Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Two hot races

This week and last week I have done the Howard County Striders' weekly race series races. Last week it was a 10k; this week it was a 5k. They were both hot.

10k: 47:15.

The course was through housing developments and through the grounds of a school. It was hot out. I started out running with a friend from work, just behind two women and behind a handful of men. I passed one woman right away, but the other stayed ahead of me. After a mile or two, my work friend dropped back, and I put my sights on this woman. Once I caught up to her and passed her, she repeatedly surged to get ahead of me and then slowed down, and I passed her again. Each time she passed me, I said "good job." The third time I said "good job," she said, "we're both inconsistent, aren't we?" Now, I am not always fast, but I am always consistent. I made some sputtering remark, and she conceded that perhaps it was her that was inconsistent. It was about 23:30 at the halfway mark. I stopped to drink water, and then passed the woman about 100 meters later.

The course ended with a long uphill. I passed one man on this part, the man I had been following because the course was confusing and not marked. At the end I nearly caught another gentleman, but I tripped over a curb as I cut a corner too close, and so he ended up ahead of me. I finished in 47:12 on the race clock, 47:15 on my watch. The second female was about 48:30. When she finished, she asked me my time, and when I told her, she said, "oh, so you sped up a lot in the last half, didn't you?" I did not feel it necessary to point out that I had evenly split the race (especially considering the last hill), which is, you know, known as being consistent.

5k: 21:50.

Today there was a 5k. Three guys from work and I went over to run the race. But when we got there, it had been canceled because it was a code red heat advisory day, which is dangerous to run on. But the four of us decided to run it, and three other guys decided to run it as well. The three "random" guys wanted to just do a jog, but us from work had already decided that it was going to be a race to see who was on top, so we were going to race it no matter what. So the others decided to race it as well.

The first mile was downhill, so it was fast -- the three guys in front at 6:20, and me in 6:30. Then we started going uphill. At some point the guy in front disappeared, so then it was just one guy from work and one random guy in front of me. It was like this all the way uphill, until we turned around and headed back to the school for the finish. Then I passed the guy from work and set my sights on the other guy. He stayed in front of me until we were on the last hill with the finish loop in sight. Then I surged ahead of him. But it was not to be! He surged ahead of me, and we were not yet at the finish loop. When we turned into the finish loop, I surged ahead of him, but he surged back. Now it was less than 100 meters. I gave it one last push and ended up passing him convincingly just before the finish line.

So, in a race of 6 men and me, I won. I just thought I'd point that out, for anyone that thought 21:50 was a slow time, even with 90° heat and dense humidity.

Afterwards, three of us went to a pool and swam around for an hour or so, and then went to a playground. It was quite fun.

Now I am doing no more races before our big race in a week and a half. I am going to do about 20 more miles before that race. I hope that I will be in good shape with no injuries in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

9 by mile

It's three weeks until the race I've been training for all summer, so today I did my longest run: 20 miles. For various reasons, I decided that instead of going out and doing a normal 20-mile run, a big loop or something, I would do it as a track workout instead. This is partly because it would be hard to find a 20-mile loop that didn't involve running on four-lane highways, and partly because I am always trying to be more like Khalid Khannouchi.*

So, my run was as follows:

Run 3.25 miles to track
9 x 1 mile with 2 laps jog in lane 8 between
Run 3.25 miles home.

Those who are good at addition will notice that 3.25 + 9 + (8 x 0.5) + 3.25 = 19.5, which is not 20. However, running in lane 8 adds 2 x 3.14 x 7 meters per lap, which is about 50 meters per lap, times 16 laps, gives me the extra half-mile.

My mile times were as follows:


Obviously, the idea was to run the 9 miles under 8-minute pace and get faster each time. I did this. I did not get quite as fast as I would have ideally hoped for, but I was tired at the end so 6:41 was what I ran. So it goes.

