Sunday, May 16, 2010

According to Plan

So I ran a 49:48, pretty much matching my plan (see here). I had a fast start and the hill kicked my butt. Those 2 evened out. Overall the plan was good. Got beat by a pink gorilla, a naked dude, Little Bo Peep, and 2 women's team centipedes; about 261 people in all!

Ran back up the course afterwards, which was a truly mind blowing experience. Passing from runners, to joggers, to walkers, to drinkers. A wild time. I ran back over the Hayes St. hill (about 5 miles) and then it was too crowded/crazy to run, so I bought a beer and joined the party, walking the rest of the way. I got to the back of the pack about a mile from the start! Some people around there were seriously wasted, and were not going to be making it to the beach!

Including the run to the start, warmup, the race, the run back and the walk, I covered almost 19 miles (in my lightweight race shoes), so I suspect a few aches/pains tomorrow.

Overall this race is an absolute blast. The start is fabulous in the seeded corral, you get to warmup with the elites, no lines for toilets etc, and behind you can hear the 60,000 people, already well into party mode. For anyone who can get an entry to the seeded or subseeded corrals I would highly recommend this race. But to be honest, the best part was the run back up the course thru the crowds.

I will definitely do this again next year.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Here Goes Nothing....

OK, it's time for Bay to Breakers and I am far from "ready". I did manage one week of 37 miles, and a long run of just over 10 miles, so I am at least OK to run the whole course, but I have zero endurance, so what happens after the hill (mile 2.5) is anyone's guess.

Only real quantitative piece of data I have is a single 3 mile tempo run that I did this Tuesday. I ran 3 miles at 6:37, and average heart rate was 167 (which is about normal for my short tempos). Back in January, when I was at my fastest, I did the same tempo run twice, at similar heart rates but at 6:16, 6:18 pace. So using that huge dataset, I am about 20 seconds/mile slower now than I was. However, I also had a lot more endurance then than I have now from running 100's of miles each month for a year. So I doubt I will be able to hold that "20 seconds slower" pace for the whole 7.5 miles.

Anyway, that's the only piece of data I have, so the goal is to run this 20 seconds/mile slower than I would have hypothetically run it if it were back in January. Back then I was shooting for a 38 minute 10k (6:07 pace), this race is 12k, so I have to do the extra 2k. 1 of those K's is up a steep hill, so I would have given myself a little extra time for that, and then hope to do the other extra K at the same pace. so total would have been somewhere around 46-47 minutes (6:10 - 6:18 pace).

So add 20 seconds each mile and you get 6:30 to 6:38 pace. This would be a finishing time of 48:30 to 49:30. Given my suspect endurance I think a goal of sub 50 seems reasonable. Of course, this doesn't take into account the fact that this course may not be as fast as the pancake flat 10K course I was running back in January, but that's just a minor detail, right? Looking at some people who I know, and the times they did last year as seeded runners, I have a horrible suspicion that I have overestimated my ability on this course by about a minute (so I should be aiming for 49:30 to 50:30).

Looking at last year's results, if I do a 49:59 (6:42 pace)
  • Winner would be 16:28 ahead
  • Winning woman would be 11:30 ahead
  • Deena Kastor would be 10:55 ahead
  • Top centipede would be 9:32 ahead - that's 16 people roped together running at 5:26 pace!
  • Dude in pink gorilla suit would be 3:48 ahead
  • Top 40-44 woman would be 2:03 ahead
  • Top 50-54 man would be 4:57 ahead
  • I'd beat everyone under 16 and over 60
  • In my age group (M40-44) I'd be 23rd
  • For males, I'd be 149th
  • Overall I'd be 180th
So that's the plan. sub 50, top 200 finish. I found out that there are about 250 seeded runners, plus 50 elites, so top 200 would have me towards the back of the seeded runners, which given the fact that I am slow, and only got seeded because I am in the over 40 "easy seed time" category, sounds about right.

Next year, no excuses, top 100 finish (which was 46:37 last year).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Slowly Getting Less Slow

Time for another long overdue blog update......

March sucked - I ran 7 miles.

April was better. Decided I needed to start running every other day, and then take things from there. Here's how the last 5 weeks went
  1. 3 runs - 13 miles - all slow
  2. 3 runs - 18 miles - all slow
  3. 2 runs - 10 miles - all slow
  4. 3 runs - 18 miles - all slow
  5. 6 runs - 37 miles - one tempo, 3.5miles at 6:40 pace
So this last week was getting back towards respectable. Longest run is just over 10 miles and I've done a few hilly runs. I'm obviously nowhere where I was in December but at least I can see the way forward now.

My achilles/calf all seem OK. I have a pain in my right knee but it's getting better - just a side effect of starting to run again.

Bay to Breakers is up in 2 weeks. I just got my race number - I am #51 out of 50,000. I have a seeded start. There are 50 elites, and about 250 seeded runners. So being number 51 makes me the first of the seeded runners. I think this is based on when people registered, not how fast they are! I expect I am going to be one of the slowest of the seeded runners because:
  1. I am old (40+. where the seeded entry times are much easier)
  2. I am really out of shape right now because I have not run much since January
I am thinking I may need to wear some sort of costume so I can run anonymously. Last year there was a guy who ran in the seeded pack in a pink gorilla suit! (He ran a 46 minute 12k, which is just over 6 minute miles!) - No way I am going to be running that fast!