Saturday, October 31, 2009

5K Run Rematch results in Roles Reversal.

The running gods certainly have a way of flipping the tables around.

Flashback to the mile event from two weeks ago, I was leading out the chase group on lap 2. I was the official pace bunny, that is until the group had other ideas heading into the final laps. Nathaniel Flipper Janzen was one of the few who managed to reel me in and steamed passed me on final lap to decisively take fourth place, while I was breathing heavily to claim fifth place just a couple seconds back.

Now to the 5K event. Prior to the run I came across a random running forum online for tips on running my fastest 5K, which suggested taking the first half mile (800m) with an easier effort. Then at least in theory, I would be trying to ‘finish strong’ rather than trying to ‘hold on’ for the remaining distance. I’d decided that distinguishing the two was going to be based on level of effort rather than on time. This of course is always easier said than done, especially if you have to keep eyes on your closest rivals (i.e. in my situation Flipper and Scotty-Doo). Although I was wearing my GPS watch for the entire time, I didn’t get to see my time until I uploaded the data into my computer because of the dark/wet conditions.

The graph below is a rare peak at my heart rate during the run, which shows a distinct jump in heart rate at the first half mile (For my dedicated and loyal structural engineering readers, this graph is not to be confused with a load test for a stress-strain relationship...although one can say I’m quite a ductile material if that was the case).

At about the first km mark, Flipper was impatient of my pace setting and started to book it with madfish-like intentions. Liam Harrap and I was hanging on to Flipper’s pace, who seem to have borrowed the pace bunny page from my books. I was impressed with Flipper and Liam’s running abilities and thought this group was going to pull away like how it did in the mile. Even up to the fourth lap of the 5.5 laps run, I thought Flipper was very close to dropping me. Like a true competitor, I kept onto him matching him stride for stride and taking longer breath slowly one by one. Slowly but surely, a gap opened between Flipper and I as we approached the 1km to go mark. My watch started to beep from this point onwards which was telling me to slow down (heart rate reached 189 max bpm see graph above). Ironically, this time I finished fourth place and Flipper just edged out Liam for fifth place. My final time was 18:35 (much faster than expected). Surely this rivalry is starting to heat up.

Pace times:

Lap 1 3:12 (3:33 min/km)
Lap 2 3:14 (3:36 min/km)
Lap 3 3:22 (3:44 min/km)
Lap 4 3:31 (3:54 min/km)
Lap 5 3:26 (3:48 min/km)
Lap 5.5 1:47 (3:34 min/km)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

5K Run Rematch!

I have a funny feeling today’s 5 km Event is likely the rematch of the exciting Miracle Mile witnessed last week. However, this time the finish will be more favoured for the distance runners rather than the sprinters.

Beside the favourites such as Barry Claman and Vincent Lavallee, I anticipate Andrew Wight to break out of his shell and run a solid sub 19 minute 5K time. He has been relatively quiet in the series of late and has been looking for ‘lunch meat’ for a while now.

In short, it was brutally fast how the mile unfolded last week. I can relate to Vince’s experience of the mile. I averaged 3:08min/km pace for the mile with an impressive result of 5:11 but was out kicked by Nathaniel Janzen and Jared Penner on the final lap, despite running a 76 seconds final lap. It turns out my role as the pace bunny virtually had little effect on pushing the pace.

I hope to run a little more conservatively today and a closer even split.

Now, I may be only a few points behind Flipper in the overall standings, and some points over Scotty-Doo, but that may be deceiving since there are still two major pool events left in the series. For those events, I’ll just be trying to finish for the bonus participation points, whereas Flipper and Scotty-Doo are expected to obtain maximum points. Currently, I’m still fighting for a podium position in the men’s division and I am excited to see how it all unfolds in the next few events.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mile Showdown

For tomorrow’s much anticipated showdown of the Mile Event after a week-long delay, competitive spirits are at an all time high.

Competitors have deemed me as their pace bunny since I am not known for having a world-class finishing kick but rather a fast start. I will be trying to improve upon my previous time of 5:41. That means a strong run from start to finish, gracefully dropping competitors one by one hopefully. A few dark horses are expected to win the event; however, the race within the race is the true battleground for the overall contenders group.

