Sunday, March 30, 2008

Law Week 8K or Now a XXXLarge Nuke

I don't have much of anything encouraging to post about this race. My weight this past week was near 190 pounds, the highest since May 2006. Saturday morning was warm and humid, but the wind wasn't a problem and a thick low cloud bank kept the sun away. In August, I'd call it a cool morning, but in March it was oppressively warm and humid. Hobby had 70 to 71 with the dewpoint at 67 to 68 and an East wind at 7 to 3 mph.

Law Week 8K Results

I started out with a 5:54 mile and felt OK but most of the people I wanted to stay with were in a group about ten seconds ahead of me. Mile 2 was a 6:15 and mile 3 a 6:18. I was just going through the motions. Autumn Ray passed me in the third mile and I tried to hold on to her for a while. Mile 4 was the worst, a 6:34. I was soaked in sweat and felt really fat. Another guy passed me with about a quarter mile to go, and we pushed each other to the finish, but that last 0.97 was still something like 6:11. Not anyway near the sub-30 I was hoping to run.

I'm nearly 15 pounds heavier than I was in January. It really is time to quit buying the candy and desserts. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to turn this around before the Spring Series ends. The Bellaire Trolley 5K is this Saturday and the LP Run is the following Wednesday.

I spent all night at the power plant for the start of Unit 1's refueling outage. I mentored our new graduate Nuke Engineer on inspecting the reactor coolant loop piping. I tore my protective clothing climbing up on a scaffold rack to show her where we had a sample tubing leak. How embarrassing! I had to put on another pair of protective coveralls (big yellow suit) and the Radiation Protection person made sure they brought me a larger size: XXXLarge instead of the XXLarge I was wearing. The rest of the walkdown was climbing up the reactor coolant pumps to the hotter upper portions of containment, and in double PCs I was sweating as bad as I was during the 8K! I made it home about 8AM Sunday. After a few hours sleep, now it's time for a Sunday long run.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Near Perfect Morning but a Mediocre Run

The weather was nearly perfect this morning: nice and cool in the upper 50s with just a light breeze from the Gulf. The waning moon was providing plenty of light but there were still plenty of stars with both dippers easily visible to the north. The street lights have been out at the Dow Nature Preserve, providing a chance to see a really strong moon-shadow running alongside me.

I ran my Tuesday tempo run: 5¾ miles, average pace 6:54 mpm, half mile warmp, then the Dow- 2 miles hard in 13:01, a ¾ mile recovery, then the Dow- 2 miles return hard in 12:47, and finally a half mile recovery. My left Achilles felt a little tender at the beginning and I held back some on the first mile. The return 2 miles weren't too bad, but 6:24 pace still doesn't seem that good for a tempo run. With the 8K, the Bellaire 5K and the LP run coming up in the next couple of weeks, at least I'll have a few chances to turn things around.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting Ready for the 8K

47 miles for the week of March 17th through March 23rd

M – missed, 71°F at 4AM
Tu – 5¾ miles, average pace 6:57 mpm, half mile warmp, then the Dow- 2 miles hard in 12:46, ¾ mile recovery, then the Dow- 2 miles return hard in 13:17 into the wind, and finally a half mile recovery, 71°F at 4AM with a pretty strong Gulf breeze [Ol/Dow/Ol]
W – 6½ miles, with 3x1Mile/400 recoveries plus one more 1Mile, average pace 7:02 mpm, Miles in 5:53.5, 5:54.5, 5:55.2, and 5:55.1, 68°F at 7PM but very dry air with a NNW wind [B’Wood track]
Th –4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:10 mpm, 53°F at 4AM very nice with a nearly full moon [Dow]
F - 10 miles, general aerobic, average pace 7:03 mpm, 70°F starting at 10:30AM [SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail-2M MBTrail/SeaC]
Sa – 7½ miles at an average 8:12 mpm pace, sunny and nice, 74°F from Noon [SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 12½ miles average pace of 7:12 mpm, very windy from the ENE, 68°F from Noon [SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail-2x2M MBTrail/SeaC]

My weight is still solidly in the upper 180s. I doubt I’ll be able to get below or even near 180 before Saturday’s 8K. I’d really like to run the 8K under 30 minutes, or better yet, under 29:50 for sub-6 pace. My 8K PR is a 30:44 from the March 2003 Law Week run, but I ran a 30:12 5-miler in February. My weight and the weather forecast seem to be conspiring against me. There’s supposed to be a nearby cold front, but it’s not predicted to make it through to Houston, so Saturday’s forecast is warm, humid, and windy.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Still in the 180s

