alexr_rwx: (mascot bob)
That went really well. Upshot: 3:30:03 for the full marathon, for a new PR by 6:09!!

Lindsey and I went up to Indianapolis yesterday evening, having decided to come home and hang out with the kitties after our red-eye flight from California. We stayed in a hotel in downtown Indianapolis and walked over to the Westin to find the BARA folks and take our traditional pre-race team picture, just like previous years. Our friend Jaimie met us at the hotel too -- this was his first half-marathon!

It was a beautiful day for racing! Nice and cool but not cold! Overcast at first, and then the sun came out.

My pacing was really good; I started with the 3:35 pace group, just like last year. My original intent was just to stick with them the whole way, ready to be happy with keeping a steady pace and a small PR. I tried hard towards the beginning to stay relaxed and not push myself. And doing that, even, I found myself floating further and further in front of the group, and I kept thinking "wow, these miles are just flying by!" Really happy with how this went: negative splits overall, and mile 26 was the fastest one.

Had some interesting conversations along the way; one girl, Laura, told me about how she was a graphic designer and used to live in Bloomington (and knows Rachel N, like probably most runners in the area); she was dedicating each mile to a different friend, and would announce who that mile was for, when we got to mile markers.

My brain goes to strange places in the last third of a marathon; a guy commented on my VFFs, saying that my calves are probably pretty strong and that it's probably more like how our ancestors ran. And I started thinking about persistence hunting and said (to a total stranger) something like "it's like I'm chasing down a buffalo; it will collapse from exhaustion and then I will fucking stab it to death. And drink its blood." ... he didn't seem too weirded out by that, somehow.

Almost broke 3:30! In my defense, my watch says that I went 26.3 miles overall. So there's that.

Great race, yeeaaahhh! Compare with my previous one this year, especially the splits.

Things that went well here: the pacing, clearly -- staying relaxed at the beginning was good. Nutrition: before the race, I ate two Clif bars (and a multivitamin -- my supplementation is ON POINT), and had a Gu like a half hour before starting. Then I ate a Gu roughly every 45 minutes during the race, which I think was about the right amount of calories. Drank mostly Gatorade along the way, but sometimes water if I was feeling thirstier. My training leading up to the race was pretty good running-wise (although I've put in more weekly mileage, sometimes), but I've also been doing more strength training than before. I started doing a fair amount of bodyweight strength training since the spring, and that probably helped. I wore some toe socks with my VFFs (which are just a touch looser than I would like), and I didn't get any blisters, which is rad.

OK, cool :)

the stats, if you want even more detail )
alexr_rwx: (battling spirit)
If I were a gambling man, I would wager that you're really eager to find out how fast people run a half-marathon in Columbus, Indiana.

Here's a data point: this morning I ran a half-marathon in Columbus, Indiana in 1:39:47. I'll take it!

As for my race, it was pretty OK, but it could have been more graceful. I took it out aggressively (for me), keeping it just about 7-minute miles -- with a few sub-7s! -- for the first eight miles or so. I was feeling a PR coming on. I was kind of dumb in that I didn't bring any Gu with me, though, and through a combination of definitely not enough calories and probably not enough training, I couldn't quite keep it together. Miles 9-12 weren't all that pretty, but I did manage to keep it under 1:40 total. So there's that!

This was the inaugural edition of the Mill Race Marathon/Half/5K over in Columbus, and a bunch of us from BARA piled into Mike's giant Suburban, super-early in the morning and drove over there! (not advisor Mike, but runner Mike -- different people).

It was a beautiful day for a race, cool and misty at first. The sun was coming out just as we were all finishing the half. The race was pretty well organized, and bigger than you might expect for a brand-new race in Columbus IN. Two salient complaints though: there were neither corrals nor pace signs at the beginning, so the start wasn't very smooth -- people of all different paces were jumbled up at the start, from speed demons to walkers. You had to weave around people for the first mile or so. Secondly, there weren't very many snacks at the finish line! Just some bananas. One expects some bagels and protein drinks and etc, especially after a full marathon...

