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Going for a new PR -- wish me luck

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Our local elementary school PTA organizes a USATF-certified 8K race (approx. 5.1 miles) every Fall.  I've run it seven times over the past decade.  My personal record in the "modern era" (i.e., when I started keeping track of my times) is 45:37 -- which was back in 2004 (five years ago!).  In the years since then my run times have been 46 and change. 

This past summer, when I was just getting back into running after my hernia surgery, my son challenged me to get a new PR.  So, I've decided to break the 45 minute barrier.  I've started training seriously in mid-August; the race is October 31.  I'll let y'all know how I do.
post #2 of 18

Good luck at your race.  New PRs are always fun.

I really like the 8K distance, but there's not too many of them around.  It's either 5K or 10K. 
BTW 8 km = 4.97096 mi, so it's almost 5 miles, I guess I would put down 5 in my log for an 8K race.

 

Good luck and enjoy!  Is your son running it with you? 

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Tim  -- thanks.  My son has run with me in the past; in fact this 8K was one of his first timed races. Now he's on his high school varsity cross-country team and will be running in the divisional championship that day -- maybe at the same time.

I agree that 8K is a nice distance -- and even more so now that I know that it's under 5 miles!  
post #4 of 18

Good luck to you and your son! Your post causes a foolish old guy to reminisce. 36 years ago I ran the UM College Park 5.2 mile Cross Country course in 26:08. My running days are behind me now due to knee problems, but I try to do some bicycle riding instead.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
James -- Thanks for your support.  26:08 is a great time -- that's 5-minute miles!  I don't think that even 36 years ago I could do a 5-minute mile for longer than, say, a mile. 

I had some knee problems last year, but switching running shoes (and running shoe stores) helped for me.  Also I think doing cross-training helps: I get aerobic benefit while using my leg muscles/joints differently.  Besides biking, the eliptical is good.  I agree that if your knees are bothering you, it makes sense not to rely on running for your primary aerobic exercise.

However, given that we're the same age (IIRC), I definitely do not agree with you calling yourself a "foolish old guy".  Heck, you can probably ski rings around me....
post #6 of 18

Hey Jim, that's cool about your son.  My kids are just starting to take an interest in running, but they're not middle school aged yet, so no running opportunities at school.  They have done some kid's races though.

I'll be in DC in a few weeks for the Marine Corps Marathon.  It's a tremendous event.  I've done it once before and I'm really looking forward to it again. 

Keep running...it helps your skiing. 

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Have fun at the Marine Corps Marathon.  It's an amazing event that always gets a lot of local news coverage.  I haven't done it yet, but I should add it to my running "bucket" list -- people tell me I'm not getting any younger...

 
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ran the 8K course yesterday.  My son was alongside on his bike, with the water (which he allowed me to have only on mile 2 and mile 4) and a stopwatch.  I ran it in 45:02 --  which beats my 2004 PR!   Of course I can't count it as my new PR because it was not during an official race, but it does make me think I can get under 45:00 on race day, one month from now.   My son thinks I can do it in 43 if I just get more determined in the middle miles.  
post #9 of 18
Have fun! Be sure to toe-up near the front if it's a crowded field.  Remember also to taper your training toward the end.  I get over motivated when pursuing a PR and tend to injury myself days prior to the event.
post #10 of 18

what Clark said + don't get wrapped up and go out too fast.  Nice and even for the first three miles then gradually speed up and empty the tank going to the finish line.  You're going to do great!

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Clark and Tim  -- thanks.  I agree about tapering off a few days before race; my leg muscles need some time to recover.  Also, I like the idea of seeing the race in segments.  Here's my preliminary thoughts on strategy: 
  • the first three miles: keep a steady pace; shoot for 25 minutes or less (the Sunday before last I ran the first three in 25:37)
  • the fourth mile: the entire mile is uphill.  Strategy: don't tank; keep it under 9 minutes (the Sunday before last I was over 10 minutes on the 4th mile)
  • the last mile: tell myself I'm just starting the race, and run a 7-minute (or less) mile.  

The Sunday before last my son had me seriously pick up my pace the second half of the third mile, which is uphill.  Doing so helped on my time but I think contributed to my doggy 4th mile.  So I like Tim's idea of steady pace for the first three.

What do you guys think? 

 
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timr1 View Post


I'll be in DC in a few weeks for the Marine Corps Marathon.  It's a tremendous event.  I've done it once before and I'm really looking forward to it again. 

