Looking at the #RWHalf Courses

I just got back from looking at the Runner’s World Half, 10K and 5K courses, which I will be running 2 of this weekend. I had been hearing rumors and innuendo about how hilly the courses are, it worried me a little. I don’t mind running hills and live in Maine so hills are just a part of living and running there, but I wanted to see how much these hills would be slowing me down.

Driving the course is not just as simple as following the map, there are different one-way streets that we will be running in the opposite direction. So I had to drive around, plus not knowing the area made it even more interesting. I am sure that they thought I was some crazy tourist from Maine – well…we don’t need to go there 🙂

Go to the Runner’s World Website for the Course Maps and a video featuring Bart Yasso.

Here are some photos that I took while driving around:

 

Looking down E 1st Street – flat and fast

 

 

Looking up towards Webster Street the first hill.

 

The Fahy Bridge

There are some hills out towards Moravian College which will get your attention, but I didn’t get a picture of, but one is in the Runner’s World video.

This is the little rise towards the end after coming off Founders Way.

Overall – they look like GREAT courses, they will challenge you, but there are a lot of flat and downhill areas, none of the hills are mountains, but they will slow you down a little bit.

It has the potential to be a challenging, but faster course than I first thought when I looked at the course descriptions. I guess that it depends upon where you are coming from geographically. If you are coming from a fairly flat area, it is going seem pretty hilly and if you are coming from an area with lots of hills, it won’t seem too bad.

I will be participating in the inaugural Runners World Half Marathon as a FitFluential Ambassador. My race registration will be provided by Runners World. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

4.0 Mile Taper Run–Getting Ready for #RWHalf

IMG_0090The taper for #RWHalf and 5K continues. I ran 4.0 miles at a comfortable pace, no pushing allowed Smile. I felt really good the entire run and could have easily picked it up a lot – surprisingly even up Steven’s Hill if I had wanted to – the hill that is my nemesis. I just seem to have a mental block about running up faster than 9:00 minute pace up that damn hill.

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The Runner’s World Event is Next Week!

runners-world-half-logoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival – presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador and blogger!

You can still get a 10% discount on your race registration (any or all three of the races) use the discount code Blogger22, but online registration ends Monday.

It is hard to believe that next Wednesday I will be in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania participating in the Runner’s World Half Events. This is my first destination race, one where I have gone more than an hour away from home or spent the night someplace for the purpose of running in races.

To be honest there are a few conflicting emotions going on right now.

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Trust Your Training

IMG_0521Like most runners I have done a lot of running preparing for this fall’s racing season and have accumulated a few nicks, aches, pains and feel pretty tired (both mentally and physically).

So today I took a day off and didn’t do my scheduled track workout.

To be honest, I didn’t do anything but work on the computer and mow the lawn, no weights, no walk, nothing. It felt great! Tomorrow is my scheduled day-off and you know what, I plan to repeat what I did today and then on Thursday, I am seriously thinking about repeating it again. In other words taking off until Friday.

What do you mean Harold!??? You are less than 3 weeks away from the Runner’s World Half and 5K, you gotta get those last workouts in!

Really at this point in my training cycle missing a few days three weeks before my race is not going to affect my performance in those races all that much – if at all. Continue reading

Rise ‘N Shine Race Recap–9/26/12

P9280002BRRRRRRRR! That is the first thing that entered my mind when I left the house this morning. The Forester’s outside temperature gauge said it was anywhere from 32-34 on the way into the Rise ‘N Shine Race in Augusta this morning!

I am glad that I had my long sleeve tech shirt and my gloves with me – The gloves especially! My hands get cold pretty easy and I almost always wear gloves when it is below 40. Plus it gives me someplace to put the car keys.

This is my first road race since June and I was wondering if I had improved any with my track workouts and the mileage I have been doing?

One thing that I made a promise to myself for the race this morning was that I wouldn’t kick at the end P9280001and just finish with a nice even pace! I kept my word to myself, because that seems to be when I tend to injure myself, when I get up on my toes and sprint too much.

It was one of the the hardest things for me to do, because 2 people passed me in the last 100 yards!

That hardly ever happens, but I didn’t go with them, I kept my steady pace and held tightly onto the reins.