Overall, it was nice to get to spend some time with friends from runclub; we had lunch in Nashville IN, afterwards!

Here's what we looked like, before and after the race:

alexr_rwx: (jumping)
There was a nice low-key race put on by the local running store, out of their new location (Areté Athletic). It was a no-pre-registration race, with a new pair of socks as race goodies and a cookout afterwards!

And it was my birthday, so of course I had to race! Biked over in the misty cool of the morning, saw some deer as I went down High Street. I always forget how beautiful it is to be out just after dawn when nobody else is up and moving yet. Like this secret, pleasant, cool part of the day.

They'd meant to start the race at 7:45am, but Ben had to go re-mark the course with cones because his chalk had washed away in the rain overnight. We started just a bit after 8am.

The course was two loops -- you could do just a 10K if you wanted. The second loop was a little longer, to get you up to the half-marathon distance. It went through the nice parks in the south of Bloomington, and around some neighborhoods. Very nice.

My first 10K was pretty quick, and I popped off for the second loop feeling enthusiastic. And then the sun came out, and it got really hot and muggy! This did not do much for my speed. At about mile 12, there was a water stop, so I dumped several cups of cold water on myself, and that helped a lot. (this was such a small race that not only were there no volunteers *at* the water stop, there were no other runners close to me at that point -- we were really spread out!)

Afterwards, we hung out at the store for a bit, and Ben's dad grilled [veggie] burgers. Running a half-marathon and eating a veggie burger before 10am on your 31st birthday: #winning.

Final results: 1:46:48. (10K split: 47:42). 12th place overall, out of 32.
alexr_rwx: (jumping)
Some of my friends from runclub suggested I try a trail race! There's a whole series of these, run by this D.IN.O. group: Do INdiana Off-road.

So I got up early this morning and drove over to Brown County State Park for the race! It was cool and raining lightly. It took me a minute to get from the park entrance where GMaps took me to the entrance where the race actually started: it's a big park!

But I showed up with ample time to get my race number, mill around, drink my coffee. Some people were trying to stay dry, but I figured we were going to get pretty wet during the run, so I wandered around and tried to find people I knew. Before too long, I found Barry (the runclub friend primarily responsible for getting me to sign up) and also Steph, Rachel, Chris N, and some other folks from the club.

And then we were off! The race started in a grassy field, but then immediately went onto trails and into some deep, slippery mud. Somebody lost a shoe in it! And almost the entire course was either on a steep uphill or a steep downhill.

For a while, I tried to stick with Barry and Chris N -- Barry seemed especially gung-ho about the race, kind of aggressive, really! But I really wasn't sure how I'd hold up on the trails (pretty sure I hadn't done a trail race since high school!), so I backed off after a few miles and let them go. Also I made the mistake of bringing my glasses -- they were too wet to see through, so I wore them on top of my head and had to keep making sure that tree branches didn't knock them off.

But I kept up a pretty good pace, and had a really pleasant time in the forest with the gentle rain and the mud and the trees and big hills. It was kind of like the trails in Tallahassee, but steeper, which seems weird if you think of Indiana as the midwest, but maybe less weird if you think about how we're right next to Kentucky...

Complete results! (for some reason, it says June 1, but that's wrong -- it was July 6.) 1:20:38, for roughly 8-minute miles over mud and steep hills and rocks and etc! The race directors said it was really more like 10 miles than 15K, so I'll go with that.

I should do more trail races; that was fun.
alexr_rwx: (mighty penguin)
You're probably wondering how fast people run a half marathon in Bloomington. Pretty fast!

I did the Hoosier Half Marathon (formerly called the "IU Mini") this morning with a bunch of friends from BARA, and it was lovely!

