Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last Week: Summer Mileage

52½ miles for the week of May 19th through May 25th

M – 5¼ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:41 mpm, 73°F at 4AM [Dow/Ol]
Tu – 5¼ miles, average pace 7:26 mpm, too warm for a tempo run, 79°F at 4AM [Dow/Ol]
W AM – 5¾ miles, average pace 7:17 mpm, 80°F at 4AM [Dow/B-S]
W PM – 4¼ miles, with some strides on the track, one mile of sprinting the straights and recovering on the curves, a couple more miles general aerobic, then another two sprints on the straights, overall average pace 6:56 mpm, 82°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:38 mpm, 81°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 7½ miles, average pace 7:33, 89°F at 2PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Sa – 7½ miles, average pace 8:28, a nice cool 87°F at 1:30PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 12¼ miles average pace of 8:19 mpm, sunny warm and humid, 86°F from 10AM [FWRes/MacL-2x(2M-MBTrail)/SeaC]

The heat defeated me Sunday and I had to take the short route home. That 8:19 pace is no indication how difficult this run was. My shoes were completely soaked after six or seven miles. I was dizzy and slightly nauseated; sure signs of heat exhaustion. This run felt much worse than a long run at 7-flat pace with reasonable temperatures. But I was surprised that my average heart rate was 129 bpm, closer to a mere recovery run level. Heart rate was increasing the last couple of miles: 143 bpm at a pace just over 8 mpm.
I can’t imagine training for a Fall marathon down here. I know I’ll have plenty of slow miles through September. All I can hope for this Summer is to keep the weekly mileage up in the 50s and develop a good aerobic base for training in cooler temperatures. I'm going to try and keep up wth the strides this year. Even though they're on the Pfitz training schedules, I've never done them consistently because most days they're scheduled I'm running on concrete. But they should fit well with the Wedensday evenings on the track. Hopefully they'll help maintain basic speed while my amin effort is on the mileage base.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last Week: The End of Spring Racing

54¼ miles for the week of May 12th through May 18th

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:36 mpm, 67°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¼ miles, average pace 6:53 mpm, half mile warmp, then the Dow- 2 miles hard in 13:03, then ¾ mile easy, and the Dow- 2 miles return hard in 13:34, 78°F at 4AM [Ol/Dow]
W AM – 4 miles, average pace 7:46 mpm, 80°F at 4AM [Dow]
W PM – 5¼ miles, with 3 miles fairly hard (6:30, 6:27, and 6:19), overall average pace 6:46 mpm, 82°F at 7PM [B’Wood track]
Th – 5¼ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:03 mpm, 81°F at 4AM [Dow/Ol]
F - 4½ miles, easy recovery day ahead of Saturday’s Beach to Bay Relay Marathon, average pace 8:43, a nice cool 70°F at 11AM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Sa – 11¾ miles, with the beach relay leg at 6:16 mpm pace, 71°F at 7AM [Corpus Christi] We had a great binary number.
Su – 13½ miles average pace of 7:42 mpm, clear and sunny with fairly dry air, 84°F from Noon [FWRes/2x(2M-MBTrail)/FWRes]

Now that the Beach to Bay race is done and the 80°F mornings have arrived, it's time to go into Summer base-building. I'll still run a couple local races, the Firecracker 4 and the Clute Mosquito Chase, but my training will just be accumulating miles and aerobic base.

The new DS Trainer-13s arrived Friday afternoon, just in time before I left for Corpus. They’re a little heavier than the old Saucony Tangent-3s, my size 13 DST13s are about 12 ounces compared to 11 ounces for the Saucony shoes. I’m not sure why the laces look off center?

This was after Sunday's trail run, but those DS Trainers are still much too white. With the offset laces, my size 13s look like clown shoes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beach to Bay

Beach to Bay turned out to be another fun race. I even enjoyed the drive down the coast: the first third to the nuke power plant, then on to Palacios, over Port Lavaca Bay, through Tivoli and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, over Copano Bay, and finally over the Harbor Bridge into Corpus Christi.

I volunteered for the first leg on the beach. This year it was 2.3 miles out, then turnaround for 2.2 miles back to the exchange area. The sargassum was pretty thick from the water line all of the way to the dry sand. The dry sand was very soft, especially near the start and the exchange area. But the weather was about as good as you hope for Corpus Christi in the middle of May: Mostly Cloudy, 71*F with the dewpoint at 61*F, and a NorthEast wind at 10 mph (CCNAS).

I was able to get a pretty good position at the start, but there were plenty of small kids and slower people up front too. The first 100 yards were pretty chaotic. I saw someone trying to run backwards toward the start (Huh?). A small kid going very slow started crossing the field and a runner had to take a tumbling leap over him. I was immediately blocked in by a couple slow people and had to wheel around them, but at least I was able to avoid any collisions.

Once we finally cleared the starting line chaos, two groups formed: one along the seaweed on the wet sand and another on the dry sand where cars had been driving. I chose the dry sand. Most of it was decently packed, but there were still occasional soft spots. After the turnaround, we were completely outnumbered by the oncoming runners and the only option was to follow the people ahead of me on the wet sand through the seaweed. The wind was pretty noticeable, so I sped up to latch behind a guy up ahead of me. After a little over a quarter mile I passed him and asked him to pull in behind me, but I think he just fell back. There was another guy in orange shorts about 30 to 50 yards ahead at the tail end of a pace line. I kept trying to fight the wind and catch up to him but I never made it. The Bob Hall pier just past the exchange point didn't seem to ever get closer. I was slowing some and just tried to keep my place. I was ecstatic to see Sim at the middle of the exchange point ready to go. I ended up with 13:58 headed out (2.3M) and 13:53 back (2.1M). It wasn't as fast as I hoped, but I guess it wasn't too bad considering the soft sand and running by myself most of the way back into the wind.

