Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ridge to Rivers Trail System

I'll just gush a bit about the Ridge to Rivers Trails in Boise. They're fantastic. The extensive network of trails in the Boise foothills down to the greenbelt along the river makes exploring this area very accessible and enjoyable. I have yet to try all the trails, but have really enjoyed the Shaw Mountain and Oregon Trail areas. For those who visit Boise and are interested in seeing what trail running/mountain biking options are out there, check out the link: it will not disappoint.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Digs

Decided to spruce things up on ye olde thyme bloge since times they are a changin'. I started using Strava last month, which precludes the need for many aspects of this blog. I'll still post the wordier stuff here and pontificate on gear and such; times where things don't fit into Strava very well. Otherwise refer to Strava for my day-to-day activities.

FitOne Boise 10K

Having left the skreets of Savannah for drier, colder, more altituded environs, I decided to take on the second 10K of my life. I felt good about my previous effort one decade prior (Provo Freedom Run 2005) and wasn't sure I would be able to best my time.

10K is a tough distance. Short enough to run hard and fast, but long enough to feel pretty beat up toward the end. On top of this, I'd be racing 3000 feet higher than I've been accustomed to for the past 7 years. Training for the past several months has been a steep learning curve (tee hee hee). Fortunately, my lungs finally caught up with my legs a few weeks before the race and I felt ready to take on a PR. My goal was under 40 minutes, which would leave some wiggle room for error taking down the previous time of 42:47.

My formula for training was pretty straightforward:

  • long run on weekends (at least over 10K) with lots of vert
  • weekly intervals (mostly on nearby soccer fields)
  • incrementally longer tempo runs at goal pace (6:25)
  • cross training (mountain biking)
Mountain biking has been a recent addition and I think is what finally got my cardio fitness caught up to my legs. Specifically, a 2000 foot climb one evening was what blew out all the cobwebs.

The race was a pretty big ordeal, runners filling up a good portion of downtown Boise. I parked a half mile away and ran some strides to the start to warm up. The half marathon started first, then us 15 minutes later. For the first time of any race, I was able to get right up to the starting line, so there was very little gymnastics dodging people until we caught up to the straggling half marathoners.

I started off below goal pace for the first mile or so, then got a sense of urgency and settled into my manageable race pace. I then pulled up next to a 13-year-old kid to pass, but he put on the gas and we ended up hanging together for almost the entire race (more to come on that). Somewhere around this time, I passed a fellow runner I know from church and said hello. He kept me on a leash, however.

The kid and I trudged on in close ranks with the #1 female (the only reason I know is that everyone was telling her "you're the first girl!"). As we approached the on hill in the race, I decided to make a move and hope that my hill training would pay some dividends. I passed #1 female who graciously encouraged me on (most runners are ridiculously polite while being extremely competitive). I made a move on the kid but he soon reeled me back in.

After gunning the hill, I got sloppy and lost some momentum running the rim before dropping to the finish line. My church acquaintance pulled me back in and took his turn with the kid. They broke away and with just over a mile to go, I started to red line the pace, knowing there was a big downhill section I could try to make up ground on.

My two compadres were finishing quite a bit stronger, however, and opened a big gap. I did pass one more person, who was not pleased with this fact and voiced it. Crossed the finish line in 39:42, on what was clearly a short course (around 1/4 mile per several peoples GPS'). That was a bit frustrating not knowing how I really did. I would still have PR'd, but not below 40min. I found the kid at the finish line and congratulated him on his peripubescent prowess with running.

I managed 10th overall and 2nd in my division; very pleased with how things turned out even with the minor annoyances. It was fun to run with the leaders in an uncrowded manner with a handful of us pushing each other.

I walked back to the start line and entered the 5K stroller division with the chillun's while my other half ran the competitive 5K. My offspring did great in spite of the crowds and human chains blocking the entire running path. And the Mrs. ended up 1st in her division. Overall made for a great day for each of us individually and as a family unit. Best part about this race is it was cheap and the kid registrations were free. Will plan on doing one of the events yearly.