Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Catching Up - Race Reports March - July 2012

I’m ridiculously behind in my blog, so to try to get back on track I’m going to just post a quick catch-up of my racing activities from March to July.  This is more like a brief race recap diary for my personal use so you might want to skip reading it.  If I get caught up, maybe I'll be able to get back to some real blogging.

Men’s Mile – March 4, 2012 – SAR hosted a Men’s Mile event in connection with a ladies-only 5k.  Unfortunately the course was quite hilly so it really wasn’t a good race for working on a new mile PR (why, oh why, are single mile races so hard to find?  Don’t we as runners all want to know how fast we are capable of running a mile in?)  I ran it in 5:33 after working late at the observatory the night before, 9th place out of only 22 runners, 3rd in my age group but no award.

Midtown Sertoma 5k – March 10, 2012 – a nice cool morning, felt pretty good so I set a new 5k PR with a time of 18:48.  4th place overall, 1st in my age group so I won a medal.  Enjoyed the race and took a lot of photos of others afterward.

LA Big 5k – March 17, 2012 – ran this as a shakeout for the next day’s LA Marathon.  It was pouring rain but I felt pretty good, and probably ran a little too fast.  My time was 19:16, and I got 1st place in my age group!  But they cancelled the awards due to the heavy rain, so a few weeks later I received an acrylic medal in the mail.

LA Marathon – March 18, 2012 – this was a great marathon event, very well managed although the outdoor expo wasn’t the best idea since it rained.  The “Stadium-to-the-Sea” course started at Dodger Stadium and passed several big LA landmarks.  It had more hills that I expected and by mile 20 I was hurting and slowed a lot.  My final time was 3:11:42.  Short trip, I had to drive back to Tucson immediately after the race since it was tax season.

Arizona Distance Classic Valley of Gold Half Marathon – March 25, 2012 – I was a bit stiff from the marathon the week prior but still managed to have fun.  My time was 1:25:29, about a minute faster than last year.  I won 1st place in the Masters division and this year they had a small awards ceremony, so I got a nice glass plaque.

Carlsbad 5000 All-Day 25k – April 1, 2012 – This one ranks up there as one of my favorite events for the year.  I drove out with several friends – Chris, Brian, and Paula also ran, and Misty took photos.  The five back-to-back 5k’s with short breaks between was a totally new experience.  I ran a new PR of 18:25 in the first, which was the Masters Male 5k.  The rest were slower but it was so fun with all the very fast runners.  I earned two medals, one for top 250 in the Masters 5k and one for finishing the All-Day 25k.

Catalina State Park Trail Run 10.35 miler – April 7, 2012 – I held back a little on this one since Boston was only a week away.  The course is always a fun one and this year’s race was dry (last year was freezing rain).  My time was 1:15:17, about 2.5 minutes faster than last year and good enough for 2nd place in my age group.

Boston 5k – April 15, 2012 – I used this as my shakeout run for the Boston Marathon, plus it was part of the overall amazing Boston weekend experience.  Took my camera along and snapped photos as I ran, and tried not to care at all about my time, which was 22:29.  The pack was huge.  I earned a finisher medal.

Boston Marathon – April 16, 2012 – This one really deserves its own blog.  The whole weekend was so much fun and Boston was beautiful.  Unfortunately they had a heat wave come through and on race morning it was very hot and humid.  Several of us from Tucson met up before the race.  I started out feeling great but it by mile 6 the heat was trashing people.  There were electric signs all over telling runners “Dangerous Heat – Slow Down”.  Volunteers and spectators were everywhere and I used way more water than normal – I even grabbed ice and held it on my head, and poured water on my head many times.  Eventually the heat won and I slowed down a lot, but I finished in 3:24:49 and earned the Boston finisher medal (which surprisingly is quite small).  I loved running this one, although it was challenging to leave the office right at the end of tax season.  Although fun, it definitely wasn’t the Boston experience that I was hoping for, so maybe I’ll get a chance to try it again.

Kitt Peak Ascent 10 miler– April 22, 2012 – This is such a difficult course that running it only 6 days after Boston was rough, but I just couldn’t miss an opportunity to run up the mountain to the Kitt Peak observatories.  My time was 1:29:29, and I was 4th overall and 1st in my age group so I won a ceramic tile.  My time was almost 2 minutes better than last year’s nighttime version of this race.  It was small, and lack of organization and unkept promises makes me suspect that this race may not happen again.

Mt. Lemmon Half-Marathon – April 29, 2012 – A fun, extremely challenging, but ultimately very disappointing race.  I was having fun and was actually in 2nd place overall at the 12.5 mile mark.  But the course had a turnaround loop at a random point in the road that was not marked, and no course monitor, so I (and several others behind me) kept going.  By the time I was certain we were off course it was too late, and when we came back a volunteer was there pointing the way.  I ended up running 14.5 miles and placed 15th overall, not even good enough for an age group award when I should have been 2nd.  My time for this frustrating race was 1:59:04, but that's sort of meaningless.

OC Marathon – May 6, 2012 – My May marathon required another drive out to Southern California, and this time I was accompanied by Chris, Brian, and Bruce (who all ran the half), and Misty who took photos.  I had won a free entry from Joe Taricani of The Marathon Show and had a good time meeting up with him.  It was a super-short trip, we arrived on Saturday afternoon in time to pick up packets.  I was experiencing some bad calf pain, and around mile 12 my calf became so painful and tight that I considered dropping out.  But I kept going, and finished in 3:08:41.

Tucson 5000 – May 13, 2012 – calf was still hurting but this is a SAR big event and I didn’t want to miss it.  As always it was great to hang out with friends on a nice morning.  My time was 18:56, which won me 1st place in my age group and a glass.

Cleveland Marathon – May 20, 2012 – my goal for 2012 was a marathon per calendar month, but I had to go to Dayton, Ohio for a ham radio convention so I decided to add Cleveland to my schedule.  I was working at the expo until Saturday evening so couldn’t even go to the expo, but I located some friendly marathon maniacs who not only picked up my race packet for me, but delivered it to my hotel!  The course was nice and I think I might have done well, but the heat conditions were similar to Boston so I found myself slowing once again.  My time was 3:28:01 and I got a cool finisher medal – it has a spinning guitar at the center!

Rock’n’Roll San Diego Marathon – June 3, 2012 – Another drive out to SoCal with Chris and Misty.  We had a good time and met up with some other Tucson runners.  For the past few months I had been experiencing increasing abdominal pain from a hernia, but the Doctor had said it was o.k. to run and no rush to operate.  The pain typically went away about a mile in to my runs.  Unfortunately at this race, the pain never went away and it hurt more than it had.  My goal was to improve over last year’s time, but the pain slowed me down and in the end I ran about 5 minutes slower, with a final time of 3:18:43.  After returning to Tucson, I visited the Doc again and this time he said we needed to schedule the surgery right away, so my running took a break for that (I’ll blog separately about the hernia, which turned out to be a double hernia).

4th of July Freedom Run 5k– July 4, 2012 – less than 3 weeks post-surgery, so I held back a lot.  The healing was progressing but still had a lot of pain.  I ran 21:17 and got 3rd in my age group, which earned me a small acrylic plaque.

Run With the Roosters 5 miler – July 8, 2012 – a fun event out at Old Tucson Studios.  The hernia site was still hurting a lot so I ran a calmer pace.  My time was 34:35, almost 3 minutes slower than last year.

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