That group includes the likes of current golden-cape holder and uphill run event winner Matt Reeve (the coolest brace face I know), two-time events winner Nathaniel Flipper Janzen, speedy negative–split Scotty-Doo, and Mr. Modest Andrew Wight. As to date, all but Mr. Modest have made their claims on beating me to the finish line. Is that so? Little did they know...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Royal Victoria Half-Marathon Report

My adventure to the island over the weekend went well; I even managed to cap it off with a new pb with a gun time of 1:28:35! The weather was beautiful and the ocean side view on the run course was just fantastic.

A new PB finish!

The weekend started smoothly, Vincent Lavallee and I met up at Bridgeport station and were able to catch all of our transfers on time to Victoria, despite the fire incident on one of the ferry on Friday. There were also long line-ups spilling onto our ferry, since the noon ferry was taken out of service. Once the line kept moving, it wasn’t so bad and everybody got on.

Vincent and I checked into the International Hostel in Victoria which was just within 1-2 km from the race site. It was my first stay at a hostel, and I must admit, there’s not much privacy sharing a room full of complete strangers. One of my roommates, Michael who was doing the full marathon, offered ear plugs to everybody, which was considerate of him. I also have to thank him for waking me up at 5:30am in the morning because my watch alarm just too minuscule of a beep.

Race morning was breezy and dark. Temperature didn’t rise until the sun came out just after 7am. My calf-high Sugoi R/R compression socks were great calf-warmers and jel holders I’ve learned. People were complimenting my extra cargo space.

7:30am the gun went. I started 3 seconds behind the elites. Vincent had said earlier that he would attempt doing a blistering 37min for the first 10km, so I figured my best bet was not to keep pace with him. He was within sighting distance for the first three kilometres. Between us was a guy dressed in black spandex jammers and long socks with a neon-yellow cape that ran to his knees. This guy attracted quite the scene.

My heart rate started beeping at about the 2km marker when it peaked at 191 bpm. At about 3km that’s when I backed off my pace a little bit and lost sighting distance of the Vincent and superman pace group.

I was running rock steady with the group behind. At the turn around at 12km, I managed to see Vincent doing well going in the other direction and knew he was about 2 minutes ahead of me.
At about the 14km, Melanie Van Soeren, who was also doing the half, was looking very strong giving me a solid high-five as we passed each other.

Along the way at about 16km, a random guy yells, “great job super asian guy!” with lots of enthusiasm, which I thought was quite amusing.

The final three kilometres were a grind, and I managed to reel in a few more runners that I’ve been tail-gating for most of the race. For the final kilometre, I was surrounded by some more-or-less older dudes so I just moderately increased my pace hovering just above the 4 min/km pace to ensure I finished strong without the need for a final kick.

Final race thoughts.

It was a huge confidence booster doing this half; perhaps I can shoot for sub 1:28 in the Fall Classic. Congrats to all the UBCTC members for their impressive times. Vincent for his impressive pb time of sub 1:24 (by more than 6 minutes) and Melanie for her pb time of 1:44:48 (by 12 minutes 50 seconds). I also want to congratulate Ceilidh Curtis for his full marathon.

My average pacing (min/km)
1km 3:44
2km 4:09
3km 4:13
4km 3:57
5km 4:07
6km 4:17
7km 4:11
8km 4:02
9km 4:18
10km 4:01
11km 4:17
12km 4:11
13km 4:19
14km 4:08
15km 4:12
16km 4:18
17km 4:30
18km 4:11
19km 4:04
20km 4:04
21.1km 4:04

The complete results: overall, age group.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Scotty-Doo Where Are You?

Everybody loves cheering for the underdog.

Scotty-Doo Chris Sebastian Russell Scott made huge gains in the pool over the past summer. Had he improved earlier in the school term, he would have been absolutely robbed if the highly-coveted UBCTC Most Improved Swimmer Award was not handed to him. He also solved the mystery to riding, keeping par with his rivals.

He may have lost the ghost in the creepy cabin, but one mystery that still keeps him spooked and puzzled is the dreaded run. Will he be able to find a clue before it haunts him in the mile run event? Shaggy and friends will be expecting him at the finish line hopefully sooner rather than later.