It's all relative

Fort DeSoto Inaugural 15k Race, St. Petersburg, FL

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Location:

FL,United States

Member Since:

Feb 08, 2015

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

Certified course PR's:

Mile: 4:28.0 (Florida, Jan 2020)

5K: 15:12 (FL, Jan. 2020)

10K: 31:44 (FL, Feb. 2020)

15K: 49:03 (FL, Feb. 2020)

1/2 Marathon: 1:10:34 (FL, Feb. 2020)

Marathon: 2:26:57 (WA, July 2019)

100k (63.7 miles, trail): 9:11:00 (FL, Jan. 2019)

Personal:

I started running in 2010 and have (mostly) kept it a habit ever since!  

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 14.00 Month: 52.71 Year: 2404.58
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PM: 8.5 miles with Cory.  Cory was pulling me today, which I think really motivated him, however, I wished death upon myself as he kept trying to push pace.  I kept taking it down to a slow slog, but we compromised for around a 7:15 pace.

Late PM: 1.5 miles with the team and plyos.  They did a fun workout where they tried to pace a couple of quarters without using a watch.  

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PM: 4 blisteringly shitty miles.  This cold is getting worse and worse.  It has moved from nasal, to throat, to chest, to vomiting.  

Still got in a couple of miles and hit the gym... Sorry to the gym rats after me if I didn't wipe the free weights well enough...

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AM: 3+ awful miles with the team.  They did "The Michigan."  I practiced keeping it together on the sidelines.  I had trouble talking, was coughing a ton, and felt dizzy.  I have gone from overtly excited about my 15k race tomorrow, to utterly detesting its existence on my schedule.  I feel bad going into it in such terrible form health-wise, but sometimes things are just out of your control.  Getting sick once a year is pretty good I suppose.  I plan on trying my best, but planning is one thing- and executing is another.  

In other more important news, Drew is heading out tomorrow for a huge race at Twin Cities, and I honestly could NOT be more excited for him and what will be a certain PR on a tough course people literally just don't PR on.  I just wish I could watch!  Any marathon with late, long hills would be "can't miss TV" in my book.

 

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Race: Fort DeSoto Inaugural 15k Race, St. Petersburg, FL (9.321 Miles) 00:50:44, Place overall: 1, Place in age division: 1
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2.009.3211.32

Inaugural Fort DeSoto 15k Race.  Finish: 50:44 (5:27 pace)

This was an interesting race.  The course was an out and back at the beach (on the paved trail) in DeSoto national park.  The day was windy, cloudy, rainy, and in the upper 70s.  Fortunately, the wind was mostly on the side of us- but incredibly constant.

I had really wanted to be successful in this race, as it was the first race I had ever been given (comped) as a runner, so I didn’t want to let the race director down or make him feel like he wasted his entry on me.  However, I have been quite sick the entire last week, and still running while doing some unintentional tapering.  This all culminated to a couple of very interesting circumstances.  Due to the training, sickness, and lack of hard miles recently, I certainly was worried about the outcome.  I was hoping that a best-case scenario would have me around 52 minutes to 52:30.  Man was I wrong.

At the start line, I just felt awesome.  Body-wise, I was sore and still coughing, but my mind-set couldn’t have been better.  I saw friends/runners that I rarely got to run races with, and just shot the shit with them at the start line.  I had no worries and I didn’t even realize the race was going on until the announcer shouted out “1 minute!” to which I barely noticed.  Even with 10 seconds to go, I didn’t even have a desire to scoot up closer to the line and started a row back.  The next 5 miles clicked off with the same attitude. 

I sat on to two incredibly good runners for those miles- Chris McCaffrey and Kevin Collmar- who both finished in the top 10 at Gasparilla this year in the 15k, and just let them dictate the pace.  I didn’t even look at my watch the first mile.  I had honestly hoped to do 5:35 pace, but, I figured if I blew up, I blew up- I wasn’t expecting a great race anyway.  I just relaxed, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of DeSoto while talking to Chris every once in a while.  Mile 5 into mile 6 was the real turning point.  It had dropped to really just Chris and myself, and we were still talking a bit, and had just passed a Winnebago that was cooking bacon, which we both made jokes about stopping, eating, and hating them for their choice of location (and food prep), but then something interesting happened: it started raining.  It had been windy the whole way and sprinkling, but then it really started to pour.  In the distance, we were running into one of the most incredible double rainbows I’d ever seen and I just felt euphoric.  I felt how good it was to be a runner.  I felt the endorphins.  Racing is incredibly fun, however in that moment, it felt like just another fun training run alone.  It just felt- to speak plainly- fun.  Not surprisingly, we both must have had the same insight and we dropped the pace to 5:20 for the next two miles in the pouring rain. 

