I’m sure my significantly reduced posting frequency has already made it obvious that I’ve been rather busy lately. I’m in the midst of wrapping up my masters project. Soon after that’s finished, I’ll be preparing for comprehensive exams. If anyone – current and wannabe guest bloggers alike – would like to help with filling in the dead air, I’d certainly appreciate it. Anyhow, here’s my very late summary of the 2006 HealthAmerica XC Challenge in Frick park on Novermber 11.
On Saturday I ran in the 2nd Annual Run Shadyside 5K. I beat my previous best 5K by 2:30! My new PR (according to my stopwatch) is 24:30 (24:36, officially). Perhaps a sub-55:00 Great Race 10K is within reach after all. 🙂 I placed 154/371 overall and 29/37 among 25-29 males.
Update 09/20/06: One of my running buddies from WPTC (who finished fifth in this race) measured the course with a calibrated measuring wheel and found it to be only 3 miles long, rather than 3.1. That means my pace was actually 8:10 and I would have run a full 5K in 25:19. I didn't break 25 minutes after all (which was my goal). This sucks. 🙁
I ran my first half marathon. Woohoo! 🙂
Saturday was the 11th Annual IKEA-Montour Trail Half Marathon. I finished in 2:11:44 according to my watch, 2:12:04 officially (499/619 overall, 46/49 men 25-29). That's almost exactly the 10 min/mile pace I'd planned. 🙂
I'm still giddy with the sense of accomplishment. I couldn't have done it without a lot of help and support, though. For that I'm indebted to my Wednesday evening running buddies from West Penn Track Club for sharing their wisdom and guiding my training, and my wonderful wife for her patience, support, encouragement, and love. Thanjks. 🙂
I ran the Pittsylvania Mile today. I was the only guy in the 20-29 group, and 30-39 was empty, so I ended running with the 40-49 crowd. They all kicked my butt. That’s OK, though, because I wasn’t running to beat anyone but myself. A couple months ago, I set a goal for myself to run a mile in under 7:30. With training help from my buddies in West Penn Track Club, I achieved that goal.
I ran the 7th Annual Pittsylvania XC Challenge 6K, which was hosted by the Western Pennsylvania Track Club. I’ve joined WPTC and I ran as part of their 5-man 20-29 team (I placed 4th). Unfortunately, there weren’t any other teams in that bracket, we were only eligible to win the open (LOL).
I didn’t run as well as I’d hoped, which could be due to how hard I pushed myself on Wednesday for a fitness evaluation which included a 12-minute all-out treadmill V02-max test (I ran 1.6 miles in that time, by the way.). I finished in 80th place with a time of 36:24 (a 9:47 pace). This was my first race after purchasing a Polar F6 heartrate monitor. My average was 182 and I maxed at 192. I didn’t feel like I was running all-out, though. *shrug*
Looking at this race along side the others I’ve run this year, I see that I still have a lot of work ahead of me. Hopefully, WPTC will help me become a better runner.
The course was beautiful, by the way. It was in Frick Park, mostly on Tranquil Trail. Speaking of which, would it kill the parks association to publish decent maps of the trails? Why do runners and bikers have to make their own? Anyhow, the race was in a part of the park I haven’t been in much. I’d think about training on that side, but it’s not easy to get to from my apartment. In the summer, however, WPTC hosts the Gutbuster 8K in my neck of the woods. I can definitely train every inch of that race course. Running up that beastly hill will do me some good, too.
Though the setup was simpler, I thought the atmosphere was far more professional than the Chamber Classic 5K. I’ll definitely run it again next year and I’m glad I’ll be running in other WPTC events as well. BTW, if anyone knows of any good cross-country runs in the Pittsburgh area, please let me know.
Update 10/03/06: The city has finally made a decent map of the parks available. Consequently, the map link in this post has been updated.