisfied with my performance! I haven't had the best week with quite a bit of discomfort of my lateral knee and glute, but once again race day performed its miracle and I felt completely healthy. I really do believe that the races are helping my right leg/hip muscles fire correctly and are good for me as I continue to heal.

I relaxed for a few minutes then went out to wait and cheer for Jake. He came around the corner with two guys on either side of him, and it was great to see him kick it into that extra gear and outsprint them! Overall a good race for both of us.

October 19, 2013

SoJo 5K

Andrea approaching the end of the SoJo 5K

Its been a long time since Andrea and I lined up on the starting line for the same race. Today we both ran the South Jordan 5K, and hopefully this is a new beginning and we'll be on similar race schedules again going forward. I'm really impressed by Andrea's run this morning - 4 months ago, she could barely run 3 consuecutvie miles (at a slow pace) without stopping as she was recovering from her injury and surgery. Today she ran under 6:00 pace for 5K! She'll be running in the 17s (and probably 16s) again before you know it... but this was an excellent step forward. For me, it was a nice tuneup effort and part of one of my last bigger workouts before the Monumental Half Marathon in two weeks.

Our race recaps from Fast Running Blog (click to read):  

The "official" results were a little off :-)  ....