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Archive for July, 2010

Bad Day

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I raced the Stowe 8 miler on Sunday. It was not a good day.

There are a couple of reasons. First, I did not run well. I did fairly well at executing my game plan: I went out in 5:12 (which required leading a very hesitant field) and held that pace through five miles (25:57). Then everything fell apart. I took over 17 minutes to complete the final three miles, and was passed by about 10 runners. I wasn’t that stressed by the first 5 miles, but I suddenly had nothing to give.

It would be convenient to blame lack of sleep–and I had maybe four hours two nights prior, and just under 8 the night before. And it might even be accurate. But since in three years I have not figured out how to get a lot of sleep while raising two very early risers (if no one is up at 6 a.m. I count myself very lucky) racing sleep deprived is just what I do. With no good long races to point to it is hard to say that this is the reason.
Oh well–someday, I am assured, I will have to drag my daughters out of bed so they aren’t late for school. Maybe I will be able to run long races then.

But will I want to? That question was forced on me by the behavior of the race’s winner. At the first water stop, when we were still in the same pack, he was right in front of me and he knocked six water cups out of volunteers’ hands before taking the last cup for himself. Note that I do not say that he did this intentionally, as that might be libel, but my readers can judge for themselves how likely it is to miss six cups in a row and just happen to grab the last one. I called him on it right there and he smirked and said “that’s racing.” He did apologize at the finish line but at that point denied having done this intentionally. Then one of his teammates teased me about my taking offense.

I have been running and skiing for a long time, and have never witnessed such antisocial behavior. Certainly, I have both cut people off and been cut off, and I have even seen people time breaks to force decisions about whether someone should take a feed. But I cannot think of a time when I have seen someone do something so petty or mean-spirited, nor do I understand why a team would close ranks around such a person, so matter how talented.

Mr Mom

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

So I have this wonderful post about my last couple of interval workouts all written in my head, but I can’t get it down on the computer. My wife is teaching a writing camp this and next week, leaving me to care for our daughters for most of each day (read: do what she does most days of the year, only easier). And I do not know how she does it; I am far too exhausted to write coherently about times and exertion levels and mental toughness training.
But look for that post in a couple of weeks!

Repeat Victories

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

It is a busy summer. Mostly trying to keep up with my two daughters, but I have found time to train and to keep alive my winning streaks at both the Tilton-Northfield Dare 5 km and the Woodstock July 4th 7.2 miler. I ran over 85 miles each of the last two weeks, which is a bit cocky, but it worked. I was pushed by the second place finisher at Tilton, but I steadily opened up a 10 second gap so I wasn’t too concerned.
At Woodstock, I was in a tight battle for two miles. Then the guy I was running with tried to banter about the weather, annoying me, and I picked up the pace a bit (even though we had gone out too hard already). Ten seconds later he fell off the pace and finished two minutes back. I didn’t have a great race myself; every year I try to remind myself that the hardest mile is the 5th mile, even though half of that mile is downhill. And every year I forget and suffer a mental collapse there. Still, with a long string of consecutive victories there I don’t feel the need to beat myself up too much.