It was not that hot, and it was very cloudy, but it was extremely humid. When I do a longish run, I enjoy weighing myself before and after the run to see how much water weight I lose. On previous runs I have lost 2.5 - 3.5 pounds during a 10-12 mile run. Today I knew I should drink something, so I carried a 12-oz bottle of Gatorade and a 12-oz bottle of water out to the track. (I always look down on people who carry water bottles while running, but today I thought it was justified.) So, over the course of the workout I drank 24 ounces of water, and then after the run I filled one up with water and drank that. So I ingested 36 ounces (2 pounds) of water during the run. The difference between my weight before and after the run was 3.6 pounds. So, I sweated 5.6 pounds of water, or over two quarts, over the course of the run. Yuck.

I hope that today's workout will be "money in the bank" and will help me to be faster later.

*Former men's world-record holder in the marathon, before Paul Tergat; runs the last 5k of his long runs on the track and closes with a sub-4:30 mile.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's fun to run; it makes me smile; I think I'll run another mile. And another.

This summer, I am training for an endurance event. One might call it an ultra-endurance event, since it's longer than a marathon, except that the running is broken up into chunks. In mid-August, I will be running 33 miles in six roughly equal chunks, with about double the running time for recovery. This is a three-person 100-mile relay. To this end, I am training to increase my endurance, my ability to run multiple times in a day, and my ability to run in the heat. Mainly the former.

My mileage the first week I was here was 24. In order to be able to run 33 miles in one day, I need to have practiced running as close to that as possible in the least amount of time possible. Of course, this will be considerably more than a day in practice. In my training, I have the following goals, in order of precedence:

1. To arrive at the starting line uninjured;
2. To complete the race;
3. To run the race well.

In order to achieve my goal of racing well, I need to increase the volume and intensity of my running. However, I need to do this without getting injured. Down here, most of the running surfaces are paved, which considerably increases my likelihood of getting a stress fracture, especially since I will be increasing my mileage relatively quickly. Thus, I have been structuring my running to be the easiest possible on my body. This means:

(a) run more miles per day, fewer days per week;
(b) run more times per day, fewer miles each time.

I have been running four days a week for the past four weeks. On the alternate days, I lift (upper body only). Sometimes I have skipped lifting. This is bad. However, now when I move my arms, I can see muscles moving that I did not see before. Also, I now have six-pack abs, thanks to my morning abs and ab lifting. However, this six pack is only detectable with fingers; it is still covered by a thick enough layer of fat that it is obscured to the eye.

In the past few weeks I have run the following mileages:

24 (week I got here), 30, 35, 40, 45 (planned for this week).

I mostly did just miles, because it was so hot and humid that it was all I could do to shuffle through 10-minute miles with a racing heart when I got here, and it has only gradually gotten better. Once a week I do a group long run, which is nice; I have also run to a track and done some moderately fast miles (6:30 - 8:00 -- fast during a 10-mile run). I plan to make it more varied in the near future.

This morning I did a hill workout. I ran to a gradual 45-second hill, and did 15 repeats. It was plenty challenging. Then I ran to a steeper, 30-second hill and did 13 repeats. It was a 10-mile run. I weighed myself before and after the run, and had lost 3.4 pounds of water in the interim. That's a lot, especially considering that the run ended before 7:30 AM.

When I do hill repeats, I run fast up the hill, then slow to a jog, turn around and go down the hill to begin again. As I reached the top of the hill for the sixth time, a man passed by going the other way, and said:
Got all the way to the top, eh?
What does one say to that? When I am doing 15 repetitions, and he thinks that the reason that I am breathing hard is because it's so difficult to run to the top of a hill?

I have a hard time thinking when I am running. I usually say reasonably incoherent things. For instance, one time I tried to say "running skirt" while running. I said "running shirt" and "running shorts" and just could not cough out "running skirt," much as I could see the laughable item in my head. I also have trouble parsing the sounds that other people make into comprehensible words -- this morning a woman said, "I wish I had your energy!" as I ran yet another hill repeat, and by the time I figured out what she had said, I had almost passed by and it was all I could do to say "yeah" -- and my distance vision is significantly worse than usual. So, I am not at my most biting and clever when people say dumb things to me while running.

So I could not think of a snappy thing to say to this man who assumed that, because I was breathing hard at the top of a hill, it must be hard for me to run up hills. All I said to him was,
This is number six, got a few more still.
Are other people familiar with intervals? That "number six" doesn't just mean "this is the sixth hill I've encountered over the course of this morning's run," but "this is the sixth time I have sprinted up this hill, and it is not the last"?

