My First 10K Race! (2014 Cherry Blossom 10K)

Good Saturday afternoon everyone! Wow – another week that has flown by.  I know that I haven’t been on here for the past couple of days but rest assured my half marathon training is doing great.  Two weeks from today, I will be running my first half marathon in Athens, GA.  I started to train in early January but it feels like I just started my training yesterday.

Well today, I participated in my first 10K race.  I was suppose to run in the 2013 National Veteran’s Day 11K Run in Atlanta, GA but to my surprise and disappointment, the event ended up being cancelled.  Instead, I did a virtual run:  I ran my 11K here at home and after I was done, I logged in my mileage.  I got a certificate, a medal, and lapel pin for participating.  My time for that was 1:05:01 with an average pace of 9:30.  Not bad for a virtual 11K.  But it wasn’t a RACE!

It was late February when I was scrolling through the local race calendar and I noticed that there a Cherry Blossom Road Race scheduled for March 22, 2014.  It was one of the many festivities to kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival.  In addition, the race benefits Wesley Glen Ministries, an organization that serves adults with mental disabilities. When I noticed that they had a 10K route, I signed up without hesitation.

Before I went to the race, I met up with the Run For God 5K and 10K groups that were training early in the morning at 6:30.  For the 10K group, they were running the longest distance that the training called for: 6 miles.  I didn’t run; I was out there to cheer them on as they past by while I was enjoying my toasted peanut butter bagel.

I couldn’t stay long, so I left and headed to the race.  When I got there, I “ran” into friends from the Run Fit Sports, Robins Pacers group, and even Air Force coworkers.  It’s funny how you run into the same people race after race after race.  But that’s okay, I enjoy seeing my friends! Since I had a little bit of time, I used the restroom (a must!) and did a couple of warm up laps around the parking lot.  Well the race was about to start, so we all got to the starting line.  And the race started and off we went.  For some strange reason, my Pebble SmartWatch was not syncing with my RunKeeper when I started so I said whatever and put my phone in my waist pouch.  It was a pretty good course that was out in the country, similar to what I was running in the For the Love of Kratos 5K last weekend.  It had some hills but nothing major.  The course was simple: run to the halfway point and turn around.  When I turned around at the halfway point, I cheered my friends as they passed by.  While running, I noticed that a train was passing by.  I was hoping that didn’t effect the runners up front (the tracks had to be crossed to get back to the finish line).  From what I heard, it did.  While I was running, I thought I had a good comfortable pace.  I could tell that I was pushing myself.  I didn’t bother pulling my phone to check my pace; my focus was to cross the finish line.  I think it was at mile 5.25 when one my running friends caught up with me.  It was funny because that gave me an incentive to pick up the pace, which I did.  Well, before I knew it, the finish line was in sight.  One of my Air Force friends was there cheering me on and I decided to sprint for the finish line.  Yes, I am done! My first 10K race in my life is now complete.  One thing I like about this race was that it was chip timed, so we didn’t have to fill out our results when we were done.

Even though this was my first 10K race, I did a some goals for myself.  I could have set the goal of just completing it but I knew I could do that since I have been doing all of this long distance running for the past three months.  So I set the goal of competing the race in an hour or less and to beat my 11K pace of 9:30 per mile.  I looked at what my RunKeeper but I wanted to see what the unofficial results said. Soon the board was updated.  According to the sheet, these were my results:

Time: 53:23 with an average pace of 8:36!!!! YES, I BUSTED MY GOAL!!! I couldn’t believe it.  I shaved 54 seconds off my average pace from my virtual 11K run last November.  And again, I didn’t think I was going that fast! Just for kicks, I compared my average pace to my 5K races and my pace today was faster than 8 of the 10 5K races I have run so far.  I even did a 4 mile run before Christmas and my average pace for that was 9:10 per mile.  I am just blown away on my achievements and seeing how my training has been paying off.  And I am just getting started!!

Well today was a great day! Now that I have an official 10K race time on the books, I have a goal for my next 1oK race to set a new 10K PR.  My next 1oK will be the Chick-Fil-A 1oK in Dublin, GA on April 26, 2o14.

Well that’s it for now.  But I am not done today! Tonight at 6pm, I am meeting up with some friends and running 12 miles. This will be my longest distance and duration run to date.  Even though I ran a little over 6 miles this morning, I still want to get my training miles in for my half marathon.  Somebody was half joking that I should run 6 tonight.  I could but that’s CHEATING..IMO 😉 

Have a great Saturday and happy running! Thanks for reading!

Troy

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13 More Training Days to my First 13.1 Mile Race!

Good Evening everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start.  I have 13 more training days to my first 13.1 mile race and I can hardly wait!

Well I have to admit I was dreading tonight’s training,  It was part two of half marathon interval training that we had exactly one month ago.  Here is what our workout consisted of:

800 meter warm up jog                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1600 meter run with 200 meter recovery (4X)                                                                                                                                                                                800 meter cool down jog  (TOTAL MILES: 6) 

This was almost the same workout as before except the run portion was 800 meters and the total distance was 4 miles.  Last month, we did the first workout in the church parking lot; tonight we ran on the track.  One of the tips that was given for those running the half was to run in the opposite direction every other mile.  This was to help us prevent injury since we had a longer workout than the 10K group.  I liked the idea because it helped break the scenery running in different directions instead of running clockwise around the track umpteen times.  I am NOT a huge fan of running around a track! They also gave us the option of walking and/or jogging during the warm up/recovery/cool down portions but I opted to following the training plan to the letter and jog/run.

