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!

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