So far here, I have not been passed while running. One day a guy did pass me, but he was doing the sprint-and-jog routine where every time I came up behind him, he sprinted ahead, and then slowed down again, so I caught up again... I eventually passed him on a downhill right before his run ended, so that was the end of that. Last week I went to a track to do a few timed miles, and there was a family there running around the track. There was a young boy, about 10 years old, who ran faster than his younger siblings, and tried to race me every time we ended up running near each other. Somehow, even though it was during my rest interval, I did not want to be passed. So I ended up surging every time he tried to pass me. I do not like to be passed by anyone against whom I am not racing, especially not by 10-year-old boys.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Updated running PRs

I have run so many races in the last nine days that I have updated my page of running PRs. Interested? See Diana's running PRs. I have PRs for 15 distances from 400m to marathon. I have raced other distances -- 4 miles, 5 miles, and "fun runs" -- but I didn't put those in because they were from before high school, and even I don't need to go back that far. I decided that instead of erasing my high school PRs in favor of my college PRs, I would preserve both. Then I will have to reorganize it when I graduate from college, because 10 columns is too many.

Today's race. A good time was had by all.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Six days, four PRs

Friday night: 10k at Div III New Englands at Springfield. I run the first 5k in 21:17, exactly half of the time I ran 10k in the previous week. With one mile to go, I'd have to run a 6:15 last mile to get under 42 minutes. Impossible, I think, and proceed to run two laps just under 100 seconds. That means I'd have to run the last 800 in three minutes. Impossible, I think, and run another 98. Then I have to run the last 400 in 80 seconds. Clearly impossible. I turn on the speed and fly past the few remaining competitors on the track. As I kick in the final meters, I realize that the clock says 21:56, 21:57, ... so I sprint even faster. When I finish I shout to my coach, "did I do it?" He puts the thumbs up. 41:59.

On Saturday afternoon I run the 4x800. I wanted to break my PR of 2:38 at the Williams Relays, but I ran an abysmal 2:42. I split 2:36 in this race, and think I could have run 2:35.

Today we had the Slowboy Invite at Williams. I wanted to do the steeplechase, as did a few others, so our compliant coaches set up the hurdles. They had us run a 2k steeplechase, though, rather than 3k. This turned out to be a good idea. My splits for the various laps were something like 90, 98, 102, 111, 108. Kind of pathetic. I jumped over the hurdles, instead of hurdling them. Some of them I just stepped over. And despite my best efforts, I still jumped into the water jump instead of over it. So it goes. Apparently I will make the all-time list for the 2k steeple, since it is run so rarely. Time: 8:33.

Then we ran the 4x400. The teams were mixed gender, and they made them as even as possible. I was anchoring our team, and I knew that while I would get the baton with a significant lead, the other team's anchor leg was much faster than me. So I took the baton with fear in my heart and ran as fast as I could, considering that it was a 400-meter race. With 200 to go I went on my toes and went for it as fast as I could. I could hear her getting closer, and the teams were cheering for both of us simultaneously -- a bad sign. Just a few meters from the finish line, she came up behind me, and passed me -- but just slightly! I accelerated as much as I could, and we both leaned over the line. Too close to call! What an exciting race for the Slowboy Invite. Most exciting part: I broke 70 seconds for the first time (and in wet socks and shoes!), splitting 68.9.

Monday, April 30, 2007

My first published article

I (and my coauthors) have now had a paper published in an academic journal, the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal. This is a paper we wrote during SMALL. Here is the journal, with ours the first article listed.
Isoperimetric Regions in Gauss Sectors

We consider the free boundary isoperimetric problem in sectors of the Gauss plane. The solution is not always a circular arc as in sectors of the Euclidean plane. We prove that the solution is sometimes a ray and we conjecture that the solution is sometimes a "rounded n-gon" which we discovered computationally using Mathematica.
There is also another paper that should be published sometime soon in a different journal.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My first 10k

I ran my first 10k race on Saturday, on the track at Union. My teammate and I wanted to be sure to run under 44:00 to qualify for Div IIIs, so we ran the first four miles at just under 7:00/mile pace (43:30 would be the total time). We traded off leading each mile. For the fifth and sixth miles I sped up a lot, despite my right foot falling asleep and then going completely numb. This took almost a minute off of our conservative time plan, and I finished in 42:35.