 



Tim -- Good luck this weekend!
post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by Timr1 View Post


I'll be in DC in a few weeks for the Marine Corps Marathon.  It's a tremendous event.  I've done it once before and I'm really looking forward to it again. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck with the MCM.  Good weather expected Sunday, partly sunny, highs in the low 60s.  Sorry I won't be watching, there is a big ski swap in town at the same time! 
One of my college roomates won "the people's marathon" in 1982.  That guy listened to Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album every day/all day for a whole semester.

One of my adult daughters will be running a food concession stand at this event - tacos. 
BTW this thread inspired me to get out and do a few 3 mile jogs recently.  No knee swelling, which had been a problem for the past couple years.  Maybe I'll do a modest comeback, now that my bike commuting during Day Light Savings Time is about to end. 

post #14 of 18
Thanks guys.  I'm leaving on the first flight in the morning.  MCM expo tomorrow afternoon. 
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
I didn't get to see the race (other than highlights on the news) and I didn't make to the ski swap. 

But I did go to a local high school track for a final interval training before my race this Saturday.  

Tim, how was it?  You had great weather, perfect for running.  I'm guessing just under 3.5 hours.  
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
I did it!    My 8K race was this past Saturday.  Did it in 44:08 net time.  Broke my 2004 PR by almost 1.5 minutes.  

After the race, I asked my son if next year he was going to throw down the gauntlet again -- for me to run it under 44 minutes.  He said, nope, next year he wants me under 40:00.... 
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

I did it!    My 8K race was this past Saturday.  Did it in 44:08 net time.  Broke my 2004 PR by almost 1.5 minutes.  

After the race, I asked my son if next year he was going to throw down the gauntlet again -- for me to run it under 44 minutes.  He said, nope, next year he wants me under 40:00.... 

Congrats!!!  I think you could work your way down under 40 too.  Just need some specific workouts in your training.  Do you spend anytime on speedwork / track repeats?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

I didn't get to see the race (other than highlights on the news) and I didn't make to the ski swap. 

But I did go to a local high school track for a final interval training before my race this Saturday.  

Tim, how was it?  You had great weather, perfect for running.  I'm guessing just under 3.5 hours.  

The weather was good, but too windy.  I was fighting a cold since Tuesday before the race.  Therefore, I was on OTC cold meds that I now know have a side effect of raising your heart rate.  My HR was about 10 bpm too high almost from the get go.  But, I kept telling myself that it wouldn't matter and soldiered on.

I hit the 20 mile mark on pace for a 3:13:30 finish.  But shortly thereafter, going over the 14th street bridge, it all came to screeching halt.  I had a coughing fit where I thought I was going to throw up.  I walked a bit.  From there, I walked 6 times for 1 min each time in the last 5 miles.  Still finished in 3:25.  I was in the top 1000 finishers of almost 21,000 finishers.  All in all, it was good day in spite of the being sick.  I'm making plans for my spring marathon.  Thanks for the support.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Tim --

Congrats to you too!  That's an amazing time -- especially with the effect of the meds.  If pseudoephedrine was one of the active ingredients then you may have also had some dehydration effect along with the elevated heart rate. 

For my race I was lucky to be in good health even though my son had just missed three days of school with a fever and flu symptoms.  And my breakfast was still intact at the end of the race, so clearly I didn't push myself enough. 

My training schedule has been: 

(a)  two distance runs during the week at moderate pace: I worked up to a 10K run that I call the "Monument run"  because it loops the Washington monument, and Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, and most of the Mall; and 

(b)  on weekends I would either do an interval run (see below) or go with my son on a long but slower distance run (e.g., we did 1.5 to two-hour runs at a 10-min/mile pace);

(c)  on off days, I would do non-running exercise: eliptical or bicycle, and upper body weight stations.

My interval work-outs, typically at a track, were usually some variation like:
1 lap warm-up
2 laps moderate pace 

6 laps, each split: half sprint, half jog
2 laps moderate pace
1 lap "moderate +" pace

The intervals really helped me -- not only for any stamina building that may have resulted, but also psychologically: when I kicked in for that last mile in the 8K, I remembered the sprints at the track and said to myself "you've been here, you can do this".  I probably should have done more interval work -- I did them only 4-5 times during Aug.- Oct.  Probably once a week would be better.  

Any thoughts on how to torque my training for next year's race would be welcome.  In the short run, although I would love to at least maintain the running/conditioning level that I've reached, I also want to think through what I should be working on to get ready for skiing.  Only six weeks til I hit the slopes! 
   
 

  


Edited by Jimski - 11/2/09 at 11:54am
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