Race Report: Ron Daws 25k

April 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

After admiring Ron Daws for nearly two decades, being aware of this race for a few years, I have finally had a chance to run it.  I’ve followed the race from afar and know of its reputation of being a tough, hilly race.

It lived up to its reputation.

I used the McMillian Running Calculator to estimate a time–a little over two hours.  So I semi-targeted two hours or 7:45 pace but since I knew it was a tough course and I haven’t run over 13 in this training cycle, I was ready to back off from that.

Making it a little easier to break down mentally, I figured I just needed to run five 24:00 5ks in a row.

The weather was good–upper 30s at the start.  I got to the race on time.  Was able to take care of pending bodily functions.  I debated what to wear on my upper body–I had two shirts, one short-sleeved and one long-sleeved, but didn’t know if I should keep on my wind-breaker jacket.  During a very short warm-up (6 very slow minutes) I decide to keep the jacket because there was a slight wind.

Whether it was my own misunderstanding or the race actually starting late, I was ready to go around 8:00 but we didn’t push off until around 8:15.  The start was interesting–first the race director, Jeff Winter, I believe, was charmingly curmudgeony about avoiding cars and the fact that there were too many runners this year.  And then we had a mass false-start.

But once we got going, I started out pretty well–running each of the first four miles between 7:35 and 7:52 for an average of 7:46 through 4 miles.  But a hill in mile five and some realization that I needed to back off and I ran the next 10 miles at an 8:17 pace (8:10-8:33).  The fifteenth mile was a tad slow, 8:42 as I struggled up the final climb but covered the last three-quarters of a mile at a 8:15 pace so my legs weren’t completely de-spunkified.

My 5k splits were:






Overall, I loved the race.  The course was everything I hoped it to be–tough, I definitely got some serious strength work in.  I can definitely imagine Daws running over those same hills.  The fees were next to nothing ($4).  Had some good conversations during the first half of the run.

The final race results were even posted relatively fast, albeit not necessarily accurate—I had a watch time of 2:08:57 but listed at 2:08:24.  I’m guessing that there was a place problem and I got the time for the runner who finished 2 slots ahead of me.

My legs were beaten the rest of the day, I took Sunday off, and struggled through 3.25 today.  It will be interesting to see how these old legs respond in tomorrow’s hill work.



A New Phase

March 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

After “building base” for the last few weeks, I enter a new phase this week–focusing on repetition (strength) work.   Last week was difficult, for a variety of excuses, I missed four consecutive days.  A mini-taper I guess for this new phase.

The difficult part of this first week is that I’m planning on running a race, the Ron Daws Memorial 25k, on Saturday.  I am hoping to do a hill workout on Tuesday and then take easy days until the race.

It is fitting that this race comes during this week.  While most of my training plan is using Jack Daniels‘ plan, the rep work I am doing comes out of Daws‘ book, Running Your Best: The Committed Runner’s Guide to Training and Racing.

Daws credits Arthur Lydiard with the hill drills that he details in his book.  The circuits I do include an uphill portion that include various plyometric drills like skipping, prancing, butt-kickers, bounding, and broad-jumps.  After a recovery, I do 2×200 meter rep, and a rapid downhill.  And repeat.

The trouble with doing this and then racing is that at first, it makes you weaker before it makes you stronger.

But I figure that running the Ron Daws 25k was an acceptable option.  Not only because of its name but because from everything I’ve heard, it is a killer course. A hilly course that will give both a douse of strength work and, because of the distance, endurance work.  May be a bit early in the training cycle but I can always back off during the race.

And, incidentally, I’ve been prehabbing–it seems every year when I start doing these hill workouts, my ITB starts to bother me. Several years ago, I saw a physical therapist for this and was given some exercises to do.  Whenever I have hill-induced ITB problems, the same exercises help make the ITB problems disappear.  This year, I was smart enough to start the exercises before the hill workouts. Let’s hope they work.

Well that went well.

March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

After a pretty lame week, I finished off with a long, easy run of 12.25 today.  I plotted out a loop through the country roads.  Spent the first 7.5 cruising easy, a little under the 8:40 pace I was shooting for, and listening to Steve Runner’s Phedippidations.

Had a scare at 2.5 when my right ankle bent sideways they way it’s designed not to when I stepped on a frozen tractor track–had a sharp pain for the a bit and thought I may need to use the cell phone to call for a ride but after a hundred yards or so, it was feeling better and it felt fine after a half mile.  I’ll see how it feels tomorrow.

I switched to the Beatle’s Please Please Me. After P-dip.  I’m glad to run in the country where I don’t have to worry about anyone, other than an occasional cow, hearing me sing along.  I’m an awful signer to begin with, but throw in my breathlessness and the fact I know only a tiny portion of the words and the results would be pretty awful.

My pace did start to slip during the later half–I was also interrupted by a “pack” of dogs from someone’s yard, one that looked pit-bullish and a couple of big, black slobbery dogs.  They just barked but came onto the road, so I ended up walk-jogging through their territory.

I pushed the final mile to 7:48 pace, finished off with an easy quarter to get home.  Overall 12.25 in 1:46ish.

Only have to do one more mile and I’ll be doing my race distance, that always helps the confidence.  I have two more easy weeks before I start throwing in actual work-outs.  Not sure how I’m going to approach that first week, I’m suppose to be doing rep work but have a 25k (15.5 mile) race scheduled–I’ll probably do one introductory rep workout early in the week and the run the race on Saturday.  I’ll run the race hard but not truly be racing.

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