April 2019 Road Races

Thist post got put on the backburner as we went on our trip and then I kind of forgot about it.  However I wanted to make sure I documented it.

——–

Prior to April, I hadn’t done a race in over a year.  So this year I decided to try again at the Buzz Oates RunSac Race Series.  I had signed up for it last year (the mileage program) but never got past the one race.  It’s been a few years since I did shorter races (5K) and so I decided to do a 5K and then my coworker wanted to do a 10K so I signed up for one as well.  They all happened to be within a few weeks of each other so I decided to lump them all into one post.

First up was the Credit Union SacTown Run on April 7.  They have both a 10 mile and 5K option.  I had not been doing much distance work and wasn’t feeling up for the 10 miler so I did the 5K.  Starting at the beginning of the year my running has been more consistent.  I’ve been doing more treadmill running but this does allow me to do incline and speed work.  I wanted to see how my speed was given that I’m getting older.  My last 5K was in 2017 where I ran ~8.5 min/mi pace.  The race started just west of the Capitol and there was plenty of street parking within a few short blocks of the start/finish area.  They had plenty of portapotties and also various tents with vendors (other regional races, local businesses).  My one gripe was that the people who had set the portapotties put them against the curb and there was quite a bit of road camber (the curve on each side of the street to allow for water to run away from the street) and so the portapotties weren’t level and would rock when you got in and tried to sit down.  I knew it wasn’t me because every single person who went in or out of them commented about it and would tell the next person: “good luck” and then laugh.  lol.  Small gripe I know.

Otherwise the rest of the race was straight forward.  The course consisted of running through the streets near the Capitol and then crossing the famous Tower Bridge into West Sacramento by Raley Field (home of the minor league baseball team Sacramento River Cats) and then back across to the finish.

I went out comfortably hard for the first 2 miles and then still feeling pretty good I pushed myself hard the last mile to see if I still had some speed.  I crossed the finish line in 26:18.  This was actually 34 seconds faster than my last 5K in 2017 – not bad!  The other great thing about 5Ks is that the recovery period is minimal.

IMG_20190407_073030IMG_20190407_074204IMG_20190407_083111IMG_20190407_090554

Continue reading “April 2019 Road Races”

Advertisements

2018 Year-end running summary

In the end I ran the 2nd lowest total yearly mileage since I started regularly running in 2010.  I can chalk up 2010 to a low mileage due to moving from the midwest to SD and also for a very crazy work year.  This year’s (2018) low mileage total can be chalked up to a lack of motivation and lack of races.  I only ran one organized race this year, which was a half marathon early in the year (link here).

2018 Total miles: 542

Total runs: 142 (Avg 2.8 runs/week)

My total number of runs was only a little less than last year but the main difference was the distances per run especially the latter half of the year.  I am proud to have managed to do regular runs (albeit on a treadmill) during our cruise in 2018. Continue reading “2018 Year-end running summary”

RUNservations

On today’s warm run, I had some thoughts (whether they’re good and/or interesting is up for debate but I wanted to remember them) I wanted to jot down.

  1. Warm weather running sucks.  I had already known that running in hot weather was not fun.  Today’s run confirmed my previous thoughts further.  I’ve alway said that my favorite temperatures to run in are the high 40s F (for long runs) and 50s F.  Due to a morning work function, I had to push my run back until after this meeting.  I ended up starting my run around 11:30 am and the ambient air temperature was 81 F.  Not too bad you say? Well it isn’t if you’re just walking or standing around.  However, once you start running, your body temperature goes up and your body starts working hard to cool itself.  Luckily for me I had a relatively short run on the schedule (I don’t really have a schedule right now, just running to get in decent miles and hit my 70 miles/month goal for 2016).  One thing I noticed is that my heart rate is consistently higher when putting out less effort (i.e. running slower) when the outside temperature is higher.  As an example, on today’s run I put in 4 miles at a relatively relaxed pace and saw that my HR hovered around 156-158 bpm.  Typically when I run at a casual pace my HR is 144-148 bpm.  This definitely tells me that the warmer weather is more taxing on my body.  I also know not to push it.  Coincidentally this article from Runner’s World showed up on my Facebook feed after I finished my run today:  Warm weather running
  2. Garmin 225 GPS / HR watch:  As I just mentioned I was monitoring my heart rate while on my run.  Earlier this year I purchased the Garmin 225 GPS/HR running watch.  I’ve been running with it regularly since I bought it.  I have been very happy with it thus far and it also frees me up from needing to wear a running belt on a lot of my runs.  Before I had the watch, I would run with my phone in a running belt.  Originally I ran with the HTC Incredible 2 (from around 2011 to 2014).  I’d use the GPS function on the phone tied to Runkeeper to keep track of my distance/time.  I also used it to gauge how far I needed to run.  Naturally I upgraded my phone in the fall of 2014 and after about 1 month  noticed that my times were recorded as a lot slower on Runkeeper and the distances were shorter (for runs that I had been doing and knew the distance).  I read up on GPS in phones and accuracy of running apps and found that there is a lot of variation between GPS readings and actual distance based on the phone and GPS chip in the phones.  I started using web sites to track (geodistance) to look at my distances.  I found that my new phone was under-measuring how far I had actually run.  When I looked at the tracking on Runkeeper, the phone would cut off corners (going through houses) in neighborhoods.  It was relatively accurate if I was doing runs that were just long straight runs.  When I ran in the neighborhood and did a lot of turns winding through various streets, it would leave off a lot more distance.  A big reason I chose to get a GPS watch was to have more accurate ways of measuring my distance.  Also with the information on my wrist, I could more easily look at how far I’d run, my pace (and whether I should speed up or slow down) and also track my heart rate.  Since this is getting long I’ll probably do a post just about the watch and its pros and cons.
  3. Grilling.  I purchased a grill sometime in 2014-2015.  I had used it sparingly over the last few years.  I’ve decided that I need to use it more regularly.  So I’ve been doing some grilling here and there.  Yesterday evening I grilled up some chicken drumsticks (I marinaded it in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, honey, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, a little sesame oil and olive oil).  I had some freshly made tortillas (well I had made them earlier in the week for lunches) that I put on the grill along with a crooked neck squash my coworker had grown in his garden.  I paired that with a salad for dinner.  Good stuff!