My first mile was in 6:40, which is right where I want to be for the entire race, but the first part is down hill, so that time wasn’t quite as fast as it sounds. During the race I could feel myself slowing down a little and then when we had to come back up the hill, I lost my chance for sub 7:00 pace. I finished in 21:42 with a 7:02 final pace. Next time I hope to get under 7:00 minute pace for a 5K race!

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I was surprised when I looked at the results!!! I finished 28/340 participants and 1st in my age group (55-59)! Very cool!

Overall I was extremely happy with my time and effort, which was a PR for the 5K this year, but could I have done better – Yes! Next time I need to get a little deeper into the racing zone, instead of just staying at the fringe, but that comes with racing more and knowing how far I can push myself. I really want to break that 7:00 minute per mile pace barrier. Smile

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Overall winner – sorry about cutting off his head.

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Women’s Winner – she raced a lot at Bond Brook trail races this summer

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Race Director – Mark from Kennebec Savings Bank. The proceeds from this race benefit the Augusta YMCA, so it was a good cause and a great way to support it.

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This was my first year I have run this race and I found it to be very well organized (going up to my bank teller window and getting my race packet felt strange), but it was cool. The volunteers were amazing, they were there before 6:00 A.M. and did everything they could to ensure that the runners had a great experience. So thank you very much to all the volunteers!

I even ran into a couple of neighbors who ran in the race, which was great to see and some other runners that I have gotten to know over the summer. That is the part that I am enjoying the most about running in races again, is the social side of running.

When I thought about what shoes I wanted to wear today, I really don’t have a pair of racing flats, so I went ahead and dug out my old Nike Air Flo’s that I bought back in the late 80’s and ran in them. It was kind of funny to think that I was running in a pair of shoes that were older than quite a few of the participants!

They did great! However, they are getting rather long in the tooth and I think I will look around to buy a new pair of racing flats over the next few weeks, so that I will have them for the Runner’s World 5K on 10/20/12.

Overall, it was a great race and I was very happy with how I did!

Runner’s World Half & Festival Oct 20th and 21st

Runners World Half LogoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival -presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador!

You can’t tell that I am very excited about going can you? Well – I am very excited about going to this event. Imagine that, me the guy who doesn’t get too excited about too many things, being excited about this!

This will also be the first big Destination Race and Event that I have ever done. My other racing has always been done within an hour or so of where I lived.

There will be a 5K and 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday – click here for the full schedule.

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Turning 55 and a Race Registration

As part of my effort to race more, I went to the Doc and Mardie Brown 5K online race registration page this morning to pre-register for the August 11th race in Waterville.

Now my 55th birthday is a few days before this event and I didn’t realize how big of a difference this birthday would be for me Winking smile.

5K Race Sign-up 55

 

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Why I Have Not Raced All That Much

LHS Track Finish pic 4-28=12This post was a tough one to write, but I had to, since I think that I have finally figured out why I haven’t run in many races for several years.

I was going to run in a 5K Independence Day race and decided not to run the day before. Also I was going to run in a 5K trail race on Memorial Day weekend and half-marathon a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out of them as well for various reasons or excuses.

Why?

I didn’t pull out of these races because I was injured, because I have run more consistently this year than I have in many, many years. So that isn’t the reason.

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My Very Tentative Race Schedule for 2012

Flag-map of Maine

Image via Wikipedia

Over the course of the last month, I have tried to put together a race schedule calendar for races in Maine this year. While the calendar is not completely finished and I know that it doesn’t have all the races, it has enough of them that I feel that I can reasonably see what ones I would like to do.

My criteria were:

  • Local – Keep it local races within 20 miles got preference if they fell on the same day.
  • Cost – I can’t afford to race all that often, I stayed more with the 5K distances which are cheaper
  • Distance – nothing more than a 1/2 marathon
  • No big races
I have it narrowed down to the races listed below Continue reading

Run to Race or Run to Run – Which Do You Do?

Road Race t-shirt from Spring 1985

Do runners run to race or do they just run to run and race as something extra, but not necessary?

This is a question that has been asked forever in the running community and the answer depends on who you are talking to.

Many runners who run lots of races, wouldn’t consider me a “real” runner because I don’t run races very often. They would consider me at best a jogger  or a recreational runner – which is cool too, because they are just labels for someone who runs and I really don’t care all that much about labels.

Personally, I consider anyone who runs, is a runner. Putting people into a separate categories based on their speed is demeaning and unnecessary, we are all runners, just some run faster and some run slower.

When did I race last? Continue reading