This years races, from 10k to a full, and some new PRs By Ttristan I hadn't got around to posting about some of my earlier races, so thought I'd combine them all into one. This will be a long post! This year I set out early in the year to train for a spring half marathon - using an actual plan for the first time. I tried to follow Hal Higdon's advanced half marathon plan. In the plan it's suggested to do a 5, 10, and 15k races working up to the half. I ended up with a 5k and two 10k races, though I'll skip over the 5k race in this report since several of us thought we were at the turn around and ended up severely shorting the course! Whoopsie! Training went fairly well, though some of my training was with minimalist shoes since it was early in February. I had to really juggle many of the workout around my work schedule though, doing 1/4mi sprints at fast pace just wasn't a good idea after sitting in a chair 12hrs at work, so I avoided the hard workouts during my dayshifts. Next up was the Three Creeks 5 & 10k. I'm not quite sure if I am supposed to go all out in these races since the plan has just one easy day after than right back into a speedwork day. Well I have trouble holding back, and really wanted to see what I could do. It'd been a few years since I had done a 10k; in 2016 I ran my fastest 10k in 39:22 @ 6:20 min/mi pace. Yvonne and I at the start of the 10k race. I ran this one with my friend and fellow BRS member Yvonne. I think it was her fastest 10k as well, and we both took 3rd overall. It was cold, actually my first bf race below freezing. She was fine, but below freezing is a struggle for me. I had a little numbness, and my feet do not warm up at these speeds since I believe the majority of blood flow diverted to the muscles. My form was probably slightly compromised, though I took no damage that I can recall. Toes and forefoot were very pale after but eventually warmed up wearing socks and shoes. I am glad that after turning 40, I am still getting faster! A new PR! And we both took 3rd how cool is that! It was a while later we received plaques for being overall placers. A couple weeks later would be the final race used to train for my half marathon. We both decided on another 10k. Plan called for 15k but racing is kind of optional anyhow, and we found one that really sounded neat... the Dog Tap 5k/10k. Its put on my a local craft brewery, Brew Dog (everything is dog themed there). It's a really neat brewery with lots of history, first in Scotland and then a few locations in the U.S. starting with this one. They gave out commemorative pint glasses instead of medals, and finishers got a pint of their flagship beer, a Punk IPA (and I love IPAs!). This was an afternoon race, my first, and unfortunately the hottest day of the year so far. Even training in the afternoons, it hadn't really been shorts weather yet (March & early April), and my last 10k that was 2 weeks prior had been in the upper 20's F. Then all of the sudden this race was 70F! I was sweating just doing a warmup, something I hadn't experienced since prior year. Race started well enough, I actually got out ahead and was in first place! A fellow on a bicycle led the course, which is great because I had not memorized the course and the markings were sketchy. It was a bit past 2mi iirc than I heard the familiar sound of footsteps catching up to me, and passing. I was already feeling severe exhaustion, the heat was making it much worse. I tried to keep up with the fellow that past me, but it was no use, I was barely maintaining my speed and he was pulling away. Some segments of the course went over rough broken up parking lots and one was even currently being replaced. At the turn around point he was a good 100 yards or more ahead, and a few minutes later he was getting far enough ahead I was loosing sight. I eased up some, the next guy behind me was well over a hundred yards also, and I was so exhausted I was worrying about recovery for the rest of my training and the main goal race 3 weeks later. Made it through the chute still in second, and third was catching up but still about 30 seconds behind me. Yvonne was struggling in the heat too, and fell a little short of placing in this one. Plaques for both the 3 Creeks & Dog Tap 10k's, and the pint glass. Finally the date arrived for the Capital City Half Marathon, a race I had run many times, and very excited to try and break my record. This would be my 10th time at the event, the first three were 5k's though. Every year I've got faster, and last years time was 1:28:18. I wouldn't probably place, as this is a big event - usually about 20,000 competitors in all three races (5k, 1/4, and 1/2 marathon). Previous year they actually hosted the US half marathon championship there. I actually felt a little under the weather going into race day, not sure if it was spring allergies or sickness, and that lasted for a few days after the race too. But it went well and I had a blast. So many people both in the race and in the crowds. After the race there were free Patron Margaritas, pizza, White Claw, and a beer (all were tear offs on the bib tag). The race started well and I was a bit under my goal pace and feeling great. This one I tapered for, so full of energy! At the half way point I was really feeling like I had this! Average pace was 6:29. But very soon after the half way point I started crashing. At 9 miles I was succumbing to exhaustion and every aspect of my body was reaching it limit, muscles, lungs, heart, etc. I had that feeling of 'what the !