My shoes were soaked.  I didn’t care.  I was landing in puddles- I didn’t mind.  I was weaving around runners headed towards the turn-around, but I reveled in that.  I couldn’t see well in the rain- I loved it.  It seemed everyone in the race in the reverse direction was cheering on Chris (I think he must’ve had his entire run group in this race, seriously) and commending him on waiting to make his move or just approving/applauding his effort.  That didn’t deter me, I loved it.  I felt such a bond to runners and to running in this race it was unbelievable.  From there on, I just ran.  Each mile clicked by and I just kept pushing.  Every single one of them was sub 5:35, and every single one of them ended with me knowing I could give more. 

By the end of mile 7 Chris had dropped off, as I stopped hearing his footfalls.  I had raced him once before, and the same thing happened with about 2 miles to go, just to have him almost nick me at the finish line with a sprint out of nowhere before I held him off by less than a second, so I knew letting up was not an option- so I pushed hard.  Miles 8-9 were tough, but I honestly was on cloud nine.  I started catching the 5k runners, and that just kept me going. I spent the last 0.3 looking back over my shoulder looking to see if Chris was turning on the after-burners, but couldn’t see him- but I thought maybe he was just getting mixed in with the 5k runners, so I kept pushing, but made sure to hold on to my sprint in case I needed it.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it and crossed the finish line feeling taxed, but incredible.

I honestly can say this was the best race I have ever had.  With any other weather, any other lead runners, any other time, and any other build-up week, I don’t think this race would have ever fallen into place like it did today.  Without Chris and Kevin there, I don’t think I would have been successful at all today.  What a race and what an experience.

Splits:
5:25, 5:30, 5:33, 5:29, 5:32, 5:22, 5:21, 5:26, 5:24, Finish- 1:42

 

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PM: Some interestingfun, sore miles with Tyler and Cory in Safety Harbor.  Fun story- "stepped" into a giant hole hidden on a goat path we were running at in the woods that was big enough to engulf my leg down past my knee.  I somehow did a somersault by bouncing off my other foot onto my shoulder, rolled, and jumped right back up onto my feet.  For something that could have been disasterous on multiple levels, it really must've been an incredible sight to behold.  It definitely made the next couple miles a little bit more sore however.

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7.303.7511.05

PM: Track Workout with Cory, Tyler, and Alvaro who was nice enough to grace us with his presence.  

Workout was: Warmup, then 15 x 400 with stop rest after each.  1:30 rest between items 1 & 2, 1:20 between 2 & 3, 1:10 between 3 & 4, 1:00 between items 5-10.  Then start deducting 10 seconds per item ending with 0:10 between the last two items.  Cooldown.

Felt sore from Sunday, but I knew I could hit the times I wanted, so I just tried to keep form and work on staying relaxed.  All the splits were in between 1:20-1:15 for the first 5 items, then in between 1:16-1:12 for the last 10 items.  It was supposed to only be 14, but, I became delirious at one point and wanted to add an extra one I guess- which caused much complaining, but oh well, we did it.

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PM: seriously late run-10pm. Busy day...

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14.152.2016.35

AM: 6+miles at track in safety harbor. Did two prediction run 400s without a watch fast followed by six 300s at around 5k pace. Nailed the second prediction run: called 59 seconds and ran it in 59.08. First one I called 1:15 and got 1:12.50, so that could be better.

PM: 10 mile run with Cory then a little more at practice.

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PM: shake out run, then gym- shoulders, chest, tris (with dips)

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5.220.005.22

AM: run group. I was hosting today, definitely had a lot of fun. Then did 5+ miles afterwards. Still feel sore from Thursday, but it's no big deal.

