Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cypress 10K – 1999

July 24, 1999

The Cypress 10K was a TRH club run, so I decided to give it a try – I LO-OVE racing.  10K is a nice distance, usually less than an hour and then you are done.  Not a lot of pain even if you run hard.

Cypress is one of the more boring courses.  Basically, it’s 2 – 5K loops.  Each loop is a roughly equidistant square of straight-straight-straight.  There was a pretty good crowd of people while you are in the first loop, but then everyone else turns off to finish, and I turn off to run a second loop.

On that second loop, I see hardly any people at all.  It’s also quite hot out, though at least the race people included a “car-wash” that you could run through.  I sort of edge through it, so I don’t get my glasses wet (and also I might hit my head).  I finished in 43:29 (another good 10K) and go to look and see if I get a medal or not.

The number of medals the race gives out is largely dependent on how many runners ran the previous year in a particular age group.  So, in my age group, medals go 13 deep!  I get 8th place, and there’s really nothing I could do to change that place.  7th place runs 39:00, and 9th place runs 55:00.

Since the medal ceremony lasts so long (lots of medals in the 5K, too), I volunteer to pick up medals for anyone who gets bored and leaves.  My favorite moment is when I pick up a medal for Chuck (Roast) who is in his early 60s.  After picking it up, I turn to a person sitting near me in the crowd, and say, “Don’t I look fabulous for 62?”

Bastille Day 5M – 1999

July 17, 1999

Laura and I ventured down to Newport Beach to try the Bastille Day 5 miler.  This was an event I had heard good stuff about, but it was really disorganized.

I went out too fast (this seems to be a refrain) probably trying to prove that I am OK with my foot problem.  I finished under 35 minutes.

Laura had some success, too, breaking 8:00/mile pace in the 5K for the second race this month.  Laura and I have been training together.  She ran LA Marathon in 4:48 in March, which was a 40-minute PR.  She is preparing for Long Beach Marathon (I think she can go 4:15 or better) and I am getting ready for the Humboldt Redwoods Marathon.  We encourage each other and talk the whole way.  The camaraderie helps both of us do better.

ThomBob Kayak Run Relay – 1999

July 11, 1999

I participated in the TRH inaugural ThomBob Kayak Run Relay.  This race is named for the founders of the idea – Thom Lacie, the manager of the Second Street Runners High Store, and Bob Rice, the de facto leader of Team Runners High.

There are teams of two – and teams were not allowed to team up to form a “super-team.”  I was paired with Tom Williams, a member I had never seen at a run before.  We were an odd pairing, since he was shorter and stockier (and older) than I.

The way the relay works is that the first teammate kayaks 1K, then the second teammate runs 5K, then the first teammate runs 5K, then the second teammate kayaks 1K.

I opted to go first, as I was concerned about my fitness to be able to kayak AFTER I had run.  A few of my TRH/AREC buddies were there, including Laura and Bernard.

The kayak start was chaotic, and several people fell out of their boats trying to get a good start.  Several of us languished, because we do not do a lot of upper body workout.  As soon as I rounded the final buoy, I opted to beeline for shore about 50 yards early, so that I could pull the kayak in walking onshore (rules were changed the following year to prevent this).

While my teammate ran his 5K, I nursed the many blisters I suffered from the paddle chafing my thumb-forefinger webbing.  Soon enough, it was my turn to run.  It was as bad as running after you get off your bike in a triathlon… I managed 25:00 (and learned afterwards that the course was 0.3 long).

I was gratified that I wasn’t the slowest kayaker – Laura and Bernard both won kayaking lessons for that honor – because I was probably the only person who couldn’t sit properly in the boat.

These ocean-kayaks have foot pegs to help you get leverage.  You are essentially supposed to set them at a level where your legs are nearly fully extended.  My legs fully extended were about 5 inches beyond the furthest level.  So… my knees are at a difficult angle.

