Category Archives: 1M

Run the Runway 1M – 2015

March 31, 2015

About two weeks ago, I received a cryptic e-mail about running on the Long Beach Airport Runway.  This does not sound like a good idea, since the traffic on the runways always exceed 100 miles per hour.  Even Usain Bolt is not that fast!

Well, apparently, the surface of the runway needs to be re-asphalted every 15-20 years due to wear and tear.  One of Long Beach Airport (LGB)’s runways just was completed and the city figured a good way to show it off and to celebrate would be to let people run on it.

To do so, you needed to register online with your information and include your shirt size (free shirt – just what I need).  The timing of the run would work OK for me because it was at 2pm on a Tuesday, but I would be very surprised if a lot of people showed up because it is in the middle of the day.

Since the runway is only a half-mile long (roundtrip 1 mile), I figured to get in a little extra exercise by walking to and from the airport (though tonight I also have my speed workout with TRH on the track).  I brought along a (used) book I had recently purchased (a short story by Solzhenitsyn) and timed it so I would arrive about 45 minutes before the event.

When I arrived, there was already a rather long line, but I spotted a few folks I know (some in front of me and some behind).  Once we got inside the gate (didn’t even have to show ID), the check-in was alphabetical by… FIRST Name.  This was a total zoo and a lot of folks didn’t even have their pre-registered information.  There were a LOT of people here (over 500).

There was a bit of a delay getting started and I lined up with Chuck and Laura.  The race was not going to be timed, but I still wanted to see what I could do a mile in (with meanderers around me, no less).  It was a weird surface to run on (macadam?), slightly better than concrete, obviously not as forgiving as packed dirt trail.  Both Chuck and I finished in the Top Ten, right around 7 minutes (7:02 for me, Chuck slightly slower).  They were interviewing and had minor prizes for the top 3 (wish they had said that… maybe I could have run a little faster).

After I finished, there were still lots of people who had not reached the far end yet, so I decided I would do another 1 mile loop, race-walking this time to see if I could catch up to the slow pokes.  Yes, 12:38

Chuck and Laura offered me a ride home, but in getting my free lemonade, muffins and cookies, I misplaced them and ended up having to walk home on my own (well, not all of the way; a friend passed me on the road and waved… and then offered me a ride the final mile).

My take-away was a free mile (or two) run, a flat orange water bottle, an orange commemorative shirt and 5 airplane pens.

Carrollton 1M/5K – 2014

December 28, 2014

Seemingly, there is always this set of back-to-back races.  I think the Carrollton Runners and the Plano Pacers both do 4th Saturday/Sunday races each month.  These race(s) are an even better deal than yesterday’s race – $2.  Usually if you register race day, it’s a whopping $3, but since I am already in the system (and they leave you in the database for a year before dropping you), I get the pre-registered discount.

I have a tighter schedule today, as Mom and Dad want to go to church  and will need the car back by 9:10 at the latest.  I am up at 6:45am thinking to leave around 7:20 and I happened to double-check the website and saw it had a 7:30am start!  Good thing I was up early.

It is about the same temperature today as yesterday, but it isn’t as windy so it doesn’t feel as cold, thankfully.  I still need a long-sleeved shirt, though.

The registrant is surprised to see me, but recognizes me (because I am ultra-tall) from last year.  I also see Kim Andres, a “senior” runner that I have met at this race in the past.

The race start for the Mile is 100 yards away from the check-in spot.  It looks like there are about 10-15 people participating.  In the past, I have mostly paced myself slower, because I cannot recover from a fast mile fast enough to run a decent 5K.

I start out at the back and then move up as I move through the race.  Nicely enough, they have 1/4 mile markers along the course so I can glance at my watch and see my splits.  Each split is 1-5 seconds faster than the last and I end up finishing in 6:55 (my best mile here by 30-40 seconds).  I finished in 2nd overall (so I win my age group (no weight class here) because the winner was also 40-44).

After the last person finishes, we have about 5 minutes before the start of the 5K.  The start is on the street parallel to the check-in area and follows along the 1M course.  For about 3/4 of a mile, there is a group of 5 of us all at the front, but I cannot maintain that pace after doing the sub-7:00 mile.  My goal is to finish under 24:48 (8:00/mile).  At Mile 1, I am at 7:24.  I feel I may have gone out too fast.

For the next section (to the turnaround), the course enters another part of the park.  Unfortunately, the gate is locked, so we are running the alternative course which veers off the road and onto a path.  For some reason, this affects my pace slightly (probably the added turns and extra-careful watching my footsteps).  I see catching up with the lead group fade (especially when I see how far ahead they are of me and what I have left in the tank).  Mile 2 is 8:06.

The last bit of the race is the recircling of the 1M course.  I held back on my pace until the last straightaway and my last 1.1 is also 8:06, for a total time of 23:36 (a personal best on the course).  Excellent for a back-to-back.

I receive an award of a Gatorade recovery drink for having one of the best Age-Graded personal bests.  (I got one last year, too, but I don’t understand quite how it works.)

I was able to stay for a while and chat.  A guy that I beat in the 1M but beat me in the 5K was just starting his running ‘career.’  He gave me his card (in case I wanted to attend his church later).  I had to leave with enough time to get the car back, though.  Of course, when I got back with plenty of time, other plans had been made.. but really I was happier to be back somewhere warming up.