Seaweed or soft sand

The Tornado Tigers

We ended up in 3rd for the Masters Divsion

At the right is LanceC; his Houston Strider's Team (including JohnH) edged us out for 2nd place.

It was a great day for all of the Tornado's teams

View Larger Map

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's Way Too Early for 2009, But...

I guess I'm too cheap. I signed up for the 2009 Houston Marathon before the price rises. I do miss marathon training every now and then. After this weekend's Beach to Bay, I'll go into Summer base building. I'd like to stay in the 50 miles per week range until Houston training begins in September.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Last Week: Time for New Shoes

52¼ miles for the week of May 5th through May 11th

M – 5¼ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:47 mpm, 75°F at 4AM [Dow/Ol]
Tu – 5¼ miles, average pace 6:46 mpm, half mile warmp, then the Dow- 2 miles hard in 12:53, then ¾ mile easy, and the Dow- 2 miles return hard in 12:56, 75°F at 4AM [Ol/Dow] This tempo run wasn’t too bad; a new PR for May on a warm and humid day.
W – 5 miles, with 4x800/400 recoveries, average pace 7:17 mpm, 800s in 2:50.7, 2:49.2, 2:45.9, and 2:46.1, 79°F at 7PM with a Gulf wind at 14 mph with gusts to 25 [B’Wood track]
Th – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:41 mpm, 78°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 7½ miles, easy recovery day ahead of Saturday’s Summer Kick-off 5K, average pace 8:40, 81°F at 9:30AM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Sa – 10 miles recovery at 7:32 mpm pace, 85°F at 12:40PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT-2M-MBT/SeaC] Very warm and humid, soaked shoes
Su – 14½ miles average pace of 7:31 mpm, much better than Saturday; clear and sunny with nice dry air, 83°F from 1PM [FWRes/2x(2M-MBTrail)-MacL/FWRes]

My left Achilles is still feeling a little tender. I ordered a pair of DS Trainer 13s to replace the old Saucony Tangent-3s, but they won’t arrive until Monday or Tuesday. I slept in Saturday instead of going to the Summer Kick-off 5K. The combination of my laziness, the cost of gasoline, warm and humid weather, and my tender Achilles was enough to keep me in bed.

The Beach to Bay Relay Marathon in Corpus Christi is this Saturday. I won't be able to sleep in and blow off that race.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Last Week: Out on the Trails

55½ miles for the week of April 27th through May 4th

M –4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:43 mpm, 60°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¾ miles, average pace 6:53 mpm, half mile warmp, then the Dow- 2 miles hard in 12:58, then ¾ mile easy, and the Dow- 2 miles return hard in 13:13, 56°F at 4AM very nice [Ol/Dow/Ol] I was disappointed with this tempo run. Conditions probably won’t be this good again (cool and no wind) for the next five months.
W AM – 4 miles, average pace 7:45 mpm, 73°F at 4AM [Dow-]
W PM – 5¾ miles, with 3x1M/400 recoveries, average pace 6:57 mpm, Miles in 5:52.7, 5:53.8 and 5:54.3, 76°F at 7PM with a Gulf wind at 13 mph with gusts to 20 [B’Wood track]
Th – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:21 mpm, 76°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 9, average pace 7:20, 84°F at 2:30PM [SeaC/NTrail-2x2M/SeaC]
Sa – 8 miles recovery at 8:23 mpm pace, 81°F at 12:30PM [FWRes]
Su – 13½ miles average pace of 7:31 mpm, clear and sunny to hazy sun later, 74°F to 76°F from 10AM [FWRes/2x2M-MBTrail/FWRes]

Saturday and Sunday’s runs were out on the river dike. I haven’t run this portion of the dike for a couple of years because of ongoing construction at the hurricane pumping station. On Sunday I combined this portion with a couple runs on the Bottomlands Park trails for a 13½ mile run with only one mile on a street. On Saturday I scared up several deer. Because there’s only a narrow strip of land along the dike, I got to watch them run at least a quarter mile. They’re so graceful. A little farther down I saw what looked like a small brown dog with spindly legs on the dike. It went into the tall grass and never reappeared. I stopped running and crept up to where it disappeared and discovered a small spotted fawn hiding in the grass. I’ve never seen one so close before. On Sunday there was a huge alligator at the base of the dike. It must’ve been at least 12 feet long.

My left Achilles is feeling a little tender again. I think my Saucony Tangent-3s are finally coming to their end. They’ve worked out well but they’re being discontinued in June. I might wait until the closeout sales to buy another pair. AAFES has DS Trainer-13s now at $81 so I might try them. REI has some closeout DS Trainer-12s for $55, but they only have sizes up to 12. I need 13s for my big feet.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Not Running-Related, But...

I'm a sucker for these type of stories: New York Times article Those women make me feel good about collegiate athletics.

Central Washington infielders carry a Western Oregon batter around the bases to let her complete her home run after she blew out her knee at first base.

That's real sportsmanship.