Author Topic: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster  (Read 4672 times)

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Offline Ryan

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Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« on: June 13, 2011, 07:35:16 AM »
Walleye Run 5 mile

First, I'll start with registration for a moment. By pre-registering, I was able to select the no shirt option and pay only $7 to register. I was also able to register Shayla with no shirt (it's either going to come down to her knees or she's going to outgrow it in 3 months anyway) for free. So two registrations, $7. More races should go this no frills, low price route in my opinion. People say no frills races won't get turnout but this had better turnout than many $20-25 minimum events with all the wasteful frills.

Anyway, on to race day. Given the chances of nice weather in early June (pretty high) and the fact that there is a festival that this race is tied into, giving some fun family things to do, as well as the free kids run, we decided to make it a family event. So Lisa, Shayla and I pulled into Fond du Lac a little before 7:00 for the 8:10 race on a not so beautiful (for the family) morning with temps in the low 50s, heavy clouds, and a damp chill in the air. We walked through some of the festival grounds, noting things that would normally make this day a fun day for the whole family, then found our way over to registration. I picked up both of our packets, then went to pin my bib number on. After I got my number on, Shayla was very excited to get hers on so I helped her put it on. Then, we sat back and just relaxed for a while. It wasn't long until Charlene and her oldest came along and we talked a bit and checked out the new HillRunner.com gear before heading out for a warmup.

We warmed up with probably a bit more easy running and a bit less running at higher intensity than I normally would but I'm pretty flexible with my warmups these days so that didn't concern me one bit. One thing I noticed on the warmup, as nice as low 50s sounds, there was a bit of a breeze, coming off Lake Winnebago when we were near the lake, and that damp chill just sunk right in. Not the most ideal running conditions and definitely not a picnic for the spectators. After a few strides at the start line, Charlene and I wished each other and the others around us well and we were off.

As I expected, I fell out of the top 10 at the beginning, as the young runners took off hard. I knew they would come back, though. Ultimately, my goal was to be around 10th at the half mile and within striking distance of the top 5 ("merchandise" prizes to the top 5 and I figured I had an outside shot at it so I'd go for it) at the mile, before the real racing would begin. At about 1/4 mile, I found myself already just outside the top 10 and moving up on a pack of guys but also thinking to myself I'm not feeling all that smooth and this doesn't feel as easy as it should. I just chalked it up to this being my first race in 8 months and then passed the pack. Now, I was in 7th place at the half mile and already within striking distance of the top 5. I hope I'm not feeling a bit off because I'm getting out harder than I should. Forget that, though. The pace feels right, just race.

With that, I set my sights on a pack of 3 guys. Passing the whole pack would put me in 4th place and well set for my run at the top 5. As I approached, the pack broke up a bit so I could work on them one on one. This played a bit into my favor. It can be hard sometimes to run away from a whole pack but it can be easier taking guys out one on one, especially guys who already feel like they are falling off. I took the first two fairly easily with slight surges to ensure they didn't want to go with me. I passed the third right before the mile but had a bit more trouble dropping him. At this point, I just focused on the next guy up, wearing a green t-shirt, and second place, wearing a blue singlet. It didn't take long until I was chasing the green t-shirt by myself.

Eventually, I did catch the green t-shirt after blue singlet got away from him a bit. I passed but he didn't let me go. I pushed a bit but he hung with me through the 2 mile mark. Not long after that, he passed me and began using tactics that I normally use against others. He threw in a few good surges that initially gapped me a bit but I was able to close the gap every time. The third time I had to close the gap, I felt a little left in my legs as I caught back up to him so I kept going and passed him back. Just before the 3 mile mark, I was back in front of him and trying to get a gap. Not long after, I had the gap and I was able to focus on the blue singlet that now had a fairly good but not insurmountable lead. I kept pushing for him, knowing that would be the best way also to put the green shirt away once and for all. By the 4 mile mark, it was apparent blue singlet had enough left that he was going to be tough, if not impossible, to catch. He actually was pulling away a bit. Still, there's always hope. Maybe he was going too hard and would fade in the final mile. Fortunately, I built up a sizable gap on green shirt and was pretty safely in third place. With that knowledge, I kept focusing on blue singlet for the final mile but just couldn't close on him and that mile finished pretty much how it started, with him holding about a 100 yard lead on me.

Overall, I feel like I ran the best race I could on the day. I didn't have the wheels to get out faster. Had I tried, I would have almost surely blown up and had a miserable experience. Playing catch up on second place just wasn't in the cards for me this time, I didn't have the fitness to close that gap. Third was the best I had in me and I executed the best plan I could for the day to get myself to the finish line in that position.

Final result: 3rd overall in 28:27 (from the best results I can find). Good for a "merchandise" prize of a nice folding lawn chair and a travel mug, both proclaiming me a "Top Finisher" (or something along that line) at the Walleye Run. Not bad for a rust buster after not racing for 8 months.

