Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Johnston's Wichita Half Marathon

Finish line at the 2012 Wichita Half Marathon
     This morning I ran the 2012 Wichita Half Marathon. I woke up at 6 a.m. to, what else, a thunderstorm. I've just made rain a part of my races now, so instead of being mad or surprised, I just expect it.
     The race started at Riverside Park, near downtown Wichita, and, for the most part, ran up and down the Arkansas River. The rain wasn't too bad, it felt good actually, the problem was puddles. Rain throughout the night created many, many puddles that were unavoidable throughout the race, therefore my shoes became saturated with water, doubling, perhaps tripling in weight.
My unofficial splits from my Garmin watch.
     My realistic goal heading into the race was to run a sub-7 minute pace throughout and get as close to 1:30 as possible, thinking I would be around 1:34-1:38. I started strong and held a comfortable 6:40ish pace for the first 6-8 miles, but by mile 9 I was starting to feel a lack of energy. Luckily, I ran with a gel in my pocket (I never run or train with gels or GU's, but I did today just to be safe), and used it at the 10 mile mark. This gave me a noticeable boost and I decided to push myself a bit out of comfort zone.
     I crossed the finish line in 1:26:07 at a 6:35 min/mile pace. This was much better than I expected, even better than my loftier goal of 1:30 before the race. I train alone and therefore only have my Garmin watch to "pace" me. But in races it is easier in a sense to run faster and harder, because there are so many people to help set a pace. Plus, for me, nothing is more exhilarating than race day.
     This will be my last race for a while. I am graduating from Kansas State University and moving to Gillette, Wyoming, all within the next two weeks. But I will continue to run/train and hope to find a race sooner than later.
     As always, thank you for checking out my blog!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

2012 Easter SunRun 10k

After finishing the 2012 Easter SunRun 10k in 39:19.
     This morning I ran the 2012 Easter SunRun at Sedgwick County Park in Wichita. I woke up at 6 a.m. and did a very light 2-mile run around my neighborhood to get my blood flowing, and to wake up. When I got ready to put on my racing singlet and shorts for the 10k, a clap of thunder followed by rain began to make its presence over the Wichita skies. Rain has seemed to be an omen when I run in actual events, because it poured the day before the Prairie Fire Marathon in October. All was well, though, because, the Running Gods and Rain Gods spoke, and like the marathon in October, conditions became almost perfect when it came time to toe the starting line.

My medal for finishing first in my age division.
     More than 680 runners participated in the 10k race (there was also a 2-mile race and 2-mile walk, so around 1,000 people altogether). They gave us a hand drawn course map, but I really didn't know what the course would present. It was cool and overcast, my favorite, but because of the rain it was a bit slick in certain spots. My goal was to finish in under 43:00 and run a sub 7:00 pace. They had people at each kilometer giving the time. When I reached 5k, I heard 18:53, 18:54..., so I began to think maybe I could push myself and run a sub 40:00.
     As I turned the final corner and ran to the finish line I had enough in the tank for a strong kick. I heard the announcer say something like, "Here is Logan Jones coming in with a strong finish." That motivated me a bit more (plus I didn't want anyone to pass me at the end). When I stopped my watch I saw that I had indeed finished under 40:00 I was pumped! For me, nothing gets me in as good of a mood than finishing a run (runners high?), let alone one of the best runs and best paces I have ever done.
Not official, but here are mile splits from my Garmin FR410.
When I checked the results, I saw that my official time was 39:19 at a 6:20 pace. I placed 24th overall and first in my age group, 19-24, although I really placed second because the second overall finisher is in my age group.
      Overall, it was an exciting, thrilling morning. I LOVE the energy at races, everyone is just buzzing. I have my eyes loosely focusing on the Wichita Half Marathon in 3-weeks. It would be my last race before graduating college and moving to Wyoming. So, stay tuned and thank you for checking in on my blog!