Thursday, November 22, 2012

TXU Energy 2012 Turkey Trot Race Report

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to celebrate with family and friends, and to recognize the many blessings that each of us have been provided throughout our lives.  The most important blessing is our health, and in that regard I've always been happy to run a 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  Today was no exception!

I am delighted through my participation in this race to support the Sheltering Arms Senior Services, an excellent service organization.  

Lining up on the course beforehand I was happy to see my friends Allison and Laura, and families with kids.  Instilling fitness as a value in our children is critical, and it's best done in a fun way such as a race as it grabs the kids attention.  While race organizers should have made several more public announcements encouraging slower runners and walkers to line-up at the rear, this didn't bother me excessively this year since I was able to line-up within 20 feet of the start line.

The temperature and humidity was a significant factor in my overall performance, a spectator friendly but competitive runner slowing 64F and 88% humidity.  While I didn't let the conditions unduly affect me initially (I was happy with my first half 6:54 average pace), in the second half I slowed particularly in the 5th mile as my breathing was somewhat strained.  The rabid competitor in me was a bit disappointed in that my overall time of 44:15, (a 7:07 overall pace) was far from my P.R..  However, considering the decidedly sub-optimal weather conditions and the importance of not impacting my highest priority Houston Marathon race, less than two months away, the race was a success.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thoughts after a great Memorial Park ten miler

After enjoying a great ten mile run this morning at Houston's beautiful Memorial Park I posted afterward on Daily Mile my thoughts regarding the easy ways to achieve Kenyan Way Coach Sean Wade's effective and winning philosophy of negative splitting each and every training run and race.  In summary:
  1. Keep your breathing in control in the initial half of every training run or race.
  2. Use your Garmin Forerunner's settings to your advantage (i.e. auto-lap every mile and have only three items displayed on the watch: average pace for the current mile in largest font, average pace, and total distance.)
  3. Do not use the default instantaneous pace since it varies too much and will lead you to run with an inefficient erratic pace owing to spending an exorbitant amount of physical and mental effort repeatedly looking at and puzzling over your watch.
  4. At the half-way point glance at your Garmin's average pace. That pace, minus one or two seconds per mile, becomes your slowest target pace for the remaining miles.
  5. Do not to worry about the final mile's pace, as it will take care of itself.  Instead, focus on the hardest mile - the penultimate one.