Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jingle Bells, Redskins, Jets, and More Training!

The grand totals for this week:

Running: 7.5 miles
Cycling: 27 miles

This was comprised of a 3 mile run on Friday, a 5K race on Saturday (with some warming up) and two commutes to work by bike.  First, getting rid of my hybrid bike and picking up a Cannondale CAAD8, the entry level version of my good road bike was an awesome idea.  After riding so much in road bike geometry, I could not go back to an upright position.  It just felt wrong.

Second, I feel both mentally and physically refreshed.  That 5K was my only hard run of the week, and I mostly did it because two of my college friends who have never really been runners had decided to do it.  Now between the two of them, they have done a total of four 5Ks.  It's awesome that they got into running, and I certainly wanted to encourage it, even if it meant running a 5K race 1 week after a marathon.

It took place around Centennial Lake in Howard County, and was a "jingle bell" themed race to raise money for arthritis.  I chose not to wear jingle bells, mostly because the ringing is incredibly annoying.  I guess that makes me a Grinch, but whatever.  The actual race was pretty uneventful; I wasn't expecting a whole lot of competition and didn't get much.  A group of 5 people went out ahead of me, but within 0.25 miles it was down to one other runner.  For a fleeting moment I thought he would stick around but by 0.75 miles it was just me, the lead bike, and no more jingle bells.  The ringing was overwhelmingly annoying when I was around the others.

The first mile was mostly downhill and I came through the first split a bit too fast...5:12.

The rest of the course was rolling with many, many turns as the path snaked around the lake.  There was even some ice and mud around, though the bike ahead of me always pointed out the hazards in advance (which was awesome!).

I came back down to Earth for mile 2...5:27

As I started to feel myself fade with less than a mile to go, I upped my effort to try and stay on pace.  For the most part it worked and I didn't really fade.

Mile 3...5:32

Final time...16:43

It was hairy near the finish as I caught up to the bulk of the walking pack, but thanks to that bicycle, he got everyone to stay to the right.  I nearly caught up as he had to slow down while all I did was kick it up as much as I could.

Not the best 5K I've ever run, but considering it was just an off season race, I'll take it.  After some more running, I should get that back into the 16:20s so I can take a legit shot at knocking more time off my PR.

Thanks to the lack of running Sunday, I managed to go to my first live NFL game, and saw my Jets beat the Redskins after a few hours of tailgating.  It was nice to be able to just dedicate the entire day to that without having to worry about getting a run in and (most likely) getting up at an ungodly hour to get my mileage in.  Actually having the energy to sit through a football game fully focused was really nice.  I'm usually battling falling asleep Sunday afternoons watching football after getting a long run in!

Though its been nice to kick back and actually have more free time than I could ever want, it will get old quick, and I'm itching to get back to it.  So that NFL game was certainly a good way to send off my relax week with a bang.  But now, it's time to get back to business.

This coming week will actually involve 6 days of running, though less than 50 miles total and 1 legit bike ride plus two commutes.  No hard workouts, just easy/moderate running and cycling.  Most of December will continue to be quiet, just not as quiet as this past week.

I've got one more race scheduled for December, the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler, a race I finished in the top 10 last year but never actually got an official result.  Damned if that happens again...

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