Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Running

Part 1 of 3: Race for the Pennant 5k.

Saturday 7:45 was the Race for the Pennant 5k race. I went into this race feeling a bit disadvantaged to the competition having done no speed work in months and also mostly avoiding the heat running on a treadmill for most of the last month so the goal I had was to just get an Age Grade award which included a family pack 4 tickets to an Astro's home game - but no PR likely given the weather. There was also 2 tickets advertized to just run the race but I'm afraid I might have tossed that - I sifted thru the packet and only found the Shirt to be something worth keeping and I tossed the rest of my packet so probably tossed the 2 free tickets - oh well - guess the kids won't be bring friends to the game. Anyway - a little pre-race warm-up - run into a couple of the Mind over Master's team and hang with them a bit then grab my spot at the front line. Race had 1547 finishers and was typical warm and muggy - Average 78°F with ~80% Humidity. Sean Wade lines up next to me on the start just before the gun goes off. We're off.

Split Pace HR
0.5 5:14 157
1.0 5:24 171
1.5 5:26 175
2.0 5:38 177
2.5 5:44 179
3.1 5:26 181 184 max (that's the highest HR I've seen in 6+ months)

Nothing too memorable during the race although the finish had this really nice downslope that fires right into MinuteMade Park where the Astro's play. Pretty neat to finish to 10s of thousand of chairs - (even if most were empty). I ended up 13th place with a time of 17:08 and as it turns out I WON my age group which gets a pair of shoes added to the 4 tickets :-). Sean is in my age group but he won the race so he took the Open Prize (round trip airlines tickets) and one other Master - Joe Flores took the Master's title (he's in the 45-49 AG) which left me with 1st place for 40-44s. I wasn't able to stick around for the awards as I had a couple more race I had to go to so I'm hoping those prizes aren't "must be present to win" - I could definately use new shoes.

Part 2 of 3: USCAA Reginal Track and Field Championship - 2008 - Tune-up Meet

This event is actually 6/14 with several companies represented but for Saturday it was just us (Shell) and Chevron competing for practice. Things got going around 10 am - I ran a 800m and a 1600m practice race which turned out to be very non-competetive - I got a 2:19 in the 800 not pushing too hard but winning by 20 seconds or so and a 5:30 in the 1600m not pushing at all but again still winning by ~45 seconds or so. The real meet on 6/14 should be much more competetive - I'd like to knock out the 5 mpm milestone in that.

Part 3 of 3: Sunday Training Run 20 miles - 15 Easy, 5 Marathon Pace

This one proved the highlight of the weekend for me. I ran this on a treadmill with extra emphasis the day prior on being hydrated and with the benefit of several hours on Saturday working hard in the heat so a little heat acclimation boost showed up. Target for first 15 was to keep 150 bpm, last 5 target was 161.


1 6:36 127
2 6:18 145
3 6:12 148
4 6:15 148
5 6:14 149
6 6:12 150
7 6:14 149
8 6:12 149
9 6:12 148
10 6:03 148
11 6:02 148
12 5:58 150
13 6:02 150
14 6:03 150
15 6:00 150

16 5:26 156
17 5:23 161
18 5:28 161 (That's a 16:50 5k PR Pace!)
19 5:29 161
20 5:31 162 (That's a 27:07 8k PR Pace!)

That turned out to average 6:00 mpm pace which is the fastest I've covered 20 miles ever including both Houston and Boston marathons - and the first 15 miles were run at EASY heartrate (150) - it was quite a step change performance - I'm thinking the magic combination was the 3 hours of working out in the heat + focus on hydration - boy if I could get that combination right on race day it would be something. To see the step change - here is the above data compared to all my treadmill running since I got the thing:

Just a side note but it is interesting to see the impact the heat had on my pace in that 5k - 5:30 average pace in a 5k with HR 170-180 bpm and next day 5:30 pace at a HR of 161.


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