Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Executive Stampede

I ran the Executive Stampede on Sunday for my company.  It's not a team in the manner of cross country where they score top runners, but just an overall participation total.  Since starting with my current company in 2008, I've done this race 4 out of 5 years.  It's had some highs and some real lows.  Last year I had a goal of being the first finisher from my company, but I was a moderate second.  This year I had no shot as a new hire was the overall winner in sub or low 16s.

In 2008 this race was my first formal race in 7 years.  I ran Shamrock in 2001 and promptly stopped competing, changed my focus to Australian Rules Football.  I was still playing Ausball (the rec league level of coed Footy) and continued the rest of the summer with intense practices so I was in shape and ran a somewhat respectable 21:30.  Here's a picture:


The next year I wasn't keeping in shape with the footy and I ran one of my worst times ever, 23:53.
 Notice the difference in the picture:


Somehow I missed 2010 even though I was running a bit more, and ran two other 5ks right around then--Great Prostate Challenge and the Dustin Bauer memorial race, both around 24:00.  Last year was 20:40 and some progress towards running competitive times.  I was second for my company and 16th overall, in a less competitive year. 

This year I wasn't trying to run a recent best time because i'm not in that kind of shape at the moment and it's not really a fast course.  Going under 20 was nice, and the 10th place finish is my best since Francie's 5k.  I wound up 3rd for my company which was ok.  And I followed it up with 9 1/2 miles on the NCR since I was already north of town. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tough Market Street Mudder Mile

Saturday was a full day.  Went out to Frederick to run a race from my past along with one I never will do in the future.  At the end of the day I was muddy and had scrapes all down my legs, but I wasn't all that tired from the actually running I did.

Market Street Mile

The race was first run in '82 (I don't think I did it the first year, but it possible I 'ran' it at the age of 4).  I once held an age group record for 6-7 (a 6:24 I believe).  Also, this was the race where I first ran sub 5, back in 1992 as a freshman in high school.  It's an interesting course, not a straight downhill mile, but it starts with a hill and then the rest is down.  Mapmyrun doesn't handle it very well (much like the rest of Frederick County) and only claims about 15 feet or less net downhill.  It's probably closer to 30 or 40, in my estimation. 

I started ok, hanging with my friend Jon and some other faster folks I knew.  The split for 800 was 2:48, which seemed slow.  I picked it up when I saw the clock but only managed 5:34.  I ran 5:40 on the track last month in a much less even paced race so I thought I was capable of something under 5:30 if I was smarter on a downhill course.  I didn't feel like I was completely tired at the finish, either.  The downside of running a mile while marathon training, I guess.

Tough Mudder

I don't know what to say about this one.  I originally signed up for the PA one back in April, but managed to transfer my registration and then signed up for this one, much closer to home so I didn't need a dog sitter.  The 'toughest' event on the planet according to them, which consisted of getting muddy and wet and then having to climb over and under things.  It was supposed to be a group of friends doing it together for fun, but in the end it was me and Jon and that was it.  Becky was along to spectate (which costs $20, by the way).  We were late, and traffic was god-awful so we started around noon.  It was a big group which mean we had to wait for everyone to jump over a medium-sized wall.  And then a guy had us hoo-rah for like 20 minutes.  And crouch on one knee.  That was the hardest part of the day for me.  I  wound up just sitting down completely.

Jon had done the previous event so he kept me from racing the first couple of miles, cause I was fresh and wanted to get it over with.  We saw people on the course when we arrived and it was lot of people jogging slowly.  But I never got that tired for the running part.  We jumped in the ice water and leaped over some mud ditches (I went in once), crawled under some barbed wire.  Then came the first wall climb.  Certainly not my event as it requires upper body strength, which I have none.  I think I went over both but I can't remember.  The log carry was next and it was much easier.  I train for that several times a month with 30 pound bags of dog food.  I think we were about 4 miles in so far.  Another crawl under barbed wire, which I wound up doing on my elbows cause I was worried about my knees.  I think we crawled through tubes next, with a turn so it was quite dark in the middle.  I think we walked through mud with deeper parts next (I found them and went in up to my neck).  And then the rain started.

We had been watching the storm move in over the mountain for most of the event.  It was raining north and south of us, possibly quite hard.  But it never really poured where we were.  It didn't matter, we were wet and muddy already.  The rain did mean they cancelled a couple of the obstacles (the lake jump and eel tank to name a few) which did not upset me at all.  There was the big wall, which I did not make it over.  We helped people for a while and one of them I didn't do such a good job and he landed on my head.  I decided to just go around after seeing stars for about 30 seconds.  The next one was climbing little mud hills which was much tougher than it sounds.  Went up to my neck in mud more than once.  The weather stopped the next one some sort of crawling through tubes into water.  No real loss there, either. 

The final 3 were tough.  We were walking up the hill in the mud at this point, but I could still run if I needed to.  The monkey bars defeated me before I even got on them, so it was two arms up and then straight into the water.  Being not the best swimmer, I was struggling to get out while Jon was doing the bars and I was worried he would drop on me if he fell.  But Jon made it across and we went to the balance beam one.  Not outwardly hard, I think other people falling in messed me upand I went in again.  Did not like falling into the water, out of everything that happened.  The last was the curved ramp wall, which meant people on the top reached back and helped you up.  I did it on the first time, but it was a struggle. And then we ran through some wires that gave a jolt of electricity.  And it was over.

So I did it. Now let us never speak of it again.