Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The HEAT is on!

Every summer I write at least one post focused on hot weather running. I consider myself to be fairly experienced on the topic and capable of running well in the heat. This last week on the East Coast was scorching! For most of the week, the temperatures were in the mid-90's and the humidity was up there too.

I'm not an early riser so getting up at 5:00 am to run wasn't going to work for me. And if I run later at night, I tend to have problems falling asleep. Hence, I adjusted my running plans accordingly. My M,W, F noon runs with a speed workout on Wednesday were modified to two easier runs on Monday and Friday along the Connecticut River and I bagged the speed workout. I still ran the same Wednesday course only 1.75 minutes slower per mile. There are water fountains on this course so we can hydrate in route. With the shade, slight breeze, and water, it made for an okay week of training in spite of the conditions. I don't have a gym membership and hate treadmills so things worked out well. 
Sometimes on days like these I'll carry water with me. I'm used to doing it, but I know others don't like to do so. That's why finding a course with water fountains along the way is so beneficial. Also, I often wear a light colored cap and slap on some suntan lotion for good measure. After running, I'll cool down with a short walk in the park across from my office. There are plenty of large trees, which shade the area. I also make a point to drink plenty of water throughout the morning before my noon runs. This really helps because it's so easy to get dehydrated on hot days. After a cool shower in the basement of my building, I head upstairs to finish the day's work, refreshed, but still moist from my lunch excursion.

Don't underestimate the conditions in the summer and be smart about training through these hotter periods. It's okay to take things down a notch. You won't lose any conditioning and perhaps with the rest, you'll run even better the following week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Chaplin 5K Road Race Report



The Chaplin 5K Road Race on Saturday, June 2, 2012 was the tenth annual edition. I really didn't know anything specific about the course other than it was in Chaplin, covered 3.1 miles, and the start/finish location was at the Chaplin Elementary School. I had decided to do the race so that I could get together with a former work intern for a run, in spite of the fact I had just done a speed workout on May 31, 2012. He actually lives very close to Chaplin and the elementary school.
I woke up at 7:00 am on Saturday morning to the sound of rain outside. It was going to be a wet run for sure. At least the temperature was in the 65 degree F range. Anyway, it took me about forty minutes to get to this small school in the middle of nowhere. I had to be careful not to miss any turns because there were many. When I reached the school it was still raining, albeit lightly. I met up with Jared, an intern we had hired in my department a year or so and his fiancee. Jared had become a regular lunch runner during his time at the CTDEEP.

Shortly after the race started, the rain began to come down hard. It didn't take long for my running shoes to get waterlogged. Nothing like running with ankle weights/wet shoes. The first mile had a long, steep hill in it, which surprised and tired me out quickly. But I tried to keep Jared in sight. I was surprised by the number of older guys in the race too. Here I was doing this obscure little 5k, with almost as much competition in my age group as I'd find in much larger races. Unfortunately, I couldn't see any mile markers and that didn't help my pacing.  

I usually like to scope out some part of the course before any race, but that didn't happen. So I kept trying to catch people ahead and that helped to motivate me. I wasn't making too much progress though. I tried to keep up with another guy I knew, but he slowly pulled away from me. By the time I realized where the finish was, I finished the race in 23:45, a 7:39 pace. 
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by my time given the circumstances, but I was somewhat. As it turned out, I finished in15th place out of 90, in fifth place in the 50-59 age group. I told you it was a bit competitive. Let's chalk this one up to experience. BTW, Jared ended up about a minute ahead of me and took 1st place in the 20-29 age group. Great job, Jared! (See our picture above after the race in front of the school.) 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chaplin 5K Country Road Race

I finally located a race not too far from my house to run. Tomorrow is the 10th Annual Chaplin 5K Road Race.  I had been checking out various races on Hitek Racing Series website, but things got in the way or the races started too late in the morning for me. I try to run the race and give myself enough time to come home and take Calvin, my Lab, for a quick run.

I'm not familiar with the course. I do intend to check out the terrain on-line since I have the names of the streets the course follows. My goal is to improve on my 23:23 5K time from a month or so ago. Based on my recent tempo run times, I think a 22:20 or better in possible as long as the course isn't hilly.  I also plan to meet and run with one of the interns that worked for me a year or so ago. I'm sure he'll be ahead of me, which should motivate me to run faster. We'll see though.

I plan on reporting on the race sometime tomorrow evening so check back in later this weekend for the race summary. I also plan to bring my digital camera to record some of the sights and sounds of the race.