Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5K Run (5/20/12) - Demarest 5K

I normally wouldn't post a 5K run on my blog but I since this one has memories, I decided to write about it.

This year it was the 30th Anniversary. 30, Which means the first race held was nearly 2 months before I was born. The last time I ran this event, I was probably 7 or 8. I still remember my mother running this with me. The town of Demarest is where I practically grew up. I moved here from Fort Lee, NJ when I was 3 or 4. my parents and two brothers lived in a small 3 bedroom ranch house on the corner of a cul de sac. This town is perfect for those that want to raise kids in a quiet, harmless area. Demarest boasts six schools, while the population is a mere 4800. You have all the necessary things needed for a home within distance and the city is not too far. My next door neighbor commuted to the city everyday for quite a while. What surprised me was that the estimated household income for this small town was close to $150,000! I don't think my mother, or when my father lived with us (they were divorced when we were kids), made close to that amount.

Duck Pond
Anyway, back to the race.

This course is nothing close to easy. It starts off with an uphill climb and basically becomes rolling hills throughout the rest of the course. The course takes you around the western side of Demarest. I don't remember this race being so hard. But of course, the last time I ran this was when I was under 10 and had plenty of energy. Maybe I should ask my mother. This time around, I went out too hard. I was expecting to keep a 6:30 pace all the way, but started out at 6:15 and slowly disintegrated into a 7:00 pace at the last mile. I should be more cautious about this. The course also had a lot of twist and turns. I wanted to get in more of the scenery but my mind was completely focused on breathing and finishing. Next year, I should get more of the visuals in.

Finish Line

Although the difficulty level was high, I managed to PR my time at 20:54. My previous PR was 21:36. 42 seconds faster. This will boost my confidence level for the Fifth Ave One Mile Run also. My goal for that race is to break 5:30sec. My next 5K is in my current home town Ridgefield Park. This one is supposed to be a fast and flat course so a PR is pretty much expected.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Road Marathon #3 (4/6/12) - Cox Rhode Providence Marathon, RI

My third road marathon and boy what a race it was. Since my day one of taking it to the road, a 4 mile race, June 6, 2010, at a time of 35:31, I finally made it into the Sub 4 marathoners group. My previous marathon PR was a 4:27:26 at the Yonkers Marathon 9/18/11. Ever since that marathon, I've done 50K's, 60K's, trail marathons, and even an attempt at a 24 hour race, but never was able to shorten the marathon time down. That is until yesterday. My previous road marathon was the ING Miami Marathon, and my time was 4:46:46, nothing special. The first half, I ran it in 1:55:00 and slowed down the second leg due to blisters. I was hoping to get close to sub-4ing the race, but it didn't work out well. I knew I had it in me that one day I would be able to get past the 4 hour mark.

Before you read mine, if you're interested, you can read my friends post on the marathon as well!
His post has a more descriptive aspect of the marathon along with pictures :)

Providence Marathon was not an easy course. I suspected that it would be flat since the organizers mentioned the race was a qualifier for Boston. The first few miles were an easy going 8:30-45 pace getting in the city of Providence. I was pretty much on my own (came here with friends Hideki Kinoshita and Jenny Kim) and enjoyed the surroundings. Once we got out of town and headed into the suburbs (mile 6 or 7), I met a fellow Maniac (who I forgot his name but he was in the 3000's) and chatted away. He was apparently coming back from an injury and testing his legs out. Surprisingly, his pace was fast at around 7:30-45. It wasn't easy for me to keep up, but we were enjoying our conversation and I was feeling really good. The views of the course weren't the greatest, but not the worst. It was a lot of bike paths and residential areas, but at certain points, I saw some lakes and homes that were off the coast which looked really nice. Going back to the start, my friends Jenny and Kino aka Hideki went out fast and I didn't see them, but at Mile 13-14, I caught up with Jenny. Jenny is the type of runner that listens to music and goes at her own pace so I didn't want to disturb her mindset. I just waved my hands and let her know that I was on my way. She looked healthy at that point. This is where I took my first GU ever since Queens Half (NYRR event) on July 24, 2010.

That day, it was my first half marathon attempt after running my first 4 miler in June. I didn't realize how hard running 13.1 miles was at the time. My finish time... an astonishing 2:55:51. I still remember how much I was in pain after Mile 6. But also, my first GU experience was a big FAIL. I was so disgusted by the texture that I had to stop and spit it all out, almost vomiting. I vowed to never take it again.

Well, the GU helped this time, thanks to Jenny supplying it. She mentioned to not consume it all at once, but take a little at a time with water. This helped me get used to the texture while running and I eventually felt refreshed.

Mile 14-19 was a good pace of 7:40-50's. My fellow Maniac kept me going and encouraged me that I will break sub-4 at this rate. I was intrigued that this could be possible, but by mile 19, I slowed down (plus a bathroom break). This will be the first time that I continuously ran to Mile 20 without pain. I slowed to a 9:00 pace for the next mile and then gradually slowing to a 10:00 pace at around Mile 21-24. I was now in the stage of muscle soreness and legs tightening up. Had I kept my pace up, I probably would've been feeling a little better. The bathroom stop must have cramped up my legs. I decided to take another GU, salt tablet, and pure gatorade (I usually run it down with water) to see if it'll help the rest of the way.

Fortunately, in the last 2 miles, I picked up my pace back to 9:15-30 and managed to finish off at 3:52:45. My first Sub-4 marathon! I wanted to sprint the last 1/4 mile, but my hamstring was on the verge of pulling, so I maintained the slow pace. At that instance, Kino shouted my name and I looked over to the right. He had already finished, having run a 3:25:??, but his facial expression was a filled with a big surprise. He was just about to head back to see me run, thinking that I would be finishing a little after 4 hours. Just as he was about to head back, he saw a maniac shirt finishing up and noticed it was me. After crossing the finish line, he was so happy that I sub-4'ed. I had joined the sub-4 club within my running family.

This race has given me motivation that I can run a sub-4 in the future. Although I still have a long way to catch up with some of my faster friends (and even BQ), surpassing the 4 and entering the 3 is a great feeling. I've accomplished another stepping stone towards running and it feels awesome. I will train harder and come October for the Chicago Marathon, I will once again hope to PR and make way to beating 3:30.