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Day After the End of the World

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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:12 pm

Sorry I haven't posted all week but things have been busy getting everyone acclimated back into the school mode. My son is in 1st grade now and my daughter starts preschool next week. Lots of afternoon/evening activities going on right now.

So here is a short recap of the week...starting with last saturday's long run.

Saturday - 8 miles @ 11:04 pace
Like I said above to Mark, I ran this with the group that is currently running before the main group run on Saturday's. Some of our group is training for races in Oct. so they are running more mileage. However, the coaches say you can run early with them if you need to or want to. So I decided to run with them even though I knew I would essentially be running by myself. We ran 8 miles and I ran the 1st mile with them at 10:25. I could tell my effort was up already so I decided to back off and let them speed off into the distance. Good choice because there was a dew point of 80 degrees and the temp was already 82-83 at 5:10am. I ended up running the rest of the run between 10:50-11:25 pace but my HR was able to stay closer to long run effort, 162-172. I was disappointed to see my HR rise all the way up to 172 but in this weather you just have to survive.

Monday - 5.5 miles @ 10:24 pace
So on Sunday I went to the Baylor/SMU game and had a blast with my son. Got back on Monday and decided to take the kids to the YMCA to get my run in. Good choice as I felt really good. My legs were in a groove and my HR was LOW. I ran 9:50 for 4 of the miles after starting around 10:10-10:30. My HR hung around 155-162 for most of the run which is really low at that pace. I can't wait for cooler weather. I think my paces are going drop a lot once the temps drop.

Tuesday - 6.32 miles w/ 4x4 hill repeats
Today's run was pushed to the morning due to after school activities that the wife had to attend so I couldn't run with the group. I have to say hill workouts in the morning are SO MUCH EASIER because the sun isn't beating down on you. Also, due to time I only did 1 mile warmup/1 mile cooldown instead of 2 like the group does. My pace was pretty much the same for the hill repeats and I hit them in 43-49 secs (5:59-6:53 pace) so I was pleased with the effort. Also, I have to say, after taking off last Thursday and running slower on Saturday I am feeling much better now. I think that was the right call to cut back even more because I feel STRONG so far this week.

Wednesday - 6 miles @ 11:06 pace
Since I did Tuesday's run in the morning, today's run wasn't so bad. Most weeks I am only getting 7-8 hrs in between Tues and Wed but with 24 hrs in between I knew I would feel better even if the pace wasn't great. Pace was decent between 10:23-10:51 but the biggest thing was my HR was only 152-162 and that is OUTSIDE in the heat/humidity. It hasn't been that low at that pace EVER outside. I can't wait for the cold front coming on Saturday afternoon/evening.

Thursday - 5.54 miles @ 9:09 pace
96 degrees at the start, 93 degrees at the end....6:30-7:20pm, YUCK!!! We had 50 minutes of running to do today with 20 minutes of that at goal MP which is 9:00 pace for me. I have to say that I felt stronger during this run than I ever have and my HR was lower but man it is a ROUGH workout. I nailed the pace and even hit 8:52 for the first mile, then dropped it back to 8:58 for the second mile of MP and I was even able to keep my pace for the easy portion right around 9:10-9:25. The last part was probably a bit too fast but I have to start getting use to that pace for a much longer period of time. My HR was still in the upper 180s but once the temps start to drop I think my HR will too. I have seen it get as low as 160s in the mornings at that pace over the past few weeks, so I think I am heading in the right direction.

I have 10 in store on Saturday right before the front comes through. Everyone on Thursday was asking if we could move our long run to Sunday but the coaches kind of ignored us. Next week we start track workouts on Tuesdays....should be fun.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Ken Mello on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:59 am

At least the weather is starting to change, into my favorite season in Texas - "not summer." We actually slept with the windows open last night! (I wasnt actually sure that they still opened.....)

Your running looks great, and consistent, which is the most important thing. Keep it up!

I'll pop in now and again to give you a hard time and drop my pearls of wisdom ( Mad )
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:08 pm

@Ken Mello wrote:At least the weather is starting to change, into my favorite season in Texas - "not summer." We actually slept with the windows open last night! (I wasnt actually sure that they still opened.....)

Your running looks great, and consistent, which is the most important thing. Keep it up!

I'll pop in now and again to give you a hard time and drop my pearls of wisdom ( Mad )

Glad to see you around. Hope you stop by soon.

I couldn't agree with you more Ken...NOT summer is a great description for this time of year. The past few weeks have been better but still not great with 95-100% humidity and low 70s in the morning and low 90s during the day. We get our first real cool weather this coming week where we get into the mid 50s at night and low 80s during the day. I can't wait!!
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:29 pm

Boy am I doing a terrible job of keeping up with this blog. Here is last week's runs, since I didn't post about them earlier.

Saturday - 10 miles @ 10:09 pace
Ran early with 6 other runners and kept up with them for about 2 miles but then dropped down my pace as my HR was starting to rise higher than I wanted it to. Ran between 9:40-10:39 pace with an average HR between (154-172).