Tomorrow I will be running another 15k, this time in Clearwater/Safety Harbor. This is the most annoying race ever. Parking sucks, logistics suck, bathrooms are non-existent, the course is all on trail and swerves all over the place, it's a double loop, it's not marked well, and the worst part is that it ends on a 180 turn into a park where almost all runners should be pushing it in to the finish. Needless to say, I could care less about the time I run for tomorrow and have literally no plan for the race. There's a big party afterwards though at my friend Dow's place which is walking distance from the finish which makes it worth it.

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Race: Pretty in Pink 15k (9.321 Miles) 00:53:10, Place overall: 1, Place in age division: 1
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3.009.3212.32

Pretty in Pink 15k Race report

This race is pretty infamous for being a difficult course to navigate (easy to get lost), challenging to run (lots of turns, ups, downs, and a ridiculous 180 finish into the finish chute), and annoyingly late in the morning (they run it AFTER the 5k is completed and everyone is done with the first race).  

Fortunately, it was fun, and I hung out with a ton of friends, played with a bunch of dogs, high-fived tons of runners on the double loop and everyone was cheering one another on, and then finished with going to a party at my friend Dow's house where I almost adopted a rescue dog as well as discovered "candy bacon" which is now my new favorite food.  

The actual race went okay, but I could tell my head wasn't in it today.  I just didn't feel like pacing anything or focusing.  I think that I certainly could use a break from racing at the moment.  It's odd how it can be so easily overdone.5310

Splits- 5:33, 5:37, 5:33, 5:51, 5:34, 5:41, 5:49, 5:51, 5:51, (0.35mi) in 1:54

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PM: slow, fun run on the trails/boardwalks solo.

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AM: track practice in Safety Harbor. Workout: 1200, 800, 400, 400, 800, 1200. Tried pacing a bunch of different people through a ladder workout. Not the best for my legs, but I think everyone appreciated it. PM:

PM: 7 miles at safety harbor track.  This time another track workout, but the intention was to see my fitness level as well as Cory and Tyler's and then run a fun workout version of the game "Horse."  We did a warmup, then a mile for time, then I used that timed mile to handicap the game.  You got a letter for coming in last on the 400s, and didn't receive any if you came in first or second.  

Tyler- 5:54 mile, Cory- 5:04 mile, me- 4:42 mile.

This translated to a 18 second handicap for Tyler and a 5 second handicap for Cory and then I started my 400 after them to catch them.  Cory and I were trading letters until he fell off and he was sent packing when I had only two letters.  Then Tyler continued his sweep and never even earned one letter before shutting me out in second place.  I really thought if I could sprint up to him in the first 200 he would just let me take it, and then I'd have recovery time on my side (30 second recoveries).  Never got him though.  Next time, I'm capping the leads or changing it to an 800.  18 seconds for a lead on a 400 is just too much.

A LOT of fun.  Can't wait to integrate this with the morning runners or the St. Pete group.

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1.300.001.30

PM: Slow warm up, then shoulders, tris (isolations), chest (free), lower pectorals (fly), dips (body weight)

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7.800.007.80

AM: 3.80 Miles at the Safety Harbor track, alternating 7:35 & 8:00 minutes per mile for an athlete I'm coaching.  Trying to get him to realize it's not so hard (and feels good) to speed up later in a race as opposed to just hang on.  

 

PM: 4 Miles with the team.  Spent the majority of it running the opposite direction cheering them on.  Did not feel well again this afternoon, sore legs.

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No running tonight

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AM: 7 Miles

Rest of day... walking all day at "Food and Wine Festival" at EPCOT near Orlando.  I really had a great time, but holy crap does that require a lot of money to spend.  All I did was bleed money slowly throughout the day.  Between the ticket, hotel, parking, tips, food, wine/beer/drinks, and random purchases it's unreal what you spend there.  I suppose once a year is okay, and it was a ton of fun, but sometimes I think those situations have such a social obligation to spend money that it's incredible.

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PM:  Late, late run.  9pm, then went to go see the Patriots win!  Loved the weather tonight, body did not feel healthy although.  

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10.510.0010.51

PM: warmup (run), arms, bis, back, delts, traps, lats, then ran to John Chestnut to do a bunch more for fun. Weather. Was. Perfect.

