Friday, November 24, 2006

To the Old Guy Go the Spoils

Being 35 gets you more schwag. Daughter Haiden holds the booty from the awards table.

Results are up for the 5K Turkey Trot, and while I only managed to shave 11 seconds from my time over last year I really enjoyed the event. Having the whole family there and getting to watch my wife race with Angie and the rest of her team (the women had a separate race before ours) made it a special day, as did running for my own team. Kiera has forbidden me from posting her pic on the blog, but luckily enough Angie posted their team photo on her site (Kiera is on the viewer's far right) so I'll take advantage of the loophole.

As far as race execution goes, I went out hard in an effort to shake Grand Prix leader Dan (I'm currently 2nd), but he was having none of it. A little over a mile in I threw in one surge out of a tight corner to try and lose a small pack behind me, but the effort immediately cost me. I knew Dan was close at the end of loop one of two, but I didn't know he was right behind me until a hand grabbed my singlet from behind and pulled right after the jump pictured here. I instinctively reached my arm back and smacked the offenders forearm, only to hear "Sorry Mike" from Dan himself. He was just trying to keep himself from falling, which in retrospect would probably have been my only chance to beat him. As we closed in on mile two he came around me, and I couldn't respond as I was over the redline and the legs were already a little shaky. Dan is a great guy and a formidable runner, so I couldn't ask for more as far as a nemesis goes. He enjoys beating me only slightly less than I've enjoyed the very few times I've beaten him.

At this point in the race I just tried to hold things together and did my best to not lose any places. One more runner did slip by a bit past mile two, but I pressed on to the finish. By the time I took the second series of water jumps I was beat, and this photo proves it. I mentioned to Phil the other day that his shoulders looked tight in a photo he posted, and he mentioned that it was taken during the last .2 miles of a 10K. The photo here was taken within the last 200 meters of the race, and is a perfect example of how not to run. I've posted before about not running like I'm sitting in a bucket. This is from that old "bucket" post- "When I start to tire, I tend to start literally "dragging my butt", where my back straightens out, my hips lower, and I almost look like I'm about to sit down with each step, shuffling with bent legs. When I start to do this I tell myself two things; 'Get out of the bucket', and then something I read that Deena Kastor's husband tells her just before she starts an interval in a Running Times article, something like "chin level, head back, everything forward". Those words help me rotate my pelvis just a tad forward and lean my upper body just a little bit, which makes me lift my knees up (if I don't want to fall over). It also helps me come down a little more on my mid-foot and less on my heels. Driving with the knees hopefully gets me to straighten my rear leg on take-off." The pic further above where I'm still in front of Dan shows better form, though my arms are up high to get my balance after jumping over the water.

Posture lessons aside, it was a fun race and I can't wait to do it again next year. Today I ran 8 miles easy after sleeping in (the wife and kids are up in Mesa with the Grandparents), and tomorrow is my last real specific pace workout. Enjoy the day.

Training: Today, 8 miles, 55:36, 6:57 pace
Yesterday, 6 miles, including 5K race in 16:38


angie's pink fuzzy said...

great photos! hey, at least i didn't identify which one was kiera ;)

Joe said...

The straw bales and water jumps looked like fun! A nice flip on the normal running stuff.

Glad you had fun and took home some bling. Good for Kiera too!!

Anonymous said...

Great post, but you might want to cool it with the "old guy" blasts. Some of your readers may take offense (I'll omit their names). You have me by one year, but in February I'll have you by one I guess we are about even. LOL.