2006 St. Pats 5k and ICCC Crit Race Report

This past weekend was rather busy, first 5k of the season in Kirksville and the first Criterium or Crit of the season in St. Louis. The 5k was Friday night and the Crit Saturday morning, so I wasn’t sure how that would work out, both in terms of traveling and recovery…

St. Patrick’s 5k
Like I said in my previous post, evening runs are hard to figure out. Plus I’m not in the greatest of shape right now due to my bouts of strep, but things worked out all right. After about a mile of warming up, I got up to the starting line. It felt good to be back in a race and to see so many familiar faces in the run. There wasn’t anyone I recognized as being super fast, John Richardson was there who typically runs around 18:20 or so was there, so I was a little concerned about him. One runner looked to be in high school, thin and wiry, he had the looks of a runner, he was definitely a concern… Immediately after the start, the kid took off. While his pace wasn’t unmatchable, it wasn’t something that I could maintain for a 5k, so I let him go and instead ran with John at a much more comfortable pace. slowly the kid began to pull away, I figured he’s either going to blow up and we’ll catch him, or he’ll keep up his pace and when by a minute or so… At the first mile, our time was 6:20… A little too slow, but boy this felt better than really pushing the pace! But, at this pace, we would be lucky to break 20 minutes so I decided I needed to push things a little. I took the lead and moved to the front, 12:20 at mile two, we had covered the second mile in 6:00. The only problem, while I had picked up the pace, John was right there on my feet… The kid was pretty much out of sight by this point, except on some long straight aways. With half a mile to go, John took the lead… This gave me a little chance to recover, but I was a little afraid he might start pulling away because I was hurting… But fortunately he didn’t, I was able to hang on. With about 500 meters to go or so, I kicked and John wasn’t able to go with… Final time of 18:20 with John 3 or 4 seconds behind.

ICCC Criterium
The Crit started at 9:30am and with a field limit of 50 in the Category 5 I decided I should get there fairly early. After leaving Columbia at 6am, I arrived at the race site around 8:20am. Registration went smoothly and I then went to Walmart to get a little something to snack on. Once I had my bike assembled, I took a couple of practice laps on the course and tried to figure out how the race would likely progress. The course consisted of around a 1/4 mile gradual hill right at the start of the race. The initial 100 meters of the hill was slightly steeper and then it leveled out to a gradual incline. At the top of the hill, there was a 90 degree left hand corner. This was followed by a flat stretch with another 90 degree left hand corner. From there to the finish it was pretty much downhill with one more 90 degree left hand corner about 200 meters from the finish. This final corner would be key as it would have to be taken at a high rate of speed in order to have a chance in the final sprint.

There were around 40 racers lined up at the start. Two of the racers were decked out in Big Shark gear, and five of the racers were Team Mack… the rest were a smattering of racers, but they all looked intimidating to me. The format was 20 minutes, followed by 5 laps, after riding the course for 20 minutes, we would have 5 laps for all the marbles. My plan was to stick with the pack, hope no breaks get away, and see what happens in those last 5 laps. Things ended up working out ok! We made it through the 20 minutes without any wrecks and no successful breakaways. Two guys went off the front for a little while, but we kept them close and pulled them back eventually. I was feeling the effects of the previous nights 5k, but it seemed like I was going to be able to hang with them until the end. Finally, after 20 minutes and 4 laps, the bell lap sounded. I had been at the back of the pack, but was usually able to move up at will on the hill and despite a definite increase in the pace I moved up an by the top of the hill was sitting well in about 4th place. We came up to the next corner at a much higher rate of speed and the guy in front of me clipped his pedal and almost went down. This slowed me up for a second, but I managed to hold my position. Now we were going downhill and fast. A dogfish rider attacked and the two of the rider in front of me went after him, but the rider directly in front of me couldn’t react. So I picked up my pace and went around him. But in the meantime, a Big Shark rider in front counter-attacked. I caught the dogfish rider and we were to the corner, cornering at 30+ miles an hour, but I was around the corner a split second after the two lead guys and they were all ready starting their sprint. I ramped it up as much as I could, but at this point I was pretty much just solidifying a third place finish. I finished 3rd once before in a crit, back in 1989 as a 15 year old in a race with about 11 starters, this was something completely different and I was happy with the result, definitely ready for my next bike race!

posted at 21:25:44 on 03/21/06 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports

First 5k this Friday…

Well, the first race is out of the way, Froze Toes bike race two and a half weeks ago. Now its time for my first running race of the year. St. Patty’s 5k is this Friday evening at 5:30pm in Kirksville.

