Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Pretty Good Week

Days Since Last Run Below 70°F: 66 (May 16; Spring was very nice this year)

47½ miles for the week of July 14th through July 20th

M – sleep, 79°F at 4AM
Tu – 6¾ miles, average pace 7:08 mpm, 81°F at 4AM leaving wet shoe-prints in the kitchen after this run [Dow/2xBS]
W AM – 5 miles, average pace 7:32 mpm, 79°F at 4AM [Dow/Ol]
W PM – 5½ miles, 2x2400/400rec, overall average pace 6:58 mpm, 2400s in 9:11.8 and 9:00.1, felt nice to finish stronger, 85°F at 7PM [B’Wood]
Th – sleep again, 77°F at 4AM
F - 10 miles, 7:27 mpm average pace, 88°F starting at 9:30AM [SeaC/SSTrail-MBT-2M-MBT/SeaC]
Sa – 7½ miles, average pace 8:47, 83°F at 9:20AM [SeaC/SSTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 12¾ miles, average pace of 7:34 mpm, started under the moon at 5:30AM, 80°F to 79°F [Dow/BS/SeaC/SSTrail/SeaC]

This was a pretty good week. I even woke early enough to run Sunday’s run at the coolest time of the day, finishing just after sunrise. I was surprised by how much those few degrees helped. It felt great to be limited by my legs instead of how hot my head feels. I enjoy running hard and burning my legs so much more than loping along on the edge of heat exhaustion. My legs are even still a little sore after this week. It feels so good!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Week of Summer Base-Building

Days Since Last Run Below 70°F: 59 (May 16; Spring was very nice this year)

53¼ miles for the week of July 7th through July 13th

M – 4 miles, recovery run, average pace 8:28 mpm, 77°F at 4AM [Dow-]
Tu – 5¾ miles, average pace 7:14 mpm, 84°F at 4AM [Dow/BS]
W AM – 4¾ miles, average pace 7:48 mpm, 83°F at 4AM [Dow]
W PM – 7 miles, 3x1Mile/400rec, overall average pace 7:34 mpm, Miles in 5:59.0, 5:59.1, and 6:08.5, 86°F at 7PM [B’Wood]
Th – 4 miles, recovery run, average pace 8:42 mpm, 84°F at 4AM [Dow-]
F - 10 miles, 7:44 mpm average pace, 89°F starting at 10AM [SeaC/SSTrail-MBT-2M-MBT/SeaC]
Sa – 8 miles, average pace 8:31, 90°F at 1PM [SeaC/SSTrail-Brz-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 12½ miles, average pace of 8:23 mpm, sunny and humid - started out good, but still crashed, 86°F to 88°F from before 9AM [SeaC/SSTrail-MBT -2x(2M-MBT)/SeaC]

I was pretty pleased with Friday’s run. It’s nice to be able to run 10 miles under 80 minutes in the Summer and I was even able to pick up the pace on the way home. Sunday’s run was supposed to be an early start, but I didn’t make it out the door until 8:40. That’s too late to squeeze in a medium long run before the sun gets too high. I started out pretty aggressively and paid for it the last few miles.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Last Week's Training: Meltdown

Days Since Last Run Below 70°F: 52 (May 16, Spring was very nice this year)

53¼ miles for the week of June 30th through July 6th

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 8:40 mpm, 84°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¾ miles, average pace 7:16 mpm, a pretty nice morning, 77°F at 4AM [Dow/BS]
W – 7½ miles, 5x1000/400rec, overall average pace 7:21 mpm, 1,000s in 3:39.8, 3:41.0, 3:36.9, 3:38.5, and 3:36.6, 84°F at 7PM [B’Wood]
Th – 5¼ miles, recovery run, average pace 9:21 mpm, 87°F at 11AM [RiceU]
F - 8 miles with a 4-mile race at 6:17 mpm average pace, 83°F starting at 7:30AM [FC4]
Sa – 7½ miles, average pace 8:38, 89°F at 1PM [SeaC/SSTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 14½ miles, average pace of 8:54 mpm, sunny and humid - crashed horribly with dehydration and heat exhaustion, 86°F to 89°F from 9AM [FWRes/MacL-2x(2M-MBTrail)-MacL/FWRes]

