Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tour de Bayou (Practice) 2

Warm Up
2.73M, 19:52, 7:16 pace, Max HR = 178, Avg HR = 165, 32% Z5, 58% Z4
Warm Down

This course, run around the bowl of Spotts Park, is by far the hilliest of the series. Roger structured the course as two reps of an out-and-back course. Prior to the start I was given the yellow lei, signifying that I had the overall men's open lead. I've never run a race with a target on my back.

I went out easy hoping someone else would take the lead -- it's a common strategy for me to follow since there is always someone faster than me and going out faster than them would be foolish. But nobody took the bait this time so I had to go out mostly by myself. One guy stayed with me, and we alternated leads through the first quarter of the race. I settled in behind him right after the quarter mark of the race and waited to see what would happen.

Five minutes later, at the halfway point, I found out what would happen. The guy dropped the hammer and opened up a lead that I'd never challenge. Once he did a lap, he was done with me. He must have won by at least thirty seconds. I think he was using me as a guide for the course, which is a wise strategy since it's not too hard to lose the trail like Alejandro did in the first race. In fact, on the way back during the first lap I did miss a turn and the guy yelled at me before I got too far off track.

I introduced myself to the guy afterwards. His name is Joe and he's from the Houston area, although he just returned home after getting his degree at UT. I don't mean to imply that I'm a formidable challenger, but the way he disposed of me makes me think he could clean up at a bunch of area races, particularly in his age group. The people who just graduated from college seem to prioritize place late nights and beer far above PRs. I certainly did.

I was really happy with my race effort. My heart rate was high, indicating that I didn't slack off, and I knocked off 30 seconds from the time I posted last time on this course. (Actually more than 30, but this course was a bit shorter so I scaled up my current time to 20:13 to be able to compare it to the 2.78M course I ran in 20:44 on April 1 earlier this year.)

4:58 out
5:00 back
5:04 out
4:51 back

so, Lap 1 = 9:58 and lap 2 = 9:55.

Great consistency considering I didn't look at my watch and I was doing everything I could do to survive. What's even more encouraging to me is that I ran a hard 10M race just 2.5 days ago and didn't have any problem running this race.

I ran this race with my Vibram Five Fingers, and they felt great. Feeling the ground with your toes makes me feel like I have a good grip, even though Gaslight swears that cross country spikes would improve my time. And speaking of Gaslight, I was treated to the opportunity to run the warm down with her.

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