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Running Stories -- 2012

Todd -- Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon -- Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wanted to say that my Caesar Rodney experience this year was much different than last years race. Last year I was running with doubt, alone and using all my Jedi mind tricks to get me to the finish. This year I was running with confidence AND running with friends- from Philly Runners. First, driving down with Joey, laying out our plan for the race. Starting the race off with Seth and Andrew. Andrew again setting a solid pace. As we ran we were joined by Brian. Feeling great and pushing on I was able to catch up to Joey. Pushing harder I moved ahead up to Jill. Great to have someone with me as I entered the infamous "Hills" section. Pushing on again I had zero doubt in my ability to finish. Great to see most of the group again on the double back section of Bancrofft Parkway at mile 10 to 11. Then when doubt started to creep in at mile 12 I saw Dev ahead of me and with a surge of energy I was able to catch up to him and finish strong!
Finished 6 minutes faster than last year!

Great to then go to lunch with the group and celebrate the race with a proper pint of beer!

Lou -- Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon -- Sunday, March 25, 2012

This was my first go at Caesar Rodney and yes I will remember the hills! What a fun day and a nice solid finish of 1:55. Thanks to Rick for setting a nice early pace, and much thanks to the rest of the club for their support throughout.

Seth -- Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon -- Sunday, March 25, 2012

Congrats to everybody who ran Caesar Rodney Hilly Half-Marathon or 5K today!

As usual, the main thing that will be remembered about this race are the hills. There's only two hills, but one is 3 miles long and the shorter one is more or less vertical.

My time was 1:56:38, a little less than a minute slower than last year, but considering the humidity and my lack of serious hill training this year, I have no complaints.

Seth -- Broad Street Run -- May 6, 2012

So, I had a really good race yesterday and it totally made my day.

My plan, which I came up with about two days before the race, was to try to run the first seven miles at a 8:10-8:15 pace and then, if I was feeling good, bring it down under 8/mi for a finish as close to 1:20:00 as I could get.

I wasn't sure I was capable of running a race like that, and apparently I was right; I did not run the race at all like that. However, the result was what I wanted so I have no complaints.

I started off running with Emily. I don't normally run races with other people. We agreed we could race together so long as we both just happened to run exactly the same pace and we did not talk to each other (except for calling out splits since Emily wasn't wearing a watch).

The first mile came in at 8:22, a little slower than planned, but that was to be expected and we could make it up. I put in a conscious effort to up the pace, maybe a little too conscious. The second mile came in at 7:59.

Miles 3, 4 and 5 came in at 8:07, 8:08, 8:08. That's more like it. The next mile went around City Hall. There are two ways of doing City Hall: Fight your way through traffic while trying to stay on pace or cruise around with traffic and make it up on the other side. I chose the latter and it was definitely the way to go. We had run down Broad mostly on the left side, stayed to the left as we went around City Hall and pulled back into the far left lane as we emerged on the south side of City Hall.

I really started to crank it here and I could sense that I was going to lose Emily. I certainly did lose her, because, unbeknownst to me, she had stopped for water. People who know me know that I run my 10 milers and half-marathons without stopping for water. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for anybody else, but it works for me. Mile 6 came in at 7:56. I was feeling pumped and I had no plans of slowing down. I pulled up on Andrew somewhere in here and he and I traded back and forth for the next two miles.

Mile 8 came in at 7:57. I was definitely starting to feel the effects of traveling at what, for me, was basically warp speed. My heart rate was over 160 for miles 7 & 8.

Mile 9 came in at 8:16. Not sure what happened here. I thought this mile felt long and so did a few others. My GPS seems to think it was 1.02 miles. I really don't know. My average heart rate was 167, higher than it was for miles 7 & 8, and at the very high end of a fast cruise. Somewhere in here I lost Andrew. He had been behind me for a while and pulled up on me, then passed me and I never saw him again.

I didn't feel like finishing with my last mile over 8 minutes so I gave it everything I had, particularly after entering the Naval Yard. After running the whole race on the far left, I discovered more room on the far right at the entrance to the yard and activated the afterburners on full blast.

Final mile was 7:53 with average heart rate of 171 and max HR of 177. Final time was 1:21:19, placing me at 674/2274 in Men 35-39.

Despite the uneven splits, overall I think I ran this race pretty well. I really felt beat at the end, but I was able to bring in that final mile as the fastest of the race. Later in the day I felt noticeably more tired than after a standard Saturday morning loop.

No, this was not a PR for me, but it's the fastest I've run in quite some time and my PR was nine years ago when I was, um, 9 years younger. This was my 4th-fastest BSR out of nine, with the three faster ones being the first three years I ran it in 2002, 2003 and 2005 (I missed 2004 and 2006 because I was in France.)

I finished about 30 seconds behind Andrew and about a minute ahead of Emily.

And I burned 1684 calories, enough to justify about half of what I ate at the barbecue later.

Congrats, everybody on a great race! Please post here and let us know how you did so I don't feel stupid for being the only one to post a race report.

