Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

New 5k Record

Friday, August 16th, 2019

I’ve been getting more into running again this summer, trying to really push myself after spending a couple years doing indoor stationary biking a lot more consistently to get stronger. I had previously been in my peak running shape around 2013 and slacked off in the years after that (the ‘second kid’ excuse).

Up at Camp Balsams there’s a great 4.2 mile loop around the lake which I like to run in the mornings, and I got a chance to do it twice in the 5 days we were there in June. That was really good practice to push for a longer distance and I managed to beat 9:00/mile never stopping to walk, though it was a slog.

Since then back at home I had a few runs slowly getting faster, and finally hit a major milestone earlier in this week, breaking my 5k personal record! I knew at the start after the first mile that this was probably going to be a record run; usually I’m slow early on until my body remembers how to pick up the pace a bit. This time my first mile was fast enough that all I had to do was hold that pace. I ended up getting a bit faster towards the end.

Quantified Running

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Lately, I’ve been getting very interested in the “quantified self” movement – it’s a great combination of hobbies for me. I like that it lets me play with technology and also play with my brain psychology to push myself to improve. We even preordered a couple Fitbit Flexes, but it seems that there’s a huge production shortage because despite being released on May 15th, it’s impossible to buy anywhere and our pre-order might be shipping in July.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the steady improvements to the Nike+ running software since that’s what I have on my phone for now. Last night I had an interesting run that I was pretty excited about:

Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 9.55.38 AM


For the whole first mile and a half or so, I was able to sustain a great speed that would have let me easily break my 25:00 5k goal (I only need to average about 8:00/mile, and my pace there was more like 7:45/mile). I was surprised at how great I felt even despite the 80° heat. Then I had to pay the price when I hit a huge hill going north on the nearby road – I don’t usually run this route so I was taken a little by surprise and didn’t have the energy saved for it. Having to walk for a while there cost me about a minute and a half on my overall time, which was enough to miss the goal. Still, it was my fastest time so far for the year and I’m very happy that was able to even come in under pace for such a big chunk of it.

Psychologically, the data is very motivating; at the time, I thought I just fell apart due to exhaustion and my pacing was incorrect. Now that I can review the metrics later on though it’s more obvious just how big that climb was. An easy route adjustment or a little planning ahead and saving a burst of energy should be enough to make the difference next time. Instead of going out for my next run thinking I’m not strong enough yet, I can approach it with some confidence and some better tactics in mind.

Full Moon 5k

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Today I ran a night race, my second official 5k. There were 500 runners, starting in a big mob at the beach and running around Monona Bay. I started near the back of the pack and passed maybe 50-100 runners by the time 3.1 miles had gone by.

My finishing time was about 26:50, which I was pretty happy with. Not my best time but not bad either. They used RFID chips attached to everyone’s shoes, so I guess I’ll get a more precise time (and my final position) published soon.

Despite the full moon, some sections of the course were almost pitch black where there was a lot of tree cover. It was interesting trying to avoid running into anyone when we could only see a few feet!

The race entry fee netted me a very cool green shirt:

My race number, running belt, and the new shirt. I didn't wear it tonight - stuck with my orange shirt so I'd stand out more.

Including walking out to the finish station and back before and after the race, my total distance traveled was about 6.5 miles. Not bad for an evening!