50 miles for the week of March 10th through March 16th

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:26 mpm, 65°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¼ miles, average pace 6:42 mpm, half mile warmp, then the Dow- 2 miles hard in 13:08, ¾ mile recovery, and then the Dow- 2 miles return hard in 12:35, 55°F at 4AM [Ol/Dow-]
W – 6¾ miles, with 5x800/400 recoveries, average pace 7:05 mpm, 800s in 2:50.7, 2:53.8, 2:49.6, 2:49.2, and 2:46.4, 64°F at 7PM with a SSE wind [B’Wood track]
Th –4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:24 mpm, 64°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 9 miles, general aerobic, average pace 7:06 mpm, 76°F at 2PM sunny with a strong SW wind [SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail-2M/SeaC]
Sa – 7½ miles at an average 8:09 mpm pace, sunny and nice, 82°F at 11AM [SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 12 miles average pace of 7:17 mpm, overcast, very windy and humid 69°F from 10:30AM [SeaC/NTrail- MBTrail-2M MBTrail -2M /SeaC]

My weight is still high in the 180s. I’m not sure how to train for these shorter races. My mileage is way down from the marathon training, but my intensity is also down. The goal for the next couple of weeks before the 8K is to get my weight back down below 180.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Catching Up with a Couple of Weeks

44¾ miles for the week of February 25th through March 2nd

M – sleep, 62°F at 4AM
Tu – 4 miles, average pace 6:49 mpm, woke up late so I just had time for the Dow-, 67°F at 4AM [Dow-]
W – 6¼ miles, average pace 7:05 mpm, with 3x1Mile/400 recoveries, Miles progressively faster with a 5:57, a 5:54, and a 5:46, 55°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th –4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:21 mpm, 58°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 10 miles, general aerobic, average pace 7:20 mpm, 75°F at 1PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail-2MMBT/SeaC]
Sa – 8¾ miles at an average 8:29 mpm pace, sunny humid and 76°F at 1PM [PlantBr//SeaC/NTrail-MBTrail/SeaC]
Su – 11 miles, at an average pace of 7:47 mpm, overcast, very windy and humid 76°F from Noon [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M/SeaC]

36¼ miles for the week of March 3rd through March 9th

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:18 mpm, 72°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 4 miles, average pace 7:01 mpm, woke up late so I just had time for the Dow-, 41°F at 4AM [Dow-] Felt pretty bad with some left ankle/Achilles pain
W – missed
Th –5¾ miles, general aerobic run, average pace 7:25 mpm, 65°F at 4AM [Dow] Still feeling pretty blagh
F - missed
Sa – 9¾ miles with a 10K race at an average 6:06 mpm pace, sunny but nice cold, dry air 43°F at 8AM [Bayou City 10K]
Su – 12 miles Bridge and Beach run, average pace of 7:18 mpm, mostly cloudy, strong Gulf wind and humid, 67°F from Noon [6xSSBridge/SS11-8-11]

Splits for Saturday’s Bayou City 10K were 6:02, 5:57, 5:56, (5K in 18:45) 6:17, 6:12, 6:28 and 61 (second 5K in 19:09) for a new 10K PR of 37:53.4 (chip). I think I ran a low-37 10K in college in 1980 in Hermann Park, but I can’t recall the exact time, so I’ll claim this race as a new 10K PR.
I’m not sure about that last mile in 6:28; I might have hit my watch a little late. I have to say I was pretty tired when I finished, so I'm happy with the effort. This race helped turn around my attitude. I was feeling pretty bad the past couple of weeks with my left ankle irritating me and my weight edging 190. I'm looking forward to the 8K now. My weight is still in the 180s so there's plenty of room for improvement.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Beautiful Day for a Great Race

We had near-perfect conditions for today's Bayou City 10K. Even though I've run poorly the last couple of weeks, I even managed to eek out a new 10K PR.

Here's the course around downtown and down Memorial:

View Larger Map

RichardP whooped me for 2nd place in the 45-49 age group while wearing this costume:

The Tornados had a great centipede entry:

The tails:

Leno the Lion


The finish line balloons floating over Spindletop