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 Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 9:16 pm 

Okay, let's make this official! Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in the Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race this week. Sometime before Monday January 3rd, run your best possible 5 mile time, and post your results here. You can either run on a treadmill set to 1% incline, or outdoors on a flat, measured route like a track.

The fastest runner will receive unlimited forum bragging rights, plus the official rank of "2004 Runworks 5 Mile Champion", which will appear below their name for all future postings, plus any other prizes which might be offered by the forum readers.

Age group winners will receive a congratulatory email from the president (*cough* of Runworks *cough*), plus the right to punch other forumites in the shoulder.

The slowest runner will get the "Most Room For Improvement" award if he/she wants it. (Meant to be encouraging, not insulting.)

Special consideration will be given to anyone who completes the race under adverse conditions, such as in deep snows or on a treadmill behind a really smelly guy.

Everyone who enters will get the rank of "2004 Runworks 5 Mile Participant", plus the right to reminisce about the wonderful experience for 12 more months. Finishers will also be guaranteed entry into the 2005 Runworks 5 Mile Race. In the future, celebrities will be clawing their eyes out to get into this race, but you can ensure your future elegibility by entering this year's inagural race now!


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 8:08 am 

Fantastic, I'm in. Do you think that this is the first race "run" on the internet? What are the age groups?

Already posted a race announcement on Runners World.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 12:02 pm 

Hmm, somebody must have staged a virtual race before, but it probably didn't get much publicity. It's a little tough to ensure that everyone reports honest times after all! But at least this race has the advantage of not starting at 7AM, unless you want it to.

For age groups, there will be an under 20 group, 20-24, 25-29, and so on for every 5 years for men and women. We could have Clydesdale and Athena divisions too... what are the standard weight cut-offs?

I think it'll be interesting to see how well people can hang at race pace when the race is only in their head, and there's nobody else around. Maybe it'll make us all tougher for when "live" racing resumes in the spring.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:13 pm 

Every year, at least once, my wife and her sisters and sister-in-laws get together for Ladies Weekend, which generally involves a lot of shopping followed by drinking in some remote locale. The men get stuck with all the kids back at home, but it's a fair trade because we don't have to go shopping. A year ago my brother-in-laws and I agreed that it was time for a Men's Weekend. However, we see each other pretty often and didn't really see any need to create a new reason to do so, so we decided we'd do a "Virtual Men's Weekend" instead, which translated to our doing - individually - whatever we felt like without having the wife and kids in tow. Maybe we'd call each other on the phone to see how the others were doing - if we felt like it. Lots of sleep, golf (running in my case), and TV watching would form the core of the itinerary. Never did happen, but we all liked the concept!

A virtual race...hmm, sounds a lot like that tempo workout I needed to do anyway!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

submit results by email? Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:16 pm 

Has anyone done their 5 miles already? Weather permitting, I plan to do mine tomorrow morning at the track. Argh, it's going to be a lot of laps at max effort, with nobody to pace off of except birds and squirrels.

I'm thinking that it might be more fun if people's times weren't revealed until the race ends on January 3rd. Otherwise, somebody might be discouraged from running at all if they see that someone else has already run a faster time than they probably could. People can still post here once they've done the 5 miles, and give some general flavor of how it went, but not reveal the actual race time. Instead, if you email your 5 mile time to results@runworks.com, they'll be compiled and posted in the official results on January 3rd.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:44 am 

I did it! Why did I do that again??? Damn, that was crazy!

So as not to inconvenience my wife too much, I'd planned to get up early this morning and do the race before our daughter woke up. During the night I tossed and turned, wondering why I was contemplating this thing at all, and finally decided to just skip it. When my alarm went off at dark o'clock, I turned it off and tried to go back to sleep. But then I got to thinking... what kind of behavior is this? I'm never going to get better by making goals and then blowing them off. So I rolled out of bed, got dressed, and stumbled out the door.

Here's the setup: it's pitch dark, cold, and raining. I have to run about 1.5 miles to the high school track, along a narrow hilly road with no sidewalks. It's challenging enough during the day in good weather, so these conditions made it especially exciting. Luckily with my reflective safety vest and blinking clip-on light, I was able to reach the track in one piece.

I walked around the track for a bit, trying to put my mind in race mode. At a deserted track in the rain and dark, it was tough, but I did my best to get my race mojo going. After psyching myself up as much as I could, I hit the track and took off. 20 laps plus 47 meters equals 5 miles. Here we go.

Yesterday I used the race calculator to predict a 5 mile time from my most recent 5K time, so I had a general idea what pace to shoot for. I planned to ease in to the race by running the first mile about 5-10 seconds slower than goal pace, and pick it up from there. The first mile went pretty easily, the second was tougher, and then the suffering began. I really didn't think I'd be able to stick with a demanding race pace outside of a live race. Without the crowds and the other competitors, the race was only in my mind, and it would be so easy to just back off and jog to the finish. But I surpised myself by sticking with it. That late race sinking feeling of desperate depair didn't hit until the last mile, by which time I'd been joined by a solo walker. He got to witness my triumphant finish, gasping for air like a fish out of water.

