Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick Update

So what's happened since February?  Good question!  Leading up to Worlds, here were this year's races:
My next "A" race after the Houston Marathon was to be the Cooper River Run 10k, where I wanted to break 40 minutes.  I built a run training plan easing me into the tri season, with this goal in mind.
Feb 27: Rodeo Run 10k:  I ran this race with A and her mother, and finished in 40:52, well short of my sub-40 goal with one month to go...
Mar 27: Cooper River Bridge Run 10k:  I went home to SC to run this race with my family, with the goal of breaking 40 minutes firmly in mind.  We got dropped off a little later than usual, and a little further away than usual, so we had to run a mile or so to get into our start corral, and got there just before the start.  This had two results; 1) we were nice and warmed up when the race started, and 2) we had a lot more people in front of us than usual.  Since this race has 30,000+ participant, even being at the back of a seeded start corral can mean quite a few people to pass at race start.  My brother and I started out pretty fast, dodging, bobbing, and weaving around the slower people in front of us, and probably running 20% farther in the process.  A mile or so into the race we got separated, and I pounded the mile or so up the bridge, trying to keep from pushing too hard, and surging past all of the people who had overextended themselves.  I lost a lot of time off my target pace on the uphill, and heading over the crest I feared my chances of breaking 40 minutes were already gone.  Regardless, I pushed the downhill (just like my brother taught me the first year I ran it with him), and my pace went down to a minute or more below target pace.  I was flying!  A guy pulled in behind me and made a remark about me looking fresh, still running on my toes.  I lost track of my time in the second half of the race, but pushed as hard as I could and finished strong.  Result: 40:00.  That's right- I missed breaking 40 minutes by one second.  I still felt pretty good about my finish, since I don't think I left any extra seconds on the course- that was all I had.

Apr 24: Lone Star Olympic Triathlon (Galveston, TX):  I was really looking forward to this race, as I thought I had a pretty good chance of placing (and I was excited about my cycling improvements).  It was an insanely windy day, and they ended up canceling the swim.  My enthusiasm for the race waned somewhat with my best event removed, and I found myself struggling to get any sort of push on the run.  I felt like I let up quite a bit from miles 3-5, and then still finished pretty strong.  I finished a disappointing 11/92 in my AG, knowing that a swim leg would probably have put me on the podium.
May 16: TexasMan 1/2 Ironman (near Dallas, TX):  This race was hilly and hot!  A and I drove the course the day before and were amazed at how hilly it was!  This was my first race wearing a HR monitor, and I set some target ranges to maintain on the bike (140-145 bpm).  I finished the swim 1st in my AG, and headed out on the bike course.  I went slower and slower on the bike, but couldn't seem to go slowly enough to get my HR to come down.  It stayed over 160bpm for the first 10 miles of the race.  The bike was challenging, but went pretty well, and I think I could have pushed a little harder (though the best measure of a good bike leg is in how the run leg goes).  I had a good run, and stayed strong despite a hilly run course and blistering conditions.  There was no Gatorade on most of the run course, so I used the "emergency" electrolyte tabs that I had tucked in my jersey pocket.  I finished strong, in 5:12 (short of the 5:00 to which I had idly aspired), good for 4th place in my AG.

Jun 12: Corporate Track Meet:  This was easily my most fun event of the first half of 2010!  My company competes with a number of other major companies in the Houston area, and this race was a full-fledged track meet.  I'd never run a short distance race, and it was fantastic!  This race deserves a post of its own, but I did run a 5:20 mile (good for silver in the Team Mile), and ran about the same time or faster as the mile anchor of a mixed-distance relay, pulling my relay team from 3rd to 1st (GOLD!), and winning by over 30 seconds.  I also ran some ridiculously fast 800's in a few other relays, pulling my team from ignominy into contention.  Ah, the glory!

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