Sunday, June 1, 2014

Warrior 5k

     Today was a cross country 5k at my local high school.  It felt weird being there.  Nothing has changed in 15 years.  I signed up for a whole bunch of races to help motivate myself.  This was one of them.  Honestly if I would not have paid, I probably would have stayed home.  I did not feel like racing today.  I worked nine days in a row and all I wanted to do was sleep.  But it is a good thing that I went,  I need to get out of the house more.

      The race started as a lap and a quarter around the track and then went up a long hill.  From there it was around the old Nike site, back down part of the hill, and a hard left toward the baseball field.  After going around the baseball field and half of the high school parking lot, you went the full lap around the high school.  Then when you got back to the beginning hill, ran down to the track, did one and a quarter more laps and then...ran across the football field to the finish line.  Sound Confusing?  It was for some.
      I went out too fast on the track and got over heated.  I ran the race in my Warrior Dash helmet which did not help keep me cool.  I finished in 23:45.    

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blairsville 5k

   Happy Memorial Day.
   I had a 5k on Saturday and decided to do another today.  I figured my legs would be shot, but I still needed to do my training run so why not do it with people.  I did this race last year.  It is a good race, not too far away, not too expensive.  I am not sure why they do not get a bigger turn out.
   The race starts with a down hill.  I decided to just let my legs do what then felt like.  Meaning I was not going to try and race or stare at my Garmin for my pace.  I thought I was running a good 24 minute 5k, nothing great.  Around the first mile the two people in front of me, who were Indiana County Road Runners, started to slow down and I zoomed passed them.  I guessed that I was in the top 10 of probably like 40-50 people.

    I do not know why, but I like running bunny hills.  The quick up and downs break up the boring flat course.  The middle of this course was flat.  I started to pick up the pace going down a hill at about 2.3 or 2.4 (guessing) then shot back up the hill passing a guy who asked me if the race was almost over.  I replied, "up the hill, then left, then left, then left, then threw the shoot".  I think he took it as meaning no it was not close.  But it was.  I beat him and finished in 4th place with a time of 22:15.  That is the fastest that I have done two races in a weekend or 3 day period.

St Ursula 5k

     Apparently this race was not where I thought it was going to be.  I drove to the boathouse in North Park and found no race.  At first I thought that maybe I had the wrong day or time, but then I remembered that sometimes the races are held up at the pool.  Thankfully it was there or else I would have wasted gas.
     This was a nice small race.  They had extra shirts so I was able to get one in my size.  Which is always nice  Since there was no one there that I knew, I decide to go for a warm up run instead of staring into space.  A quick jog and I really felt good.  It was going to be a good run.
     There were a lot of kids in the front of the pack when the horn sounded.  By a quarter mile they were dropping like flies.  I moved up to 5th place which I held on and off for most of the race.  The race was two loops.  For most of the race there really wasn't anyone around me.  It made it a little bit boring.

     The first mile was a good 6:40, the second was 8 flat.  I was falling apart.  I knew that I needed to pick it up.  At this point a guy passed me.  That was the motivation that I needed.  I passed him.   He passed me.  This went on several times before I finally got a good lead on him.
     I finished in 21:58.  That is the best 5k time this year.

Training Note:
     For two weeks I have been picking up my running.  I went from 4-6 miles a week to close to 30 a week.  I really fell apart when my dad passed away.  Running was the last thing on my mind and really the hardest thing to make myself do.  It feels great to be back in shape again.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

West Newton 10k

     The morning of the race I was planning on running the 5k.  Last year if you remember I ran both the 5k and 10k.  There was no option of that this time.  I wasn't really sure if I could do a 10k, but when I saw that the price was the same for both distances...  I went with the 10k.
     As I was signing in, I saw the race director volunteer himself to hand out timing chips.  I thought to myself, that's not going to work...  I walked back to the car to get my water bottle, then back to the registration.  I stood back and watched for a minute.
     The director kept getting asked questions by volunteers and runners, finally I stepped in and offer to hand out the timing chips.  He agreed to let me.

     Before the race I was feeling pretty good.  I just wanted to be able to finish the race.  I started out slow and focused on my pace.  The 5k and 10k ran out together, so I had no idea who I was running against.  Not that it mattered, really. 

