43 minutes - my new nemesis. Rodes City Run 10k Race Report

Course Commentary

Ah, Rodes.  Despite being similar in size to the Anthem 5k [7301 finishers vs 8516 finishers], Rodes is the antithesis of the Anthem 5k.

  • First of all, there is more than twice as much race course per participant, which allows for better spacing for most of the race.
  • Secondly, the increased distance reduces the number of walkers that have just signed up for the event on a whim.  Sure, there are walkers in this race, and they go at the same pace as the walkers in the 5k.  However, it's harder to participate in a 10k without at least taking the event seriously.  2 hours is a lot of time to spend on your feet if you're not prepared for it.
  • Lastly, the 10k course is a tour of a part of the city.  A 5k does not lend itself to taking in much scenery.  Most 5k races that I've been in run down a street a couple blocks, then turn or double-back on themselves.  With the exception of park-based courses, there's nothing to see.  The Rodes course goes from Downtown Louisville to the Highlands to the Riverfront.

The course  is just hilly enough to give you an honest run, but not enough to be overly challenging.  There are a couple of very gradual climbs and descents, the entire course stays within a 120-foot elevation range, with most of the elevation change occurring in the first 2 miles.

Pace vs. Elevation

Race Report

I had planned to run a total of 50 miles this week, in 3 sets of double 6 milers on Monday-Wednesday, a 6 miler on Thursday, and then this 10k and warm-up/cool-down today.  After my last 5k race and subsequent 20 mile long run two days later, my hip started acting up.

After running about 52 miles last week, my hip was really testy.  The first two days of double runs this week added tendinitis in the ankle to the mix, and I ended up working in two days of hard exercise bike workouts instead of running.

Yesterday afternoon, the ankle had improved, but while jogging across the street to pick up my packet, I felt some major hip pain.  To top it off, I started feeling achy and sore from a sinus infection.  I managed to take NSAIDs and Sudafed and sweat it out overnight.

This morning, I felt pretty iffy about running 10k, much less racing it, but in running from the finish area to the start line, I tested my turnover and faster pace.  I discovered that the faster turnover hurt less.  This was a pretty good sign for the race.

At the race start [a nice 49 degrees], I took off near a 5:30 pace, but quickly settled back to my 5k pace of 6:30-ish.  By the end of the first mile, I had settled down to a more natural 10k pace [+15 seconds to the 5k pace].

That first climb up Broadway is always surprising, despite it being a completely manageable hill, and mile 2 was my only mile that went over a 7-minute mile.  The second slowest mile was mile 3, which has a smaller hill in it.

The remainder of my miles were just under my 6'51" predicted pace [5k + 15 seconds], and those miles are flat to downhill.

For the final stretch [past 6], I had virtually no kick.  Neither my body nor my mind could will anymore speed than  a 6'24" pace, which is fine, because I ran a pretty balanced race the rest of the way.

Time 43:01

Overall Place:  254 / 7301
Gender Place:  224 / 3250
Division (30-34 male) Place:  44 / 474

Calendar functionality on a smartphone?

It seems that calendars should respond to time zone changes more gracefully.

I don't have another smartphone for reference, just an iPhone, but the combination of automatic time zone updating and calendar appointments should be handled more gracefully.

Now, I know there's a time zone support option on the iPhone, but not all appointment sources are created equal.

Outlook Sync with iphone seems to not handle timezones well. I'm sitting in Las Vegas getting my 4 PM EST meeting invite reminders at 4 PM PST.

Meanwhile, I wouldn't necessarily want my 5:30 AM EST to necessarily translate to 2:30 AM PST.

Given those two cases, I don't think a global device setting is necessarily the ideal method to solve the timezone issue.

Maybe there should be switch on each appointment that indicates whether the time or the timezone stays fixed for a given appointment.

Courier-Journal #fail: What's a 5k marathon [Anthem 5k]?

Dear Courier-Journal.  5k is a distance.  If you're unfamiliar, it's 5 kilometers, which is roughly 3.1 miles.

Marathon also refers to a distance.  At present, that distance is 26 miles, 385 yards or 42.195 kilometers.

In history, the distance has been as short as 24.85 miles.  However, it has never been remotely close to 5k.  The last finisher of the Anthem 5k finished 30 minutes sooner than the world record marathon time.

I do not expect the average person to understand the distinction; however, in order to report on a basketball game, you wouldn't allow the terms "extra innings" and "overtime" to be confused.  "Home runs" vs. "Touchdowns?"

Anthem 5k (Now with 50% less fail) Race Report

Course Commentary

I'm not particularly fond of the Anthem 5k.  There were 8516 finishers this year.   In years past, this race was entirely run along the downtown city blocks.  While this made the course incredibly flat, every turn in the course was 90 degrees, and there were walkers interspersed with the front of the running pack.  One year, a walker dropped a Sony Discman in front of me near the starting line.  The result was similar to rush hour traffic dodging a stalled motorist on the freeway.

