Myers Park Summer Track

I’m late to the party, but Summer Track Series is every Tuesday evening in June at Charlotte’s Myers Park High School. Lots of fun, tons of events for both kids and adults, 50m all the way up to 2 miles.

I haven’t run on a track since late last summer, and was happy to run a poorly-paced 5:26 mile at the 6/23 event. (Honestly, I was a little surprised to run under 5:40). Looking forward to sane pacing and getting closer to 5:20 next week.

I was spent after the mile, but I ran the two-miler for kicks. Total dead legs, but ran a negative split, with first mile at 6 flat.

Funny note: The runner I was trying to hang with for most of the two-miler was a tiny TrySports girl apparently named “Mo”, so every lap there were lots of “Go Mo” calls from their team, followed immediately by the occasional “Go Bo”. I would have been laughing if I wasn’t desperately trying to keep from passing out. And, yeah, she kicked my ass.

Great to see lots of familiar faces out, and to have met some friendly new ones. See you next week!

China Grove Main Street Challenge 5K

On the reliable recommendations of a few past participants, I made the trek up to China Grove last Friday for the Main Street Challenge 5K. Plenty of local support (around 400 runners), and the late 9PM start time is novel. I convinced a couple of Hochbergs to join me, and the afternoon drive up I85 in their convertible was a nice start to the evening.

The course is an out-and-back burner from the small China Grove downtown. It starts on a long, gradual downhill for about half a mile, and there is a long, gradual uphill for the half mile at the turnaround. It was nice to warm-up jog the course along with some friendly folks before the sun dropped, though the flying bugs along the graveyard road were not an ideal pre-race snack (also didn’t appreciate the one that got stuck in my eye).

The course is fast, and I was hoping to stay well under 19; unfortunately, my legs didn’t have any speed in them come race time. I struggled the entire race and salvaged a 19:07. Friday night runs are awesome fun, but my body just can’t seem to get into gear for them. I shouldn’t complain much, as I was happy the time was good enough for third-place age group award.

Post-race snacks were quite good (I enjoyed a huge chunk of watermelon, a cookie, and a free energy drink, and people tell me the chocolate dip-and-sprinkle Krispy Kreme stand was a winner), and the tech tee event shirt will definitely fit nicely into my post-run shirt stack. The after dark, small town atmosphere was very friendly, and regardless of my time I’m already looking forward to the race next year.

Shout-outs to the friendly people I warmed up with: Dan was right behind me and good for a third in his age; Stan, Jinnie, and Bill from TrySports went home with hardware, as did Bobby. I also ran into Théoden, who set a nice PR and has a great account of the race on his blog. I suspect his daughter will be passing all of us in no time!

Pocono Mountains Run for the Red Marathon

It is not accurate to call the Pocono Mountains Run for the Red Marathon an easy marathon. It is a very fast marathon, but the descents are as quad-trashingly brutal as you will encounter. I can usually jog a day or so after a marathon, and I comfortably run a week afterward. After Pocono, I was having difficulty walking almost a week later.

So, what was my opinion of the race? I absolutely loved it.

Such a thing as an accidental personal best?

I’ve run a lot of organized marathons recently (five in the past six months), but most have been paced like long runs rather than all-out races. Each has been faster than the previous one; since I’ve been slowly recovering from some nagging injuries, this strategy has been good for me both physically and mentally. I’ve managed to stay focused with my recovery without piling on massive weekly mileage totals, and the events are fun motivation. It works for me, at least.

My splits and more photos behind the link