Evening races aren’t my favorite, I have yet to figure out the nutrition for an evening race. Normally I’m getting quite hungry around 5:30, even if I eat something around 3 or 4. Well, I have another chance to try and figure this out…

I’ve done this race for the past three years, the first year was 2003 and I did it in 18:15. 2004 I was able to take a whole 2 seconds off, no big deal… But last year I was running good and put down a 17:33! Unfortunately, I don’t think my times will continue their downward trend… Additionally, this year is the first year it will be on a Friday evening, typically it has been Saturday morning. My prediction is I’ll come in at around 18:30…

21:30:38 – Tony Rigdon

2005 New Orleans Half Marathon Race Report

Somewhere on the course...

A little more than 18 weeks ago, I decided I would start training for a marathon. I’ve completed four marathons, but I’ve never gotten in the full recommended training. After checking www.marathonguide.com I chose the New Orleans Mardis Gras marathon as it is supposed to be flat and fast. However, the cold winter months prevented me from adequate training and as the marathon drew closer I changed my mind and decided to forgo New Orleans altogether. I briefly considered going down for just the half marathon but couldn’t justify the expense. Then I remembered seeing an email from Melissa Short on the Columbia Multisport listserv about a road trip to New Orleans for the half marathon. I decided that if I could share the cost, then maybe the trip isn’t such a bad idea after all. And that is how I found myself making the 13 hour trip to Louisiana…

As I’ve alluded to in previous posts, my primary goal on this trip was to set a new PR for the half marathon. My previous PR of 1:24:45 was from back in April of 2003 at the Drake Relays. For the last couple of months I had increased my running considerably and was confident that I would run faster, besides, Drake had been hilly and this was supposed to be flat…

After the long 13+ hour trip to New Orleans, we arrived at our motel around 2am. At this point we should have all gone to bed, but instead we headed down to Bourbon Street. Finally, around 4am we made it back to the motel room.

I guess I should mention who “we” are. We consisted of me (duh) and the following three people:

Melissa on the run...

– Melissa Short, a University of Missouri student and CMC member, the originator of the “road trip” email and my future Columbia tour guide…
Kevin on the run...

– Kevin Wren, originally from Britain transplanted to Jefferson City, MO, another CMC member and fellow LSD trainee…

– Leslie Zarzeck, not here to run, but had come along as Melissa’s friend and was also there to see her boyfriend Marc who was already in New Orleans for the weekend…

So around 4am we all retired to the room and I was out like a light. The following morning Melissa, Kevin, and I went down to the continental breakfast for a light meal and then we went back upstairs and back to sleep. Finally around noon we got up and headed down to the race expo.

After meandering around the race expo, I made my way back to the hotel. Melissa, Leslie, and Kevin had split off and headed down to the French Quarter. I planned to take the day easy and walking around New Orleans wasn’t on my pre-approved list of “easy”. I did feel that my legs could use a little activity so I changed into my running gear and did a brisk 3 mile run down Canal Street to the river and back. That evening when it came time to carbo load, I headed down to a mall where there was supposed to be a Sabbarro’s, turns out they were closed and since the other location I was aware of was over 2 miles away, I ended up settling for Quizno’s. I went with a mesquite chicken sub, probably better than a lot of options, but not the same as a nice big plate of pasta. Anyways, the sub was good and I ate it while watching Forest Gump in the motel room.

Ok, I’m getting a little long winded here, gotta shorten things up a little. We got to the race site around 6:15; we had gotten up at 5am to get some fuel in the body. After checking in our gear, we all wished each other luck and then went are separate ways.

I didn’t end up making my way to the start until around 6:50 and by then the starting line was packed. I was only able to work up to around 20 deep so I knew it was going to be a bad start. Sure enough, when the gun went off I found myself dogging people and having to swing way wide to try and get towards the front. Finally around half a mile things seemed to be clear and I tried to find a group to run with. At the first mile marker, my watch said 6:10 and my heart rate said 183. The 6:10 was great, especially for a bad start, but the 183 worried me. But the pace felt comfortable so I decided the high heart rate was probably the result of the bad start and having to work my way through the crowds. So I slowed a little but not much thinking that now I didn’t have to fight the crowds and my heart rate would fall. Instead my monitor quit, my battery was dead…