Lindsey and I headed out to the start early in the morning -- she went to cheer -- met up with the BARA folks, stood around and drank some coffee until it was time to go, and then we were off! It's the same course as it has been for the past few years, and the weather was beautiful, and I was basically just going for a run with my friends. There was some sunshine and it was pleasantly cool; nice Spring weather.

I wasn't trying to break any records today, but I kept up a pretty good pace since I felt good! Hit it in 1:38:02, going at pretty steady 7:30 minute-miles despite the fairly serious hills. Then we stood around by the finish line and cheered for friends! Yay :)

Complete results here, if you're interested.
alexr_rwx: (jumping)
You're probably wondering: how fast do people run a marathon in Tallahassee? The answer is: it varies!

I ran the full this morning! Upshot: 3:45:16, which is 8:36 minutes/mile on average. Complete results here!

the details; also numerical representations of pain )

Haha, yeahhh, the end of that one was not graceful. I should have put in some more miles over the winter. But that is faster than I had ever gone until last summer. I want to be able to drop a 1:42 half and then do it again. Next time!
alexr_rwx: (mascot bob)
[cross-posted from G+]

So the Monumental Marathon was yesterday! I had a pretty good race! I started with the 3:35 pace group, but decided that I was feeling good, so I might as well try to break 3:30. So I left them after the first few miles, and was trucking along at under 8-minute miles for a while. I hit the halfway point at 1:44:45, continuing to feel pretty good. Just a half marathon left, right? Easy.

The second half wasn't as good, but it was still OK. I had a single mile that was over 9-minute pace towards the end; the results are showing that I did 8:31s on average for the second half. I couldn't quite keep it together, but I didn't fall apart so dramatically either. I finished in 3:36:12 total, which is 2:31 faster than my epic race in SF this summer. I was in tremendous shape this summer, but the hills are pretty big in San Francisco.

There was some sleet and some hail there towards the end, which I thought was pretty great. I was just happy it didn't dump cold rain on us.

Indianapolis is pretty in the Fall, and the race is consistently well-organized and pleasant and medium-sized. Also there was a guy in an elephant costume running the full marathon, like big baggy footy pajamas with huge ears and a trunk.

Official results here:
alexr_rwx: (mascot bob)
Last weekend: San Francisco marathon! I had a fantastic race, coming in at 3:38:43 on a lovely, cool, misty morning. Hitting 3:40 was going to be my stretch goal; this was a personal best for me by about 14 minutes. Success!


Just a fun race!

Next time: shoot for 3 hours, 30 minutes? (??!)
alexr_rwx: (caffeine)
Toronto 2012
This past weekend, Lindsey [ profile] lindseykuper and I went to Toronto to run the Toronto Marathon and visit Ryan and Janice!

Race results: for me, a new marathon PR at 3:52:02; Lindsey nearly hit her previous best at 4:34:13. I had a pretty good race -- I tried to keep it steady and go out gently, but looking at the splits from my watch, I was only so successful. I had a mile there (mile 9) where I seem to have sped up to just under 8 minute miles, and towards the end (miles 22-25), I did a 9:31, slowing down to a 10:50 as I hit the wall. I shook through it and sped up a bit at the end. I was suffering a little bit there, but not nearly so bad as I have in previous marathons.

It was a beautiful day for a race, cool and sunny! We were staying at a hotel on the same block as the starting line, very convenient. Also they started the marathon an hour before the half, so the start wasn't very crowded like big combined races often are. The start was understated and chill -- no national anthem, no Terribly Inspiring Speeches, just: "oh hi, glad you're here, let's go running! It's now 7:30am. Go!!" And then we ran from a northern neighborhood in Toronto down to Lake Ontario, then along the shore for a bit. Very pleasant: lovely scenery, slightly downhill.

I want to get good at marathons! To be honest, my marathon is pretty slow when compared with my relatively quick half-marathon. I think I'm not training for fulls as well as I could, and I want to rectify that.

