Monday, January 12, 2009

Week 17

40½ miles for the week (January 5th to 11th)
One more week until the Houston Marathon

M – 0, picked up a bad cold over the weekend and felt horrible, 49°F at 4AM
Tu – 0, still felt pretty bad, 47°F at 4AM
W - 6¼ miles with 3x1M/400, average pace 7:03 mpm with mile repeats at 6:02, 5:57, and 5:56, 60°F at 7PM
Th - 5¼ miles recovery run, average pace 8:28 mpm, some ground fog 56°F at 4AM
F - 9 miles general aerobic, average pace 6:51 mpm, 74°F from 10AM sunny, humid, and windy
Sa – 7 miles recovery run, average pace 8:47 mpm, 55°F after 5PM and windy
Su – 13 miles, average pace 6:54 mpm, a nice and cool 50°F starting at 10:30AM

I was pretty sick early in the week. I’m not sure how much it hurt me Wednesday. I was pleased that I felt better on the third mile than on the first, but they were all about ten seconds slower than the same workout last year. Friday was a good, fast run in fairly difficult conditions and Sunday’s run also went well. Despite the illness this ended up a promising week.

I haven’t completed the same training volume as previous years, but I’ve completed several difficult workouts with comparable results. I’m not sure what pace I’ll try to run. Of course weather is always a limiting factor. But even given perfect weather, I might try starting slower. I ran near 6:28 pace for about the first 17 miles last year. I’m scared of that pace right now. I think my best strategy would be to start out near 6:35 pace. That would give me a serious shot at a new PR while lessening the risk of a total breakdown.

But I would really like to break 2:50 before I get too old.

I've been able to resist obsessing over the weather up to now!

The contract weather service for the nuke plant has this forecast for Sunday:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers
Wind Variable 5-10 shifting to N 10-15 gust 20 Sunday
Precip 30% chance of rain
Low: 44ºF
High: 63ºF
This is the only source I've seen that predicts winds this strong for Sunday. The forecast is for the nuke plant out in Matagorda County where the winds are usually stronger. This weather service's forecasts are the most reliable I've found for this area.

Marathon Day is on the NWS forecast:
Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.
Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59.
Here's the NWS hourly graphical forecast.

The 7.5-day model now includes marathon morning. Conditions don't look as good here, with temperature near 60 and dewpoints in the 50s [the graph is in UTC, six hours ahead of Houston]. The NWS forecast discussion indicates there's quite a bit of uncertainty from Thursday on. Here's the text version of the 7.5-day model.

The Weather Channel tends to weight their long term predictions with seasonal averages. For Saturday night they show:
Overnight Low 45°F
Precip 10%
Wind: SSW 4 mph
Max. Humidity: 85%

For Sunday they show:
High 65°F
Precip 40%
Wind: WNW 8 mph
Max. Humidity: 73%
UV Index: 3 Moderate
Sunrise: 7:17 AM CT

AccuWeather has Saturday night and Sunday on their 6 to 10 day forecast. They predict:

Saturday Night, Jan 17
Low: 46 °F RealFeel®: 42 °F
Cloudy with a couple of showers possible

Sunday, Jan 18
High: 62 °F RealFeel®: 60 °F
Periods of rain and a thunderstorm

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