Sunday, November 4, 2012


Yeah, Yeah! You haven't heard from me in a while. You're probably getting tired of me saying it, so from now on, no more apologies for my sporadic and "lack of" blogging! Let's just call me a slacker and get it over with! I do, however, have two pretty pitiful excuses this time. The first, I've been trying to catch up on a year and half's worth of Fringe episodes! Almost there! It's getting harder to stay up late! Secondly, I had full intentions of sharing a training plan for the Vulcan Run, and my training was going well for a change, so I didn't want to jinx it! I guess along with calling me a slacker, you can throw in superstitious! How about a retrospective view.

Evidently, I've been talking about trying to race Vulcan again for quite a few years now, because upon mentioning it one more time to my wife I got one of those "Just Do It, Please" comments. I think I really needed that for some motivation. So, using some of the momentum from some successful training and racing in the Dixie 200 Relay, I gradually upped my mileage to around 45 to 50 miles a week, AND I even threw in one hill workout and a track workout! I know two workouts doesn't sound like much, but you gotta start some where! RIGHT!?

The week of Vulcan arrived and after a few "What time are you shooting for?" questions from co-workers and friends came, I realized I really didn't have a clue how fast I could run. At first, in trying to come up with a time goal, I thought back to Dixie 200 and running the last 3 mile leg in just over 5:50 pace. I knew I was in better shape than back then, so was 5:50 pace for 6.2 with folks to race against really out of reach? Then, I thought about the two workouts. The hill workout was all effort based, so that really didn't help, but the track workout was a 12 x 400 interval workout in which I ran all under 6:00 pace and the last few in 5:20 pace. All the thinking got too specific for me, so I decided, kind of last minute, to just say, "I want to beat my age!" I just turned 38 in October. I like that number, and it sounded doable. Besides, if I ran a couple of minutes faster than 38:00, I'd be REALLY, REALLY happy!

Race day hits! Knowing the course, I really wanted to be conservative early and feel comfortable through the first two miles. The gun goes off, and honestly, a half a mile into the race I realized I really have forgotten how to follow a plan and just run my own race. I let the excitement of being out there again, and maybe some overconfidence get the best of me. Mile 1 split - 5:29!! OOPS!! That is officially the fastest mile I've run in 10 years! Probably not the best idea to do that in the first mile of a 10K. Well, the plan was out the door, and I paid for it. I struggled mightily up Highland and suffered from mile 3 to the finish! Finish time - 37:39.

At first, after the race, I was hanging my head a little, and was pretty disappointed. Then, my perfectly, supportive wife reminded me, Vulcan 2012 was my first solid effort to race a 10K in, well, I can't really remember how many years! So, here's me accentuating the positives! I did beat my age, placed 3rd in my age group, AND, for you Nike + users out there, I set some records since using my Nike + Sportwatch, fastest 1K, fastest mile, and fastest 10K. Most importantly, I got out there! Lining up on that starting line, making myself suffer a little to try to hang in and race, and crossing that finish line has left a little fire to get out there and try again! Oh, and how can I forget! I got a sweet Top 200 tee for my son!

I did learn one very important lesson! I really need to re-learn how to race! If I learned anything "back in the day", you have to have a plan, you have to set a realistic goal, and you have to run your own race! I'm going to try to put those all together and have some more successful outcomes in the future!

Oh, I almost forgot! In sticking to the theme of the title. I did finish in 37th place, just under 38!! Coincidence, I think not!

1 comment:

Al D. said...

Congrats Jeff. I shoot for just under my age too - I'm 65...and no, it doesn't get easier!!