Looking at my HR data, I wonder if I couldn't have managed to go even a little harder. My average heart rate at each mile was 176, 179, 181, 187, 186. I guess that's about right.

I won't reveal my finish time until the final results are compiled, but I will say that I'm pretty pleased. I paced it very well, with all my mile splits within 8 seconds of each other. I also stuck with race pace much better than I ever thought I could outside of a live race, finishing very close to the time predicted by my last 5K race. I even set a new 8K PR too, since 5 miles is a hair over 8K. Woot!

Now, who's next?


psulli
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Vancouver, BC
Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 21

Re: 5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:38 am 

Rickshaw wrote:

I won't reveal my finish time until the final results are compiled, but I will say that I'm pretty pleased. I paced it very well, with all my mile splits within 8 seconds of each other. I also stuck with race pace much better than I ever thought I could outside of a live race, finishing very close to the time predicted by my last 5K race. I even set a new 8K PR too, since 5 miles is a hair over 8K. Woot!

Now, who's next?



C'mon Steve--give us something to shoot at!

This is a great idea. Too bad I have a cold; my shoes are worn out; I ate too much over Christmas; I'm injured; I'm old and the dog ate my favorite running hat...OK, I'm ready.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: 5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:47 am 

I'll throw mine out there cuz I'm sure it doesn't stand a chance. Last night 36:07 was the best I could muster out there. I didn't do it on a track, just on the running path, and it was a lot colder than I would have liked it to have been so I was bundled up and stuff and I'll admit I got a little tired and slowed down which I would never do in a real road race...

sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: 5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:57 am 

Congratulations on a great run and report. Having read your report, I'm more motivated about my race on Saturday. The weather report is good. I'm hoping the snow we had yesterday clears so that I can do my race outside. Otherwise I'll run it on a treadmill and accept what I know will be a slower result. Again congratulations.

Sandy


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:17 pm 

psulli wrote:
C'mon Steve--give us something to shoot at!

I've posted my best times at the marathon and some other distances, so if you're really curious you could probably make a pretty good guess. But I'm hoping it'll be a little more exciting if we get the results all at once at the race's conclusion. More suspense!

psulli wrote:
Too bad I have a cold; my shoes are worn out; I ate too much over Christmas; I'm injured; I'm old and the dog ate my favorite running hat...OK, I'm ready.

Heh heh, that was my attitude going in too. But we've all got our handicaps, that's what makes it fun!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:22 pm 

Bricks wrote:
I'll throw mine out there cuz I'm sure it doesn't stand a chance. Last night 36:07 was the best I could muster out there.

Way to go Bricks! What do you mean you don't stand a chance? I plugged your marathon PR (3:37) into the calculator, and it predicted 37:29 for 5 miles, so 36:07 is outstanding! Congratulations!


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: 5 Mile Race Report Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:30 pm 

Thanks Rickshaw. I couldn't keep it moving after 4+, so I came away feeling like I could have done better. I have to admit, this was a very nice change of pace (no pun intended) for me. While I was running it, I pictured something like a split screen, show one guy running on a track, another woman on a treadmill in her living room a guy at the gym with someone waitng to get on his treadmill, none the wiser to what he was doing. I had fun. My only negative about the race: No bananas at the 'finish line':)

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 8:52 am 

Second call for entries into the Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race! Come on, what have you got to lose? Even if you don't have the time or energy to do 5 miles at race pace, then just take your best 5 mile split from a tempo run or other training run this weekend. You don't need to be a speed demon. The more people who submit times, the more interesting it will be for everyone!

Post your times here, or email them to results@runworks.com. Final results will be posted on Monday January 3rd.


psulli
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Vancouver, BC
Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 21

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:40 am 

OK, I did it. Broke 40 on the treadmill yesterday evening: 39:34. It's amazing how much effortt one degree of elevation adds! Usually when I'm running "fast", I set the elevation to zero -- who needs the extra challenge? Well, I guess I do. Anyway, I didn't break any land speed records, but at least I qualify for the "participants certificate" (already have a bunch of those). No excuses--no really smelly guys nearby. If I'm really lucky, I can snag "Most Room for Improvement".

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:09 am 

Awesome, congratulations psulli! Your new rank has been set.

Yeah, a 1% incline can feel like a lot if you're used to running at 0%, but 0% is kind of cheating! You probably already know that because you're pushing through the air when you run outside, it's actually harder than when running on a treadmill. Setting the treadmill incline at 1% to 1.5% is what I've seen as the generally accepted range for making the effort equivalent to an outdoor run at the same pace.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:10 am 

I figured I'd do this run on this past Monday on the treadmill. I've done no racing or speedwork in over two months - not even strides, and hopped on the treadmill and set it to 1 degree incline and 6:58 pace and off I went. That would be a good, hard pace for me under any circumstances for 5 miles, but after just one mile I was melting down. Slowed it down to 7:10 for the next quarter mile, then dropped the incline to zero for the next quarter mile, then had to slow it down to 7:19 pace. I decided to bail on the 5 mile effort for that day, and made it a 3-mile tempo run, picking up the pace again in the last 1/2 mile to average 7:10 overall, but with most of that at zero incline! Ouch!

