Summer Nights 5K (3) – 2016

August 4, 2016

My right knee has been bugging me the last few weeks.  I already know that I have Runner’s Knee, and it pops a bit when I leave it bent for too long.  Mostly, it is extra sore when I am pounding it extra hard on pavement (trails or dirt feel better, mostly).

The third (and final for me (not going to Brea)) Summer Night is being held for the first time at Huntington Beach Central Park (where I have run dozens of races).  It is an interesting set-up because there is some major construction going on in an area where we would normally run, so instead of a really interesting loop, it is basically running out to the far end of the park (by the arboretum, and not by the horse and dog area that we regularly run in) and doing three loops of mostly the same thing and a lot of paved path.

I was running a bit late and ended up signing in to race at 6:27pm, with a 6:30pm start.  I basically pinned my number on AS I started the run.  There were not going to be a lot of AREC folks, but I knew Birthday Boy Mark Vishnevsky was going to be there, so I wanted to at least go by and say, “Hi.”  Instead of the 15-20 folks, there were 6 of us.  Still a lot of high schoolers, though.

I decided to run with my GPS watch, because it can tell me what my average pace per mile is AND my best pace within that mile… so if I slow down, I can see what my fastest pace is (probably when I ramp back up).

Mile 1, I cover in 7:39, and my best pace is 6:46.  I’m getting my feel for the course and also I am amidst a lot of young runners.  The one section of unfamiliar grass is VERY lumpy and I do almost trip a couple of times.

For Mile 2, I slow down a bit (walk a tad) and do 8:35 (best pace 6:29).

And for the last mile, I want to finish strong, though I don’t want to overdo it, as I have an ultramarathon on Sunday and a 6-hour drive to Oakland tomorrow.  So I do 9:15 (best pace 7:02 – probably the last 200 yards) and finish in 25:09, a little over 8:00 pace.

Mark comes in 4th overall in the race (best 5K EVER at age 36!).

Summer Nights 5K (2) – 2016

July 21, 2016

Weather has been in the 80s in the evenings and humid (for S. California).  There is a larger crowd today at Summer Nights, probably because the high schoolers either have started Cross Country training or are not out of town for 4th of July weekend.

I don’t mind running with a lot of teenagers, though it makes you feel somewhat slow because most of them have endless energy and also have trained to go hard for 3+ miles (whereas I can do decently fast for 3+ miles but can go consistently (or at least, ponderously) for 31+ miles).

I held my own for the first mile or so (that’s never a problem), clocking in at 7:35, but then I mixed in some walking.  This is when I got passed by Kevin McKee (who said, “Lookin’ good!” – Love the enthusiasm; I try to do that, too, but I don’t think I was ‘lookin’ good.’).

I tried to make sure I stayed ahead of the speedy AREC ladies and I did that, even though my 2nd mile was 9:41 and my third mile (1.1) was 10:18 (probably around 9:41 for the mile).

With my fast early mile, I was able to keep my overall pace under 9:00/mile and finish in 27:44 (5th in the 45-49 age group – the winner of which also went to Piedmont High School, Class of 1989, Drew Sells).

After I chugged a half liter of water, I doubled back to find Kathy Massanet (about a half-mile back) and walk-jogged in with her.

Boeing 5K (7) – 2016

July 11, 2016

All weekend I volunteered at the Santa Barbara 100M/100K.  It’s always so inspirational to watch people finish this race, because it is so difficult.  (I have run some similar courses in here and had mixed results.)  You think of Santa Barbara of having a temperate clime, but this is not the coast.

Things went better this year, logistically speaking.  Less confusion, better radio reporting, less running around with chicken heads chopped off.

I was up almost the entire time (36+ hours), so I don’t expect a great run this morning, but would like something comparable to last week’s 5K or 10K races.

First mile was 7:37 and second mile was 8:01.

For my third mile, since I was destined to finish under 8:00/mile pace, I slowed down a bit.  Why?  Because today is a prediction run and I had predicted 24:47 (sub-8:00 pace) and knew I would be less close to that unless I slowed down… so last 1.1 mile was in 8:54 and I finished in 24:35.

Summer Nights 5K (1) – 2016

July 7, 2016

Third race this week.  Just weird timing, I guess.

Summer Nights format changed a little bit this year, mostly because the running store that hosted it is no longer located on Carson Blvd., across from Heartwell Park, where we have been running it.

