Monday, April 3, 2017

A little late for a first race report but anyway

Started my base mileage early on in December and so far logged over 600 miles leading up to my first race of the year.  The Lakeland Union High school in Minocqua Wisconsin has hosted the April Fools Run 5k for over 10 years and always starts at around midnight.  This race is always a large draw with costume contests to Zumba warmup class to unique awards.  I've been a winner of this race for 3 years and hoped to make it 4 on Saturday night but a younger athlete from Minneapolis had other plans and a pr of 15:45 to put this old guy away early.

I typically don't taper for this race and I definitely don't shy away from mileage in the week leading up to it.  In fact I had over 40 miles and a hard day of strength training and I chose to lift legs so I really did it to myself.

I felt heavy in the legs prior to the start but not as bad as I had anticipated and got off the start line at a fast and controlled pace and as rabbits faded and things settled down I found myself in 2nd overall with the leader slowly but visibly pulling away, not to much after the first kilometer of the race Andrew Schilling, a former Lakeland distance star and UW-Madison Track Club racer pulls alongside of me and begins to pull hard and I respond accordingly for about another mile until I maxed out and fell off his increasing pace.  He was out for a training run and it was nice to have him there to chase for the last bit of the run.

I was pleased with being a few seconds slower to be honest and running in the pitch black dark night is always a challenge both in regard to pacing and footing, but the season always has a first race and I'm glad it was a good one even though I didn't.

Got on the podium with a second place overall and a time of 19:54 over 3.44 miles pacing at around 5:45.  Pretty solid 5k time is around 18:00 based on my gps tracked 5k.  Did a very easy 4 mile trail run on Sunday to end the week with over 47 miles and capped off my first build block with 97 miles and heading into a deload week.  

2016 Season Wrap Up

As soon as I typed this title I had to immediately open up strava and look at what races I actually did vs what I wanted to do and was pretty happy with how things went despite a couple of setbacks. 

I had a decent year with mileage closing in on 1,700 big increase from last year but not the most I've ever done.  The weight training has really improved but the majority of that improvement has come mainly after the Minnesota Spartan Sprint starting with my shoulder rehab and carried over into a lot of dedicated lifting and lots gains. 

January and February- Started my training no intervals just some fartlek running and weights.  Traveled down to Milwaukee for a Midwest masters regional indoor meet and ran a 3k taking 2nd and running a solid early season time of 9:54.  I also made a trip to UW-Stevens Point for a college indoor meet and ran a 4:53 mile catching some students on the closing laps giving me a sense of "you're only as old as you feel"  I felt like I was 19 again so that's a plus HA!

Early Spring brought the first real test at the Point Bock Run.  The field is always strong here with many former NCAA / WIAC runners that just blow the door off on a fast 8K.  I would PR with a time of 28:29 and take 11th overall....just shy of a top 10 that I wanted and will be a goal for 2017.  I would notch my first win a month later at the Minocqua Fools Run 5k.  The race starts at midnight and usually there is still some snow and ice on the trail and this year was no exception 19:50 felt fast and sketchy at times but hey that's racing.  Even though Journeys Half Marathon was in May the weather was more like March, wind, rain, sleet, snow and a really good place and time 2nd overall and a 1:19:07 time.

The summer training and racing started pretty well with another 5k win at the Rockin Tomahawk 5K with a time of 17:33 after a great move on the trail just before the 2 mile mark and somehow made it stick.  The Minnesota Sprint was setup as my peak race and I had my best legs of the year.  What I didn't count on was the 2 dislocated shoulder incidents that took me from being a podium contender to 44th in the elite field...all considering it was a great race and didn't completely fall apart and gutted it out.  My legs were still feeling it a week later at the local 10K on the 4th of July but would still manage a sub 36 10k and 3rd overall I guess my shoulder doesn't need to be perfect to run a good race and with a little luck I did heal up enough to get my first OCR win at the Crandon Big House Mud Challenge which rewarded agility more than strength and grip as I would find out would be needed at the Chicago Terrain Race 10K.  Prior to the Terrain Race I would go back to Milwaukee and run the Hank Aaron 5k and not run very well in the heat but still a 17:30's 5k and 15th overall in a good field.  The Terrain Race in Chicago was wet and rainy but I got the job done on a shoulder that's about 80%.  4th overall and qualifier for the elite wave at OCR Worlds was probably the highlight of the year but the decision was made to rest up and gear up again for 2017. 

So the season would end about the same way it started with some running and even a....wait for it....mountain bike race.  I did return to the Nutty Trail Run as two time champ and left as the three time winner with a great time.   I would also enter the Thunderdown 3 hour mountain bike race on the singlespeed and yeah I got a flat but finished 2nd.  Definitely missed my time on the singletrack and would ride a lot here in the offseason while my ankle heals up.  It was a tough year, but very valuable learning experiences with the help of Team Strength and Speed.

As far as 2017 goes....lots of racing obviously, but I want to get my Spartan Trifecta and to also compete in the top 10 with a podium or two in Spartan races.  Prep will begin early for Spartan Worlds and OCR Worlds.  Nutrition and health will be greatly improved and will focus on doing what makes me happy.  I feel like riding my bike for 12 hours or more I am going to do it.  If I want to skate ski sure, snowshoe race...yup, play hockey...why not.  I will be 36 in January, but why should I just lay down and be the old guy when I guy be that fast old guy.....hahahaha!