Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tyler Turkey Trot 2016

This was the second time for us to the Tyler Turkey Trot as a family with Calley, Evan,  Rylan, and Noah ( a good friend of our family). The Tyler Turkey Trot always seems to bring in a few of the best runners in the area. This was just about 10 days after the Salute to Service 5K, I did, recently. 

Noah and Rylan. 
Rylan sprinting through the crowds. 

Calley pushing Evan to the finish line. 
From the start it was fast. I started in the second row to avoid going out too hard because I knew the current lack of some anaerobic work I would get shot off the back sooner than later. I got off to a decent start with the young runners quickly into the top ten. By about 3/4ths of a mile, I was in 5th where I would stay the rest of the way chasing the front pack down. I could see the lead runner through most of the race. I hit the first mile in 5:03, so the front pack must have been at least around 4:50.  We did slow down significantly after that or at least I did, anyhow. By two miles I knew I saw Miles (#1394) had fallen off the front pack and I was trying to close down on him, but by the time we neared the end it was too, late.

Miles, trying to hold me off. 

Miles got me by 12 seconds and I finished in 16:30, which was my fastest 5K this year. Which isn't too far off what I what I was doing in college and on less than half the volume/intensity. College ended for me just over ten years ago.  I've been taking a slow and gradual approach getting back into more running this year, so far it seems to be working. 

Thanks to Mike B for the video! 

We ended up 5th overall and 1st 30-34 and we like to add 1st overall Daddy to that, since the top 4 were 8-15 years younger than me. The top four included some young studs, 1st Grady Frazier, 2nd Haftu Knight, 3rd Connor Benson and 4th Miles Zeorlin.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Salute to Service 5K (3 miles)

Recently, I ran the Salute to Service 5K in honor of our veterans on September 12. It was a very small race but the fastest run race the town of Whitehouse, Texas has probably seen. We had 3 UT Tyler XC Alumni guys there including myself, Nick Huff, and Connor Benson who has one more year of eligibility for track. We also had Ironman Pro Clay Emge, Tomas Moreno from Longview, long time runner from Dallas, Clint Bell and Kenyan Alfred Kiplagat. There were  a few young high school speedsters who were looking to cash in on the teen division.  The women's side was simply a duel with fast swimmer turned fast triathlete Rachel Olson and the long time runner Sarah Deller.

At the start Kiplagat is already off the front and Huff starts out right there with him. I took a conservative approach and I was in the back of this pack of all the guys mentioned above and I was slowly building into it.

The first mile was mostly downhill but into a headwind.  I was staying behind Moreno until around a mile (I wasn't looking at my watch at this time) I finally got my Tomas Moreno and Nick Huff who fell off the front as I felt it was time to start pushing. After circling around this parking lot we ran around I found myself glancing at my watch as we were starting to head back in, I saw we were pushing a 5:10 pace at 8 minutes. This was blazing fast for me as I haven't seen a pace like that in a long time. I was hoping I could hold that up coming back to the city park where it started, however it was a long gradual hill and I started to fade.  Moreno caught me towards the last quarter mile and I couldn't quite respond to his move. I may have started pushing too early in the race for my abilities at this time. The course was just barely at 3 miles. I finished in 15:57, which was my fastest 3 mile or 5k pace this year. I'm slowly progressing in the right direction at this time! Everyone else happened to be faster  on this day too. This just shows what the power of running with faster people can do, but we are slowly closing those gaps. Kiplagat won the race outright in 14:17.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Corkscrew 5k and Electric Zombie 5K

This past weekend I went to the Kiepersol Corkscrew 5k . I did it last year and loved the challenging cross country course. This year both RJ and I both showed up again . Last year I was a new daddy and now three weeks in fatherhood, RJ is too. 

We started off and I let RJ go out front and I pulled up next to him. This time I could hear him breathing harder than me so I gradually pulled up ahead to see if he was going to come with me and when he didn't I let off a little bit then back on some. I hit the first mile in 5:25. This course is pretty fun by the way as you get to run around and through a huge vineyard. The second mile I was moving a bit faster than the first for awhile there until we got near the end of mile two when this streak of mud came up. I ran the second mile in 5:28.

The third mile was stupid hard with most of it you are climbing your way back up to the top of the vineyard. I finished the third mile in 6;18, then you have to a loop around the road finishes with a good hill at the end. I ended up with an 18:44 for 3.26 miles and RJ I believe was 19:17, so we completely swapped roles this year. Maybe next year we'll be more even. 

Then later that night we spent the day in Dallas and Fort Worth to top it off with the Electric Zombie 5k run later that night. We took Rylan, Noah, and Evan with us. 