Union reports:
Williams College swept the men’s and women’s 10000m run, with Ryan Ford (Middlefield, CT) winning the men’s side with a time of 35:45.79 and Diana Davis (Deer Island, ME) taking the women’s side at 42:34.90.
I have no idea how they found my hometown, or why they would have changed it from Isle to Island. Anyway, the last time I won a race was in senior year of high school in winter track, so that's nice.

Full results:

Mixed 10000 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals
1 Ford, Ryan SO Williams 35:25.00 35:45.79
2 Davis, Diana SR Williams 42:00.00 42:34.90
3 Katzelnick, Leah FR Williams 42:00.00 43:01.30
4 Plasse, Erin SO Union 43:45.00 43:09.92

Qualifying for Div IIIs means that I will run the 10k again this coming weekend, hopefully going under 42:30 and possibly even 42:00 depending on if the weather cooperates.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mile in 5:30 => Div III New Englands

I ran at BU. I ran faster than 5:32.87, so I qualified for Div IIIs. I lapped someone twice. At the end of the race, I could not see. That was not all that happened. Next week I will run the mile again.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Another PR: 13 seconds but no qualification

I earned my first point for Williams this weekend. I did not achieve my goal of a 23-second PR to run under 11:00 and qualify for Div IIIs, but I did have a 13-second PR, so I can't complain.

Women 3000 Meter Run

Name Yr School Finals Points

1 711 Asher, Rachel SO Williams 10:25.70 10
2 727 Hill, Sarah SO Williams 10:51.75 8
3 478 Murphy, Meghan FR Stonehill 10:58.24 6
4 422 Slayton, Alix SR Springfield 10:58.80 5
5 4 Dalton, Liz SO Amherst 11:01.37 4
6 118 Van Cleef, Bryce FR Coast Guard 11:02.71 3
7 304 Currier, Kasey SO Ithaca 11:04.32 2
8 716 Davis, Diana SR Williams 11:09.12 1

There were 13 people after that in the race but I have omitted them from this list.

I will continue to work hard, train hard, and run ever faster.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Identify this

There are two objects to identify. The first three pictures are of the first; the next three pictures are of the second. If you can identify it other than "a knot made out of straws and dental floss for your thesis" in a mathematically intelligent way, you get a prize, like a pipe cleaner or something.

A new PR in the mile

I ran 5:37.35 at Reggie Lewis on Friday night. This breaks my old PR of 5:45.6 set in senior year of high school at the Exeter/Andover meet. It also improves significantly on my 5:48 of two weeks ago at Williams. So I am pretty pleased with that. I will continue to work hard and keep improving.

Full results:

Women 1 Mile Run
Name Year School Finals Points
1 Lotmore, Alyssa Albany 5:04.47 10
2 McNamara, Julie Williams 5:17.15 8
3 Teitsworth, Elly Williams 5:17.44 6
4 Rice, Sara Roberts Wesleyan 5:20.54 5
5 Ellison, Laura Williams 5:22.05 4
6 Hudak, Robyn Central Connecticut 5:23.80 3
7 Zan, Shiyi Umass Amherst 5:24.79 2
8 Rogers, Jessica Boston College 5:25.80 1
9 Bertolone, Donna Roberts Wesleyan 5:26.17
10 Gagnon, Kristie Northeastern 5:26.55
11 Hill, Sarah Williams 5:27.90
12 Von schmidt, Alissa New Haven 5:29.90
13 Riecke, Erica Northeastern 5:31.91
14 Murphy, Meghan Stonehill 5:32.65
15 Schoonmaker, Heather Hartford 5:33.45
16 Gielow, Elisha Roberts Wesleyan 5:34.30
17 Yoe, Moira Williams 5:34.80
18 Hamer, Courtney New Hampshire 5:36.71
19 Davis, Diana Williams 5:37.35
20 Puntasecca, Linda Ramapo 5:38.47
21 Carlson, Amy Ramapo 5:41.62
22 Sousa, Alicia Stonehill 5:45.39
23 Lasner, Stephanie Ramapo 5:46.31
24 Thibodeau, Sophie Boston College 5:47.36
25 Hudak, Dawn Central Connecticut 5:49.52
26 Clarke, Jenna Albany 5:52.93
27 Wheeler, Rachel Roberts Wesleyan 5:55.80
28 Bloomer, Elizabeth Holy Cross 5:56.92
29 Moore, Audrey Roberts Wesleyan 6:10.91

