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Another New Running PR, But Not What I Wanted!
On July 4th I travelled down to Jefferson City and ran the Firecracker Mile, a free one mile race put on by the Jefferson City Road Runners. I had read this was a "downhill mile" so I was thinking this was a great opportunity to try and go sub 5 for a mile. Turns out the downhill consisted of the first 1/4 which was sharply downhill to begin, had a 90 degree turn and leveled off for the final 100 yards of that first quarter, the rest of the mile was flat! I guess better than a track, or so I thought initially...
Having real no idea of what a fast miler looks like, I lined up for the start unsure if there was anyone else in the crowd of about 30 that would be trying to run sub 5 on the day (not that sub 5 for a mile is all that fast!) I had run about a mile for the warm up which probably wasn't really enough. The horn sounded and we were off.
Turns out, no one else was apparantly trying to break 5 as I quickly found myself in the lead. Though when I passed the first 1/4 in 1:06 I realized maybe I had gone out a little too fast! Went through the next quarter in 1:14 so at the halfway point I was at 2:20 and was thinking I just about had the sub 5 wraped up...
The next quarter things really began to hurt especially towards the end of it and when I saw my average pace dropping fast I began to worry. 1:18, it was still within reach, all I needed was a 1:21 and I would do it! For the whole of the last quarter I could see the finish clock ticking down. With a hundred yards to go I still thought I could do it, but the numbers slowly ticked by as my legs got tighter and tighter. Eventually I crossed the finish as the clock read 5:02!
Turns out I had won the race by 32 seconds, but I would have been happier in second place if someone had been there to push me a little, had helped me break 5! On the trip home I somehow ended up betting a couple of friends that I could break 5 within the following two weeks, not sure what I was thinking!!
Texas 1/2 Marathon, I've run Faster as a Gorrilla!
I drove down to Texas with a couple of friends back on February 6th and did the Texas Half Marathon. I actually thought I had a chance of running a PR, instead I ran my slowest 1/2 marathon since 2001 when I started running. I even ran slower than I did when I dressed up in a gorilla suit for a 4 mile race!
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that I even have the opportunity to run and I fully understand and appreciate that many people would be happy with the time I ran. The bottom line is I'm not happy with it and it is up to me to quit monkeying around and run better next time!
John Howard Duathlon - March 13th, 2008 - 1st Multisport Win since 05'
After a disappointing run in the Jay Dix 10k on Saturday, I was hoping Sunday would be a great chance for some redemption. The duathlon was being held in New Town which is just outside of St Charles, MO. The race didn't start until 10am Saturday morning which was great as that provided me plenty of time to get up early and watch the London Marathon on the internet! After watching Ryan Hall run a scintillating 2:06:17 taking 5th place, I was on my way to St. Louis to see what I could do on a cold and windy day with an occasional snow flake in the air!
Jay Dix 10k - April 12th, 2008
Starting this year, the Jay Dix Challenge to Cure run was now part of the Ultramax Series. This is the race series that I won in itís inaugural year, 2004 and after several years of helping produce it, had returned to take second in 2007. Success in this series is a high priority for me, so naturally the Jay Dix 10k became an early focal point of my season.
Cigs Race Report - April 5th, 2008
With this race being just one week out from my marathon, I wasn't really sure how my legs would feel and what kind of pace I could run. It wasn't until about 15 minutes prior to the start of the race that my friend Mike Denehey suggested I run as a gorilla since his gorilla suit wearer hadn't shown up. Mike was running as a chicken and had several races lined up in which he was having the "Chicken vs. Gorilla Showdown". Surprisingly, the idea of dressing up like a gorilla and running a race sounded like fun to me...
Olathe Marathon - March 29th, 2008
I learned today why it has been 4 years since I ran my last marathon! I hadnít been planning on running one this year but in early February I decided I would give the Olathe Marathon a shot. Probably the result of watching the Olympic Trials Marathon at the end of last year plus moving back to Columbia and hanging out with so many other marathon runners, but I got bit by the marathon bug and completely forgot about the utter torture you go through in the typical marathon.
3rd win!!! St. Patrick's Day 5k - March 15th, 2008
I knew I would do this race, in fact this was an "A" race for me so I actually tapered slightly for it. I had started doing this race back in 02' and for the past 3 years I had placed second overall, so I was gunning to win this race and get that second place monkey off my back!
Like I did in 07', I went up on Friday and spent Friday evening hanging out with some friends. Then, once again I woke up to snow on the ground Saturday after going to sleep with no snow! By the time we were lining up to start, the snow wasn't coming down anymore, but it was a little windy and kind of cool. Not quite certain what I should run in, I opted for my usual shorts and tank top which felt cold but I knew I would warm up quickly.
The course heads north for about one mile before making a few turns and heading back south. After running a bit of the course earlier, I had decided I would tuck in behind whoever took the lead initially until at least the first mile marker. As soon as the race started, two runners took off and were in the lead. One of the runners looked like the winner from the previous year so I decided to tuck in behind him and follow him. The other runner, Allen Goans who I would later meet, started to pull away slightly. I started to doubt the runner I was behind was the previous year's winner, but since Allen wasn't getting too far ahead I decided I would stay where I was at until we turned out of the wind. By the time we reached the turn and the first mile marker, Allen had about a 5 second lead on me. The first mile had felt quite comfortable and I was quite surprised when I heard 6:04 for my time, I was expecting it to be slower. But I knew I could run faster so I picked up my pace and pulled past Allen into the lead. I tried to make this move decisively and then maintain a decent pace to discourage any attempts by Allen to go with me.
Unfortunately, the course which had been considerably short in the past, was now the correct distance so I knew it was going to be just about impossible to PR, especially since I had gone out so slow for the first mile. Once I knew I was solidly in the lead, I settled into a pace that I knew I could maintain without risking blowing up towards the end. I ended up finishing with a time of 18:34 which meant I had run the last two miles at a faster pace than the first mile, which I'm pretty sure was a first in a 5k for me!