There was a quite a few runners here who showed up, we opened up with a pack of about 5 of us. I was a bit fatigued from the morning race, so I was simply just trying to hang in there. I was breathing kind of hard, but I could hear a couple of others breathing harder. One guy, I couldn't hear at all so I thought he was going to be the one to push me. All off sudden less than a mile into it I was all by myself. The course was extremely dark besides the start/finish line. I could barely see the course or any of the zombies in front of me. I went 5:48, 5:47, and 5:32. I finished in 17:27. 

It was a fun night! Noah and Rylan were 1st and 5th in their age groups. Calley nad a great time and pushed Evan to a  44:21. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

31ST Annual St. Gregory 5K

This past weekend was the 31st Annual St. Gregory 5K Run in Tyler, one of the longest running race in East Texas. This was put on by the St. Gregory Cathedral (elementary) school, the sister school of Bishop T.K Gorman. The weather was perfect with a bit of sun at the start. We had our Bishop Gorman JV and Middle School cross country team come out. 

This was a hilly route starting at Bishop Gorman and ending on the track. This race I didn't have anyone to push me,  so at mile one I was at the mile in 5:32, I thought I was having a bad day then the steep hill, known as ChipCo hit right after that, but still by the end of mile two I went a little faster in 5:30. Then the last mile I thought for sure I was slowing down but still I found a way to run negative splits and went 5:28. The dash onto the track for the last 1/10th I got down to a 4:20/mi pace to finish the 5K in 17:10, even a little faster than the previous week on a much flatter course. 

Felipe won the mile, he's on staff at Bishop Gorman for PE and IT. 

Joe won 2nd overall today, he's on our JV team. 

These are 8th grade middle school girls, Elizabeth, Elayna, and Tori they swept the Women's overall podium running all under 22 minutes. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tyler Gold Run 5K

This past weekend was the Tyler Gold Run 5K and Fly Tri Racing was a proud small sponsor event as it's main purpose was to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. The Rucker's, Heather and Josh (Carthage High School Graduate) were the organizers of this event in it's second annual. They have a 2 year old son that was diagnosed with leukemia at 7 months that is still fighting it today. 

It was a very humid morning and I didn't take care of my hydration needs through the week as it caught up to me by Friday as my feet and calves were cramping doing simple stuff so I knew this couldn't be good, but I was feeling alright enough give a good effort. It doesn't matter too much as I've still been building up a strong base for next year. 

UT Tyler's Connor Benson was here, he has more eligibility for Cross Country but will finish out Indoor Track next year. Him and I went head to head, at least for the first mile we hit in 5:19 as we ran through Rudman park (concrete) trail. After that I lost ground as went out of Rudman park and onto Copeland, then to Shiloh, and back into the park to finish the three mile loop. 

Connor is a great competitor, humble and nice runner. 

Great race and well organized by the Race Directors Heather & Josh Rucker.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

UT Tyler Braveheart XC Invitational

I went back for another round of college cross country racing. This time it was the UT Tyler Braveheart Invitational 5000. Coach Bob rides up the start line on a horse dressed as a character William Wallace and we, Alumni runners are his prisoners. We have been granted the opportunity to run for freedom.

I lined up like last week in the back of the pack, I believe it keeps me from going out as fast I normally would and have to build my way up. I got in the middle of the pack and quickly worked my way up. I found myself behind Alex Wilson, another alumni runner who was 2nd last week.

By the midway point going around the pond, I was still behind Alex and could never get by him. The race was getting rather difficult for me going around the pond and I quickly lost my top ten spot. Miles Z and Gerardo, a couple of the current UT Tyler  who I ended up catching near the end of the race last week, caught me just after mile two. 


Coming up big hill besides Spur 248, I started to reel Miles Z back in but couldn't quite catch him. I was able to finish in 17:22.50. This was back to reality as it was difficult to fake my fitness through  through another mile and on a more difficult course. However, given the training I've been doing since I'm really just gearing up for next year it went really well.

Thanks to the support of my Wife, Calley. She was watching Evan tonight. My athletes I coach through came out and surprised me.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

King Campbell Spectactular XC Invitational 2 Mile TT

Since "retiring" from triathlon after 10 years. I've brought my love back to the 5K  distance primarily. Since Texas 70.3  I set my goals to primarily be ready to race some of the competitive running races next year, as of lately I've just been focused on my "base" for the rest of this year with small spices of things we'll call "stuff",  and putting in some races to keep things fun and fresh. 