Going into the workout, I really didn’t have a goal other than to do better than the workout from a month ago.  I even forgot to check what my average pace was then.  During my workout, i jogged when I suppose to and ran as fast I could push myself during the one mile run portions.  To my surprise, i didn’t get tired or cramped.  I just ran! Whenever I would pass my teammates, I would high five them or encourage them.  Well before I knew it, my workout was completed.  I compared it to my first half marathon interval workout and couldn’t believe it. Here are the comparisons:

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As you can see, I CRUSHED my average pace from a month ago! I was able to shave 1:17 off plus I had to run ONE mile instead of 1/2 mile each circuit.  I can’t believe what I have achieved today! And to be honest, I actually like this workout and probably will continue to use it in the future for speed training.  So far, I have trained for 46 days and I am still shocked at the results I am seeing, not only in my training but in my 5K races and 1.5 mile Air Force PT runs.  Fast Tempo Run, Easy Slow Run, Feel Good Run, Long Slow Distance Run, Active Recovery Workout and the way the training schedule didn’t make sense at first but now it does!

After our workout, some of us went down the street to cheer on the Run For God 5K Challenge class as they did their interval training.  They met at the new Run Fit Sports location that opened up in Bonaire. Every Run for God class meets at Run Fit (usually the second week of training) where they meet the staff and learn about they do and the different types of running shoes and accessories they offer.  I have been a customer of Run Fit Sports since 2010 and will always buy my shoes from them.  The staff has a lot of expertise and will recommend the proper shoe depending on your foot type.

Finally, I picked up my second half of my cow costume that I will be running in for my first half.  The staff at the print shop really hooked me up. Not only that they got the order done in 2 days (I was quoted two weeks).  Not only that, but if they were to make the same shirt again, it would cost more than what I was quoted so I was blessed! Here is a sneak peak:

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The rest of my costume is classified until race day 😉

So what kind of speed interval training have you done? Something similar to what I have been doing or something different? Please comment below.  That’s it for now. Have a great evening and happy running!

Half Marathon Training – Day 39

Good Evening everyone! After work, I headed to the base track to do some fast interval training for my 1.5 mile run.  I started out with a gradual warm-up then on the straight parts of the track i ran as fast as I could while I slowed down around the curves.  After I completed my workout my time was 13:42 – which was above the minimum standard of 14:00 for my gender and age group.  Just out of curiosity, I calculated my time and used the scores from my last official PT test for sit-ups, push-ups, and waist measurement.  To my surprise, I ended up with a 76% (75% is passing as long as the minimum standard is met in all four components).  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not looking at doing this on my PT test next month; I am looking at beating my last official time of 12:53.  I am incorporating some speed workouts to help improve my pace.  It’s nice to know that if I had to do that for some strange reason, it’s possible – just not my intention!

I can’t believe that I am on Day 40 0f my half marathon training and my first half is 30 days away.  I am so excited.  Tonight, I ran with the Warner Robins Run Fit Sports group but not at our usual location.  Run Fit is opening a forth location about 15 minutes south of the current Warner Robins store.  Even though the store hasn’t opened yet, we all voted to run there anyway. And I am glad we did too.  The route we ran has sidewalks and the course was relatively flat.  You can easy get a 10K run with this course.  Going North on the same route has some hills so there is something for everyone.  Tonight’s training consisted of a 3 mile easy slow run. Well apparently, I forgot the definition of an easy slow run!  I started at a comfortable 10 minute pace, primarly to stay with two other runners that I was running with.  When we hit the halfway point and turned around, I picked up the pace.  My splits were: 10:00, 10:17, and 9:11 for an overall pace of 9:48.  I am happy with that cause it’s under my half marathon target pace of 10:00 a mile.  Our first group run was a success and I am looking forward to running (and shopping) at the new store in the near future.

I’ll close with a little bit of humor.  While we were waiting for  the other runners to show up, I saw this shopping cart perched up on the curve.  I have seen runners pushing baby strollers when they run so I have joked on Facebook about running 3 miles with the shopping cart! Then I cracked another joke about starting with a smaller cart and working my way up to a cart full of groceries! Sounds like fun but I don’t want to get thrown in jail either!

Well that’s about it! Time for some strength training! Thanks for reading and happy running!

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Marathon Training Day 34-36

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you had a great week.  My half marathon training for the past 3 days have been awesome.  On Wednesday,  my normal Run Fit Sports Group run was cancelled.  The group run may have been cancelled but training goes on! I did a 3 mile easy slow run.  This time, I took it easy on my pace since I did well the previous night.  I even ran into some of my friends who were walking on the trail.  Well, not literally..lol.