Ray Coombs gave me some advice, and I retorted, “Put on stilts and a 40-pound pack, and THEN give me advice!”  Still, I would do this race again.

Redondo 4th of July – 1999

July 4, 1999

Day 2 of the back-to-back races.  At least this was only a 5K.

I went out way too fast and covered my miles in 6:34, 6:30, and 7:34 (1.1M) to finish in 20:38, my fastest 5K of the year.

I think I am getting better at running somewhat conservatively in the first race and still having enough left for the second race (or at least doing the right thing to recover before a next day race).

Anaheim Hills 10K – 1999

July 3, 1999

I had the opportunity to run back-to-back races for the 4th of July weekend, so I went up to Anaheim Hills to try their 10K.  I had been getting over a cold, so running hard in a race didn’t exactly help me feel better.  None of my AREC friends were at the race, so I started up conversations with various people at the race, including a nice lady named Aurora (who was married in probably 10 years older than me).

Considering how I felt and the number of hills, I ran 43:15, which was my second fastest 10K ever (!), and the 43:04 in Alameda last year was on a totally flat course.  My foot still hurts, but I am managing the pain better… or in other words, I wouldn’t have run with the kind of pain I’m feeling when I first started running, but I tolerate a lot more now.

Summer Solstice 5M – 1999

June 17, 1999

I left work early in order to make this Thursday evening race in El Dorado Park close to my condo in Long Beach.  The traffic was so bad, however, that I barely got to the registration table by 6:00pm (for a 6:00pm start).  I got my bib on and fortunately, the race started 5 minutes late.

The weather was hot and windy (apropos for this time of year – almost on the Summer Solstice), but I maintained pretty even pace through each mile.  As I came around to the final stretch, I saw a guy about 100 yards ahead of me (with about 300 yards to go).  He looked back and gave me a sort of head-shake-blow-off.  I didn’t think I could catch him, but I decided, ‘screw it,’ I will try anyway… and caught him right at the finish line.

The result was a 5 mile PR – 34:22 – though not good enough for placing in my age group.

I’m starting to realize that it doesn’t exactly matter what the conditions are – hot, cold, wet, windy – you can still have a good or bad race, even recovering from an injury.

Hit the Road Jack 10K – 1999

June 6, 1999

I was home for a visit (to the Bay Area), and decided to venture up to Sonoma for a race with Riva.  In warming up for the race, I noted the vast difference between the kind of warm-up that I liked to do and the kind of warm she usually did.

The difference, for me, at least, had to do with how each of us got into running.  Riva started in High school and continued running throughout college, whereas I started running on my own, and did not follow specific race warm-up plans.

I usually did a bunch of stretches – stretching my calves and quads.  Riva, on the other hand, did probably a 7-10 mile warm-up run – hey, we’re only running 6 miles here!

The course was a flat, fast course through the burg of Sonoma.  I ran fairly fast and cramped afterwards.  I was happy with the 44:44 time (one of my top 3 10Ks), so I felt like I had mastered my issue with the plantar fasciitis.  Riva, on the other hand, ran 39:03, good enough for 3rd place (overall for women) and won 10 pounds of Jack cheese.

Flo Jo Half Marathon – 1999

May 31, 1999

I went down to Laguna Hills to run the Flo Jo Half Marathon on Memorial Day Monday.  This was my first chip-timed race.  I was convinced of the brilliant idea that I would not start right away with everyone else, but wait 5 minutes and then run my own race.

In most races, people rely on their chip time to say what their time is, but to be fair, the chip time should only be used to determine your own personal best time or to qualify for another race, such as the Boston Marathon.  The person starting late could have the advantage of knowing what kind of time needed to be run to win the race or an award.  The person starting on time doesn’t see anyone around him at the finish line and so cruises in.  Most races are strategic.  People only go all out when they are pushed by people of similar paces.

Anyway, my intent was not to win anything, but to see if I could run my own race, without the influence of the erratic pace of those around me.

