Saturday, April 28, 2007

Freeport 5K

I ran the Freeport Flapjack 5K this morning. I was not real happy with my time but it was OK. The morning was a little bit warmer than predicted and it was warming up quickly as the sun rose. The temperature in Clute for 8 to 9 AM was over 73; not unbearable, but a little warm for a heavy person like me. I ran the first mile in 5:49, but the second was a 6:19. That pretty much killed the race for me. The second mile is more difficult with the Velasco Bridge, but it was still much slower than I wanted. I finished up a little over 19 for the 5K.

Brazosport Facts story

This course runs along the Old Brazos River for a little different scenery than your standard Houston race.

The race starts out toward the Navigation Bridge (luckily we didn't have to run that bridge)

The first shrimp boats along the course

Not many races where you nearly run under a boat

looking back toward the Navigation Bridge

Over the dike one more time

I love this old railroad swing bridge

The course goes under the railroad tracks after crossing outside the dike

The Velasco Bridge isn't very high, but it's steep

View looking from the Velasco Bridge

Edwin just before the last turn to the finish.

Orville, our 74 yo speedster

A few views of the Freeport downtown park

I did run fast enough to win some shrimp

Monday, April 23, 2007

Last Week's Training: The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall

53¾ miles for the week

M – 6 miles, recovery run, average pace 8:42 minutes per mile (mpm), 52°F at 7PM [SeaC/Ntrl-/SeaC]
Tu – 5¾ miles tempo run, average pace 6:43 mpm, back to a warm, humid and windy 70°F at 5AM with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles in 13:00 and 12:50 [S-B/Dow]
W – 5½ miles, with 4x400/200rec, 7:58 mpm overall pace (400s in 79, 77, 75 and 72), 71°F at 7PM but drier air [B’Wood HS]
Th – 4 miles, recovery run, pace 8:36 mpm, a very nice 58°F at 5AM [Dow/Ol]
F - 5¼ miles, tempo run, average pace 6:43 mpm, with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles in 13:17 and 13:08, 67°F at 5AM [Ol/Dow]
Sa – 10 miles, easy, pace 8:20, a windy 78°F at Noon [SeaC/Ntrl-MBT-2M-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 17¼, average pace 7:33 mpm A warm, humid, hazy and windy day, 79°F from Noon. Another bridge and beach run. [PlantationBr//6xIntracoastal Bridge/2x(SS 8½ -11-8½)]

During Saturday's second run on the trail through the woods, I did a spectacular face plant. I was enjoying the woods, keeping an eye out for snakes, when all of a sudden I saw nothing but the dirt trail as I was going down fast and hard. This was no stumbling fall after tripping on a root. I went from a nice easy run to horizontal on the trail in a split second. I was able to get both arms in front of me and avoid hitting my head into the ground. I ended up with some trail dirt embedded in my hands and forearms but nothing serious. I looked back and found a thin vine that must have looped my foot. Amazing how fast 180 pounds can go from vertical to horizontal when a foot is snagged.

I was wiped out by Sunday’s long run. I need to start long runs closer to sunrise on warm days. It was a real struggle to stay under 8mpm coming back up the beach into the wind.
My next race is Saturday's Freeport 5K. It’s a “hilly” course (two times over the dike and bridge); not a PR course but I’d like to run it under 6mpm. There are plenty of local 5Ks coming up and I still have that sub-18 goal.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Last Week: LP Run and a Bridge and Beach Long Run

54 miles for the week

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:52 minutes per mile (mpm), 52°F at 5AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¾ miles recovery run, pace 8:22 mpm, back to a warm and humid 71°F at 5AM [Dow/B-S]
W – 7¼ miles, with a timed 33⅓ minute run at 6:07 mpm, 77°F at 8PM with very nice dry air [LP-Run Houston]
Th – 5¼ miles, recovery run, pace 8:43 mpm, 62°F at 5AM [Dow/Ol]
F - 6¼ miles, general aerobic, pace 6:59 mpm, with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles in 14:06 and a 13:43, a sweaty 72°F at 5AM [Dow/B-S/Ol]
Sa – 8¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:10, a windy 60°F at Noon [Plantation/SeaC/Ntrl-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 16 miles, average pace 7:17 mpm A beautiful Spring day, 61 to 64°F from 10AM. In honour of the Boston Marathon (and a beautiful day) I ran a "bridge and beach" run. [6xIntracoastal Bridge/2x(SS 8½ -11-8½)]

This was the first time I’ve been able to run the 33⅓ LP Run for several years. It was warm, but it really wasn’t that bad because the air was so dry up in Houston and the Master’s Race didn’t start until after sunset. I ended up a little short of 5½ miles. I wanted to run over 5½ miles, but I’m satisfied with 5.453. Mile splits were 6:00, 6:03, 6:07, 6:07, and 6:14. I started out conscientiously pacing each quarter mile but I gave that up after the first couple of miles and just struggled through to the end time.

My next race should be the Freeport 5K. It’s a “hilly” course (two times over the dike and bridge); not a PR course but I’d like to run it under 6mpm. THere are plenty of local 5Ks coming up and I still have that sub-18 goal.