Charlene also made HillRunner.com 2 for 2 on the podium with her own 3rd place finish in the women's race. Though her sights were set a bit higher, I still think it was a good day for HillRunner.com all around.

Unfortunately, Lisa and Shayla weren't enjoying the weather and Shayla was not feeling real good so we ended up going home before she got to do her run. She was so looking forward to it, we might put her number on and go to the local high school track to let her run a lap when she is feeling better.

Offline Charlene

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 08:02:30 PM »
Great job placing well in a competitive men's field.  This is a very good start to your summer.   

I will just add that I have found that the cold damp weather this spring has not been agreeable to my legs and Saturday was not an exception.  I was a tad bit disappointed as I had won this race last year but at the same time I have had a few issues with my feet and health in the last 2 months so I did feel that I did very well considering that I have had to back off on training.   Back in March, when I was feeling and running well, I had beat the winner by over a minute in a 5k.   But this was her day and I was happy for her as she ran very well.


Offline Ed

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 08:03:08 PM »
Excellent report and great race.  Most def something that I should really read again and again to get a good understanding of strategy and pulling off that strategy.
Next Goal Race - Al's Run

Offline Ryan

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 06:12:46 AM »
Charlene, I thought you did very well out there. The last couple of months have been tough, dealing with things largely if not completely out of your control. You'll come out of this stronger and hopefully the warmer weather that has to be coming at some point will help you do so.

Ed, thanks. There are a lot of things that simply are matters of experience. While we can learn a lot by reading about how others apply race strategy and watching them do so, in the end, we also need to practice it so we just know when one strategy or the other is the right thing to do. That's why some tune-up races are important. We need to sharpen those skills, just like any other skill.

Offline ksrunner

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 09:46:23 AM »
Good race, Ryan.

I like the idea of the no frills race -- or at least a no frills option. At first, I was thinking that since most races support a charity, that they might not be willing to set the price so low, but I have to wonder how much of the entry fee goes to the charity and how much goes to pay for the frills.
We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves.
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 09:57:26 AM »
Thanks and you raise a great point. I've entered a couple of races where I've received "donation receipts" for about $5 (on a $20-25 entry fee). Also, I know of another race where the entry fee is $30 and they very explicitly state that covers the cost of your participation in the event, please pledge or fund raise to support the organization the event is raising money for. Admittedly, there are more overhead expenses in a central area of Milwaukee than there are in any part of a small town a good hour drive from Milwaukee but these are some significant differences in entry fees and the $20 5K entry fee is hardly the exclusive domain of major city races.

Offline ksrunner

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 11:26:49 AM »
The norm for 5K entries seems to be moving toward $25-$30 around here. The only no frills races that I am aware of are some trail races and some $5/event Thursday night track meets. There may be others, but most of my road races are affiliated with a grand prix competition which I pursue primarily in hopes of winning 5-6 free entries into the following year's races.
We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves.
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Offline Double

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 07:59:07 PM »
Good run braaaaah.  Did you put in 20 before this one?
"What are you training for?" "For life."  (Barry Duncan)
"What race are you running?" "The human race." (Clement Grum)

Offline Ryan

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 06:10:57 AM »
Thanks Double. No 20 before this one but I also didn't get beat by a guy with a hernia.

Offline Andrew A.

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 10:22:27 AM »
Final result: 3rd overall in 28:27 (from the best results I can find). Good for a "merchandise" prize of a nice folding lawn chair and a travel mug, both proclaiming me a "Top Finisher" (or something along that line) at the Walleye Run. Not bad for a rust buster after not racing for 8 months.

Charlene also made HillRunner.com 2 for 2 on the podium with her own 3rd place finish in the women's race. Though her sights were set a bit higher, I still think it was a good day for HillRunner.com all around.
Very nice, well done!  :D
Why dink around? Go for it, be the best. It is worth whatever risk there is even if you fall short. You will be better.
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 12:01:24 PM »
Thanks Andrew.

Offline Double

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2011, 08:14:31 PM »
It was a good time back then.  We made a good showing that day.  Hard to believe that was 9 years ago.  You look
like your going to have a good Al's this year.
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2011, 06:40:40 AM »
That was one of the most fun race days I recall. We had a good run up there, then had a great time afterward. I was thinking a lot in the lead up to this race about how it had been 9 years since I ran up there. Way too long, especially now that I don't live all that far away. I have a feeling it's going to become an annual tradition now.

I'm hoping for a good showing at Al's Run this year. I can't recall ever having bad runs two years in a row there so I should be due for a good run this year after that hip problem got the best of me last year.

Offline cesar

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 06:52:01 AM »
Nice race Ryan!! What is next?

Offline Ryan

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Re: Race report: Not bad for a rust buster
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2011, 08:02:07 AM »
Thanks Cesar. I'm not sure. I expect to do Fish Day in mid-July but I wouldn't mind fitting another one into the schedule before then. I'm just not sure what would fit the schedule in the late June/early July time frame.

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