This was the first year of the Flo Jo Half, and the course was essentially 6.5 miles downhill and then 6.5 miles uphill (not on the same course – down the street and up a trail that paralleled the street).   I left 5 minutes after the start (as they were threatening to pull up the mat) and it took me quite a while to catch anyone at all, and I never caught anyone that was running my own pace (as they had all left with the gun).

On the uphill part of the run, I caught and passed 110 people.  The last 200 yards were flat and I started my trademark sprint.  As someone started to pass me in the last few yards, I remarked, “It’s OK, I beat you by 5 minutes!”

I finished in 1:41:16, which was good enough for 9th in my age group.  I’m not sure if the test worked well or not.  Yes, I ran my own race, but the people that I was passing were not running the pace I was running… and I never caught the people running my own pace.  On the other hand, I didn’t get caught up in the overpace rush of the first few miles, and felt good after the race.

Southside Shuffle 5M – 1999

May 22, 1999

I went up to Davis for a visit with my friends… and also to run the 2nd Annual Southside Shuffle (and also the site of my HUGE breakthrough in 1998).  A decision was made to move the race to May, both to avoid running it the same weekend as the Big Sur Marathon and to avoid the heavy wind problem encountered in the previous year.

Naturally, it was also extremely windy this year and they had reduced crowds.  This ended up being the 2nd and last iteration of the Southside Shuffle (which is too bad, because there aren’t many worthwhile events that benefit local charities like this race did).

I had a good race, not a PR, but 35:02, not too much foot pain, and I even took 2nd in my age group.  The gear prize for 2nd place was a hat with the logo – a hat that I still have 13 years later.

After the race, I had missed running with my GVH friends, so we went for a 10 mile run, post-race (which we did at 8:00/mile pace).  Probably the couple cross-country doubles I did helped me out in that regard.

Hillsea 7.57M – 1999

May 8, 1999

From the makers of Sunset in the Park and the Great American Adventure Run (doubles), comes the Hillsea!  7.57 miles!  12.1K!  A chance for a new personal record!

The Hillsea was the Southern California version of the Dipsea, a venerated Marin County staple for 100 years.  In the Dipsea, runners cover approximately 7-1/2 miles on a cross country course, which includes trails, paved roads, stairs, roots, and other natural obstacles.  Runners begin the race staggered, based upon their age and gender.  The previous year’s winner is additionally saddled with a time penalty equal to the margin of his victory.  Whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner.

In order for the Hillsea to follow the same precepts as Dipsea, there would need to be a viable 7-1/2 mile course, where runners could choose the best path for the type of runner they are.  Finishline racing, however, did the majority of its races in Huntington Beach Central Park, which is maybe 0.5 mile wide, so instead, the Hillsea is a course which weaves in and out, back and forth of all the trails available in the park.

According to the start chart, the first group is off at 8:00am – women over 80.  Except there are no women over 80, so we move to group 2, starting at 8:08am – women 70-79 and men over 80.  And so on, until we get to men 24 – 34… at 8:30am.  That’s my group.

As my group sets off, I can see who I am to vie with for age group awards, but for most of the race, I have no idea where I am in conjunction with everyone else.  I find myself on a certain part of the trail, and a runner is on the same stretch, only heading in the opposite direction.  I may be catching up… ten minutes later, now heading in the same direction, I realize I am NOT catching up.

Occasionally, someone makes a wrong turn (though it seemed plenty clear to me which way to go at all times) and finishes early than they are supposed to (one girl, happy at her result, finishing in the top 10 overall, is asked, “What’s the fastest you’ve run 8 miles?”  Her response:  “80 minutes.”  Her time (on trails and stairs) was 48 minutes.  Hmm.).  I finish in 59:47, and miss medalling by only a minute.

The winner of the race?  A 70-year old gentleman, who not only had a 22-minute head start on me, but also ran 5 minutes faster than me (or 27 minutes in the official standings).  I want a head-start to compensate for my extra height and weight!