Todd Z -- Broad Street Run 2012

When running(and struggling) on a random Wednesday evening I sometimes wonder :
"Why am I doing this again?"
Oh yeah, it's to be prepared for days like the Broad St. Run on Sunday.

A great event, nothing but positive. The City of Phila gets many bad raps (especially on the comment sections) but they put on one heck of an event.
Some highlights to point out:
The train came quickly, had plenty of seats(considering I got on it north of City Hall). The start/staging area was organized & had plenty of port-o-poties. The weather was perfect. The water stations were well staffed and had lots of Gatorade!! The spectators cheering along the way were enthusiastic & loud! The finish area was (again) very well organized. The City deserves many kudos for doing such a great job.

Now with close to 40,000 runners gathered at the start, I lined up at the corral with a laser-focused mind, oblivious to the fact that I was standing right next to Joey!! Completely random( or was it?). OK, someone to run with. We started off clean, the corral we were in flowed along a nice, quick pace. We kept an even pace for 4 miles and then it hit me, Bathroom break was needed. I had to let Joey go as I popped into a port-o-potie. Lost some time that I had to make up. OK, my fastest 1/4 mile was run trying to get back up to Joey, but I did. OK, we were back on pace again and ran together for another 3 miles. I was feeling really great and moved ahead.
I had to take time and recognized the moment when the song "Bittersweet Symphony" by the Verve popped onto my iPod. Running down Broad Street. Crowds cheering. Glad to be healthy and alive!! Thanks.
I was shooting for 1hr 15 minutes and was very close to getting it as I entered the Naval Yard. Time ticked quickly as I approached the finish line. Then the course narrowed drastically and I was caught up in the flow of the other runners but there was no space to make a final surge. Missed the mark by 10 sends. Darn.
But 6 minutes faster than last year. Yeah!

Really enjoyed the picnic afterwards, thanks Seth for the food/ Andrew for the brews. A shout out to whoever made those amazing brownies with the chocolate & peanut butter chips with coconut. Yummy-yummy.

Also, I wanted to share a wonderful Haiku that was written for me:

Ran a ten miler
Ten short seconds off the goal
But set a PR

Paul M -- Broad Street Run 2012

I'll try my best to recap, but much of this race past the 3 mile mark is a blur.

I'll start by noting that this was my first Broad Street Run. In the past, I have run 10 mile races on the beach in Sea Isle, but nothing that could compare to the race on Sunday.

I woke up feeling terrible. My morning shake out run was spent limping for the most part; nothing that a handful of ibuprofen couldn't cure though. By 8am, the medicine and adrenaline kicked in, and I was able to get my strides in without any pain. I wasn't quite sure why I was doing striders before a 10 miler, but everyone else was doing it, so I figured why not do them as well. After the gun went off, I quickly realized I was glad I did them.

4:56. Not once during my subway ride northbound did I picture running under 5:10 for any mile, let alone 5 flat, but if that's the way the race goes, then you go with the race. Miles 2 and 3 were not as quick, but we still reached them in a hurry at total times of 9:59 and 15:10, respectively. At this point, I'm in the chase pack with the front 4-6 runners some distance ahead.

5 years ago, I'd be feeling pretty good at this point. But I'm 5 years removed from 5 years ago, and I'm still some months away in my training from feeling pretty good rolling through 3 miles in 15:10. Miles 4, 5, and 6 was survival running only. I stopped "racing" and hoped that a second wind would eventually kick in. I don't remember my split for mile 4, but 5 miles was reached in 26:20 (an average mile pace of 5:35 for miles 4 and 5). Mile 6 was just as slow, coming through in about 31:55. I dropped from about 10th place to 40th place during this stretch of 3 miles.

However, just prior to completing mile 6, I started getting some energy back. I don't know what my splits were going forward, but I know they were faster than my "advanced math" split estimator for each of the last 4 miles (add 6 minutes to last split, subtract 30 seconds, hope that I'm faster than that). I was able to start passing people again during this last stretch instead of being passed. The finish area was great and helped me close my final mile in about 5:15; good for an overall time of 53:20 and 32nd overall.

It's always easy after the race to say you could have ran faster, but I was more than satisfied with my rebound at the end. Sure, things could have went better and maybe I run 30 seconds faster, but things could have went significantly worse with the way the beginning of the race was ran. The day as a whole was a good experience and organized very well by IBC and the volunteers. I will definitely be running this race again next year and hopefully in better shape so I'm not hurting so badly early on!

Andrew M -- Broad Street Run 2012

Hi Folks!

This was my first Broad Street Run, and I really enjoyed it. More than anything I was really excited to run a race with so many friends from Philly Runners, and to know there were free range, organic burgers and microbrews just walking distance from the finish!

So my race was an interesting one. I didn't really have a strategy other than my goal of running 8 minute miles and finishing in 1:20. To do so, I thought I'd run even pace throughout the race.