Still feeling the right ankle area (Achilles).

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8.306.7015.00

AM: track workout in Safety Harbor (coaching) with about 8 people. Alvaro showed up which was awesome! Played a fun workout version of "horse" with staggered 400s. Got in about 3 miles of solid speed with some great competition. I only participated in about 2.5 miles of it, since I was running the show a bit and keeping track. Some of them asked what the goal was for the workout. I replied simply: for fun! I think they enjoyed it by the end of it.

Workout: 12x400, with staggered 400s as a team, with approximately 1 minute standing rest. I did 10 at a pretty good 5k clip.

PM: track in St. Pete. Track was closed but we snuck in anyway. It was a nice little reunion of sorts with Charles, Lee, Jim, Joe, and even Sean showed up to his first track workout in a long, long time which was awesome to see. Naturally he ran a 5:15 mile (ish) to open things up. He signed on with me to do some mile repeats.

I only wanted to get about 5 or so in since I worked out in the morning already and figured I'd be quite fatigued (I was). He fell off after the first one, but he was just trying to get a sense of his fitness I think anyway. Still impressed with anyone that can rock a 5:15 with a huge layoff.

Workout: 4xone mile with 400 jogging recovery Splits: 5:20, 5:20, 5:19, 5:22, then joined Jim and Charles on their final three 100s on their ladder.

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PM: 4 miles, gym for chest, tris, and shoulders, then 4 more miles.

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AM: Track at Safety Harbor.  

Workout:

 6 x 200 at 1-mile pace w/ 200 recovery, 1x1000 @ 3k pace, 1 minute recovery, 8 minutes @ 10k pace, 1 minute recovery, then 4x200 @ 1-mile pace w/ 200 recovery.

Overall, this is meant to be a tough workout, but I spent the 1000 and 8 minutes at 5:35-5:40 pace just to get used to the pace, so it wasn't so bad.  I felt very strong running the mile pace at the end.  I also forced everyone to not take extra time on their recoveries, which they probably didn't appreciate, but it should help them become better runners in my opinion.

PM: 

8 and a half miles with Tyler in Clearwater. He's getting quite in shape...

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PM: slow run in Eas Lake mostly on trail/Boardwalk.

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7.040.007.04

AM: Early, early run with Dow and Michelle, then practice.  Went nice and slow, feeling sore from the week.  

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AM/PM: So, I'm an idiot and slept through my alarms this morning after staying out late.  To punish myself, I decided to run 6:50s for 15 miles with a mile warmup and cooldown.  At noon.  In Florida.  This is the longest run I've had in a while after the highest mileage week I've had in quite a while, so I guess this will be one sore week coming up.

 

 

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6.660.006.66

PM: 6.5+ slow miles, after gym- arms, back, lats, delts, traps

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4.503.107.60

AM: Workout in Safety Harbor- breezy, wet. Kept everything at around 10k pace. 

1 mile warmup, 0.5 miles Plyos

2 x 200m w/100m recovery, 1 x 600 w/ 200 recovery

Repeat 5 times.

Cooldown

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Slow milesFast milesTotal Distance
6.070.006.07

PM: Warmup run, then gym: chest, tris, shoulders, then ran outside

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4.070.004.07

AM: Safety Harbor track.  Nothing too fast, did 8 striders too.  

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Unintentionaly got in no running today.  Hoped to get 3-5 miles, but I just couldn't get myself up in the morning and thought better of it at night with a race the next day.

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Race: Florida Halloween Halfathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:01, Place overall: 1, Place in age division: 1
Slow milesFast milesTotal Distance
4.4213.1117.53

Florida Halloween Halfathon Race Report

The weather was humid and close to 80 degrees and windy since it is next to the ocean.  The course is incredibly flat with lots of wavy turns and is an out-and-back for the most part, making tangents not possible on the way back with people running in the other direction.

