Archive for the ‘5k’ Category

Resolution Day 2008

January 1, 2008

For some peculiar reason I like to watch the sun-rise and sun-set on New Year’s Day. A little ritual of mine I’ve been doing for several years now. Sometimes it gets modified — last year I watched the sun-set on New Year’s Eve. Sometimes it rains. But I try.

Generally I watch the sun-rise on the way to the race. Of course for the last few years the race hasn’t been on New Year’s day, so last year I had the freedom to hike up Cathedral Peak.

This year I reached the harbor just as the sun rose.


I had no particular expectations about this race. Haven’t done any significant training since the marathon, and am still basically resting up from it. I knew I wouldn’t equal last year’s performance. I thought I might try to do the 5K at a 6 minute pace, and treat the 10K as a tempo run. I didn’t really care, I just wanted the thrill of running hard even if not very fast.

I did the first two miles a little below 6 minutes (5:55) and slowed markedly on the third (6:17). Oh, well, close enough.

The 10K surprised me. I had assumed I’d run somewhere around 6:30~6:40, but that was not too be. It was very hard to get started, and I was only running a 6:45, trying to chat with Travis, who was also taking it easy. But the third mile was above 7. Brrr. I was tired. Travis was appreciably ahead by now. I considered stopping once I reached the end of the first 5K lap. But I passed Ricky and figured if he could keep going so could I.

Ricky has very loud feet. Or perhaps his shoes are loose and slap. Or something. In any event I didn’t need to look back to tell when he started to gain on me again, and then he overtook me. We trotted on. On the slight rise by the bathhouse he faded again and I passed him for the final time (interesting that, I had the same experience when I passed Ricky in the Half).

I did not fade. I started to feel better. I think I just needed more of a rest after the 5K than I’d gotten — and somehow, 4 miles into this race I was starting to feel rested. Mile 5 was under 7 again. Then I started gaining on the two in front of me, by the time I reached Milpas I figured I could speed up a bit and take them. I presumed I’d slow down afterwards, but I didn’t seem to. Mile 6 was 6:31. Finally I was rested enough to run what I thought I should — but the race was almost over:-) No matter.

First time I’ve put more emphasis on the 5K than the 10K in this race set. The ~26 minutes I get between races just isn’t enough for me to recover. Next year: back to the 10K!

My right gluts started to cramp up. I went for a cooldown with a couple of friends and they (the gluts) nagged at me.

I had invited people to meet me at Tunnel trailhead at 3pm to hike up and watch the sunset. When I went over to my bike to head up I realized I was in no condition to walk, much less hike. I figured I’d go up and apologize (I had no idea who would show so I couldn’t phone, I’d sent out a blanket invite).

Luckily no one else had wanted to hike so there was no need to disappoint anyone. After waiting a bit at the trailhead, I biked back down to find a sunset-watching-spot I could lurch to.

Clouds after sunset
It was worth the lurch.

Nomen Omen

September 19, 2007

The second annual “George Williams 5K” is in a month. It takes place in Raleigh, NC about 20 miles from where I grow up. My friend Nirmal noticed it last year, and asked if it were named after me.

But it isn’t mine, nor my father’s, nor any of the 5 George Williamses in my ancestry. Just some random track coach who happened to have the same name.

The thought of running a race with my name is kind of tempting, and the thought of having that on a tee-shirt even more appealing.

I remember, a number of years ago, touring a house built by great-great-grandfather (George Walton Williams the first), though it is now called the Calhoun mansion after his son-in-law. I remember the glee I felt when just before leaving, I signed the guest book “George Walton Williams V”. I don’t know if any of the docents ever noticed, but there was a certain thrill to being part of that house in a way they never could be.

But… I don’t want to fly all the way across the country to do it. And I don’t want to run a 5k.

So I think I shall put it off for another year.

Maybe next year I’ll have recovered and be able to run again.

“Too fast, George,”

September 11, 2007

27 Jan 2007

Reproved Rusty as I crossed the finish line. Not a comment I’ve ever gotten from a coach at the end of a race before. Of course that was the issue — I wasn’t supposed to race this one.

Rusty wanted me to run it as a tempo run, 5k at a 6:05 mile pace (Actually 6:05 sounds a little fast for a tempo run to me — though I’d like it to become my tempo pace). And I tried not to go too fast. I really did. But it is so hard to do that when others are racing around me. I’m always afraid I’m going too slowly — and a 6:05 pace isn’t slow (for me) so I can’t go slowly either. I didn’t try to catch the guy who passed me at the turnaround. I didn’t try to sprint at the finish. I didn’t try to keep up with Melissa…

I set out running with Melissa, but at the first quarter I saw we were going much faster (83 vs 91 seconds) than I wanted and I dropped back. Aside from that snafu the first mile was almost right (6:01). But the return wasn’t marked in miles and after the 2.5K turn-around point I lost track of my pace.

The course was well marked outbound with quarter mile and kilometer marks. But on a 5k out and back course (with a turn-around at 2.5k), the quarters on the inbound course don’t match those outbound. I had gone out two days before and measured all the quarter mile marks of the inbound half — and chalked them in. I worried a little bit that it might rain. But it hadn’t rained in weeks, and when it had rained it was just a sprinkle. Rain seemed unlikely.

It did rain, of course.

It started about 4:30, the first real rain of the season. When I got to the course a little before 7 (because I wanted to do an 8~9 mile warmup), my marks were still visible, but faded. When the race began at 8:30 they were gone.

I rely on the quarter miles to give me feed-back on how fast I run. I should be able to just feel it, but I can’t. Now I only had the kilometer marks. I hadn’t bothered to figure out my kilometer pace. Hard to do when running 10 miles an hour in the rain. Let’s see a 6 minute mile is about 3:43… I worked that out for the 10k (or was it 3:44?) and um 5 seconds times 5/8 is um 4, no 3 and we add that to get 3:46 (or 3:47?). So I punched my watch at the 2K mark (which is really 3K now because we turned around at 2.5K). At the 1K (=4K) it says 3:37. Oops. I slow… But there aren’t any more useful marks and I, like the horse close to the stable, must have sped up again. 3:38 for the final kilometer.

Why didn’t I give up on the idea of “distance from the start”? and just use the outbound quarter mile marks on the inbound journey? Ok, I’d miss a bit right around the turn-around, but so what? Because I didn’t think of it. It’s hard for me to think when running fast.

No, that’s not true. It’s hard to cogitate. I am in deep concentration on an unconscious level. The running demands a huge amount of attention on a level of which I’m not entirely aware, if I don’t concentrate I slow. I think it’s called “Being in the moment.”

Maggie was smug afterward. She had run another perfect “No Race”.

I hadn’t raced it. Really. I ran it at my 10k pace. But it was 7 seconds per mile faster than it should have been. Seven seconds doesn’t sound like much, but when running close to the limit it makes a huge difference in the amount of energy expended. And I had another 7 miles to run right then and another 7 weeks of marathon training. I should not be wasting my energy like that.

Oh well, I did.
Sorry Rusty.