Classic at Mastick Recap

Yes, I’m finally getting to this a week late, but I had so many other posts that I just couldn’t fit it in. Exactly one week ago, I ran the 19th Annual Classic at Mastick. Last Tuesday I picked up my race packet from Second Sole. The bags are great, big and have many pockets. I’m also pretty sure I have two water bottles already, but they’re a good size and you can never have enough. No more shirts though 😦

Ralphie believes he’s a runner

Mastick is a great race for the local schools to get their cross teams ready for the season. And the teams keep growing. I had a completely different mind set going in to this race. It was the first time I wasn’t nervous and didn’t have a set time I wanted to meet. The weather was also the best it’s been in a long time, and much better than it usually is for this race. As soon as the gun went off, I let the high school runners get ahead of me, there was no way I was going to finish the same time they did. The first 800 meters is around the park, so there was a ton of uneven grass. Once I got onto the dirt path, I noticed my knee was a little sore but ignored it. My first mile was at a good pace, so I tried to keep the second mile about the same pace. Unfortunately the second mile, like always was a lot slower than expected. If anyone has any tips on how to make this not happen, please let me know.

The last mile I tried to kick it in. I think it was my fastest mile, but it didn’t help much. I ended up with the time of 30:12. It seems like the more races I run, the slower I get. But I have accepted that my times will not be just like they used to be in college. I haven’t been training for 5k’s and doing no sprint workouts. But that is still no excuse, I should have better times.

I took a few too many days off this weekend, so my first run back was on Monday. I was hoping to get a few easy miles in and really focus on training for my half. But I took about 20 steps and my knee started to ache. It got worse as the run went on, and I couldn’t even go a mile. I wanted to fight through it, but I haven’t felt this bad of pain in a long time.

I’ve decided to take a few days off to hopefully let my knee recover, and get rid of some allergies. But I think I’ve run my final Mastick. The cross courses just can’t work for my knees anymore. I’m starting to rethink the Alumni race too. If 800 meters of uneven ground can keep me out a week after a race, I’m a little concerned with a mile and a half of massive hills will do. I really want to wear the buns though….

These next couple of week are crucial. I have two half marathons, the alumi race, and a marathon relay. I’m bound and determined to get my knee in better shape. But my days of running cross country courses are over. There’s nothing better than the smell of cross season, I could smell it at Mastick. Lots of memories, but plenty to look forward to.

Welcome back old friend

It’s that time of year again for the Classic at Mastick, probably my favorite race. I’ve run this so many times in high school and college, it was a great way to see how I would start off the season. But it’s always been a love/hate race. And as long as I live in the Cleveland area, I will always try to run this race. This year the race surprised me and came up a little sooner than I expected. I am in no way ready for 5k’s. With the brutal heat and schedule, I haven’t been focusing on speed, just trying to get runs in when I can. But once this weather breaks, I’m hoping to get more workouts in on the track. If you get a chance, try to sign up next year. I’m not going for a PR, just going out for fun. Here’s my thoughts on the race before going in:
Pros:

  • The race takes place in Rocky River Reservation (Mastick)
  • Scholarship money is given to students for a college fund, great way to help students out
  • The race is at night, my favorite time to run
  • The goodie bags are fabulous, I’ve never not liked what they’ve given out
  • It’s a great race for high school students to do a little test run….but watch out, they’re fast and can put times to shame
  • Same course every year, so you know exactly where to run, which includes lots of shade

Hesitations

  • Those high school students are fast, many are teams that go to state. You can’t feel bad when they beat you by 6 minutes or so…
  • Because it’s a night race, its usually really hot and humid, so hydration is key all day long
  • Parking is tough, get there as soon as you can, even if you’re rushing out the door after work you may need to park a distance away
  • The course is a bit long, and for some reason I’ve always run it slow, so I try to keep that in mind when checking out my times at each mile

All in all I love this race. I enjoy running it even if I know I’m going to have a slower time like always. But with cooler weather in the forecast, there could be a change in how this race ends up. Hopefully I’ll have a good race report later in the week.

>What’s Next?

>It’s a weird feeling coming home from work and knowing that I didn’t have to do anything. No workout, no stretches, no ab crunches. For the first time since January, I came home, put on sweats, drank hot chocolate and caught up on shows. It felt great, and I wasn’t guilty because I knew I deserved a day off. I’m still sore today, which I expected, but not as stiff as I was yesterday. Yesterday my lower half felt like I had standing in an ice bath for hours, today I just feel blah. The lack of sleep, and mixed up eating schedule from the weekend has caught up, hopefully not breaking down my immune system too much. Good thing I don’t have to run all week, I think it would make me feel worse.

As I mentioned, I already picked out a half marathon. But I’ve researched some more and found some races I’m interested in doing this summer.

Girls With Sole  June 5th, Located in Rocky River, this race features a 5k and a 1 mile family run/walk. Any race in Rocky River, I will gladly sign up to do. This is my only free weekend in June, and what better way to spend it than running for a reason.

Huntington Duathlon  July 24th, Located in Bay Village, this race features a triathlon- 1/4 mile swin-12 mile bike-5k run and a duathlon-5k run-12 mile bike-5k run. I’m opting for the duathlon, and hoping it will be a success. This will be my first duathlon, but I’m sure not my last, and it’s a great way to make sure I get use of my amazing road bike.

Classic at Mastick August 10th, Located in Rocky River Metroparks, this race is a 5k and personal favorite of mine. I ran this in high school and college and even now that I’m old. It’s on a Wednesday night and you run through the metroparks, always motivation for me. It’s a good time and a great way for cross teams to see where they stand before season officially starts.

River Run Half Marathon September 11th, Located in Berea/Cleveland Metro Parks, this race is a half marathon through the metroparks, starting in Berea and going north. I picked this because it’s far enough away to give myself better training, it’s in the fall so it shouldn’t be too hot, and the elevation maps shows it is a consistent down hill, making for a quicker time.

With these four races, I’m hoping not only can I get into a quicker pace, but really enjoy running again. They’re spread out to give enough recovery time, but also I won’t feel bogged down each weekend with a race. I’m looking to do a race every month, but I’ll just have to see how the summer goes. My ultimate goal is to run a half marathon in every state, but I’m not trying to rush it. I’d like to do a half each spring and fall, but who knows, maybe I’ll get one in the winter, just have to find a warmer state to run in.