Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tour de Bayou 2 plus Neighborhood Run

3.51 miles, 23:36, 6:43 pace, Max HR = 176, Avg HR = 164, 9th place overall

I really had a blast during this race, and it may very well be the best technically run race that I've ever had. I went out strong but conservatively, and did my best to hold my pace the entire time. My splits for out-back were almost identical.

I stayed with the lead pack for about a half mile and they slowly pulled away. I followed a girl for the next half mile before making my move to pass her. On the turnaround I reeled in another runner over the course of more than a half mile, and really pushed hard to the finish after I passed him. I finished with nothing left, and it was a gratifying feeling to leave it out there on the relatively difficult course. I finished in ninth place overall. After the race I hung out with several of the Bayou City Road Runners. I like their club . . . the people are very friendly and their Wednesday runs end up at the Valhalla Pub.

Notes on the course -- the hills were at the very beginning and the very end, which made for a difficult final quarter mile. We passed through a wooded section I didn't even know about, and about half way through the 200 yards of woods I was overcome by the smell of onions. On my return through I looked around and found the large wild onion patch. I know I said this last week, but as much as I like running and racing in general, nothing so far compares to the enjoyment I've gotten from running cross country courses.

4.25 miles, 33:42, 7:56 pace, Max HR = 149, Avg HR = 137

Last week I ran when I got back home after the Tour de Bayou because I was feeling motivated from my tenth place finish, and I also wanted it to be a high mileage week. This week I also ran after the race for the same reason. But I had another motivating factor that all runners can understand -- new shoes! Finally after more than three months running on old shoes (one pair was a year old!), I finally have new shoes. I went back to ASICS 2120, the first pair I ever purchased when I started running. I've been through three pairs of Brooks and one ASICS in twelve months and 1600 miles. So I'm averaging 400 miles per pair. My ASICS 2120 and Brooks Trance 7 were my favorites, and carried the most miles. I'll file my two pairs of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 under the "you get what you pay for" category. They were cheaper ($100 plus 15% discount) than the Trance ($135 plus 15% discount), but the same price as the ASICS 2120 when they first came out ($95). I can't complain about the Adrenaline because they got me through the Dallas and Houston marathon, but they feel as though they wore out quicker than my other pairs. Since my ASICS are no longer manufactured, I scoured the web and bought two pairs before they are gone forever. SO . . . today's post-race run was mainly done because I wanted to try out my new ASICS (which only cost $60 each since they're last year's model). They did not disappoint.

I'm sure plenty of us have a "new shoes" story. I remember my grandfather bought me a pair of Nike shoes in 1988. I was in eighth grade and I needed a pair of athletic shoes for my gym class. This was a HUGE deal for me to have Nikes (I think they were "Air") because we weren't particularly affluent and they were really too expensive for me to own. I made it a point to try not to ask for very much, and I can't remember why I broke down and asked for these. Regardless, after owning them for less than a week, I left them in the locker room for about an hour. By the time I returned, they were gone. I spent the rest of the year using my regular boat shoes for gym because I knew I couldn't ask for another pair. The gym teacher would dock points off of your grade if you didn't have shoes/shirt/shorts/etc, but he turned a blind eye on me because he knew my family's situation. Anyway, every time I buy a pair of shoes I think about that time in my life, and I try to suppress the guilt of paying $100+ for a pair of shoes when other people are going without.

TDLY - 3.25 mile Shenandoah trail run with Julie, 31:09, 9:35 pace, Max HR = 166, Avg HR = 149. I got turned around at least once and used my watch's map guidance capability for the first time.

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