Of course, I've run Anthem 3 times now, out of 8 5k races that I've run overall.  Why would I run such a race if I hated it so?

  1. It's obscenely flat. [Not as much this year--more on that in a bit]
  2. It's chip-timed.
  3. It's raced by some area elites, which is pretty cool--it's like being Iona in the NCAA Tournament.
  4. The timing, along with the rest of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, is perfect for building up to a spring marathon: A 5k, 10k, and 10 miler every other weekend, and then one last mileage build-up week before tapering for the KDF Marathon.
  5. Panera goodies at the end. [I didn't get any this year because my stomach really didn't feel like it.]

This time, the race logistics were greatly improved.  The walkers were separated into a group on a cross street so there wouldn't be any ugly clashes [physical or emotional] between people moving at paces 5-8 minutes apart.  In order to accomplish this, the race start moved down near the river, which meant that slope going to and coming away from the river would be added in for this year's race.  I completely did not expect this.  Had I realized this, well--I probably wouldn't have even shot for a PR.  In hindsight, ignorance is bliss.

Race Report

I started this morning at Heine Bros with coffee and a veggie, egg and cheese panini at 6:30 am.  When I got to the ballpark, I had another "cup" of Heine Bros.  It was at this point that I noticed how that runners and walkers would be separated.

"Good plan," I thought.

It wasn't until about 7:30 am [30 minutes before the race start] that I realized that the race course had entirely changed.  I got out near the start about 7:40 am, but stayed in the sunlight until people started lining up at about 7:45 am.  It was about 32 F at the start of the race.  It was freezing in the shade of I-64, by the way. Every muscle in my body was shaking violently for 10 minutes straight.

I had set up my Garmin 305 for auto-lapping every 1k.  I was hitting 4'09" and 4'10" kilometers for the first 4 km - about a 20'45" to 20'50" pace.  That one hill coming away from the river seemed cruel at that pace and temperature.  Fortunately, there was a slight downhill shortly after that gave me a little momentum pace.

The middle stretch was the typical bargaining with myself to hold pace and feeling a little burn in my lungs and legs.

Coming into the last 1/2 km, I saw a woman that I recognized from several 5k races--mainly because she has passed me mid-race before.  I remember that she lined up about 4-5 seconds in front of me.  This time, she was about 5 seconds in front of me with the finish line in the distance.  I pushed the pace to see if I could pull up even with her, and managed to pull past her with about 1/10 of a mile to go.  I got out-kicked by a couple of other racers, but their strong finish probably helped me motivate myself to knock a couple of extra seconds off my time.

Finish:  20:36 for 5k, 6:38/mile pace.

Overall Place: 242 / 8516
Gender Place: 211 / 3609
Division Place (30-34 male): 38 / 522

5k strategy for Anthem

- Line up in view of starting line. Lookout for anyone with a music playing device, especially if larger than an iPod nano. These participants are in it for the long haul. They will also likely drop their player right at the start.
- Run a sustainable-without-throwing-up pace for the first mile.
- Mile 2: Tell the doubt in your head to be quiet.
- Mile 3: That person 50 yards in front of you needs to be chased down. (insert motivation here)
- last tenth: This is the medieval, charging the battlefield stretch. Close those final 500+ yards as hard as you can.

Good luck.

Smartphone users disappointed with handset and application performance

From Fanfare:

Research reveals 57% of smartphone users disappointed with handset and application performance

Closer examination reveals that only 155 members of the public responded to the survey.

One interesting "key finding" that I noted was that whether a problem with the device or the network, 53% blame the device for the issue. If Apple's true intent is to control the quality user experience by keeping the ecosystem closed, this finding supports that strategy. However, it also makes them more legitimately responsible with issues do arise.

Little mention of apps being blamed for the issues

There is no commentary on the quality of the mobile apps themselves being blamed for issues with the phones, but I suspect that a user who has run into a large number of poorly written apps is going to attribute the problems with the apps back to the phone itself. This is unfortunate, because the turnover of applications on a mobile device is much more frequent than on a desktop. When there are a large number of apps available for free or $0.99, the barrier to installation of the app is extremely low.

I, myself, used to download many applications on my PCs, but they were either open source applications from SourceForge or shareware that I had to try and make a conscious decision to pay money for. I doubt that a significant percentage of the PC owners did likewise and I'm pretty sure most of the ones I know that did had malware on their machines as a result of installing something that they really shouldn't have. In contrast, half of iPhone users buy at least an app a month.

With such application development and installation churn comes increased instability, no matter how tightly the ecosystem is controlled.