Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Final Month

Last Saturday, I ran in the Mount Carmel Up and Away 5K at Beulah Park in Grove City.  Interestingly, the race started on the same track where the horses race.  While this sounds cool, it was actually a little daunting because the track surface was packed sand.  It was tough to get your footing and this contributed to a slower time than the previous week for me (21:40).

The good news is I can now count my remaining races on one hand!  That's right, five to go!  And they are all taking place in September, the final month of The 31 Initiative.

I am going to make one more grand push for donations for the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research so be prepared!  Also, I am excited to share my plan soon for The 31 Initiative in 2013 (hint, it could involve you).

Until next time...

Friday, August 24, 2012

7 5K Race Day Tips

Based on my 5K experiences, here are 7 race day tips for the new and experienced runner (in no particular order):

1) Double knot your shoestrings - although you can recover if you have to tie a loose shoestring, you end up losing valuable seconds AND it breaks your rhythm.  

2) Use the valet key - if you attend a race solo, it is easier to tuck this one key into your pocket instead of carrying the entire set of keys which, for most people, is probably both heavy and cumbersome.

3) Tread cautiously at the starting line - there are some runners who start fast and some who start slow.  Trying to weave your way through this can be a challenge.  You don't want to roll an ankle so be careful!

4) Don't worry about the course layout - unless you think you will finish in the top 3, this is unnecessary.  Why?  Because the course is usually fairly well marked PLUS you can do what I do and just follow the runner in front of you.

5) Eat before the race - a granola bar or peanut butter toast and a banana one hour before the race usually works for me.  Since most races are in the morning, you may feel like you can skip breakfast and eat afterwards.  Don't do this.  You need the fuel for your body.

6) Run your race - when other runners take off at the start, you may feel the need to over-exert yourself and keep up.  While it is good to push yourself, just remember that everyone has trained differently and has different goals.  You don't want to run out of gas after 2 miles with a little over 1 mile to go.  Therefore, focus on exceeding the time you trained for.  Remember, each race is a race against your best time (your PR or personal record).  You won't beat your PR every race but it is a nice goal to have.

7) Finally, have fun!  A 5K is a great distance that can be run by both young and old.  It usually benefits a charity and can be achieved in a reasonable time frame.  Training for one may not be the most enjoyable for some folks but once you actually run in the race, I'm betting you will be back for more. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A 5K Newbie and Dog Power

Let's focus on the big news first.  Someone I personally know is stepping out of his comfort zone and running in (I think) his first 5K.  I could give you the whole scoop but this announcement is definitely better coming from the source.  Please click this link and scroll down to the August 14th post.  I'm proud of you man (for multiple reasons, not just the 5K) and can't wait for Race 29 of The 31 Initiative.

"Dog Power" felt like an appropriate sidebar because of my results in last Sunday's Dog Jog 5K.  I ran my 2nd best time of the year (20:33).  After hovering in the upper 21-minute range in recent races, this time felt great.  I don't know what gave me the extra jolt but it may have been due to the huge number of dogs running in the race with me (my guess, at least 100).  I don't run beside a black lab or gray husky everyday so the presence of these animals definitely added some excitement to the race.

25 races complete, only 6 to go in The 31 Initiative.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The BIG Debrief

It has been awhile folks so this is a big one -

I ran 2 races (#23 and #24) since my last update.  The first, the IGS Energy/Dublin Irish Festival 5K, was run on a hot day and the course had multiple hills.  Even though I ran a 21:46, I was very pleased considering the conditions.  The next race was the Hueston Woods 5K.  It was a cool day so I figured my time would benefit.  Unfortunately, a long climb up a very large hill right at the start threw me off.  I never really recovered (despite coming down this same hill on the way back) and finished with a time of 22:15.  Below are some pictures from the Hueston Woods race (including the first one with my amazing wife).

Tomorrow (Sunday August 19th) I run the Dog Jog 5K in downtown Columbus.  This race benefits the CHA Animal Shelter in Northeast Columbus.  Here is the link to the website of the CHA Animal Shelter if you are interested in learning more.

Finally, if you look to the left at the race calendar, you will see that I've chosen my final 5 races for The 31 Initiative.  I can't believe we are in the home stretch.

Thank you to anyone who has given a recent donation to the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research.  I'll have an update in a couple of weeks to see where we stand on the fundraising.

The 31 Initiative...24 races complete, 7 to go.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Funny Running Vid

Most of you have probably seen this already but if you haven't, it is worth checking out.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mr. Consistency

Over the weekend, I ran 2 races to get back on track after the June 29th storm prevented me from reaching my scheduled race.  Amazingly, despite the fact that the two courses were different, I ran almost the exact same time; hence, this week's title.  On July 28, I ran the SIDS Awareness 5K in 21:48.  I followed that up with a 21:49 the very next day at the Giant Eagle 5K/10K Run.

Tomorrow (Thursday), I complete my 4th race in 14 days trek by competing in the IGS Energy/Dublin Irish Festival 5K.  I can tell my legs were a little tired over the weekend so I'll be glad to resume a more consistent schedule over the final 8 races.

The 31 Initiative...22 races down, 9 to go.