Maybe more interestingly, we got to see Ryan and Janice! Ryan, if you didn't know, is my dear friend from home, and he's doing his doctoral work at U of Toronto in Medieval Philosophy. People who knew him in high school are not surprised to learn this. Specifically, he's investigating late-medieval English dream poetry and the apparently realist standpoints of those poets; recent work seems to have portrayed them as having a more nominalist perspective, which Ryan thinks is a misguided reading (... this is what I got out of what he told me, at least. Ryan, if you're reading this, feel free to correct or expand!) Janice is also super-rad; she writes novels and poetry, and teaches creative writing! We went to their wedding a few years ago.

It was fantastic to get a chance to hang out with Ryan; we don't see each other that much these days, what with living in different countries, but we talked about life and work and ideas, and our experiences in grad school so far. He picked us up at the airport, let us crash on his couch after a long flight, showed us get around the city -- including the local comics shop, and the inimitable Honest Ed's! -- took us for delicious food, and met us at the finish line. The Thai place near his house is outstanding! And then, on Tuesday, he drove us to the airport at 3:30am, for our 6am flight out. That's an incredibly giving thing to do.

(maybe we could invite them to visit in California this summer...)

Oh, btws, we're going to California tomorrow :)
alexr_rwx: (jumping)
You're probably wondering about how fast people run a half marathon in Bloomington. Pretty fast! Lindsey [ profile] lindseykuper and Chris [ profile] chrisamaphone and I raced it, along with lots of other people. (including the BARA running group, some of whom were out to race, and some to spectate and cheer!)

I hit a personal best, at 1:33:24, just 32 seconds faster than my previous quickest half, but 3:33 faster than my previous showing on the same course, which is pretty hilly.

The weather was really beautiful for racing: overcast and cool. I went out a little bit faster than I should have (6:28), but then settled in to running around 7:15s, with a few miles at quicker than 7:00s. I'm not very good at maintaining consistent speed; overall, this was about 7:08 pace. But my kick at the end was at 6:10 pace, yeahh! (I have the splits due to my new gps watch, which is pretty slick)

Complete results here!

Oh yeah, and this was worth 3127 points on Fitocracy, which remains fabulous, and if you like Internets and working out, or just working out, I think you should consider getting on this site :)
alexr_rwx: (caffeine)
A version of this might end up on our friend Steph's blog My Race, My Story! (even if it doesn't, that site is pretty interesting)

I had a good race, on a beautiful day. I came in at 3:53:37, which was a PR by about 8 minutes! (see splits!). I was super happy to have finally broken four hours. I took it out somewhat aggressively (with the 3:45 pace group), and slowed down considerably towards the end -- but I kept running the whole way. It wasn't fast in the grand scheme of fast people, but it's progress for me, and I'm pleased.

The BARA running group had a fantastic showing, both in that lots of us came out to race, and some of us were there just to support friends! That's a really beautiful thing.

more... )
OK, onward and upward!
alexr_rwx: (mascot bob)
You're probably at home, wondering aloud: "how fast do people run a half-marathon in Bloomington?"

In my case, the answer is: 1:36:55 -- pretty speedy! (complete results.)

That's not a PR, but only about three minutes slower than my previous best, and this was a harder course with a bunch of big hills. I felt pretty good about it. Beautiful day for a race!

details and anecdotes! )

On the last half-mile, I felt pretty good, and I tried to queue up some NIN in my head to kick it in. I wasn't quite energetic enough to keep going at "Wish" pace, but I managed "Perfect Drug". I think I like running to music in my head better than music on headphones. And then there were friends from the running group and from campus more generally (including Markus from Computational Linguistics), and we ate post-race bagels and congratulated each other.

... then I came home and took a nap.

(I guess I never wrote about the Barcelona marathon we did last month? The trip was amazing and beautiful, and Lindsey and Graham had very good races, but mine was kind of suck: I might have been coming down with something...)
alexr_rwx: (mascot bob)
This weekend we headed to Indianapolis for the Half!

Upshot: we were pretty fast!

