More thoughts on the race yesterday

I was beaten by a barefoot runner yesterday. He passed me before we were even half way through the first kilometer and I never saw him again. I have tried some barefoot running. You land much more mid foot or to the balls of the feet. The last thing you want to do is bring your heel down hard on the asphalt. He was also running much more “quiet” in his upper body. Basically his legs and arms moved and everything else was rigid.

I finished 12th in my age group. The man who won first ran it in 17 minutes and some seconds. Our age group is by 10 year increments. I run in the 30-39 group. There were at least 16 registered in my group, the last count I saw was probably 15 minutes before registration was closed.

Before I reached the 2 km mark I was already getting a side stitch. I was able to keep it from getting any worse until my final sprint at the end.

When I passed the 3 km marker I started playing mind games. I tried telling myself that I was much further than 1/2 way through the race. I even started playing with the numbers and thinking that if it were on a track and I only had 2 laps left out of a 5 lap race, then that is not too much. I started running the distances longer to see if that would help me with my focus. I did the math and figured that if it was a 100 mile race, then I only had 40 miles to go. I quickly went back to thinking about the smaller numbers. The thought of running 40 miles at the effort I was putting out was not encouraging.

With about 800 meters left to run I started counting my foot steps. This is a mantra that helps you focus on pace and not the distance left. It got me a good ways towards the end of the race.

In the final 50 meters I was attempting to pass another runner. We were passed by 2 other guys who blew by us so fast, it was obvious that they had not been putting out a strong effort up to that point. In the excitement of knowing I did well, I cannot tell you now whether I beat the guy I was sprinting against at the end or not.

A half hour after the race I was talking to a couple of other runners. I told them I felt like I did very well, but did not feel totally used up at the end of the race. I know I can do better. That was then, after being so excited about my final time. Now, I clearly remember how long it took me to be able to stand up straight and breath right again after I crossed the line. I really was pretty spent. The soreness and tiredness I am experiencing in my legs today tell me that I did put out a significant effort.

Another PR!

Last week I reported about my half marathon time as being a personal record (PR). It was 12+ minutes faster than my previous half marathon best time. That is a significant difference over that distance.

I had planned to take it easy on running over the next two weeks because I remember how I felt after my previous half marathon runs. I really did not feel like running at all for a while. However, I have not really slowed down much this time. I have not put in a lot of miles since Saturday, but I have run a few days just for fun.

Early this week I learned that there was to be a 5K this morning. I invited a couple of friends to run it and I was going to run it with them as their first road race. They backed out on Friday and I really had no reason to run it. I was going to sit it out too. Until yesterday morning.

I started to think that maybe I would take my half marathon training and see if I could push myself for a really good 5K effort. I have never finished a race in which I felt totally used up. I knew that I could push harder than I have been. With my recent training, I might even be able to beat my PR of 26:50 set last December.

My wife and I had a rare opportunity to go out without the kids last night and we had already decided that we were going to hit up an ice cream buffet. I have never heard of such a thing, but there is a restaurant that advertises it here. After getting in and sitting down, we found out it was only Monday through Friday. We left, but we already had a back up plan floating around in our heads. There is another place that has a dessert buffet. We went for that. After consuming way too much sugar, we went and picked up our kids from a Harvest Party at some friends’ house. We stood around and talked and ate a bit more sugar in the form of candy and cookies. My stomach wasn’t feeling so well when I went to bed last night. Nor was it feeling so great this morning.

With the time change happening in Mexico this weekend, I was able to get plenty of rest and could do a casual morning routine before the 8:00 start. I got to the park in plenty of time. I am not sure what the starting temperature for the race was, but 20 minutes after we were done it was 82 degrees. I suspect it was probably 80 or so.

When we started running, there was no 1 Km marker. However there was a marker for all the rest.

To get a PR, I needed to run 5:21 per kilometer, or better. I was shooting for 5:20/Km (that is 8:35 per mile). The actual breakdown went like this.

  • 1 and 2: 10:08 (5:04 per Km?!)
  • 3: 4:39 ?!
  • 4: 5:00
  • 5: 6:21

I don’t rememeber exactly where the 3 Km marker was, but I suspect it was early. I do know that the 4 Km marker was early (according to Google Earth). So if they were both just a bit short of their actual distance then that would explain the final kilometer being so long.

Final time was 26:10 which beats my previous 5K PR by 40 seconds!

This is an average of 5:14/Km, or 8:25/mile.

You gave me too much money

While reading a blog post from Terry I was reminded of an incident that happened earlier this week. He was talking about getting change from a clerk at the fabric store. Ours happened at Sam’s.

We went through the whole ordeal of picking out our items and standing dutifully in line. My wife noticed that it took the cashier a long time to make change for the man in front of us. She said that she has a knack for picking the bright ones.

When it was finally our turn the bill rang up to $268 pesos (about $25). She handed him $318 so that she would get $50 back. He then tried to give her back the extra $18 because “the $300 is enough to cover the bill.” He said this in such a way as to say, “hey, lady, are you too stupid to understand that $300 is more than $268?”

She gave him back the $18 and said that it was so she would get $50 back. He looked at her like she was an alien. He rung the amount up in his register and, what do you know, it said he needed to give her $50. I think he was not at all embarassed but, rather, surprised that the magic worked like that. How did she know that it would say $50?

Companies actually trust people like this to handle money?

Famous Friday: Gordon Scott’s Tiree Blog

I have mentioned Gordon’s blog a few times in the past. I first learned about the site through a podcast that we mutually listen to.

Gordon lives on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland. He is a fellow runner and often blogs about his running adventures on the island. Mostly though, the site is about the island itself. He is passionate about his family and the time they spend together on the island and on vacations. And, also he shares some interesting things to do on a slow afternoon.

One thing I have enjoyed about reading his blog is to see how someone several years older than I can have the childlike passion for running that I have. We both discovered running about the same time and we both are elated with some days and workouts and despondent after others. We are not that much different.

Why hate the time change?

clockI have heard so many people talk about how much they hate the coming time change (it happens a week earlier in Mexico than in the US). It has never made sense to me to make a big deal out of it. Usually the people that I hear complaining about it are people who do not travel. Those of us who do have to deal with time changes on a regular basis.

Yesterday I was speaking with a lady who went on and on about how much the time change bothers her physically. Her blood pressure goes up for about a week until her body can get used to it. I think the fact that her pressure goes up has more to do with how much she is worried about the change than it is anything physical. She was quite animated in our conversation yesterday. It is obvious that she is making herself sick over it. It could very well be a physical problem, though I have never heard of anyone’s blood pressure going out of whack just because they moved from one time zone to another. I very much tend to think that the bigger problem comes from how much she is making an issue out of it. Interestingly, the time change in the spring (when she ‘loses’ an hour) does not bother her.

One lady I met a couple of years ago stormed around for two weeks ranting about how much she hates the time change. “They are robbing me of an hour of sleep!” “That is my time! My hour! What gives them the right to think they can take it away from me?” She was not joking either. She was so overly excited about it that I thought she was joking. I laughed at her…and then found out she was serious.

No one is stealing an hour from them, or giving it back later. I realize that it takes and shifts the time that they get up in relation to where the sun is in the sky. Don’t they realize that sunrise/sunset changes every day? It just happens more slowly on a daily basis than the twice a year hour change. I don’t know that I have ever felt like I was cheated out of an hour. I just go to bed when I am ready and get up when I am ready.