Saturday, December 11, 2010

Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon - Sunday, December 5, 2010

The first official Half Marathon is in the books. Went to Las Vegas with a goal to break 1:50 and if things were going better than expected an outside chance to break 1:45  The final time was 1:45.21. Here are the per mile splits:
Mile 1 - 7:54
Mile 2 - 7:57
Mile 3 - 7:34
Mile 4 - 7:51
Mile 5 - 7:51
Mile 6 - 7:55
Mile 7 - 8:01
Mile 8 - 8:07
Mile 9 - 8:08
Mile 10 - 8:31
Mile 11 - 8:30
Mile 12 - 8:29
Mile 13 - 8:17

5K Time - 24.10
10K Time - 48.45

My pacing for the race was pretty good. To break 1:45 in a half marathon you need to average an 8:00 minute mile for the duration of the race. My plan was to go the first 10k at least at an 8:00 minute per mile pace then see what I had left for the last half of the race.
As we turned around in downtown Las Vegas I knew if I could hold my form together I would have a good shot at my goal. As it turns out, I just missed keeping my form together over the last three miles to miss the 1:45 mark by 21 seconds.
The race was a great experience. Running up the strip from Mandalay Bay to downtown Las Vegas and then back down the strip gives every runner an opportunity to experience the sites of Las Vegas in a way few others can. People were lined up on the side of the road for the complete 13.1 miles of the course. What an awesome experience.
So to sum up Las Vegas I am very pleased with my time.  Here are some finishing stats.
Age Group (50 to 54) 78th of 676 participants
Overall 1125th of 19,186 Half Marathon participants.
8:03 overall per mile average pace
The next major goal race will be the Cowtown Marathon on Sunday, February 27.
Using the program Smart Coach on the Runner's World website I plugged the 1:45.21 half marathon time into the calculator and it projects a marathon time of 3:39.01.
The Cowtown Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying race. For the 50 to 54 male age group anyone running 3:35 or better qualifies for Boston. Since my projected time is 3:39 I am going to find 4 extra minutes in training and make qualifying for Boston an aggressive goal for Cowtown. A less aggressive and probably more realistic goal is to break 3:45 in my first attempt at 26.2 miles.
Until next time, good luck with your training, and remember anything is possible thru hard work and dedication.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hotter N Hell 2010 100 mile bike ride

Riding 100 miles on a bicycle seemed unreachable to me when I started training on my road bike in April. I guess it was about May when I decided I would make my first bike race the 100 mile Hotter N Hell ride in Wichita Falls. The race is always held 2 weekends prior to Labor Day, so that puts it toward the end of August and yep, you guessed it, 100 degree heat. After about 3000 miles of training in the 5 months leading up to the race, I guessed my finishing time would be about 6 hours if everything went well. This was an absolute guess since my longest training rides were about 65 miles.
Hell's Gate is located 62 miles into the race. Three hours and 19 minutes was my time as I stopped my watch at Hell's Gate to refill water bottles. I was way ahead of schedule and feeling better than I thought I would. Just after Hell's Gate you make a turn to the west to head back into Wichita Falls. Immediately after making the turn, somewhere around mile 70, I realized it was going to be a long ride home as the 25 mile per hour wind hit me right in the chest. I hunkered down in my aero bars, put my head down, and just kept turning the crank.
My legs felt like they were on fire as I crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 50 minutes, coming in 10 minutes faster than goal time. I got off the bike, reached down to take off my shoes and my legs immediately cramped terribly. Wow, what the hell am I doing this for was what I thought for only a few seconds. My mind quickly went back to the overwhelming sense of accomplishment I felt as my tires rolled across that finish line. Every workout, every ride, every run, every weightlifting session, hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of training all added up to this moment that made it all worthwhile.
Next year I will be entered again and have a new goal to break 5 hours, which means I will have to average over 20 miles per hour. Man is that going to hurt. I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cowtown 5K February 2010

This was the first race I entered after getting back into some kind of shape after about 18 months of pretty faithful workouts at Anytime Fitness. Why 18 months ?
I have always been very competitive when it comes to sports, so when I decided to get back into shape it was not without purpose. I knew I would be competing in races, running, cycling and triathlon from the moment I committed myself, but would not enter a race until I felt I was in good enough shape to be competitive with athletes in my age group. So my beautiful wife Traci and I got on a training plan and entered the race. My time in the 5K was 25:13 which put me 21st out of about 200 in my age group which was then 45 to 49 year olds (turned 50 in July of this year) Overall I finished 231st of 3798 runners. A top 10% finish was all I needed to pick up the pace on training days and begin my journey to better physical fitness.

Las Vegas Half Marathon

A little over two weeks remaining until the Las Vegas Half Marathon December 5th. I have been training really hard to reach my race goal time of 1:50 or better. I am very confident that I can achieve my goal knowing how much work I have put into training.