Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Twitter Road Race - Final Race Instructions

As most of you know by now, the date of the race is this Saturday, August 4th and the race distance is a 5K. The finisher's form will be posted under the Twitter Road Race tab on my blog soon. You MUST submit the time of your 5K on this form by 11:59 PM Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST) Saturday night to be counted as an official finisher. After the cutoff time, submissions will no longer be accepted.

Only submit your time once. If you realized you made a mistake or are unsure if your time was submitted, send me a tweet and I'd be happy to check and make any necessary corrections for you.

IMPORTANT: When you enter your time into the form, PLEASE be sure you enter it in the correct format, which is HH:MM:SS. For example, if you ran your 5K in 32 minutes and 10 seconds, please enter your time as 00:32:10. If you enter your time as 32:10, leaving out the 00: for the hour placeholder, the form is going to think it took you 32 hours and 10 minutes. So, please be mindful of that. Thank you :)

The results posted no later than 12pm, Eastern Time on Sunday. I will be sure to tweet the link once the results are ready. 

Q: Can I run the race on a treadmill?
A: Yes.
Q: My training program calls for a 5 mile (8K) run on Saturday, can I use a 5K split from that run to count towards the Twitter Road Race?
A: Yes. 
Q: I have a 5K race on the same day as the Twitter Road Race, can I use my time from that race for the Twitter Road Race?
A: Yes.
See a trend here?

Basically, any way you can run the 5K is fine by me. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to tweet or DM your questions and I will be happy to answer them.

Again, thank you so much for spreading the word about this event! Please continue to tweet using #TwitterRoadRace so we can get as many runners as we can on race day! I wish you all a great and safe race! Have fun out there!

Happy Running!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Race Recap: Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon

Respect the distance. That is my take away from my 29th marathon finish. Respect the distance...because if you don't, it will bite you hard.

The Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon is a race I wont forget for a long time. I'm a marathon junkie. I love the distance. So, when I saw this race it peaked my interest because this would certainly be a different way to experience 26.2 miles.

The race was created in 2010 so Michael Wardian, a well-known runner in the ultra running community, could attempt to break the indoor marathon world record, which he did in a time of 2:27:21! And if you're wondering who Grant and Pierce are, they are Michael's sons. Michael is from the DC area and for the past couple of years I've been following his running career. I liked the idea of being able to run in a race with him and get the chance to introduce myself (which I did!).

Anyways, onto the race. Since I knew I would have my phone nearby, I decided to tweet during the race using #IndoorMarathon. Judging by the responses I got, it would appear my followers (aka kickass running tweeps) enjoyed reading my updates! Thank you for all the messages! Much appreciated!

So, allow me to use my in-race tweets to show how my race went from good to bad. 

45 mins in. 42 laps down. Feeling good! 

I will say the weirdest part about this marathon was the fact that I had no idea what mile I was on throughout the entire race. The only way I could judge my progress was by asking for my lap count from my friendly volunteer lap counter, Beth. Instead of 26.2 miles, it was 211 laps that was stuck in my head.

I knew right from the get go that I was running too fast. But, for whatever reason, I did not slow down.

Mistake #1: Don't start off fast.

Hour and a half in. 88 laps down. Not dizzy yet! Feeling great!

Still running stupidly fast, I realized I was on a PR pace. Let it be known, I had no intention of trying to PR in this race. I knew my conditioning wasn't at the level I wanted it to be at to try and break it. But, the idea of setting PR excited me, so I decided to go for it.

Mistake #2: Don't change your race plan mid-race.

2:15 in. 124 laps out of 211 down. Started out a bit too fast. Gonna take it easy this last part. 

This was the point in the race where I knew I was in trouble. My half marathon time was about 1 hour and 52 minutes. I knew there was no way I would even come close to matching or bettering that time in my second half. In fact, I did what I hated most during a marathon...slow down. I like running negative splits. That was not going to happen.

Oh, and what I meant by "take it easy" is that I was now in survival mode.  

3 hours in. 160 laps down. Dealing with some stomach cramps and tight quads. Ah, the joys of a marathon! 

As the race continued on, it was like roller coaster ride. At times I felt alright. Other times I thought about dropping out because I felt like crap. I ate a handful of these Powerbar gummies thinking they would make me feel better. Nope, they only made me feel worse by giving me stomach cramps.

Mistake #3: Don't try something new for the first time during a race. 

Finished! Rough 2nd half. Had to deal with some wicked stomach cramps. Oh well. Important thing is I FINISHED! My 29th mary!

Finally, I crossed the finish line (well I had already crossed it 210 times) in 4:14:02.

To give you an idea of how badly my body shutdown on me in the final stages of the race, it took me about 2 hours and 20 minutes to run the second half (remember my first half was 1:52).

After the race I was pretty disappointed with myself. I made a lot of rookie mistakes that I shouldn't have. I know better than that. But, as I said earlier, my take away from this race is to respect the distance. I did not do that and paid for it dearly. But, what I can be satisfied about is that I stuck with it, never gave up, and finished. And, at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What I've Been Up To

It's been awhile since I've last blogged. June was very busy for me and I didn't have much down time to do so. But, I'm back and ready to post a little update!

Since my last blog, I've run in couple races. In early June I ran in The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K trail run in Northern Virginia. It was my second ultra and my first trail ultra. The race was awesome and The North Face did an excellent job organizing it! Heavy rains fell the night before the race which made for some challenging course conditions. Some sections of the course were down right swampy, but it was a lot of fun!

My only goal for this race was to finish. I let the terrain control my pace that seemed to be a good strategy. Since this was my first 50K, I knew that no matter what my time was, it would be a PR. 6 hours, 23 minutes and 22 seconds later, I crossed the finish line covered in mud, but feeling great! I look forward to running in this race again next year. I might even shoot for the 50 miler next time around!

50K Garmin Upload

On Father's Day, I ran in a twilight 8K in Georgetown with my girlfriend, Katie. The course was an out & back on one of my favorite trails in the DC area, the C&O Towpath. It's not too often a race is hosted in the evening, so that was nice change. Katie and I had run a 10 miler the day prior, so we took it easy in this race and crossed the line in about 45 minutes. It was a nice race, but the trail was a bit too narrow for the amount of runners that were on the course.

My next race is a marathon on July 14th. This marathon is going to be much, much different than any other marathon I've run in the past. The entire marathon is being staged on an indoor 200 meter track at a community center in Arlington, VA. Why did I decide to sign up for such a race?... mostly because I'm trying to experience the marathon in as many different way as possible. While I'm not to sure how enjoyable it will be to run 211 laps (yes, 211 laps) around an indoor track, it will certainly be a marathon to remember. Another reason I decided to do this race is because I really wanted to do a summer marathon that didn't break the bank. Since the entry fee was only $25 and it's local, it was hard to pass up on. I will be sure to post a race recap blog as soon a possible. Since my phone will be nearby, I might even post a few tweets during the race!

Happy running! Cheers!