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A new PR in the 3k

Yesterday I ran the 3000m at MIT, 50 seconds faster than when I ran the 3k at MIT last year and 16 seconds faster than I ran the 3000m in outdoor track in senior year of high school.

I was hoping to run a PR so I decided to run each lap in 46 seconds, which is 6:08 per mile pace and would put me at 11:30, eight seconds faster than my high school time. However, despite trying to hang back, my first lap was 42, so I went through the first mile in 6:04. Then I was right on pace, and I had decided to kick from 600 meters out, so I gained a few more seconds there.

Unfortunately, there was no one else around me running my pace. My only contact with other runners was when I lapped them. You can see this from the results:
Women 3000 Meter Run
Name Year School Finals
1 Teitsworth, Elly Williams 10:44.98
2 McNamara, Julie Williams 10:47.75
3 Jacoby, Ryan Williams 10:54.72
4 Ellison, Laura Williams 10:58.25
5 Yoe, Moira Williams 11:06.45
6 Links, Elizabeth Williams 11:13.50
7 Davis, Diana Williams 11:22.70
8 Joyce, Melissa Westfield State 12:23.49
9 Daniels, Jennifer Westfield State 12:53.36
10 Messer, Katie Westfield State 13:08.44
11 Leister, Hollie Rpi 13:17.90
So, 11:22 improves upon my previous best of 11:38, and improves greatly on my college PR of 12:12. So, I'm happy. Unfortunately, the 3k was not a scoring event, so I did not earn any points for the team, even though the top eight places scored in this meet and I was seventh. So it goes.

Then I ran the 1600 (anchor) leg of the DMR on the "Williams B" team. I received the baton over a lap behind the "Williams A" team and did not improve that position. My legs were really tired from the 3k. However, when I received the baton the time-clock said 8:02, and when I crossed the finish line it said 13:55, so that means a 5:53 1600, which we'll call a 5:54 mile, which is not bad, only six seconds slower than last week when I had only run an 800 before it, not a 3k. So that's fine.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Music for the Ode to Williams

That the Ode to Williams has a tune is old news; that the tune has been recorded is breaking news. You will find the lyrics at the good old Ode to Williams site, but now a nice boy at Williams has made it into a .wav file with synthesized percussion and strings backing up the melody. So, pleaes join me in welcoming the new and improved Ode to Williams, now easier to sing than ever. Of course you can always find the sheet music on the associated page on Willipedia.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Three great races

Today I ran the 4x800. My split was 2:40 (PR, outdoor 2003: 2:38).
Then I ran the mile. My time was 5:48 (PR, indoor 2003: 5:45.6).
Then I ran the 4x400. My split was 72 (PR, approximate, outdoor 2003: 74).

So it was a good day. And in the mile this girl tried to cut in front of me, and I kicked her and elbowed her and did not let her get away with anything. Then I was fourth because I passed four people. I was only behind the people who went to xc nationals. So that was okay. I think that if Pete puts me in these events again, I will be able to break my PRs this season, if I don't get injured or unmotivated or what have you.

P.S. I am not having a separate running blog anymore. When I am bored I will move the running posts over here. But not the Mystic posts, because I don't want to.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Two unboring pictures

Becca says that most of her pictures are lame. My pictures are
decidedly not lame. Here are two examples of pictures I took in the fall semester that totally fail in the lame department.

The one on the left is so amazing that it was screen-printed onto a T-shirt. The one on the right has never before been seen in public.