Trailbreaker Half Marathon

the race began like all road races should, with the singing of the national anthem. as tradition would have it, the national anthem is sung by a local running community stalwart whose efforts over the years continue to be greatly appreciated.

after waiting a few extra moments for everyone to assemble we were sent off. i found myself running in a group of maybe eight runners at the front of the race. over the first mile the group was whittled down one by one until there was three of us left.

since the other two were taller than i am, i ducked in behind them and drafted for a bit. not knowing who the other two runners were made me wonder if this is one of those days that an elite runner didn’t sign up to race, which could open the door for me to slide in for the win.

by the second mile it was down to two of us and i still didn’t know if the guy i was running with was for real or not. i simply tucked in behind and waited. by the third mile he began to put a bit of a gap on me and i simply maintained my pace figuring if he faltered that i might be able to take advantage of it.

by the fourth mile we were onto the glacial drumlin trail and the gap was widening. i didn’t mind much and simply kept moving forward. my girls made it out to watch me and seemed to be a bit dazed to see me near the front of the race. heck, i was a bit surprised myself.

continuing westbound on the drumlin, the gap continued to grow between the us. i rolled through the fifth and sixth miles then before the turn around i caught a glimpse of the leader coming back east. he was moving really well with a sizable lead and shouted an encouraging “it’s all downhill from here” to me as we passed.

i rolled through the aid station and made a 180 degree turn as deftly as i could under the circumstances. heading eastbound i caught my first glympse of the individuals behind me. i didn’t have a sizable lead to bank on so no encouraging words or guestures were shared. i purposefully quickened the pace as i passed to show no sign of weakness.

heading back along the drumlin, the rest of the race participants were to my left. many shouted encouragement and i was able to spot and shout at two friends of mine. for the most part, i had to divert my eyes and remain as focused as possible on the task at hand.

by the tenth mile i was really beginning to labor but was really encouraged to see my girls again. they were a bit more lively this time around and my oldest two even ran along side of me for a short time. i gave each a high five as they faded off the pace and i continued on down the trail. shortly after running with them, i ran into another friend of mine who was watching the race from the side of the trail and i gave him a high five too which was also a lift.

heading back into the city limits, the pace really began to slow and i was paying the price for going out fast. i refused to look back to see if anyone was behind me. if i didn’t see anyone it would be too easy to ease back on the pace. if there was someone behind me, that would be a sure sign of weakness that they’d be encouraged by.

as i was nearing the final intersection crossing, i glanced at my watch for the first time and with some quick estimating i figured i had a shot at a personal record. entering frame park, i picked up the pace and shouted “track” at a few groups of folks who were using the whole path.

with a bit of a grin and a fist pump i crossed the finish line in just under 84 minutes which bettered my fastest time for the distance by 35 seconds. i collected my finishers medal and was able to briefly say hello to a friend at the finish. after a short cool down run i headed indoors to get into some dry gear.

heading into this race, i was a bit concerned about feeling sluggish from the running streak i recently completed. that said, i think there’s something about putting a numbered bib on your midsection and toeing the line that eliminated any sluggish sensation i may have had.

another fun fact about the effort was that along the way my split times for 15K, 10M and 20K were faster than my personal bests. finally, here is the link to the race photos.


1 mile	6:09
2 mile	6:08	12:17
3 mile	6:09	18:26
4 mile	6:19	24:45
5 mile	6:14	30:59
6 mile	6:27	37:26
7 mile	6:41	44:07
8 mile	6:16	50:23
9 mile	6:24	56:47
10 mile	6:30	1:03:17
11 mile	6:36	1:09:53
12 mile	6:45	1:16:38
13 mile	6:48	1:23:26
13.1 mi	0:31	1:23:57

2nd/460 Overall
1st Masters (40-49) classification

April 7, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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dull boy

all training and no racing makes jerry a dull boy. i’ll refrain from repeating it over and over again for this post but there is a certain wisdom in a statement such as that.

fitness for fitness sake doesn’t do much for me. measuring fitness against others or even a younger version of myself will help to roll my rear end out of bed in the wee hours of the morning.