Alex: 1:33:56 (that's 7:11 minute/mile pace), for a new PR!

Lindsey: 2:06:31: For her first half, so it's necessarily a new PR! (but it's much faster than half of her previous marathon best.)

I had a really good race. We were staying at a hotel close to the starting line, and also thankfully close to packet pickup, convenient because we had to get our numbers and chips on the morning-of. So we showed up with time to spare before the race started, and were able to find good places to start from.

That's an important strategy point -- it's a danger, in road races, that you'll start too far back from the starting line. Your personal clock doesn't start until you actually cross the line (there's a little RFID chip on your shoe), but you don't want to be behind a wall of slower runners at the beginning of the race, and even more than that, you want to be going with people who you expect will run about as fast as you want to run, so you can pace with them.

I think that was the major difference between yesterday's race, and my previous one in the Bronx -- good starting position. I was in tremendous shape this summer, but yesterday, I went almost six minutes faster.

That's not to say that I didn't feel great yesterday, even though it was really cold. I just kept chasing people down, thinking "OK, surely after this person, I'll pace with them and not pass anybody else..." ... but I kept feeling good, and my body kept telling me that I could keep catching people (even, apparently, increasingly fast people). So I did! Pretty much the whole way. My second half was faster than the first. At three miles, I thought "oh good! Only ten miles left." And then once you've run five miles, what's another seven? For the last, perhaps, mile and a half, I was hurting a little bit, but that's to be expected.

So brutal :) Maybe next time I'll break 1:30?
alexr_rwx: (mascot bob)
You might be wondering: how fast do people run in the Bronx?

Pretty fast. 1:39:51 in my case! (that's a PR by over three minutes.)

It was a beautiful day for racing. Getting there was pretty terrible (somebody vomited on the train, and it was really late, etc), but once the race started I felt really good, just kept passing people and edging further and further ahead. Kicked it in pretty hard, and then found Mehryar Mohri and Corinna Cortes (also from team GOOG) kind of idling around by the finish line, having gotten there minutes earlier. So it goes.

OK! Off to... walk the entirety of Broadway with Chris [ profile] chrisamaphone? We'll see how well I hold up!
alexr_rwx: (jumping)
This morning, I went out and ran the IU Mini, a nice half-marathon around the campus.

Time: 1:47:49.5, which is 8:13 pace. Not too shabby! (my quickest half so far was 1:43:07)

Although I've been picking it up a bit recently, I didn't train that much over the winter, so I was ready to just run it comfortably and enjoy the morning, however fast "comfortably" might be.

Coming up to the starting line, I pleasantly came across Markus, who taught my previous two linguistics courses. And we ended up running together for the whole race. Some folks say that Markus Dickinson is a terrific athlete. (he plays basketball and volleyball too).

It was a nice morning for running to start out with, but the rain gradually picked up, and we were pretty wet by the end of it. Once I stopped moving, it was really cold! So I was really happy when Lindsey found me, gave me a nice dry towel, and took me back home.
alexr_rwx: (caffeine)
Yesterday morning, Lindsey [ profile] lindseykuper and I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon!

(you can read her account of the adventure over on her journal)

Upshot: we both ran pretty well! It was a lovely day for racing, and I got a personal best: 4:01:26. Lindsey was just a few minutes off her PR time; strong showing!

I keep saying this, but: next time, I'll totally break four hours!

The rest of the story... )

But! That's still a five-minute PR for me, and I brought it in fairly gracefully. I'll take it!

After I made my way across the finish line, I sat for a minute, had a banana and a bagel and some sports drinks, and then hobbled back to the race course to cheer for Lindsey, who ran it in pretty soon thereafter. I managed to recruit some nice bystanders to cheer especially loud for her as she came in. And once we found each other again by the finish line, we gingerly shuffled around, ate more post-race food, had to explain my footwear a few more times, and then wandered back to the hotel and to Bloomington. And then there was a lot of eating and sleeping (and AI homework, in Lindsey's case).

