Barry and Braden's PR Times

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 Spring Fling 5K

Braden's most recent race was last weekend at the Spring Fling 5K in Cabot, AR on March 21, 2015. 

Since this was a Grand Prix championship race, Braden wanted to do really well, and he was especially excited because it was the first time he got to race in his Conway Running Club orange colors!

Three days prior to the race we had a training run on the indoor track and did a 5K run in 27 minutes, which was by far his best 5K ever, but we knew that the Spring Fling course was a little hilly and you never know about mother nature.

On the day of the race, Braden got up really early due to pre-race anxiety, saying "All I can think about is this race and I can't get any sleep!"  It was a tad chilly prior to the start, but otherwise perfect running conditions with zero wind. As far as 5K races go in the Grand Prix, this is one of the more competitive ones because past history showed that a lot of nine-year-olds who don't participate in the Grand Prix run it and win the age group. With that said, Braden knew that he had a little bit of a challenge ahead if he wanted to win his age group, but most importantly he wanted to get all 30 points to catch up in the Grand Prix standings.

It's funny watching Braden prior to a race because he gets his adrenaline going and is so ready to race, but he is really focused as well. It was awesome seeing the CRC members wish Braden good luck along with some of the other Grand Prix runners prior to the start of the race. We got off to a great start because we started a little closer to the front and set out to run about an 8:20 pace, just to see how he would handle it. About 1.5 miles in, he had to tell me to slow down the pace because it was a little too fast, but we still went at a pace that would break us under 27 minutes. He tackled one last hill at about the 2.5 mile mark and he was getting a little spent, but he knew that the finish was coming up, so he went at it strong. At the end of the race he tried to utilize his strong finishing kick, but he didn't have as strong as one as he liked because of the prior hill.

It didn't matter about his finish, because he still came in with a time of 26:35 (8:34 pace), which shaved 3:31 off his previous 5K mark set six months earlier! What was incredible was that he ran at a faster pace than the 2 mile race from two weeks earlier and on a hillier course! What made Braden (and myself) even happier was that he finished first in his age group and he collected 30 points for the Grand Prix standings! Now Braden still sits in second place in the standings, but by looking at the upcoming races in the Grand Prix (which are both 10Ks), he'll have a real good chance of being in first place by the beginning of May.

It is great being a part of the CRC group (they are really a wonderful group of runners) and Braden got a big kick out of the support and fist bumps!

Our next race is next week at the Capital City Classic 10K in Little Rock, so we get a break for the first time in a month, but he's been training really well and hopes to set a new PR on the flat course. It is a Grand Prix non-championship race, which means it's worth only 20 points for a first place finish in the standings.

Arkansas Grand Prix standings after the Spring Fling 5K

Below is the video of our finish at the 8:30 mark:

2015 JLLR Downtown Dash 10K

The second race was the JLLR Downtown Dash 10K in Little Rock, AR on March 14, 2015. 

Since this was not an Arkansas Grand Prix race, it did not count toward any of his standings.

Going into this race, Braden was two weeks removed from finishing with a first place finish in his age group in the Little Rock Marathon 10K. His time in that race was 1:10:07, which was subpar for what he had been running, but his bad running time was due to him being sick and actually throwing up at one point...but he didn't want to quit and finished the race! Our final training run a week before the Downtown Dash had him breaking under the one hour mark for the first time ever with a time of 58:40, so I felt like he could set another PR for his 10K, which was 1:04:25 from his first 10K race in November, 2014.

Due to me having Guard duty during this race, Braden ran with his papa, Bernie Larson. Bernie, who has ran many races for a couple of decades was going to pace Braden, but it was my hope that Braden would be able to keep up. To my surprise, according to Bernie, Braden took off after the first mile and finished before he did!

According to Braden, there were a couple of times he had to stop and walk, obviously due to not pacing himself correctly, but despite that he finished with a new PR of 58:04 (9:22 pace)! He actually would have finished with a better time, but the start line was not electronically timed, so he "lost" about 10 seconds due to it being a gun start and not a timed start. 

Despite all that, Braden finished in first place in his age group of two and even got mentioned on KARK, Channel 4's news site!

Below is the video of Braden's finish at the 41:13 mark:

2015 Chase Race 2 Mile

Since I'm already in catch-up mode with the blog and Braden's races, I'm going to go back through the past three weeks races, starting with the Chase Race 2 Mile race that took place in Conway, AR on March 7, 2015.

Going into the race, I noticed that the normal age group breakdown (which is usually 0-9 years) for his bracket was broken down into 0-6 then 7-10 age groups. Because of his training runs, I figured he had a real good shot of winning his age group. The unique thing about this race, though, was that they actually had course records for each age group, with a time of 19:03 being set in 2010 for his particular age group. Our last training run before the race was an 18:38 on an indoor track a week before the race, so I felt pretty confident that he could break the record if the weather conditions were good.

The weather on the day of the race, though chilly, was wind-free and the course was a flat one. Through our first mile we were on about an 8:45 pace and Braden said it felt we were going too slow, so I picked up the pace for the last mile. 

The great thing I notice about Braden is that he has a very strong finishing kick and after we crossed the finish line I couldn't believe what he accomplished. He finished with a time of 17:12 (8:36 pace), which set a new course record for his age group by 1:51! Little did we know, it was going to be his first PR (personal record) of three over a three weekend race period.

Not only did he win first in his age group, but since it was an Arkansas Grand Prix championship race, he collected 30 points and was in second overall in the standings (due to missing a couple races at the start of the season because of not being signed up). He also won a free entry into next year's Chase Race because of setting a course record and he also won a $110 gift certificate to the Sporty Runner. Overall, I think he had an awesome day!

Below is the video of Braden and me finishing at the 7:13 mark in the video, where he didn't have the most graceful of finishes...stupid mats! 


Welcome to the blog that documents the running adventures of Barry (the dad) and Braden (the son)!

Why am I doing this? On the advice of my co-worker, Adrienne Brietzke, this blog is a great way to keep a sort of diary of our running...especially Braden.

First a little bit about ourselves...

Braden and I live in Vilonia, Arkansas where he is a straight "A" student at Vilonia Elementary School and I am an officer in the Arkansas Army National Guard.

I've really been running for about the past four years starting at the age of 42. Am I an elite runner? No, but I've ran some pretty decent times, when I've been in good shape and not experiencing knee issues. I've ran four marathons, four half marathons, and several 5K and 10K races. 

As of this posting, my best times are the following:

Marathon - 3:44:55
Half marathon - 1:41:39
10K - 47:58
5 K - 22:08

Braden started running last year and ran his first race at the Toad Suck Daze 5K at the age of 6. Over the past year he developed "running fever" and is always in race mode, whether it is in a race or running to the mailbox,  or to the car,  or to whatever he thinks is worth racing to (which is anything).  After putting up some decent times in 5K races, he wanted to run 10Ks as well. So far he has run five 5Ks, three 10Ks, and a two-mile race. Over the past couple of months he has showed remarkable improvement in his times and has came in first place in his age group in the past seven races he has ran.

As of this posting, Braden's best times are the following:

10K - 58:04
5 K - 26:35
2M - 17:12

Because of his run times, we joined the Conway Running Club and the Arkansas Grand Prix Series, which gives him extra motivation in races running alongside some of the top runners in the state.

There is nothing more exciting than being able to actively participate in the running events with Braden!  I have sacrificed some of my running so I can run with him to teach him pacing, racing techniques, etc., but I look forward to the day when I won't be able to keep up with him!