My time for mile 2 was 6:10 and my heart rate monitor was still blank. Since I no longer had my monitor, all I could do was run at what felt comfortable so I kept the same pace up, mile 3 was 6:10 as well. I’m not sure exactly when I started having problems, mile 4 was a 6:12 but I was feeling fatigue setting into my legs, lactic acid was building up. So I really kicked it back in mile five and then hit the “hill”, a massive overpass that had been designed specifically to hurt runners… My 5th mile was a slow 7:34

The rest of the run was just a battle, trying to maintain some speed while suffering the effects of going anaerobic early on. From mile 5 until the end I had a headache, though from 5 through 10 it was at its worst. I seriously considered quitting, but then finally decided that finishing it out would be the best, treat it as a training run and maybe recover a little towards the end. When I finally saw the Super Dome, I was relieved. With less than one mile to go another runner passed me, I could tell he was trying to kick it in strong. My competitive spirit kicked back in and I stepped right in behind him. I followed him for about ¼ of a mile and then I passed him and finished 6 seconds ahead of him, my final mile was a 6:23.

Time: 1:26:21 – 1:36 slower than my half marathon PR.

So what went wrong? Had I gone out slower initially, I probably could have maintained a 6:20 pace and run a PR by over 2 minutes, but by going anaerobic early on I blew any chance I had at that. In addition, my pre-race nutrition wasn’t right; I ended up with gastrointestinal discomfort during the run. Finally, my sleeping the nights leading up to the race was poor with Friday night being the worst; it should have been the best night sleep in order to be ready for Sunday.

As a whole the New Orleans Mardis Gras Half Marathon/Marathon was a great event. The post race food was good, and there was plenty of Michelob Ultra to drink. I would definitely do this event again, and probably will next year. The drive down was long, but the trip home went by a lot faster…

posted at 11:40:14 on 03/04/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports


Melissa wrote:

Oh Tony, your focus is impelling. I can hardly wait for next year. I will, however, decide in favor of rest in the days before the race, I suffered through every mile. I walked a lot!!
Funny, my trip was long on the way down, and seemed much shorter on the way back too……………. 😉
M. Short
03/06/05 14:32:56

me wrote:

Seems quite reasonable that the entire lead up to the race was a flop. How often had you run at sustained 6:10-6:20 leading up to the race? In swimming there is a “critical speed” in which one must train to advance such outcomes. What is yours? Having run several marathons myself seeking a PR and staying out late, improper nutrition and poor race strategy are contradictory.
03/09/05 14:36:05

Kevin wrote:

Hi Tony….I have learnt a few things and even though I’m a novice at this competitive running thing (I know, I know, I’ll never be competitive)I’d offer one nugget of advice if you want to get more consistent and faster…..ditch the processed sugar till after the race….no pop tarts or honey before the race…..insulin isn’t good for speed….

take care

03/29/05 16:12:58

I want to be a biathlete!

The Olympics just ended and I have to admit I did watch some. I could do without the Curling not only is it one of the dumbest looking sports out there, who wants to train for a sport that involves using a broom to sweep. “Honey, could you do some training this afternoon and sweep out the garage?” On the other hand, speed skating, I’ve always wanted to try that. But the sport that captured my attention the most this winter was that of biathlon. I’ve always been a bit perturbed at people who call a duathlon a biathlon, but that’s another story…

Here’s the description I pullled off the site www.biathlete.org:

“Imagine skiing around a turn at twenty miles per hour with a rifle harnessed on your back. Out of breath; your heart pounds in your chest as you ski up to a rifle firing point. Quickly pulling the rifle around from your back, you settle with the first target in sight. Better calm your nerves quickly to knock down the targets; the clock is running.

Winter Biathlon is a combination of cross country freestyle skiing and rifle marksmanship. Competitors ski with rifles and shoot at small metal targets fifty meters away. Missed targets add either fixed penalty time to the final time or require penalty laps on a 180 meter loop.”

Yep, biathletes have it figured out. I bet they don’t have problems with people driving by and hollering at them while they’re out training. Imagine the new found respect motorists would have if we started biking with rifles straped to our backs. They can wear what ever clothes they want, who’s going to make fun of an expert marksmen with a rifle strapped to their back?

I actually used to own a pair of cross country skis back when I lived in Wisconsin, but there never seemed to be enough snow to do much skiing and I never had a high tech graphite rifle to strap to my back. I still think it would be cool though…

20:40:11 – Tony Rigdon