Friday night I raced in what is known as the King Campbell Spectacular 2 Mile Time trial on the UT Tyler campus. I wish we had this race when I was a runner there. It was 3 laps around the intramural and soccer fields. It was like a criterium race for runners. You could see the whole race if you were spectating, which is very rare in running. Coach Bob lets us old Alumni runners come and be a part of the race to see who still has it. This was the first time in 10 years I've been able to make it back to race with the Alumni's since graduating, so I was really looking forward to it. I had no big expectations going into this and no idea of what to expect so this was my first "performance test" I've done since getting back into the running scene. 

The race started off with most of us Alumni team in the back. I've never started in the back of a race before, but I think it went to my benefit and prevented me from taking out too quick as I got stuck in back at the start of the race and had to start working my way up progressively.  Relatively, it was a slow build up that first mile as I was stuck behind a lot of guys.  There were sharp turns around the intramural and soccer fields that slowed you down a little bit but overall it was still a fast course.  

I wasn't looking at my pace on my watch but I heard the mile split "beep" at me. I was like oh crap, we've only been a mile and I'm ready to drop out. I went back later and saw I ran a 4:59 the first mile and I was in 15th place approximately at that time. With about a 1/2 mile to go and 3/4th of a lap left I was 12th place. I didn't have any goals really but as I went along I wanted to make top 10. I put in hard last 1/2 mile the best I could and caught two packs of runners to finish in 6th place, running the last mile in 5:13 and total time of 10:16.95 for the course.  The winner ran a 9:55 from Jarvis Christian College and the first Alumni, Alex Wilson ran a 9:58 finishing 2nd.   UT Tyler ended up winning the meet. 

Praise the Lord, I ended up doing way much better than I ever expected to do here on the minimal running I've been doing for this. I actually ran just as fast as I was in college 10 years ago, maybe even faster if we were racing two milers back then. Hopefully, that's a good sign of things to come. 

Thanks to support of my Wife Calley and thanks to Sherril Wade for coming out to help with Evan and take the pictures! This coming Friday night is the Braveheart Invitational 5K.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Firecracker 5K Shreveport 2016

This was my first race back since my "retirement" from triathlon as I move towards competitive running. This year will just be more general stuff , avoiding injuries, and rebuilding the old engine for some fast races next year, hopefully. 

It's been since 2007 since I've run the Firecracker 5K. It's the most fun-filled 5k with 3000+ runners. The start is started by the popping of the firecrackers as we make out way out of the parking lot off Mall St. Vincent and to a old historic neighborhood in Shreveport, La. 

Since I haven't done any fast running yet, as I'm just focused on keeping it together right now with some short frequency runs - this hurt!! The front of the pack runners were hitting 5 min pace and the very front of the pack runners were much faster. I went through the first mile in a hurtful 5:43. 

The second mile felt like slow motion with a lot of uphill work with fatigued legs, arms, and heavy  breathing. I was just trying to not to lose to much ground to the runners in front of me. I hit the second mile in 6:12. 

Heading into the final mile, the first half of it is down hill then it flattens out - went through this in just under 5:55.  With the 200m to go for the I found some old man kick in the legs was able to hit my last 200m at a 4:02 pace to finish 19th overall within 18:16 overall, I was able to earn my mug. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Texas 70.3 2016

This was the race I've been training for through this spring and the winter. Training went really well. '

The family, Calley, Rylan, and Evan came with me on this one. We had an awesome dinner view at Pier 21 with a few of the athletes I coach.   Here  my is my pre race dinner meal that that turned out well.  

With the 30-34 age group being one of the later waves not starting until 8am, I didn't have to rush around getting set up, warmed up, and over to the race start. I was still pretty pumped up though while staying super relaxed.

In the swim I got off to a great start and I got right behind someone who was making me work to stay on his feet. I lost him at some point before the first turn buoy and I didn't have any fast feet to follow. Coming out of the water I kept swimming until my hands could touch the bottom, doing so a I had to squeeze by a couple people who accidentally hit while taking my strokes for them to push and whack me back. Running through to the wetsuit strippers  my watch had fell off when I was getting my wetsuit off, but I was able to grab it and put in my transition spot.   I swam a slow 34 minutes, I thought it was faster with  my new Roka wetsuit as it allows me to rotate and not fatigue my shoulders. However, I was feeling good so I wasn't discouraged.