@#$ am I doing to my body'. but slowing just a little, 10-20sec off the pace, did help and I was able to hold it around there. I went into the long finish line stretch and couldn't muster up the usual finish line strong finish, I was burning out and slowing further. I was so happy to finish, and still very thrilled with my time, but boy were my legs spent. This was a new record for me at this race, but still very slightly behind my record 1/2 marathon of 1:27:05. But I was 2 years younger, ~10 lbs lighter, and that course had a slight negative elevation. Yep those are zip-off cargo pants lol! 10 years of medals at the Capital City Half Marathon (first 3 were 5k) I didn't do any hard training all summer besides easy runs with the occasional long run up to 15 or 16 miles. Another race I often like to do is the 18.12 Challenge & Half Marathon. Originally my work schedule didn't allow it, so I didn't prep or train for it like I should've. I was mainly focused on getting my distance up to train for the Columbus Marathon. A last minute schedule change allowed me to run the race, and even with no speedwork over summer at all I managed an 18.12 mile PR. I was really sore for a few days after than one, I know I pushed myself too hard considering I'd not run at that pace at all in several months. I was walking down stairs backwards for two days. Luckily that third day I got better quick, and 4 days later I was hiking in the mountains (I'll have a post on that trip hopefully soon). 3rd in age group, 8th overall, at 7:00 min/mi pace. AG placers got this pint glass. And now the last race of the year was upon me, the Columbus Marathon. I've never been that great over 18 miles, and the first couple times I ran this race I strained my calf & achilles bad. Since then I have only run it at casual pace, just too risky with injury. This year I followed Hal Higdon's full marathon Intermediate 1 plan. I still did no spedwork though, I was mainly training just for the distance. I missed one of the two longest runs sick, one of the 20 milers. I had bronchitis. Even still, I had more miles under my belt then any previous year, and with the faster than usual 18.12 race, I set my goal for just a little faster than casual... 8min/mi. Still a full minute drop in pace, but that would be a big jump over my previous PR of 3:44. Fireworks at the start of the 40th anniversary Columbus Marathon I was full of energy at the start and probably went a little too fast. Its so hard to tell, with the tall building my watch's signal bounces around and my pace was reporting all over the place. A few miles in I caught up to the 3:30 pacer and though maybe I'd just try and hang with them. That worked well, but I found myself wanting to take more advantage of the downhills. On the next downhill at maybe 7-8 miles I sped up a little and went out ahead. Everything was going great and I felt good at the slightly quicker pace. It was so great to be about mid race and not out of breath or feeling like dying. I knew the end would still be a struggle but it felt so nice compared to halfs and shorter races that I am pushing the point of exhaustion the whole way. I thought the colors were autumn-ish, orange and brown, and yes I ran a full marathon in cargo shorts. But like usual on this course, things became a struggle around 17-18 miles. I noticeably slowed, and the 3:30 pacer had caught back up and passed me. I was determined to beat 3:30 so I gave it some serious effort to hang with the pacer again. I figured once I matched speed I could just hold it. It was tough but I did just that and hung with the 3:30 group the rest of the way. Maybe it'd been better to stick with them from the get go, I'm not sure, but I really like taking advantage of the slight downhills. About a mile or two from the end I felt like I had just a little bit on reserve I tapped into and went out ahead of the pacer and finished strong. A PR by over 15 minutes! For the 40th anniversary they offered a shirt a little nicer than the usual tee shirt, a nice quarter zip long sleeved Nike shirt and a bit chunkier medal. That's it for me this year! PR's set in the 10k, 18.12 mile, and marathon, as well as a course PR in the half marathon and only seconds behind my overall 1/2 PR. Even at age 40/41! I'll continue on my goal of breaking 1500 miles on foot this year, which I'll easily beat, and a harder goal of 1500 just running but I'll likely not be able to quite hit that one.