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Last night, some of us gathered at Southside Baptist (where me meet on Tuesday nights for classroom and group training) to run together.  We ran the same route the previous Thursday (Mill Pond).  It was a good workout.  We had four in our group and for safety reasons, (it was dark) we ran together.  We ran a total of 5 miles for an average pace of 11:01 per mile.  After the run, we were talking about lodging arrangements for the half marathon that our group is participating in (Run at the Mill 10K/Half Marathon, April 12, 2014).  Me and a fellow runner agreed to split a room; he was able to make the reservations today.  Some of us were even talking about participating in our first full marathon.  I haven’t decided which one will be my first marathon, but I know it will be sometime next year before I participate in one.  I want to give myself plenty of time to train!

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Since I am working this weekend and not able to attend group training tomorrow morning, my friend and I ran our 10 mile long slow distance run after we got off work today.  I haven’t ran 10 miles since December 28, 2013 and this was the 3rd time I have ran this distance.  My previous duration record was 10.17 miles so I wanted to run 10.25 so I could break my previous record.  My friend and I met at 4pm (we wanted to get our run in before sunset).  It was a great run.  Time seem to pass by because we were engaged in conversation.  We started at a slow pace (11:00 per mile) but when we hit 8 miles, we picked up the pace (10:03 per mile).  We stopped at 10.30 miles – our longest distance to date! Are overall pace was 10:51 per mile, which I am happy with considering it was a long slow distance run.  Tomorrow will be a rest day however I have an Air Force PT test this Sunday.  Originally, I wasn’t scheduled for it but I was told if I was ready I could do a walk in.  I could have put it off to next month, however I am ready to take the test and get it over with.  Plus, I didn’t want to postpone it to next month because I got permission to take off work to run in the Run of the Mill 10K/Half Marathon on April 12th and I didn’t want to take a PT test the next day.  That would be real smart! I will be in recovery mode after my 2nd half marathon in a week!

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On a final note, I finally registered for my first race of 2014.  One of goals for this year was to run at least one race per month however I have been so focused on my half marathon training that I haven’t ran a race this year yet.  So, I signed up for the Cherry Blossom 10K that will be held in Macon, GA on March 22, 2014.  I was considering running the 5K and try to bust my current PR (26:00) however I decided to run the 10K in honor of my fellow Run For God teammates that are currently training for their first 10K.  This is my first official 1oK race.  Last year, I registered to run in the National Veteran’s Day 11K Run in Atlanta however for some strange reason, the event was cancelled.  I ended up doing a “virtual” run instead.  I ran the 11K here at home and logged the results on the registration website.   Also, my half marathon training calls for running 12 miles on March 22nd so i figured to run part of it in a race! I could break it up however I still planning on running a full 12 miles in addition to the 1oK race.  Other activities I will be participating in for the month of March is the Macon Run or Dye on March 15th and the Macon Mud Run on March 29th.  This will be my second time participating in the Run or Dye.  Most of my co-workers will be participating in this event that benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia.  We are looking forward to Dye! Last year, I wore a Roman emperor robe (that was a waste of money); this year I am wearing a tutu! The Macon Mud Run will be my first.  I am actually looking forward to getting dirty.  I also have some friends that may join the fun. At least I have some old running clothes and shoes to use!

Well that’s about it.  Hope you have a great weekend! Happy running!

Half Marathon Training – Day 29

Good Evening everyone! Hope you had a great hump day.  First of all, I can’t believe that I have been training for my first half marathon for a month.  I am halfway through my training and before I know it will be race day.  Can’t wait 🙂

Before I went to work, I did a 1.5 mile bonus run.  Anything that I do beyond my training plan is now called bonus miles.  I had a great run; my time was 13:12 – which is 3 seconds faster than yesterday.  Tonight, I ran with the Warner Robins Run Fit Sports group.  My friend, Eric (who graduated from Army Basic last week), joined us for the first time.  I am glad that tonight’s workout was a 4 mile easy slow run because last nights interval training was brutal.  So, yes I took it easy tonight.  We completed the 4 miles with a comfortable pace of 11:48 per mile.  We had good conversation and the run seem to go by quickly because we were engaged in conversation for the entire time.  Eric enjoyed himself and I hope we can run again soon.

Tomorrow’s training is a 5 mile feel good run.  This Saturday, we are running a 9 mile long slow distance run but we are going to incorporate some hills in our run.  Think I will get a head start and do that tomorrow.  Hope you enjoyed tonight’s reading.  Take care and happy running 😉

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And we are off! 

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Half Marathon Training – Day 24

Since I rearranged my training schedule this week (today is normally my rest day), I did a 3 mile easy slow run with the Macon Run Fit Sports group.  Even though it was suppose to be an easy slow run, I ended running it faster than I should have (pace was 10:00 per mile).  Oh well, I am pleased considering the course was pretty hilly.  On a final note, another member from the Macon crew is going to be running with us in the Chick-Fil-A Half Marathon this April.  This brings the total up to 6 of us from the Macon group that will be running in Athens GA this April.  At first it was just me but it looks like I inspired others to join me.  It’s going to be fun and I am looking forward to it! Thanks for reading and take care 😉

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