Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bill Harper 5k 2007

13 hours after mid summer nights run 15k, it was the bill harper 5k. It was not the smartest move to schedule a back to back race like this, but I did it for the two irrational reasons:
- it was only $10 bucks!
- At this point I had done a trail 10k, 15k and a 10 mile, no 5k races yet.

My friend back in Taiwan once told me, when he was in the army, the entire group had to run a 5k with full gear loaded for 23:30, if you couldn't keep up with the group then you are screwed and that is the minimum time you must meet to "pass". So the unrealistic goal I set this time is 23:30, although I never tried the goal pace for 5k nor have full gear loaded - probably not allowed during the race here :-)

I have convinced a few other non-runner friends of mine also signed up this race, the only runner I know - Alan didn't want to do any 5k cause he claims he's really slow in short distance and his body takes 5k to get warmed up :-( This race is located on the Toronto centre island. Richard Y. and myself both arrived the dock just when the last ferry left to the island which would make on time for the race... We got there about 5 minutes late, it was obvious that when we got to the start line, nobody was there... since the race was timed by the event organizer manually for each individuals, he was really nice that he would still let us run and take down our time.

Soon I realized my legs weren't fresh, and I can feel my knees. It wasn't hurting but they were definitely tired. It was before the half way, probably around 1 or 2k, we saw the winner of the race already on the way back, this was the first time I saw Danny Kassap but I didn't know much about him at the time. Around half way I know 23:30 wasn't going to happen... Richard Y. was definitely in a better shape, I just had to push myself to keep up with him. I was sure Richard could run faster but he didn't want to leave me there, so he didn't speed up till the last few hundred meters. This was probably the only race up-to-date that I had no fuel left at the end for a sprint finish. Richard's time was 25:14, I was 25:22 but somehow they mixed up us I end up taking Richard's time on the result :-)

For 10 bucks the stuff you get for this race was AMAZING! free subway sub for lunch, lots water and varieties of pops, drinks, free cotton tshirt and LOTS PRIZES!! I would say almost everyone got a prize, I end up got a Adidas tech shirt! I was excited of getting all these freebies.

23:30 the minimum standard that my friend had met in the army burned into my mind, I knew I would come back again next year for redemption.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mid Summer Night Run 15k 2007

Soon after I recovered from Nissan 10 mile, I was searching for race that gives out finisher's medal again, I was such a superficial medal collector, I still am :-) I found this mid summer nights run, there were 15k or 30k available, since I have done a 10 mile (16k), I signed up the 15k race without hesitation. I also signed up the Bill Harper run 5k just because the registration fee was cheap and I wanted to try a 5k race, two races were on the same weekend one after one and I was not trained for any mid distance runs, looking back I really don't know what I was thinking!

At this point I had some proper and better running shoes. I just got back from a business trip in states, I bought a New Balance 872 trail running shoe mainly for the mudrun 10k in 2008. This is a very light weight shoe and dries quickly after water got into the shoes. I ran a quite a few races in this shoe up-to-date which includes this Mid Summer Nights 15k, Bill Harper 5k and more.

Somehow I manage to dig out the "training log" from 2007 before the mid summer nights run:
Jun. 23 - 3.2k - 14:03:53
Jun. 29 - 1.6k - 6:17:22
Jul. 21 - 4.x k - 23:32:06
Aug. 06 - 3.2k - 14:56
Aug. 12 - 3.2k - 12:37
Aug. 14 - 3.2k - 12:03

Yes, I was running only less than 5k a few times before back-to-back 15k + 5k races! I can't believe how crazy I was but I am actually impressed with my pace back then, I remember I was killing myself in those runs and totally exhausted after each run.

Mid summer nights run began in the evening 6:30pm, it was on a similar route as Nissan 10 mile that goes into the Tommy Thompson park. After the 10 mile race, I had a better idea of pacing, my goal for this race was to go at a faster pace and hopefully I can be placed above average.
It is quite obvious that with the type of running I had done, to be placed above average is simply unrealistic, except I was too naive to understand that back in 2007.

This was a smaller race, way much less runners. I was going at a faster pace than Nissan 10 mile, but there were still quite a few old ladies passed me... there were a few times I was out of breath, I had to take walk breaks. I remember just less than 1k to the finish line, I took a walk break just to recover a bit, and then put a fake strong finish to sprint to the finish line.

Just right after I crossed the finish line, there was a photographer said "Hey Felix! can I take a picture of you?" I was totally shocked why the heck he would know my name? but there weren't enough air for my brain to be functional at the moment, instead of holding my medal I held up the bottle water for a silly pose, until later I got home I realized my name was clearly printed on the bib!

104 FELIX WU NORTH YORK 764 1:26:21.0 1:25:48.1 5:46 Men 30 - 39 19/31 53/85

chiptime was 1:26:21, below average again but 5:46k/m pace which is 11 seconds better than last time, though it was 1k less but I wasn't that disappointed as I felt I had improved. I was exhausted when I got home, had to get some rest just for the 5k race next morning...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Run With A Stroller

I don't know how other parents handle kids, but I find having 1 baby + 1 toddler to be the most stressful and time consuming challenge. Ever since I picked up running, I struggle to find time to train, I couldn't follow any training plan for my full marathon either. My "training" time were mostly during the commute to and back from work.

There has been a few times I saw a jogging stroller on sale in Canadian Tire, but every time it was always sold out. Around x-mas I saw this joggling stroller on sale in Toys R' Us, I bought it without hesitation, this thing is going to allow me to have more time to run! Things didn't go that well, I forgot the weather factor, my wife did not grant permission for me to take our daughter out for a run during the winter... it didn't get unpacked and assembled till today.

Finally the stupid weather seem to get warmer and today was such a perfect day to try the jogging stroller! I also put on the new camelbak I got on Friday to see how it feels. My daughter was just excited as I was! We head off to the usual 5k route that I run around our neighbourhood. Surprisingly, it wasn't much difficult to run with a stroller, you definitely couldn't swing your arms but I didn't feel it bothers me at all. For uphills it seems to consume a bit more energy to push up the stroller, but on downhills I think it kept me run faster than I would without a stroller! I checked with my daughter if she was comfortable every few minutes, during the last 2k she stopped responding, I thought she was just tired of answering her silly dad... when we finished the 5k run, it turns out she fell asleep. :-) This is great, that means I can take her out for a 2hrs long run during her nap time on warm days!



Looking forward to do this on regular basis!