And that's the story!
alexr_rwx: (condescending unix users)
A cool morning in early fall. The FINISH LINE, near a FOOTBALL STADIUM. Lots of RUNNERS.

A young couple, LINDSEY and ALEX, run past the finish line, cheerfully ending a fairly leisurely 5K. Nearby is THE DEAN, DR. BOBBY SCHNABEL, a thin, fit looking man in his late fifties. He's wearing running gear and a fashionable bicycle-style cap. He clearly finished several minutes ago, and is now eating a post-race banana.

LINDSEY: Hello! How was your race?
SCHNABEL: It was pretty good! I went faster than I expected.
ALEX: Great! How fast was that?
SCHNABEL: Oh, you know. About 23 minutes. I was a lot faster, when I was your age.
LINDSEY and ALEX (unison): Burn sauce!

(because it's Serious Training Time, we ran out to the stadium, did the race, and then ran back home. All in all, we did about eight miles this morning, woo! :) )
alexr_rwx: (Default)
(in order of tonight's races)

Alex [ profile] oniugnip: (racing in barefoot shoes)
- a relatively un-warmed-up 200m with some middle-school guys. 27 seconds. (won the race!)
- ran a more warmed-up 800m, at 2:37. Probably didn't run hard enough, could have felt worse at the end :)

Mark [ profile] markluffel:
- did a pretty intense mile: 5:45. Led the pack for quite a while and finished strong!

Lindsey [ profile] lindseykuper:
- Did the mile! 7:45, totally passing people towards the end. \m/

These track meets -- pretty awesome. They're big friendly events with a lot of people, ranging from very young to pretty old. We might be out again next week!
alexr_rwx: (Default)
This past weekend, I went to Florida for the First Annual Rudnick Triathlon. The backstory for the event is that my father wanted to do Red Hills, but it fills up pretty quickly. So, of course, he and Mary organized their own.

A bunch of their friends came out to do at least one stage of the race, but less than ten people ended up doing all of them in order. It was pretty relaxed. But a totally gorgeous day for being outside and moving: mild, sunshiny, and vivaciously green. There are many worse places in the world than Tallahassee.

It was a legitimate sprint tri. We swam 600m (24 lengths in the pool at the gym), then hopped on our bikes and cycled 14 miles through Killearn. That was my favorite part. What could be better than going on a bike ride with your dad in the spring?

My cousin Matt and his friend Blake had finished the first two stages well before us (Matt especially is in fantastic shape, and he swam quite competitively in high school), but they weren't done with the 5K portion (three laps around the neighborhood) by the time we got back to the house for the run. So I cheerfully (being kind of a jerk) ran after them, caught up, then busted off to catch up with dad on the other side and walk it in.

And when we were done, there was a cookout with fruity drinks!
alexr_rwx: (lizard brain)
Chip time: 4:07:37.
Average pace: 9:27 miles, and 26.2 of them.
Full results!

It was a beautiful day for a race, and getting to the starting line went really smoothly. Cool and overcast. [ profile] markluffel and [ profile] alsiealsiealsie dropped me off at the MARTA station at Early in the Morning, and I hopped over to Centennial Olympic Park, checked my stuff, found my pace group. And we were off through Atlanta, me and fifteen thousand of my closest runner friends.

It was a bit of a stretch goal to try to hit four hours, but I was optimistic going into it, and running with the pace team helped a lot! It's much easier when you're following cute girls; this was my strategy last year too, save that I brought my pace team ([ profile] lindseykuper) with me to the race.

I stuck with the group quite smoothly until about mile 21, and then my legs were hurting pretty bad. A bit past there, I backed off a bit, intending to jog it in (which would have been quick enough for a PR -- I just had to break 4:06 for a new personal best), but I took a few walk breaks going through Midtown, Tech, and then back towards Downtown.

Next one :) I just need to go into the next one better trained. I didn't do nearly enough miles practicing for this one. Still. Good times and sore legs!
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