Category Archives: 15K

LMJS 15K – 2017

November 26, 2017

Haven’t run this race in some time.  The last time I registered for it, my flight got cancelled and we had to abandon the race so that Riva and I could get to Texas in time to pick up her boys.

The weather is cruddy and cold and threatening rain.  I am okay with running in the rain, but I don’t love it, but maybe it increases my chances of picking up some kind of award and also probably reduces the amount of pedestrians to dodge.

Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders have one of these a month, always a 5K and 10K, and sometimes a 15K.  15Ks are not that common, plus for this one, you have to run 3 laps around the lake, so it is not terribly exciting to see the same things three times (and for me, usually slower each time), but I do enjoy running by things I used to see on a regular basis.

The first time I ran this race, I won it (but there were only 3 of us running), and the second time I ran, I was lapped by the winner.  That’s right, he ran 15K faster than I did 10K (and then some).  Looks like today I can probably come in the top 10.

It immediately starts raining from the get-go, so I will just have to deal with it (maybe run faster?).

I do really well on my first loop with 7:41, 8:05, 8:17 miles for a 24:58 first 5K.

Then I slow down a bit on the second and do 8:28, 8:47, and 8:31 for a 2nd 5K 26:44.

The rain intensifies on the third loop and I cannot really even see at all (wet glasses) and manage 9:00, 9:21, and 10:11 for a 28:42.

My 80 minute 15K is the worst I have ever done on this course (but maybe my best rainy course).  My time is good enough for 3rd OVERALL and first in my age group (there were 2 of us – the only age group with more than 1).  I’ll take it.

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LA Cancer Challenge 15K – 2017

October 29, 2017

The Cancer Challenge returned to the UCLA campus for the second year in a row.  One year it was randomly in Woodland Hills after the L.A. VA told them they would not hold it after at least 8 years at that location, and I ran at UCLA the first LACC I ran.

Last year, I carpooled and we paid beaucoup bucks for parking.  Since I am driving by myself, I don’t want to pay $15 for parking and I’m going to figure out a cheaper option – I don’t mind walking in a bit.

The other change for this year is that they offered a 15K option.  I have done a 15K option (of sorts) the past few years, because I’ll run the 10K and then the 5K, but this is an actual 15K race (aka 3 loops).

I mapped out where to park and gave myself a lot of extra time to navigate around that area and also to walk in to the race start.  Where I thought I would park was too close to dorms and there was pretty impacted parking and a number of permit signs to prevent parking.

Another 3 blocks away, I found lots of parking in the neighborhood (and no signs!).  It was probably about a 15 minute walk (as compared to the 10 minute walk from the paid parking lot).

The weather is quite a bit better this year (last year, ran in a torrential downpour), but it is a bit chilly.  There is a decent crowd from AREC doing the 15K – Laura, Chuck, john Ellis, Stephanie, and Jessica Centeno (in matching outfits).

My thought is that I want to run a decent first 5K, a slower next 5K, and a horrifically slow third 5K (or just run decently).  It’s certainly not a flat course, with one long uphill in the first mile, and a steep uphill at about 2.5 miles.

First loop – 24:56 (decent first 5K!)

Second loop – 25:56 (slower, but decent)

On my third loop, I stumbled on the speed bump when I got distracted by a driver wanting to drive on the course (but stopped by course monitors).  This caused my inserts to turn completely around (and wrenched my back).  So then I stopped completely to readjust the inserts and Laura passed me.

Third loop – 32:12 (horrifically slow 3rd 5K – but I did trip AND stop to fix my shoes).

Total time was 1:23:27 (way off my best) but good enough for 4th in my division and 46th overall (any time you overall your age, it’s a good day).

On the walk back to my car, I ended up meeting a UCLA alum who placed in his division in the 5K – under 18:00 for the race.  He was either a PT or in training to be so we talked about rehabbing injuries and running, etc.  Helped to pass the time on the walk back to the car.

LMJS 4th Sunday 15K – 2016

November 27, 2016

Since it works out that I am in the Bay Area for the 4th Sunday 15K, I should definitely run it.  The last time I wanted to do a 4th Sunday run, my flight got cancelled and the rebook was during the race, so I couldn’t go.

As a reminder, this course is a 5K loop, so in the 15K, you run it three times.  The effect is that you run with a bunch of people in the first lap, a few people in the second, and no one in the third lap.  (Technically, that’s not true, because there is a lot of pedestrian dodging on all the laps.)

I ran the entire race without walking (though felt like it a bit).  My first two 5K times were each a little slower than the last – 25:24 and 25:29.

On the third 5K, I pushed it a bit more in the last 1.1 miles and finished in 25:17.  My total time was 1:17:18, my best 15K in some time (since last year).  I came in 7th overall (out of 9) and 2nd in my division (out of 2).