Last year, you got a couple of soft tacos at the end of the race, and this year, you are getting shaved ice.  (Hope it is hot after the runs!)  Also, last year, there were 3 runs, all in Heartwell Park.  This year, there are four runs, with two in Heartwell, one in Huntington Beach Central Park, and one in Brea (probably won’t attend that one).

There are a bunch of young people at this race, but not a ton.  You have to sublimate your desire to go out fast, because you probably won’t be able to stay with all of these folks at the pace you think you can manage.  My immediate goal today is to run the whole race (though I could probably walk a bit and still finish close to 8:00/mile) and not have the heat-induced increased heart-rate that freaked me out a couple of years ago.

My first mile (which we all agree was not entirely accurate) was 7:23, with the second mile in 8:27 (slightly long).  I get that it’s tough to put the miles in the right spots, but don’t we all have a GPS system to get it pretty close to accurate?

After getting passed by “Check-Out-My-Abs” Jesus Rodriguez a little earlier in the course, I could not manage enough to catch him back up, and finished about 40 second behind him in a respectable 24:43.  (Comparable to my first lap at La Palma, and that was on a road, and this is cross country.)

I enjoyed the Shaved Ice, but would prefer to have a soft taco instead.

La Palma 4th of July 10K – 2016

July 4, 2016

Back again for another La Palma 4th of July 10K.  I would probably have a streak of 12 years, but one year, I ran a 15K with Mark and Michelle for free, but I do enjoy doing this local race.  I heard a rumor this year (don’t tell anybody) that this race might not continue.  The crowds look at big as usual, but I think there is starting to be a recession from people being excited about running (it ebbs and flows), so hopefully this race isn’t a casualty of this issue.

I used the GPS again, to see where I was at in the second half of the race, because being with everyone in the 5K tends to pull me along to a good first half time (and also it warms up on the second half).

My first lap (5K) was 24:23, close to my best runs for a 5K this year (within a minute or so), and so, on the second half, I did take some walking breaks.

Towards the end, I was passed by Nick Kincaid.  We usually finish close together, either with him finishing just behind me or passing me early enough that I can’t make up the stagger.  I did my best to stay within range of him and caught him right at the finish (timing showed we had identical times).

And, for the first time in a few years, I got an age group award.  My theory of being the youngest in my current age group holds up, I guess.

Stars and Stripes 5K – 2016

July 3, 2016

Decided I would walk down to visit Mark and Michelle, because they were putting on a holiday weekend series of races.  I also wanted to try out my GPS watch that Doug Atkin had refurbished, then given to me.

It was kind of fun to see minute changes in pace as I sped up or slowed down, or came to a stop.

Mark told me that I should run to the turnaround with Michelle and then he would give me credit for a 5K race (since there were still people out there).  When Michelle stopped for a powder room break, I decided that I would (race) walk until Michelle caught up to me (which never happened).

I felt pretty good (racewalk-wise) and maintained a consistent pace the whole way.  I was probably the fastest racewalker, except that they didn’t have that category.  I finished in 36:10, which is one of my better walking 5Ks.

I helped them clean up and then walked back home to rest before tomorrow’s race.

Boeing 5K (6) – 2016

June 13, 2016

Today is another recovery 5K after an ultra.  In case you are new to these posts, I am currently in the middle of a streak with these runs.  The runs are held once a month on the second Monday of the month at 11:50am.  If there is rain, the run is postponed for a week.  If there is rain the following week, it can get cancelled (or postponed to the following month).

I previously had a streak of 57 consecutive runs.  This was roughly six years (because there was a year where 3/4 of the runs were cancelled due to construction).  I was able to maintain that streak even through getting called to Jury Duty because I ended up with an extended lunch.

On my current streak, I was able to continue despite being released from the hospital a few hours earlier, as well as a few times where I was not going to be in town, but it rained and postponed the event.

There are two people who (currently) have longer streaks than I have – Peter Lew, with 120 consecutive runs (10 years!) and Nelson Slagle with 101 consecutive runs.  If all goes well, I should reach 100 consecutive 5Ks in September of this year (pretty much 8+ years).  Peter thinks I can reach his record, but it really depends upon what my life has in store in the next couple of years.

So, today, even though I am going to fully walk the course (and not really be competitive), I will continue my streak.  For the record, it took me 23 minutes to halfway and 19 minutes coming back.  SLOW.