     The last two miles of the race I was going back and forth with 3 people.  I ended up passing all of them before the finish.  I ended with a time on 52:29 and 18th place. 

     I have to start running more.  I need to get back to my time/pace.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Greater Allegheny 5k

     This race was a huge let down.  I had heard some bad things about this race in the past from friends.  But since it was the 4th year for it, I thought they would have all the bugs worked out.

Things that I liked about this race:
-It was not a far drive. 10 minutes.
-My time improved from the last 5k.  (22:55)
-girl at the registration was cute

Things that I didn't like:
-Car on the closed course with an upset driver
-the only awards were for the top male and female
-no age groups awards
-they started pulling the raffle tickets before the walkers were finished.

     The course was so-so.  Needed volunteers to keep the cars off the course or to let them off the course if they got there.  Race was priced too high for what you got. 
     I had a good run.  I focused on pacing myself this time.  I showed a big improvement from the week before.  There were not a lot of runners there.  I know that I finished 12th overall, but the results are not posted yet. 
     I guess all in all, I expected a better organized race.  Would I run it again?  Maybe.  They might just improve it.

Boston Trail 5k

     I have not raced since my dad passed away.  I wanted to start again, but I have not been running much.  Once a week, if that.  I signed myself about for two close races.  I figured if I paid, I would be more likely to go.
      The first race was the Boston Trail 5k.  I was not really in to it.  The weather was pretty nice and there were a lot of people there.  I started out like I had never quit running.  I burned out fast.  I figured this was going to be a 25 minute 5k.  Each mile was harder to finish and took more time.  I was not trying hard enough.   I finished in 33rd place with a time of 24:01.  That is better than 25, right?
      I really would have liked to do the half marathon at this race, but there was no way I could have done it in the shape I was in. 
I registered the week before, so I didn't get a shirt.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Polar Vortex 5k

     I knew that I wanted to do a spring 5k.  I did not know when or for what.  Then a tragic accident happened near McKeesport High School.  I just knew this was what I need to do a run for.  My sister works at the high school and helped get the word out about the race.
     The night before the race, I could not sleep.  I was nervous.  When I did finally shut my eyes I was awoken by fire truck, and then another.  There was, as you may have guessed, a fire up the street.  It was 2 am.  I was now wide awake.
      In the middle of race planning my dad died.  It was awful.  But it is a part of life.  The race must go on, right?  It was good that I had the race to focus my thoughts on.  It kept me busy.  Dad always told me when something was bothering me, "You need to stay busy, keeps your mind off it".  Okay, so really he was yelling it...  But you can not hear it the way I remember it.
      At 4:30 am I was loading the trucks, alone, with the food, Gatorade, and a few other just in case items.  All the other stuff was loaded the day before by volunteers.  At 5 am I was down by the river, it was 24 degrees.  I put on my head lamp and started unloading.  It is amazing how much stuff we were able to get into two trucks. 
       I was setting up tables when people started showing up.  Runners? nope.  Volunteers? nope.  Navy soldiers there to drill?  yes.  Argh.  What amounted to two companies of Navy soldiers showed up and filled the parking lots.  They would at least be gone from the parking lots before the race.  One of my volunteers came at 6:30am with bananas, coffee, and donuts.  We loaded the water stop in his vehicle and he left to set it up.  I had the registration finished by the time the rest of the volunteers came.  All they needed to do was go to their spot and wait for the runners.  Most of them had volunteered at other Team Brunazzi Events. 
      The music and then the timing company showed up and so did the runners.  It was starting to get busy fast.  I stood off to the side and waiting for any problems to come up.  None did.  All the planning was coming together.  I talked with a few people and got my photo taken.  I thought about running in the race, but without sleep it would not have been good.
      I said a few words and then started the race.  140 runners and walkers.  That is better then 35-50, right??  After handing out kid's medals for a while, I moved up and ripped off bib numbers, so the timers could get started typing in the results.  Everything was going fine and the weather was warming up quickly.
      In the end we raised $2,975 for the family of the tragic accident.  Which was pretty awesome in only a month.