After Friday's Firecracker 4, I was wondering whether I was using the heat and humidity as an excuse to avoid running hard. But Sunday I had a total meltdown. I don't doubt myself now. I didn't get that late a start and the heat really wasn't extreme. But I tried to finish a full 14½ mile reservoir run after a mildly aggressive start on a rapidly warming sunny morning. I ran the first 3½ miles around the reservoir in 28:09, an 8:03 mpm pace. I thought I was running much faster than that, and as the run continued it got more difficult. At about 10 miles I stopped for a few minutes to drink some water at the park. I could either run by the Sea Center for 2 miles home or go back around the reservoir for about 4½ miles home. I reasoned most of it would be into the wind, so I decided on the longer reservoir route. But the sun was devastating. The drainage district has been raising the elevation of the dike along the reservoir and took out all of the shade trees that were growing along the sides of the dike. I was managing OK until I turned with the wind. I slowed to a stagger. When I finally reached a tree shaded area I just crashed to the ground for a few minutes. After recovering enough to make it home (and getting bitten in the back by fireants) I staggered the last mile home. The return 3½ miles around the reservoir took me 36:23. That's a 10:24 pace. My average heartrate over that segment was 145 and I was steady at 160 when I finally made it home. It was a complete meltdown.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

13th Firecracker Four

This race is always warm and humid and last year it was held in a steady rain with several deep puddles. This year, it was in the 70s when I woke and with our daily low temperature normally arriving close to the 7:30 start time, race conditions looked promising. But the sun came up blazing, and by 7AM it was already over 80. The average temperature for Clute from 7 to 8 ended up at 83*F. That's not bad for this race, but not what I was hoping for earlier that morning.
There was a large group of High School kids and they took off fast at the start. I settled in behind SuzieW, one of the top Houston Area female masters. Before the half mile point my main competition in the Masters, JorgeA passed me; I knew I was going to have to struggle to keep in contact with him. I ran a 6:08 first mile and was happy with that time. A sub-25 would be nice today. I stayed about 10 yards behind Jorge and we passed a few High School kids. I was pretty disappointed with a 6:23 for the second mile. Jorge seemed to slow considerably and I passed him just after the second mile. There were a few High School kids several hundred yards in front of me, including LaurenS, our state champion, and Xavier, our 13 year old Intermediate School phenomenon. But they were too far ahead of me to even consider catching up to them. I ended up running the rest of the race by myself. But I was happy to at least hold onto my pace, finishing mile 3 in 6:20 and mile 4 in 6:18. Overall time was a 25:08.
I think I can run faster than that, but I did get my second fastest time for this race. This is my first race in over a month and I think I've lost some of that "race drive". But I wonder sometimes whether I use the heat and humidity as a crutch. My four mile split from the Bayou City 10K just a few months ago was nearly a minute faster than today's race. I'm running more miles now than I was in February and March. My effort during the hard runs seems to be just as hard but the runs are so much slower. My average heart rate for this race was only 161 bpm. During the Bayou City 10K I averaged 169 bpm and the other Spring races were 165 to 169. Am I just dogging it?

With the warming sun, the temperature was 83.0 degrees at Clute and 79 with a 74 degree dewpoint farther inland at Angleton.

OrvilleK ran a 33:38 to take the over 75-year old group

BruceS, an Operator at the nuke plant

Here's a story from the local paper.
The race results.

Did you see Jordan Hasay run the Olympic Trials 1500 semi-s?
She looks quite a bit like our local LaurenS. I was amazed to watch that little 16-year old passing all of those elite women. Wow!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An Ultra-Nuke

Here's an article about a Nuclear Plant Operator at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant who's running on the US 24-hour ultra team. The 6th Annual World Championship 24-Hour Run of the International Association of Ultrarunners will be held in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 18-19 of this year.

I don't know how he does it. 26.21875 miles is more than enough for this South Texas nuke. Maybe if I had hair like his, ....????