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<p>Sorry for posting old reports... the races were 2 and 3 weeks ago but I didn't have time to finish writing this... But here it goes:</p>
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<p>The off-season is over! Like I said before, I'd been in "vacation" made, waiting for the stork to come, and planning to go back to racing once the baby agrees to it. Colin was born on Aug 19th, and everything was good. After a few days, I was working out again, and since the baby didn't mind it at all, I decided to do my first race as a father on Aug 28th.<br><br>
During my break, I thought it would be a good idea that the few, shorter workouts that I was still doing should have a purpose, so I found my heart rate monitor and started using it again. Actually, I never did any serious HR training. I'd use it sporadically, and actually haven't worn it this year at all. So my HR targets were very vague, and based on measurements taken more than a year ago (RHR at 48, MHR at 192).<br><br>
As soon as I started using the HRM I realized I wasn't working out anywhere close to where I should be. All my training runs were way too slow. At least that explained my lack of improvement in sprint races. I had a few decent 5K's in the spring (mid 30's, with a season's best of 22:21), but then I hit a big slump, over the summer finishing all my races close to 24 minutes.<br><br>
And since I still didn't know how my heart works in a race (never in my racing years have I used the HRM in a race!), I decided to wear it for the first time at the Hazlet 5K. This was a first-time event, right in my neighborhood, starting at the nice Hazlet Swim & Tennis Club, and going up and down the busy Main St which was completely closed to traffic! Racing conditions were perfect.. lower 60's, no wind, no humidity. It was a great turnout for a first-time race, 245 people! And after they gave me the race number, I noticed there were timing mats at the start and finish. But where's my chip?? Well... it was attached on the inside of the bib number! First time I see this technology, so no more need to strap it to the ankle, or on the shoelaces.<br><br><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGtih8yiI/AAAAAAAABCA/bVWHs7o_CAU/s1600/DSC_0118.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" id="user_BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5517972454124603938" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGtih8yiI/AAAAAAAABCA/bVWHs7o_CAU/s320/DSC_0118.jpg" style="border:0px solid;display:block;margin:0px auto 10px;text-align:center;width:212px;height:320px;"></a><br>
So the plan was to go as hard as I can, and try not to look at my watch to check out the HR, so I'd race like usual. Then, at home, I'd download the data and analyze it. I was more excited about my experiment than by the race itself, and I really didn't care about my pace or finish time.<br><br><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGtEtN68I/AAAAAAAABB4/R1k-vzoPQRA/s1600/DSC_0154.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" id="user_BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5517972446118800322" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGtEtN68I/AAAAAAAABB4/R1k-vzoPQRA/s320/DSC_0154.jpg" style="border:0px solid;display:block;margin:0px auto 10px;text-align:center;width:320px;height:213px;"></a><br><br>
My splits followed the usual pattern. I fast 1st mile (cause by running way too fast from the start) - 6:53, a slowing 2nd mile - 7:28, hanging on for the 3rd - 7:32, and an all-out spring on the final .1 - 6:05 pace. Finish time was 22:38, which is my fastest since early April! Still far from where I'd like to be, but at least I'm back in the game! I was very satisfied with this. I finished 27 out of 245, 7/20 in the age group.<br><br><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGsmWXtnI/AAAAAAAABBw/5ncKKOnEMHQ/s1600/DSC_0209.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" id="user_BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5517972437969909362" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGsmWXtnI/AAAAAAAABBw/5ncKKOnEMHQ/s320/DSC_0209.jpg" style="border:0px solid;display:block;margin:0px auto 10px;text-align:center;width:320px;height:213px;"></a><br><br>
Now getting to the HRM data, I stayed around 175 in the first half mile (although that's where I was sprinting hard), then went up to 180 for the next mile or so. The rest of the race was in the 181-184 range, even as my pace was slightly decreasing. The big surprise for me is that at the end, it spiked up to an unbelievable 196! This is way over what I had calculated as my MHR. And it's not a glitch from the Garmin, since it gradually rose to that value. The first thing I thought is that I'm not as old as I thought I am (based on the basic 220-age formula, this makes me 24 years old).<br>
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<div style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGsKCI8uI/AAAAAAAABBo/SPGMsSmFATM/s1600/DSC_0290.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" id="user_BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5517972430368862946" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kPRQW5Jkgso/TJPGsKCI8uI/AAAAAAAABBo/SPGMsSmFATM/s320/DSC_0290.jpg" style="border:0px solid;display:block;margin:0px auto 10px;text-align:center;width:320px;height:213px;"></a>Five Romanian runners in this race!<br>
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<p><br>
The following weekend, on the Labor Day Monday, I did another short race, the Eatontown 5K. My first time here, and was pleasantly surprised with the organization. The race was hosted at the Sheraton, and they put out a nice spread, with fruits, bagels, coffee and more. At least after the race we could sit down on the patio and have a normal breakfast, all included in the $25 race fee. They also had tons of raffle prizes, some nice ones like $50 gift cards to local stores and restaurants. I didn't win anything, although the drawing ceremony took almost 45 minutes after the race and it seemed like everyone else was winning!<br><br>
Now back to the race... It was a very chilly morning, but by the time the race started (a late start, at 9:30) it was getting sunny and much warmer. Still very good race conditions. The roads were familiar to me since I used to work right there on the course. The middle section through neighborhoods was very nice and quiet, a very enjoyable race.<br><br>
And at the end I got the EXACT same time as last week: 22:38! So at least I'm very consistent now. My mile splits were also a bit more consistent: 7:05, 7:14, 7:31 with 6:06 over the last .1. Same decreasing pattern, but I'm happy to see them stay together. If I wouldn't drop so much over the last mile, I'd be even happier. I finished 20th out of 189, 5/12 in my age group.<br><br>
The two races got me confident that my speed is back on track, and if I work on it I might see more improvements this fall.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MBannon</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70179/hazlet-and-eatontown-two-5k-s-same-results#post_1946472"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Great job Chris, but...where are the baby photos??!!!!</p>
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<p><br>
I have a bunch on Facebook (where you probably hid me)  <img alt=":)" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//smile.gif" title=":)"></p>
<p>I'll post a few here as well!</p>
 
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