-StewsCat

 

2013 Shamrock’n Half Marathon Race Recap

The Shamrock’n Half Marathon is another one of my hometown races in Sacramento.  For whatever reason I’ve only run this race once in the 5 years that I’ve lived here.  However it holds a special place in my heart because it is where I have my PR in the half marathon distance.

As usual, the packet pickup was at the midtown Sacramento Fleet Feet store.

The start and finish line was at Raley Field.  Sacramento doesn’t have a MLB team though we do have a Triple-A affiliate team called the Sacramento River Cats.  Their home field is Raley Field in West Sacramento.  The first time I went to Raley Field was actually to see Incubus in a rock concert.  I like Raley Field because of its quaintness.  Compared to some of the other baseball fields I’ve visited (Dodger Stadium, Anaheim Stadium, Wrigley Field), Raley Field just seems more approachable and you feel like you can explore the entire area in a relatively short amount of time.  It has that small town feel.

Race morning I woke up at the usual super early time to do my business, eat, have coffee and then drive on over towards the baseball field.  Parking was at various places (baseball field parking, structures, street, etc.).  I chose to park in a structure about 1/4 mile from the stadium figuring it’d make an easier exit after the race.  After parking I walked over to Raley Field.  It was still dark out and I had a fair amount of time to just walk around the outside of the field along with the stands.

Raley Field
Raley Field

As the start time came closer, we all lined up on the outside of the stadium.  One cool thing about the race is that you actually finish on the baseball field itself.  The other perk of the race is that you get to run across the famous Sacramento Tower Bridge – twice.  Right at the start of the race you run across the bridge towards the State Capitol building.  To be honest I do not remember a good chunk of this race.  Looking at the map did remind me somewhat of the course.  The first ~4 miles consisted of running around the Capitol building the streets of downtown Sacramento.  We then headed north to a bike trail that took us across the American River and into the very large Discovery Park.  We continued along the bike trail and then crossed over the American river again and this time ran on the east side of the Sacramento river.

We passed by the Tower Bridge because we needed to add in an extra 3 miles before making our way back to Raley Field.  As mentioned before, the finish line was on the actual field so it was fun to run into the stadium and onto the warning track of the baseball field.  The one cruel thing is that they made you walk up the stairs of the Field right after finishing the race.  Overall the course is very flat.

I hadn’t been particularly training to run a fast race, however about 3-5 miles into the race I realized that I was on pace to run a sub-2:00 half marathon.  I had been flirting with running a sub 2:00 half marathon for all of 2012.  The Urban Cow half that I ran 5 months before the Shamrock’n half was a 2:01:14.  Since I could tell that I was running a sub-2:00 pace, I decided to try to keep pushing it and see if I could run a PR.  At the time of this race, I had my phone in my waist belt and didn’t run with a GPS watch.  I had to rely on the on-course split timing mats.  This was a little difficult to do but I just kept telling myself to “push it.”  As I made it to the 10 mile mark, my legs definitely started to whine and I knew I’d be hurting the few days after the race, but I didn’t care.  I crossed the line and was a bit surprised how far under 2 hours I actually was.

Final chip time: 1:55:26 (Current PR)

medal
Blue Diamonds Almonds are headquartered here in Sacramento

I celebrated with a free Killian’s.

Killian's medal

-StewsCat

Avoiding the SPLAT!

On today’s 6 miler I almost ate it…big time.  I was about halfway through the run when I found upper body flying forward much faster than my lower body.

A majority of my runs start and finish in my neighborhoods.  This means I typically am running on asphalt and sidewalks.  The sidewalks are typically well maintained but as with any neighborhood there are some uneven areas of the sidewalks.

I had run on this particular area of sidewalk multiple times prior to this.  Of course there happened to be someone in their yard across the street when it happened.  I kicked the raised area on the sidewalk with my right leg and immediately felt like I was falling forward.  I reached out with my right arm to brace myself but somehow managed to stumble forward with my right leg and prevent me from going all the way down.

Of course I just kept right on running since I was embarrassed and didn’t need the person across the street from asking if I was all right.  Luckily I don’t think any major damage was done.

-StewsCat