3/19 – off
3/20 – off
3/21 – off
3/22 – 10 miles
3/23 – 14 miles
3/24 – 5 miles
3/25 – 5 miles
3/26 – 6 miles
3/27 – 6 miles
3/28 – off
3/29 – 7 miles
3/30 – 10 miles
3/31 – 6 miles

March Totals: 220.25 miles
(27/31 days, 31 hours & 41 minutes)

4/1 – 6 miles
4/2 – 5 miles
4/3 – off
4/4 – 3 miles

MTD – 14 miles (3/4 days, 2 hours & 2 minutes)
YTD – 635.25 miles (89/94 days, 94 hours & 50 minutes)
Odometer – 38,173 miles

April 4, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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streak complete

from (and including) 3/19/2013 to (and including) 3/18/2014 spans 365 days. each of those days i was able to run at least four miles which meets the SRI/USRSA definition of a running streak.

browsing their listings, there are folks currently maintaining a streak for forty plus years…which i can absolutely say i have zero interest in pursuing. maybe tomorrow i’ll take the day off from running…or maybe i won’t.

streak stats
2,617 miles in 383 hours & 33 minutes
avg pace: 8:49 per mile
avg per day: 7.17 miles
avg per week: 50.19 miles
min daily miles: 4 miles (37 days)
max daily miles: 31.1 miles (once – Chicago 50K)

recent training
3/4 – 6 miles
3/5 – 9.25 miles
3/6 – 7 miles
3/7 – 7 miles
3/8 – 14 miles
3/9 – 10 miles
3/10 – 7 miles
3/11 – 7 miles
3/12 – 7 miles
3/13 – 7 miles
3/14 – 7 miles
3/15 – 15 miles
3/16 – 10 miles
3/17 – 7 miles
3/18 – 7 miles

MTD – 151.25 miles (18/18 days, 21 hours & 36 minutes)
YTD – 552.25 miles (77/77 days, 82 hours & 42 minutes)
Odometer – 38,090 miles

March 18, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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three fifty

no, not $3.50…350 days in a row which included a run. it’s nice to say that but i’m also looking forward to logging number 365 and starting a new streak of days not including a run.

feet fail me not.

a few weeks back i ran a local 5K snowshoe race and was able to muster a pace that was ~20 seconds a mile faster than last year. normally i’d write about a race shortly after it happens but i was a bit ticked off. the race started without warning and the course wasn’t managed well which resulted in many folks not running the full route. i guess if i’m dropping $30 for a 5K my expectations are a bit higher.

regardless, just like last year i had some issues with my asthma despite preemptive use of my inhaler. if nothing else, it’s a good reminder that while my asthma is well managed it’s certainly still an issue for me under certain circumstances.

2/15 – 3 mile w/u, 5K snowshoe in 28:19, 3 mile c/d
(5th overall & 1st M40-44)
2/16 – 9 miles
2/17 – 7 miles
2/18 – 5 miles
2/19 – 7 miles AM, 5 miles PM (treadmill)
2/20 – 5 miles
2/21 – 6 miles
2/22 – 8 miles
2/23 – 7 miles
2/24 – 7 miles
2/25 – 7 miles
2/26 – 7 miles AM, 6 miles PM (treadmill)
2/27 – 6 miles
2/28 – 6 miles

February Totals: 200 miles
(28/28 days; 30 hours & 29 minutes)

3/1 – 7 miles
3/2 – 10 miles
3/3 – 7 miles

MTD – 24 miles (3/3 days, 3 hours & 32 minutes)
YTD – 425 miles (62/62 days, 64 hours & 39 minutes)
Odometer – 37,963 miles

March 3, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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lesson learned

i remember making a remark years ago to a co-worker in the locker room about how i was bored with running the same basic route during lunch. mind you, having a locker room at work and the time to exercise at lunch is a perk that few get to take advantage of.

diplomatically, he simply said “your legs don’t know the difference” and left it at that. these days i’d likely get a response more like “STFU” and/or “HTFU” which would deliver the same basic message. how you set your mind determines how you will accomplish the task in front of you.

along the same lines, while aimlessly flipping through television channels i recently stumbled onto “Shackleton’s Frozen Hell” on the Smithsonian Channel. not that i’m one to complain about the weather but after being reminded of the extremes that these men faced, i’ll simply keep quiet about our slightly colder than normal winter.

2/1 – 8 miles
2/2 – 8 miles
2/3 – 6 miles
2/4 – 6 miles
2/5 – 5 miles AM & 5 miles PM (treadmill)
2/6 – 5 miles
2/7 – 6 miles
2/8 – 5 miles (snowshoeing)
2/9 – 6 miles (snowshoeing)
2/10 – 6 miles
2/11 – 6 miles
2/12 – 6 miles AM & 5 miles PM (treadmill)
2/13 – 5 miles
2/14 – 5 miles

MTD – 93 miles (14/14 days; 14 hours & 33 minutes)
YTD – 294 miles (45/45 days; 45 hours & 10 minutes)
Odometer – 37,832 miles

February 14, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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