Here's the Surfside Intracoastal Waterway Bridge from Sunday's long run

It's about an 80 foot rise in elevation and about one half mile if you run to the opposite side of the canal (pretty similar to the size of Heartbreak Hill)

A few more pictures of the wildflowers along the bridge (the bluebonnets are past their peak)

bluebonnets with Indian Paintbrush

bluebonnets with Indian Blanket (firewheel)

The beach part of the run

This Great Blue Heron hung around long enough for a picture

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Full Disclosure: Maybe NOT a New 5K PR

Well, I was wondering how I managed to speed up in the third mile of the Bellaire Trolley Run to capture a 5K PR and my first sub-18 5K. It appears maybe I really didn't run that super third mile. The rumour is the course was 238 feet short of a 5k! It would have taken me about 16 seconds to run those 238 feet. That would have made the race look like:

Mile 1) 5:46
Mile 2) 5:56
Mile 3) 5:41 5:57
5K) 17:56 18:12

Aaargh! One second over my PR! No PR, no sub-18 5K!

Did I mention all of the hairpin turns on the new course? Yeh, that's it; all of those turns are worth another 238 feet. Or maybe I can claim it as a 4.9275K PR?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Last Week's Training: Winter Returns

49¾ miles for the week

M – sleep, 72°F at 5AM
Tu – 5¾ miles tempo run, average pace 6:45 minutes per mile (mpm) with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles in 12:57 and a 12:47, a sweaty 74°F at 5AM [S-B/Dow]
W AM – 4¾ miles, general aerobic, 7:46 mpm, 74°F at 5AM [Dow]
W PM – 6 miles, with 4 miles at MP, overall average 6:42 mpm (mile splits: 6:39, 6:35, 6:29, and 5:57 - that one was a little faster than MP) 62°F at 7PM [B’Wood HS]
Th – 5¼ miles, recovery run, pace 8:48 minutes per mile, 60°F at 5AM [Dow/Ol]
F - 4¾ miles, general aerobic, pace 7:30 minutes per mile, 57°F at 5AM [Dow]
Sa – 7¾ miles, general aerobic, pace 7:32, rain and a wintry 43°F at 4PM [SeaC/Ntrl-MBT/SeaC/Ol]
Su – 15½, average pace 7:05 mpm with the last 6 miles all in the mid 6s. Another wintry day, 52°F at 4PM. The rains left parts of the dirt trail with large puddles, so after one loop on the dirt trail I ran the remainder solely on the asphalt path. [SeaC/Ntrail-MBT-4x2M/SeaC]

Winter came back with a vengeance. The cooler temperatures from late Wednesday forced some pretty fast runs. I’m even a little sore from Sunday’s fast-finish fifteen miler. The training schedule changes this week with Wednesday evening's LP Run. Unfortunately, it's so supposed to be warm and humid again.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Boston Memories

Good luck to all the athletes running the Boston Marathon!

A few pictures from a couple of years ago.

I'm still jealous.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Last Week's Training: 5K Race Success!

45¼ miles for the week

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:51 minutes per mile, 69°F at 5AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¾ miles tempo run, average pace 6:46 minutes per mile (mpm) with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles in a wind-aided 12:26 and a 13:03 into the wind, 71°F at 5AM and Windy [S-B/Dow]
W – 5¾ miles, general aerobic, 7:17 mpm, first run with my new pair of DS Trainers-12, 72°F at 5AM [Dow/B-S]
Th – 4¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:25 minutes per mile, 71°F at 5AM [Dow]
F - 4¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:36 minutes per mile, 71°F at 5AM [Dow]
Sa – 6 miles, with a 5K race at 5:46.3 pace, steady rain 63°F at 8AM [Bellaire]
Su – 13½, average pace 7:39 mpm, 74-75°F and humid, partly cloudy at Noon. The torrential rains over the past 24 hours left parts of the dirt trail with large puddles, so after one loop on the dirt trail I ran the remainder solely on the asphalt path. My legs felt sore from the 5K race - that’s pretty rare for such a short race! [SeaC/Ntrail-MBT-3x2M/SeaC]

I was really happy with the Bellaire Trolley Run 5K. The strong storm helped lower the temperatures quite a bit before the race. The local Gator Gallop was held under much warmer conditions just before the storm passed through. I’m sure if I stayed home and ran that race my time would have been quite a bit slower.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Torrential Downpours and a New 5K PR

It was a wild drive up to Houston Saturday morning with lightning, strong wind and torrential rain. I was even blinded for a second when one lightning bolt went horizontally across the sky just in front of me. By the time I got to Houston it settled down to just a light rain. I tried running some warmups with my glasses on, but they were quickly covered by raindrops and fog. I ditched my glasses in the car, so I could at least see the pavement in front of me. The rain did cool the air down a few degrees. It was in the low 60s with a light southeast wind ( that was the coolest weather all week).

I wasn't able to see the people around me very well, but just after the start I was able to recognize someone who usually finishes just ahead of me, so I followed him. I ran the first mile in 5:46. We were passed by a younger guy, so I tried to pick up on him. I'd been trying to prepare myself earlier in the week for the second mile, so I was ready to put out more effort. The second mile was a 5:56 for an 11:41 two miles. I was doing the math and thinking I probably wouldn't meet my goal (sub-18 or my PR 18:11). I thought I wasn't capable of much better than a 6:00 third mile which would give me 17:41 for 3, 19 seconds under 6:00 pace for about a 18:18. Finally I quit thinking and just focused on keeping up with the younger guy in front of me. He would gain a few yards, but I was able to pull back up to him each time. We hit the mile 3 split at 17:22 for a 5:41 3rd mile. When I heard the 3-mile split well back in the 17s (the split caller was doing a great job, calling out the times really loud), I knew I had to lay it all out for the last 0.11. I couldn't believe the clock was still ticking in the 17s! I passed the young guy in front of me and edged him out at the finish by 0.3 seconds. I finally reached one of my goals for this Spring.

Gun Time 17:57.9, chip 17:56.1
Purdy Points 573
WAVA 79.1%
WMA 80.3%

I sure hope the third mile wasn't short.