The field was awesome!  Four people in this race could EASILY beat me at their best, so I was so excited for the competition, particularly since I felt game to give it my all and had high confidence from the 15k a couple of weeks ago at Fort DeSoto.  Sean and Drew were running it, and although one is coming back from a long injury and the other just weeks out from a 2:38 marathon (and rightfully so, not feeling 100%), I knew they'd still be game to run hard if they were feeling good.  Chris M. was also there again and he is an incredible runner whom I had just ran against him a couple of weeks earlier, and Chris Y., who I had never raced against, was also there, and is probably top 3 (or better) in our area and just out of college.  I'm surprised the field didn't have anyone else but the five of us to be honest, as it was offered as free and that is the only reason I even considered the series on my calendar to be honest, as I don't have $350 to throw around on just 4 races.  I won't complain that's for sure.

Game plan: My game plan was A) Ideally, to run with the lead guys until the turn around, or B) run 5:33 pace per mile if they were running too fast for me.  It seemed like everyone was going to feel it out and hang together, which meant that I should just stay with the group and then treat it like the last 15k and push it right before the turnaround.  I knew that would be the best opportunity for me, as the wind would switch to my back and then I'd have the crowds in the other direction helping me along with cheers.  Most importantly, if the pace got past 5:33 pace per mile for too long, I'd drop back to 5:33 and just try and run my dream race.  I was excited either way, as I really felt ready for this race and knew the course.

The race: The first 5k was truly a breeze.  At one point the pace dipped to 5:28 per mile which worried me momentarily and caused me to drag back (since I am not in that kind of shape), with the 2 Chrises leading, but it seemed to occur right when we started seeing other runners in the other direction.  Both Sean and I talked about this afterwards and agreed that this happened again when we passed the 5k start line with all of that group cheering on our 5-person lead group.  I think this was important to read, since it meant that the only "surges" so far were false surges, and no one was feeling particularly great in the humidity.  Sean definitely had the same read I did, as he then dropped a surge in mile 5, to which both Chrises responded and Drew and I followed suit.  At some point there, Sean noticed us staying and reeled it back in.  It's important to note this is one of the first times I've felt like a racer as opposed to just a runner in a race.

The next couple of miles had us all stacked together still, and then mile 8 came as we approached the turnaround.  I honestly felt incredibly fortunate to have been able to wait so long before having to take the lead, and it was such an eerie feeling (on Halloween no less!) to be able to make a move and be confident that it would be a decisive one in breaking up the group.  Fortunately, I made the move and (Sean later told me that) the pack did indeed break at that point, leaving just Chris Y and myself trading off the lead.  I tried another surge speeding up again to a 5:25 pace halfway through mile 9 and although he hung with me and I slowed down a couple more seconds, I noticed Chris Y was breathing way harder than me and much more often.  I was shocked.  I know this sound.  That's usually my sound.  I couldn't believe I was on the other side of hearing it.  For once it wasn't me dying, but instead I was the one breathing with perfect cadence.  I then did the only thing I knew that could possible shake him from me- I sped up again.  Miles 10 and 11 were both fast, and although they show 5 seconds apart below, I really think that was more to do with all of the turning and weaving through people.  I checked on him at each mile marker after that and just keyed off his pace.  I also had some fortunate help from Jim and Joe who were cheering on the course.  Jim was a huge help, and seeing him from his SUV cheer me on really was what I needed to just keep pushing.  I can't wait to thank him and thank Joe for letting me know my lead on Chris, as I didn't want to look back too often to give him confidence.  

The end of the race was a quick U-turn which had some drama with some 5k-walkers taking up the entire cone-to-cone line at some points, blocking even the biker and turning up their noses at him when they looked back, but I've seen this a million times in races and just ran outside wide and re-entered the cones.  I figured they wouldn't yell at me for doing that.  I never really know what to do in situations like that, but I was feeling fortunate I didn't have to throw a crazy sprint in there as well and possible hurt myself with the weaving.  The last straight-away felt great and I pushed hard when I saw 1:13:5x, but didn't quite make it under, which stunk a bit- but I was incredibly happy overall with the race and the lucky win.  Any other day, all four of these guys could wipe the pavement with me.  But for some reason, today was just my day.  

Splits- 5:37.47, 5:46.57, 5:38.52, 5:40.43, 5:37.13, 5:41.53, 5:41.37, 5:34.81, 5:30.36, 5:28.48, 5:33.92, 5:42.11, 5:34.42, Finish- 0:56.00 (0.19miles).

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