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Bouncing Soles Posts

Oktober Lauf Fest – Half Marathon Trail Run

I had my first major accomplishment this year, besides breaking my PR for the 5K, I finished 3rd overall in a race. That race was the Oktober Lauf Fest at Pennypack park. I had signed up for the Oktober Lauf Fest, mostly because I thought this race would be similar to the Sloppy Cuckoo which I had a great time running. See I’ve been on the hunt for as many trail runs as I can find in the Philadelphia area. Trail running has become my new love interest. The sloppy cuckoo was 11 miles trail and 2 miles paved bike path. I was expecting the Oktober Lauf Fest to be a similar type of race, it’s my fault for not reading the course description well enough. Regardless, this ended up being without a doubt the most unique race/run experience I have had to date.

I started off changing my normal plan of attack, instead of trying to sprint ahead of the pack. I let a large herd of people get in front of me, physiologically the feeling of passing people is better then getting passed. Going out slower helped me not get overly excited and I ended up pacing myself properly. The course ended up mostly being run on cinder/loose gravel, but it was a relatively flat course. I was able to catch up to the majority of people in front of me.  Passing several groups I finally ended up running with two guys for the majority of the race (Paul Peters and Chris Roberts) . I had headphones on so I didn’t talk to them, not like I would be able to hold much of a conversation running a 6:20 – 6:30 pace. So around the 7 mile mark I pulled off my headphones and asked “Do you know how many people are ahead of us”? There response was “two – and one of them is a girl”.  It was at this point that a new motivation swept over me, realizing that I was fighting for 3rd place overall. I knew at this point I had to do everything I could to hold this position. I stayed directly behind one of the two guys, pacing him as best as I could and just conserving my energy. Having never been in a situation like this I didn’t know what to do, at what point should I make a break for it. My legs felt good, I wasn’t short of breath and didn’t feel like I was giving it everything. I had to make a decision as to what would be the best time to actually push it. Keeping a careful eye on my Garmin GPS watch, I could see we were closing in on the finish. I started to run directly next to the person I was pacing (Paul Peters).  Then with a mile a half left I started to push ahead to see if he would keep the pace. I started to maintain a slight lead. It was when I had only a quarter of a mile left I turned to an all out sprint. I took 3rd place overall, and 2nd place male.

This is why I like the smaller local races, not only are they cheaper, but they provide a different level of excitement over the larger races. They also provide better food and have a more personal feel.  Yes, I know, it’s not that large of a race and that’s why you did so well. Regardless there was still 164 people, and I still ended up running a 1:26:34 for a half marathon. I will never forget this race. A big thank you to the race director and everyone who helped put this race together.

The prize for 3rd place overall was a German cuckoo clock.

Please check out more of their races at http://www.uberendurancesports.com/

The Philadelphia Marathon – 2010

After months of training, various 20 mile runs to work, decents amount of speed/hill work, it was finally time to face the marathon. You really couldn’t ask for a more perfect day, the weather wasn’t too cold, not as cold as you would think it would be for November.  This is my second attempt at the marathon, last year I suffered great pain and torture as I hit the 17th mile.  It was going to be different, having put in the necessary miles I knew going out I wasn’t going to struggle like last year.  Last year, I wasn’t happy with my marathon time.  I knew that I had left a large amount of time on the table, having to walk because of cramping was discouraging.  I saw several people that were in my same position as last year, it starts to happen as you head in to Manayunk.  The large steep hill, on main street, is brutal on your already tired legs.  This is also where you can find “race supporters” handing out beer. It’s one of the moments in the race you will either love or hate for, difficult because of the hill but great for the large amount of supporters.

A concern I had this year was finding a comfortable pace, I always worry about crossing the finish line with not giving it my all.  At the beginning of the race, I said to myself, if I can hold a 7:00 minute mile pace I would be happy with that.  Using my Garmin 405, I kept a careful watch on my time.  I like having instant feedback, it helped me avoid the problems of last year.  By the end of the race I ended up averaging 8:00 minutes a mile, 48 seconds faster per mile then my time last year.  As I passed Loyld hall in the final home stretch, I passed my father who was out supporting me.  Seeing my Dad provided an extra little boost I needed to help finish the race.

Running a consistent pace helped aid in the recovery process. I also made sure to continue walking directly after the race.  Last year, I remember sitting down on the side of the curb as I tried to recover. Massaging my legs with “the stick” for 30 minutes after helped with the soreness. I also continued to massage them daily, it’s painful but critical to a quick recovery. The Turkey Trot was coming up on Thanksgiving day so I wanted to recover fast so I didn’t miss it. I know I’m not even close to being competitive with the marathon. It feels good to PR in a short race, but nothing compares to defeating the marathon and beating your previous time.

Skeleton Skurry 5K Road Run – Hatboro, PA

The skeleton skurry is a great little race that takes place in Hatboro, PA.  The weather was nice that day, only a little on the chilly side.  Running a 5K isn’t the most difficult task but just imagine having to do it in a costume.

They provided awards for:

  • OVERALL MALE AND FEMALE (5K) – TOP 3
  • AGE GROUP AWARDS – (1st, 2nd, and 3rd)
  • U13, Teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40s, 50s, 60’s, 70+
  • COSTUME PRIZES, TOP 3:
  • Best Costume – Adult and Child (3)
  • Scariest
  • Funniest Costumes (3)
  • Best Family (1)
  • Group Costumes (1)

This was my first race where I actually received an age group award.  I ended up finishing first for 20-29, and 4th overall.  My only major complaint about this race was that the course wasn’t that well marked.  It takes place in the surrounding neighborhods starting and finishing at Pennypack Elementary School.  Really, I should have come in 5th place because the kid who was in front of me ended up running the wrong way.  I know they received complaints from other runners so hopefully for next year it will be better marked.  They gave some nice awards, dinner for a family of four to McDonald’s (not my first restaurant of choice), a free month gym membership to the Hatboro YMCA, and 10 gift certificate to Dick’s sporting goods.  They even snapped a picture of my puppy who was dressed up for the occasion:

Pictures from the event
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Athlinks Results

Event Site