Monday, August 25, 2014

A Tale of Two 10Ks

Recently I joined up with Baltimore Road Runners Club (BRRC) to get a little speed work in with their middle distance training group.  The group works out Thursday nights up at Goucher college (they finally put in a new track!) as well as some long runs Saturday mornings at Loch Raven Reservoir. The main focus has been to get my pace to start dropping and we've been using about a 7 min/5K pace as a baseline for all the workouts.

So far I'm happy enough with my progress that I put it to a little test by doing 2 separate 10Ks in the same week.  Not exactly A-type races but would give me both an idea of where I stand and some race experience being tired (which I'm ALWAYS tired at the end of an Olympic tri) so a definite fun time.

Too Hot To Trot

The first race was put on by BRRC themselves on the NCR Trail.  This one was called Too Hot To Trot which was definitely not the case.  Many of the scrawny runners were all shivering before the start as it was an oddly chill morning.  My goal was to negative split this race.  Go out fairly strong but not too hard and able to come home relatively strong.  My full result is below from Stava:
I cannot really argue with getting a PR, but haven't really executed any 10Ks lately so this was almost a guarantee.  Looking at my splits you'll see the full story:
So I went out a little too hard (its tough when you have a lot of fit racers at the start with you) but overall I was fairly happy with my overall time.  Not a bad little race.  I finished that up with an additional couple miles to make this a "long run Sunday" and close out my day.

Triad 10K

The second race took place at APG, MD the Wed after Too Hot so I had a couple days to recover and put together another run.  The difference this time was that prior to the 6:15AM race there was a 2K Kids Color Run that I decided to run with little JoePa (he's 2) beforehand.  I'm going to call that "run" more of a Crossfit type workout since I was basically doing short jogs while lifting a 33lb oddly shaped medicine ball over at random intervals.  So that was my warm up before the actual race.

Same race plan as the previous 10K only to TRY and go out a bit easier...

Not too bad given how I've been feeling in training and being a little earlier than I was expecting.  My splits show the reduced effort.  Still need to work on coming home harder though:

So one week of two 10Ks with similar results I think I'm seeing some decent progress and looking forward to coming home strong in my next Olympic tri in early September.

Thanks for reading!

Bike to the Beach 2014

This was the second year I decided to participate in the Bike to the Beach (B2B) on August 1st. My main interest was to be able to get in 100+ miles in a day as a precursor to my family vacation down in OCMD. Additionally, B2B works as a fundraising event (click HERE to donate!) for autism so really its a win-win scenario.  Side note: the minimum fundraising amount was $500 which I hit fairly easily last year.  This year I almost doubled it by pulling in $900 (thank you everyone!).  Also took a quick look and it appears the top single donations took in $3410 so I think I have a new goal for next year...

B2B starts both from DC and MD.  Being a local to Baltimore I opted for the early morning start in Baltimore with the meeting up with the DC crew at the WW2 Memorial near Annapolis.  The entire setup was very straightforward with the packet pick up Wed before the ride at Race Pace Bicycles (same place that I purchased my Cervelo P2 last year).  I actually lucked out and during check in and found out that my neighbor was on the board and willing to drive me super early to the start.  Having a 2 year old at home I think my wife thought this was the best part (not having to wake up of course). This still gave me very little sleep the night before and onto the course for our 5AM start.

If interested here's the site with the full ROUTE

B2B Leg 1 (or 2 if you count the one stop)
Ignore my elevation profile please

First leg of this trip kicked off at 5AM with a "police escort".  I use that term loosely.  We started off at a local school with the police officer leading the way.  I think he thought we were all professional riders since he was giving us a clean 25mph starting speed through some rough Baltimore roads.  That aside we made it right up to Under Armour HQ when the cop realized we went the wrong way.  Total cluster.  Quick U-turn and then a ride by Race Pace/Fed Hill got us on our way.  At least that's what I thought...a few minutes later we saw another officer pointing folks to the left.

It wasn't until about a mile down the road and no other cyclists around that the couple guys I managed to join up with realized we were heading the wrong way. Luckily this worked out for one guy, we managed to stop on our way back to help another rider with a flat.  The rest of this mini leg were uneventful as we got to the first rest stop on the B&A Trail.

B&A itself (or leg 2 by my Strava results) was very nice.  I really should incorporate this and the BWI trail into my workouts more often.  Not a bad ride and finally got some bagels at the end.

I probably should have left my watch running for the remaining parts of the ride.  After a short bus ride across the Bay Bridge (for obvious safety reasons you manage to take a bus across) we started back off.  The remaining legs would take your average cyclist about an hour or so to complete and they were each stocked with various Powerbars/bananas water etc.  Only a few of the hardcore Ironman/Cycling folks were really powering through to the finish (I think some people wanted to see if they could make it to the bar before it opened).  Either way I've posted my results to get an idea of course:

Ultimately everyone finishes off right outside Northbeach Restaurant (more of a bar really...) that overlooks the bay.  All in all if you're looking for a fairly low key century ride with cyclists of all ability levels this event can't be missed.  As long as the timing of it is right I'll be doing this one before our OCMD trip every year!

Thanks for reading!