I've been reading in Bob Glover's "Competitive Runner's Handbook" that I got for Christmas how quickly you lose speed without some form of regular speedwork, and that this is especially true for older runners. Sure appears to be true for me! I did run outdoors on an estimated 5 mile route for 40:01 yesterday, so I guess that's my current entry in this grand event. Maybe I'll try to better it today or tomorrow.

Happy New Year everyone!


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:43 am 

First, HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE.

I did my run/race today. I haven't run any races, done any speedwork or run at a significant pace since the Marine Corps Marathon so I was uncertain how this would work out. Well it worked out pretty well. My overall time was 45:07 which is probably 2-3 minutes slower than I've run that distance under optimal conditions. The run broke down as follows:

Mile 1 - 8:36 - Avg. Heart Rate 162 - much too fast of a start
Mile 2 - 9:35 - Avg. Heart Rate 171 - slowed down a bit too much
MIle 3 - 9:25 - Avg. Heart Rate 174 - Starting to get into the groove
Mile 4 - 8:42 - Avg. Heart Rate 176 - Feeling great
Mile 5 - 8:49 - Avg. Heart Rate 180 - I even sprinted the last 200 yards

Today's weather here in NY is gorgeous. The temperature is 56 and its sunny with a slight wind. It doesn't get any better on New Year's Day.

This race was a great idea. I look forward to doing it again next New Year's Day.

Sandy


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:57 pm 

Sandy -

Isn't this weather great? We weren't quite as warm in upstate NY today, just upper 30's, but I did run in shorts and a long sleeve shirt in 50 degree temps yesterday, New Year's Eve. And no snow left on the ground, so I wasn't running in slush. Nice job on your run - a good progression of both pace and heart rate!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:34 pm 

sfird wrote:
I did my run/race today. I haven't run any races, done any speedwork or run at a significant pace since the Marine Corps Marathon so I was uncertain how this would work out. Well it worked out pretty well.

Excellent, way to go!! Where did you do your race, outdoors! Did you find it tough to stick with a hard race pace when you were all by yourself? That was definitely my biggest problem.


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:51 am 

The weather is great and it looks like its going to continue for awhile. It really helps to have days like this in the winter. I've got a 10 miler scheduled today and with temperatures in the 40's I won't have to more than shorts and a long sleeve shirt. Thanks for you comments on my run/race.

Sandy


sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:56 am 

I did the race outdoors on my normal 5 mile course. For me pacing was the biggest problem since I hadn't done any "fast" running in months. I really didn't have too much problem with motivation since I knew I'd be reporting back to the forum. Certainly it wasn't the same as a real race but I was having too much fun to slow down.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:54 pm 

OK, I took my 2nd stab at this earlier this afternoon, and did better. In fact, I was very pleased, given my lack of any speedwork since October. And I was almost puking at the end...how's that for visualizing real race conditions! Great!! Can't tell you my time, because I've sent it to the double-secret "results" e-mail address. I must say, though, that I think this was a lot easier outdoors than trying to do it indoors. Treadmills are great for forcing a certain pace on you, but outdoors you can ease up a bit to catch your breath and then surge again repeatedly. I find that much less exhausting than the relentless grind of the treadmill.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 1:15 pm 

OldManRunner wrote:
OK, I took my 2nd stab at this earlier this afternoon, and did better. In fact, I was very pleased, given my lack of any speedwork since October. And I was almost puking at the end...how's that for visualizing real race conditions!

Woohoo! Way to go! Sounds like you really got into your race mode if you pushed that hard. Did you have difficultly keeping going without other racers around you, or did you just imagine a crowd of virtual runners?

OldManRunner wrote:
I must say, though, that I think this was a lot easier outdoors than trying to do it indoors. Treadmills are great for forcing a certain pace on you, but outdoors you can ease up a bit to catch your breath and then surge again repeatedly.

I totally agree. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, doesn't it? At first glance, I would expect it to be easier on a treadmill, because it "keeps the pace" for you, sort of like pacing off another runner in a normal race. But I've always found it easier to run hard outdoors, probably for the reasons you mentioned.

Anybody else have a race time to submit? Last call... the race closes tonight at midnight PST.


Pretender
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Runworks 5 Mile Virtual Race Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 6:35 am 

Sorry I didn't post before Jan 1, but I have been away from the computer. Anyway, I hopped on the treadmill and nearly killed myself doing the 5 miles on the treadmill at a barge-like 44:31. Woo-hoo! What blinding speed! It may seem slow, but hey, you should see the time for my normal 5 mile training run. :o) I guess to accenuate the positive, I look forward to doing it again in a year and see the improvement. I hope to drop 20 pounds this year. Running at 180 will be alot easier. If I ever get down about being slow or not making improvements fast enough, I just have to keep it in perspective. Most 40 year old guys just sit at their desk and eat donuts. :o)

Thanks for the great idea Rickshaw. It's nice to see people participate.

P.S. You guys now know the story behind my handle. Amongst the running community, I'm a pretender!


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