Stars & Stripes 15K – 2012

July 4, 2012

The past several years I did the La Palma 4th of July run, but Mark Vishnevsky invited me and Inger (and Zack) to run his race instead (and gave us a comped entry!).  This is the best deal, because I could walk/jog down to the race (a couple of miles), do the race and return back the same way.

Even though my 33M race is now 3 weeks ago, the stress and strain of doing so many consecutive ultras is wearing on me a bit.  The trick is not to overdo it.

Since Mark’s courses are generally loop courses, we have the option of doing 3-5Ks OR a 5K and 10K (in whichever order).  I opted to do the 5K first and then the 10K, figuring that everyone else would do the opposite and then I wouldn’t overdo my pace.  (It makes more sense to do the 10K first, because it is less difficult psychologically to run a shorter loop the second time around – but I always take ‘the road less traveled.’)

The first 5K loop took me about 26 minutes, and then the 2nd loop (10K) took 56 minutes – and I certainly had to walk… but I didn’t have a lot of my competitors commenting on it, because they had already done the 10K loop!

I ended up finishing in 5th, about 3 minutes behind Inger.  The ironic situation here is that I was the first overall MALE finisher (perhaps the ONLY male finisher), so despite running about 13 minutes slower than my personal best at this distance, I WON the race!

LMJS 4th Sunday Run 15K – 2015

May 24, 2015

My visit with my sister is coming to an end.  I didn’t get in a lot of runs this week, but we did do a fair amount of hiking:

**Last Saturday (before my semi-competitive 15K on Sunday), we did the 10-mile loop around Lake Chabot.

**On Monday, we walked around the neighborhood. Normally (at least in MY neighborhood), this would be junk walking, but Hiller Highlands is lots of STEEP hills everywhere.  Even 2.7 miles gets your blood pumping!

**On Tuesday, we drove out to the Aid Station #1 location (where Golf Links Road ends) and did part of Big Bear and Golden Spike Trails.  Seemingly, I am showing Marisa most of the Skyline 50K (which I am planning on running as my 100th marathon or longer race).

**On Wednesday, we met some of Marisa’s Texan friends (who now live in Alaska) and did the Mission Peak route near Ohlone College.

**On Thursday, we did the Sibley Loop, which is 1.5 miles of steep technical wooded downhill trail, a mile of paved uphill, and another half-mile up downhill back to the car.  It was pleasantly overcast.

**On Saturday, Shauna joined us for a Marin County trip.  We drove out to Stinson Beach and did the Matt Davis Trail, part of the Coastal Trail (Matt Davis was tough for Shauna, so I did 25 minutes out-and-back so they could rest), down Steep Ravine (which includes the ‘infamous’ backwards log-ladder), and finally, the countless stairs on the Dipsea Trail.  Four-and-a-half hours!

So… for Sunday, I am doing the 15K, after around 35 miles of hiking over the past week!

The route is the same as always: 3 5K loops around Lake Merritt.  There are two other races – a 5K and 10K, so it is often difficult to tell if you are competitive… until you get to the final lap.  Years ago, I ran 67:36 (14 years ago), which works out to around 22:20 per lap.  I am hoping to be at around 24:48 per lap (translating to 8:00/mile), but I am not all that confident after all that hiking.

My first lap is semi-crowded (both because of the multiple races and also because there are a number of civilians on the course to avoid) and I go out a bit fast to get around some of the slower 5Kers.  I hit my goal pace for the first loop – 24:05, giving me about 43 seconds towards a slower lap, because I am not sure that I can maintain this pace today.

The second lap is less crowded (most people run the 5K) and I am within sight of a couple of people that I feel are in the 15K, but I am not sure that I can catch up.  There is a little extra running on this loop, because by the Kaiser Convention Center, they are dismantling a temporary stage right in the middle of the course; the best course is “cross country” on the small swath of grass alongside the paved path.  My time is 25:07 on this lap, and my margin of error for hitting 8:00 pace is down to 24 seconds.

I am trying to maintain my pace for my third loop, but I can feel I am losing some of my pace, especially on the minor uphills (course is essentially flat).  I am losing contact with the two guys who had been just ahead of me, and just past the 10K point, I get passed by an older gent.

Although I push on the downhills, I come up a bit short on my goal and finish my final loop in 25:23, just 11 seconds slower than my goal (So, I did 8:01/mile.)  I am the 5th finisher (of 6), the slowest male finisher, and last in my age group (the only one with more than 1 finisher), but am still happy with my time.  I ran the 15K back in 2010, and today’s time is a minute faster.

A few hours after the race, I drive back to Los Angeles and air out my fumigated condo.  It was a nice week, hiking and visiting with my little sister.