Ran my best race of the season today on what was perhaps the toughest road race course I have ever done, definitely the toughest since I started my masters career a few years ago. The Blossom Time Run in Chagrin Falls is a strange distance (5.25 miles), which is kind of cool, as it is a natural scenic loop course with some crazy climbs and tough quad blasting downhills. The official results haven't posted yet, but the clock read 30:03/30:04 as I crossed the line so I was just under 5:44 pace. My 5 mile PR set earlier this season at St. Malachi was 5:44 on the nose (28:40) so I ran a slightly faster pace today on a much tougher (and longer) course. This was a really completive race at the top end (1500 runners overall!). I ran a really smart even paced race and was constantly picked off people throughout, finishing 11th overall and I think 3rd master. No one passed me at all during the race though I was outkicked at the end by a youngster who I caught from my way back -- those kids! Hope this bodes well for the Columbus 10K in 2 weeks and the Diemer 5K in 3 weeks. Didn't taper much at all this week as I've ended up with 53 miles, which I think might actually be a season high for me. After my next few key races, I want to bump my mileage up to the 60-70 range over the summer while trying to maintain the current quality I'm at right now.
Haven't posted one of these in a while, but everything has been going really well as I'm aiming for back-to-back PR races at the Columbus 10K on June 8 and the Brian Diemer 5K in Grand Rapids, MI on June 14. This week my workouts have been especially strong. Last Saturday I did an 8 mile progression run on a hilly course at 6:22 pace, starting at 7:05 for the first mile and run each mile faster until I did the last 4 in 6:13, 6:10, 6:02, 5:56. Tuesday, I did the Aufdemberge interval workout (1600, 1200, 800, 400, 1600 w/ 200m jogs) and ran it faster than ever before, and Friday I hit the hills hard. Next weekend I will be racing the Blossom Time 5.25 miler. Kind of a strange distance, but it's supposed to be a really hilly course and the competition is tough.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama (someone please tell the Clintons that it's over!) made an appearance at the Oregon Twilight track and field meet in Eugene last night. He's shown here shaking hands with University of Oregon track coach Vin Lananna. Pretty cool. When's the last time a politician showed up at a track meet! There's some video footage of Obama on the meet website too. Check it out here.
While there are a lot of dumb things about the internet, it is a total goldmine for training information. Back in my first life as a runner it was much harder to find out what kind of workouts other people were doing. I pretty much relied on what my coaches told me or read articles in monthly running magazines. Now you can find great stuff on a daily basis! This year I have had a lot of luck with certain workouts that star masters guys have utilized. Earlier this year I mentioned the Monoghetti fartlek workout, named after Aussie masters star Steve Moneghetti, and I have also written about Sean Wade, whose training site (listed on my links) is another great resource. Recently, I read an article about Michigan masters star Paul Aufdemberge, which mentioned a killer workout that I have tried several times over the past few weeks. If you are training for an 8K or 10K, I highly recommend it. It really teaches pacing and helps build mental toughness. After warming up for 2 miles or so, go to the track and run a ladder consisting of a mile, 1200, 800, 400, followed by another mile with jog breaks of only 200 meters. The brief rest breaks really make this workout. If you do the first mile portion too hard (like I did the first time I tried this workout) you'll suffer badly at the end, just like you would if you went out too hard in a race. If in doubt, hold back early on! The last mile is especially hard because the workout starts to feel easier and easier as the length of the reps go down. With upcoming 5 mile and 10K races in the next month and a half, I plan on doing this workout a few more times.
Ran a 4-second masters 5K PR today. Really happy with the result. It was more or less the same course where I ran the 17:22 last fall, though for today's race they moved the start a bit further back and the turn-around loop was a little longer. I had heard that the old course was slightly short, so hopefully it was corrected today. In any case, it felt 'right' based on recent workout performances. According to the McMillan Running calculator, 17:18 for 5K is equal to 28:40 for 5 miles, which is my exact PR for that distance. My current race plan is to race a 5 miler in 3 weeks, followed by the Columbus 10K on June 8 and the Brian Diemer 5K in Michigan on June 14. It would be nice if I could PR at all three of those races!