After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Miles For Mills 5K Race Recap - 5-25-15

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: May 25, 2015

This is the reason that I ran in the race today - Travis Mills.

I ran to honor Travis and the men and woman who have given their lives to defend our way of life.

I hope that your Memorial Day was a good day and that you took a moment out of your day to think about those who gave their lives so that we can celebrate this day however, we chose to do so.
Some Background

Hey, do you freaking believe it, I finally ran in a race this year - that's right this was my first race of 2015.

It was also the race that I partially tore my left Achilles tendon back in 2013 and ruined so many of my plans that year. So mentally I was really leaning towards not running the race right up until yesterday. I wanted to run it, but sometimes I am so stupid once that gun goes off, that I just push the pace a little more than what I should.

Last night after we got back from the Flip Flop to Berlin, NH to do Mary's relatives grave sites (7 hours in the car), I asked if she minded if I ran in the Miles for Mills, since we had a LOT of work around the house to do. 

No problems, just don't go hurting yourself or doing anything stupid!

Okay that part was done (Mary is great about my running addiction and puts up with a lot from me), but I still like to talk with her before I go ahead do a race - it is a form of respect and a courtesy to her. As part of the conversation I promised that I wouldn't do any more than 80% effort or do anything stupid. That balls to the walls and push through pain to achieve my goal time kind of stuff, that I have been known to do in the past. I told her I would stay in the 22:00 to 23:00 time window and not push hard.

Also I told her that I was going to wear my Hoka Clifton's...not any racing flats, which was my mistake last time. I have run regularly in the Hoka's since April 7th and haven't had any issues with them, so I was protecting myself that way. I might not be as fast in the Hoka's, but I am a helluva lot faster when I can run without injuries and I believe that the shoes do play a role in protecting me from myself.

The promise seemed to take a lot the competitive fire away, almost instantly. I wasn't going to run hard, hell I have run harder than 80% in a few training runs lately and I just relaxed.

For the first time in it seems like forever, before a race I wasn't nervous, was able to eat normally, slept like a log and woke up not thinking about how hard I was running at the race or what kind of time I would be going after.

After all, I was only going to run comfortably hard for the race...

Guess what!

That is exactly what I did.

But it wasn't easy to keep the promise.

In fact it was damned difficult.

The Race

I didn't try to go out with the lead pack, even though they were not all that far in front of me.

Strava Stats 5-25-15

Yeah, I slowed down on the hill (those who ran the race know what one I mean) not a big hill, but I kept my effort consistent. I let the person who had traded places back and forth with me over the first 1.5 miles, go after the turn and didn't try to go with her - I didn't even try, just maintained a steady effort.

However, I was still close enough to the front that I was able to watch the leader miss the turn back down South Belfast and heard the guys behind him yelling to turn left (He still won).

Even when a few runners (4) picked up the pace and went by me just after 2.0 miles, I didn't bother to go with them - I just kept going at the same effort.

Yes, I gritted my teeth.

I was about 25 yards behind this guy in a gray shirt for the last 3/4 of a mile and really wanted to go chase him down, but decided that wouldn't be keeping my promise and it was in that area that I got injured last time, so didn't try to pick up the pace too much and pretty much resigned myself to just plugging along and finishing a little ways behind this guy.

When the guy in Vibrams went by in the last half mile, I just let him go (I started to go with him and had to stop myself), but looking at the graph I think I did pick it up a little after he went by.

In the last 100 yards a guy in a black shirt started to pass me.

Enough was enough.

Ain't happening - buddy.

You look a LOT younger than me, but you ain't passing me, without running a LOT faster.

I did pick up the effort level just a wee bit until the finish.

I shifted gears and mentality.

He did not pass.

I just couldn't do it, letting someone pass me in that last 100 yards just goes against every thing I was ever taught about racing.

At the Finish Miles for Mills 5K - me bright yellow shirt -- photo by What Eye See Photography

This running at 80% effort stuff is hard on the ego and goes so much against the way I was taught racing is supposed to be - give 110% and push a little more. Especially, this crap of just letting other runners go by, without challenging the pass or making any effort to go too. Then not going after someone you are pretty sure was struggling and all you have to do is a 50 yard push to quickly go by and they will let you go.

Quit whining Harold, you did what you promised you would do.

Running a race this way is a bit easier on the body...nothing broke, twisted, or tore, which was the biggest thing that I worried about happening in the back of my mind.

Yah, I finished in one piece.

Plus I didn't have all that race anxiety crap going on like I usually do, before a race simply because I knew that I was not going to be going all out.
How did I do?

Even so, I was first in my age group and 12th overall out of 257 finishers, although they really butchered my name.

Miles for Mills Results 5-25-15

Who is: Hardel Shon?

I guess I will have to start using this as my pseudonym for when I don't want people to know my name in the race results.

Oh well, close enough.

However, I would have liked to have had a lot more consistent pacing for the level of effort I put out there, but I made a promise to Mary and I didn't do anything stupid. 

You know that Harold being Harold stuff, I am famous for doing.

The Reality is that

I was pretty happy with the results of the race, getting to see Beth and Louise was great and finishing without any extra issues or problems was very nice.

Even though I ran around 80-85% effort, my time of 22:19 is still right in the same ball park for other 5K's over the past couple of years, so that surprised me. My running is getting better and Coach Bennie is helping me get faster, without my knowing it.

It means that even though I kept my promise to Mary and didn't do anything stupid, I still have room to run a bit faster. Hmmmm I wonder how much faster if I really pushed it...hey dumbshit, you are thinking about being really stupid!

You are supposed to be starting your marathon training today and here you are thinking about how fast can you run a 5K, during some local race, which is not your true goal.

Focus on what is important - you want to run the Boston Marathon some day as a qualified runner...it means that being stupid is not part of the deal (well not too often anyways), and especially it is sure as hell not time to be stupid on the first day of your training plan for the Maine Marathon - that first step you have to make.

Okay voice of reason you are sure as hell annoying and more so when you are freaking right about things.

See that is how I get myself in trouble as a runner, I tend to be rather shall we say impetuous. However, this time I am going to do what I need to get to Boston, which is what I really want to accomplish and then I can go back to just having fun in local races all the time. It doesn't mean that I won't do local races, but it does mean that I am going to do them more like I did the race today and not finish broken.

However, today was about Travis, not my whining about how I did in a race.

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