On the bike since I was ridng blind without my Garmin I was constantly being aware to make sure I was drinking and taking in my fuel. It gets hot and humid in Galveston. It was relatively "cooler" this year though on the bike. I was still drinking a lot.   I had missed the last bottle hand off when the volunteer had left the seal on the bottle, I couldn't get it off without risking a wreck, so I tossed and finished what I had and took an extra gel instead.  I was prepared to troubleshoot my nutrition if I needed too.   I was flying by people too.   I thought maybe I really was flying since I was feeling pretty good, but then someone near my age group would go by me and I'm like dang, well maybe I'm not.  

Onto the run I was running pretty good averaging a few 6:11's in the early miles without a watch,  it had felt slower. I faded some later but still was feeling reasonably strong and it was getting warm out there. I was staying on my fueling plan and I had no GI issues during the race. I did the run the half marathon in  1:27 for a sprint finish with a guy in my age group to claim 6th place in my age group. I was just over 4:30.  I wasn't spectacular in any discipline of the three but solid across all three. The fueling plan and guidance from AJ Baucco helped a lot.

Thank you my family for coming with me! Unfortunately Evan was sick they were spending all morning in the ER. I kept wandering why I was seeing everyone else but them out on the run course. It still was definitely a fun weekend with Calley, Rylan, and Evan getting to go and also having my Fly Tri Racing athletes and the Cobb Mobb team there too.

Since Galveston, I haven't done any swimming, biking, or running. Call it a loss of motivation? Time to "retire" from triathlon? Let the body rest? A strong desire to go back to competitive running?   I'm not sure - at this time I'm letting an upper quad strain heal that's been "bothering" me since Fresh 15. It didn't get worse leading up to Galveston but it wasn't getting any better, in fact, I tried to run a week or so after Galveston and I could still feel it after a couple of strides so I stopped immediately.

Until next time you might see me and Evan cheering you on at the next race.

Evan and I cheering on women at the Diva Du.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Luck of Irish Triathlon 2016

The Luck of the Irish triathlon in The Colony took place just a week after the Fresh 15. I'm certain I was still carrying some fatigue in my running legs. 

I was mainly looking to help one of the athletes I coach Garrett on this on, but I think I was very little help. This was a 300 meter pool swim and Garrett started a few spots behind me and he caught me the last 25 yards which was I was the plan we were hoping for and I attempted to jump on his feet, I tried anyways. I knew I had to pick it up pace then. 

I still beat him just out of transition. As we we're grabbing our bikes, I said, "Let's roll." We got rolling fast on the bike, switching positions back and forth 2 or 3 times.  Soon though after the second right hand turn Garrett was pulling away and I couldn't keep up anymore.  Garrett smoked the bike course averaging 26.5 mph and I was at 25.9 mph.   He had caught the really fast swimmer as he came off the bike and I was soon right after.  I caught the fast swimmer guy, about a half mile into the run and I thought, Garrett and I were 1 and 2. Little did I know a couple of the Brian Loncar guys that had started later were moving a little faster than I was.  

We paid the price on the run with less than stellar run times but Garrett secured the 1st overall male win and I ended up 4th overall and 2nd in my age group.  It was a fun race experience and well-run experience by Play Tri. 

Handful of Fly Tri Racing athletes made it out to this one. 

2nd in the 30-34, at least Philip is a nice dude.  

Fresh15 2016

Back in March was the Fresh15, it's one of my favorite races to do now. It's the greatest running event to ever come to East Texas in Tyler.  The field was stacked once again with some top Kenyan runners from all over the nation. It was the fastest 15k recorded time this year, at the time of the event. A week or so prior to the USA 15K National Championships.   

The Fresh15 is also stacked with top local runners from East Texas, Shreveport, and Dallas all come out to this one. The word is out now that this is a must-run race.  

The first 3 miles for me was off to a great start and was feeling comfortable enough to be running right behind former pro triathlete,  Clay Emge. I went through the first 5k in 16:54.  Well the next 6 miles I started to fall way off pace from that but I was still feeling really strong, in fact only glanced at my watch twice during the race. 

Once again, I got caught my Tomas around the 10k mark, I hadn't seen him all race and here he comes by me and I'm like...really, again. The last mile or two I was starting to make ground back. I noticed I was gaining on Nick Huff, another former UT Tyler Cross Country graduate a few years after me that I was making ground on, Unfortunately, the finish was too close and I wasn't able to make enough ground.  It was however,  a strong race for me and a little faster than last year but slower than the year before. Tomas and I are now tied 2-2. I was just under 53 minutes for this 15k race. 

Some of the local athletes in Tyler I coach as part of Fly Tri Racing.  

Out of this stacked field I ended up 28th Overall and 3rd place in the Tyler local division.

Clay Emge looks a little different than from what I remembered running behind the first 3 miles.