Started off in the Orange Corral with Seth, Emily, Morgan, Ron - there were about 6 of us from Philly Runners. But I pretty much focused on my own race from the start. Mile 1 was 8:15. Slower than planned, but to be expected. So I picked it up and did miles 2 and 3 in 7:50 and 8:04. Somewhere shortly after this I thought I'd better have a gel and some water at a water stop and try to hold on to this pace. I saw Katie C and her husband somewhere around here and chatted briefly. They looked great!

Missed the next mile marker, but averaged 8:11 for miles 4 and 5. The run was getting more difficult, and I began wondering if I'd made a mistake and gone out too fast. Mile 6 was about 8:30, much slower! Seth had caught up to me and we ran together for a bit, and then he passed me - he was running great! Mile 7 was 8:13. I had another gel and some water, and held on. Soon, I was feeling a bit better. I thought I'd see if I could catch Seth, and before I knew it I'd caught up and we were running together again.

From this point my race rocked. Mile 8 and 9 were 7:57 and 8:09. Then, with the excitement of the race and the crowd, I felt ready to kick it in to the naval yard and was able to push hard for a final mile of 7:34, my fastest of the race!

All together it was 1:20:57 by my watch, right on my goal pace, and (I love when I can say this) a PR at the 10 mile distance for me! Rock on! I am very thankful for all my friends in the Philly Runners Club. You inspire me to work harder and run faster. You guys rock!

Thanks to Seth for organizing an awesome picnic and Dave for manning the grill! The food was awesome and it was great to see so many people there. I'll run the BSR again next year!

James P -- Parkway Run 5K -- Sunday, September 30, 2012

Success! 5k in 23:08. pace 7:30. 24/139 in the M35-39 division, 233rd overall (2700, about 1000 of those finished under 30 minutes gun time)

Garmin paces:
mile 1, 7:26
mile 2, 7:16
mile 3, 7:24
last .16 6:49 pace, 1:07 time

Training leading up to the race has been going well. The four weeks prior to the race I was training using Daniels' Red Plan, part 1. The quality days are tempo mile intervals (3x1 mi. with 1 min. rest) and tempo km intervals (6x1 km with 1 min. rest). The first week it was still humid and I ran the tempos at 8:30 mpm, and it was hard as heck. The second and third, at 8 mpm, but the weather was cool and it felt about as hard as 8:30mpm. The week of the race, still 8mpm but with similar weather, or maybe a little cooler, the effort felt a little easier.

Warm up was pretty short, a little more than a half mile. My legs were definitely a bit out of step, stiff, it was chilly out and relatively early, though I'd already been up for 3 hours. according to my Garmin I was running at a 12:18 pace. This means my warm up was almost 5 mpm slower than my race.

Mile 1: Why the hell do so many slow runners line up near the front? I should have worked my way up to the very front. No, don't kick the slow people as you pass them. Actually, it cleared up pretty well in less than 1/4 mile, so it wasn't horrible. The most annoying thing was I had seen signs propped up somewhere, saying 6:00 mile pace, 7:00 mile pace, etc, so I was expecting to see people waving them so people would line up. But as race start approached, I didn't see them anywhere.

In any case, around midway through the mile I looked at my garmin and I was at a 7:15 pace. And then I noticed a twinge in my right hip and what felt like the beginning of a cramp in my right upper leg. So I breathed more deeply (I was still going 3x3 at this point) and slowed down a notch, and it went away. Whew. By the first mile marker I was breathing 2x2 and kept that up the rest of the race, the big variable was how deeply and steadily I was breathing in. (by the end, not very deep nor steady)

Mile 2: Around 1.5 miles in is a not-steep but long decline, so I picked up the pace, knowing that on this out-and-back I'd have to work my way back up. At the turnaround, things got more difficult, since I had to run uphill. The sun was beating down pretty hard at this point too, even though air temperature was rather comfy in the low 60s or so. I decided that since I had been running faster than my 7:30mpm goal pace up to this point, it was ok if I slowed it down for this uphill. I just tried to keep the pace as fast as the 8mpm I had done for my tempos, and since it was uphill, that would be my race effort. I was very pleased that mile 2 passed with the 7:16 time and as I reached the top of the incline during the 3rd mile, I was running it a bit under 7:30 pace.

Mile 3: as mentioned, the top of the incline is somewhere before the 3rd mile marker. I was getting tired and people were passing me. Some looked fast enough I'm not sure how they were behind me the whole time, as I didn't think I was slowing down *that* much. Maybe they hung around the beginning a little longer to wait for things to clear up before starting? Not sure.

I was starting to get tired and considered cruising in at my tempo pace because I was starting to feel bad. Then I heard Kevin cheering for me by name, and I decided, screw that, run!! And I was able to run the last .16 miles (and presumably more, but that's where my split is) at a 6:49 pace!!

A while ago I decided I would run 8mpm for any distance before moving up to the next. So now I'm going to try a 10k...



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