Monday - 5.5 miles @ 10:05 pace
We got our first taste of fall this morning, it was 59 degrees outside with a slight north wind. We haven't seen a 5 in the front of the temps since probably March. My body enjoyed the rest day on Sunday too because here were my splits:

12:41 (5 min walk warmup included) (HR = 121)
9:41 (157)
9:38 (158)
9:29 (161)
9:16 (163)
9:19 (164)

I haven't seen #s like that in years at that HR. I was super excited with the negative splits too and I was well below my easy HR levels.

Tuesday - 4x400 workout
Today was our first track workout with the group and we did 4x400s. Goal was to run them at 5k pace but not a single person came close to running that slow. My times were between 1:28-1:35 (5:43-6:18 pace) and I was one of the slower ones. I wasn't last though...hehehe.

Wednesday - 6 miles @ 10:43 pace
Another recovery/easy run today after last night's workout. It felt easier today probably because last night's workout was only about 5 miles instead of the 7 or so we had been doing during the last few hill workouts. Nothing special here except getting in the miles.

Thursday - 5.53 miles @ 9:03 pace
Another group run today and it was 50 minutes with 20 minutes at MP. I was able to push the pace down the pace to 8:50-8:55 due to pouring down rain and temps only being in the mid 70s rather than mid 90s like it has been. I felt strong and solid during this run. Still not sure I can keep up 9:00 pace for 26.2 miles but I am pretty sure my 1/2 marathon PR is going to get obliterated come October.

Saturday - 12 miles @ 9:57 pace
First long run under 10 minute pace where my HR was actually under the long run HR range. Makes me think I have a shot at a very nice PR come December and with even better weather it could be even better than I think. Today was still 68-70 degrees with 100% humidity but I will take it for now. Also, I broke this run up into halves because I had to leave early so I ran 6 with the early group and then ran 6 with the main group. I had a 2-4 minute break in between each run which didn't really affect me all that much. I hope to make the group run next Saturday and I can do the entire run with them this week because it has been a few weeks now where I haven't run with the main group. It was nice being out there with more people.

Monday - 5.5 miles @ 10:17 pace
Another great run this morning with a negative split and light drizzly rain. I enjoy running in the rain for some reason. Not sure why but it was nice. Pace was 9:37-9:54 and my HR never got above 163...SWEET!!

Tomorrow's workout is 6x400 and I have to again run it on my own due to kid's after school activities. Boy, being a parent of an elementary kid is brutal schedule wise the first few months of the school year.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Peg Coover on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:29 am

Your paces are definitely coming down!
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:48 pm

You are running very well, Joel. Keep up the excellent work.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:47 pm

Thanks Peg and Michele. I feel like my times are coming down. Here are how things went the last 2 runs.

Tuesday - 6x400 workout @ 1:31-1:38 (5:54-6:28 pace)
I had to run this one in the morning but I still was able to meet up with about 6 others from the running group. The workout was 6x400 and I was able to keep a pretty consistent pace throughout. I went slower on the first couple of laps since we only had a 200 jog in between rather than the 400 we had last week. The first 2 cam in at 1:38 and 1:36. The last 4 were 1:32, 1:31, 1:32 and 1:31. I didn't really crank it down on the last one like I did last week because I had actually lost track of how many I had done due to being on the opposite side of the track and lost track of the repeats. Oh well, it was a solid workout.

Wednesday - 6 miles @ 10:38 pace
Since I had 24 hours in between runs this week, this run went a lot better than the last few which only had 7-8 hours in between them the past few weeks. I was able to take it slow and allow my HR to stay in the mid 150s for most of the run. I kept getting faster and faster each mile as I loosened up. Felt really good and the temps were pretty nice too, only 67 degrees which is a HUGE difference compared to 78-80 last week.

13:04 (132)
10:26 (154)
10:15 (156)
10:12 (156)
10:00 (155)
9:47 (156)

I haven't seen those paces at that HR EVER...I am getting excited about my 1/2 marathon in 6 weeks.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:28 pm

The one bad thing about my job is I am on call 1 out of every 5 weeks and during that week it is like "hell" on earth. I hate that week each time it comes around but the rest of my job is great. That is the reason I haven't been around for a while, just got done with being on-call....thank goodness!

Anyways, my week last week was pretty good. The only major thing to talk about was I ran another 1 mile trial. In the Spring when I trained with the running group we did two 1 mile time trials, one at the beginning and one at the end. First one, I got 6:40 which was decent but not where I wanted to be, by the end of the 7-8 week period I had dropped my time to 6:28. Getting there but not where I ultimately want to be.


1 Mile Time Trial
So on Tuesday, we had another 1 mile time trial and there were about 20-30 of us running it. I know I am slower than these guys during longer distance workouts but I wasn't sure what to expect in a 1 mile race. We started out with a 1 1/2 mile warmup and I was clearly the slowest, I was running about 9:40-9:50 pace while the rest of them were easily doing 9:00-9:30 pace. I nearly got lapped. We finished the warmup, did some strides and then set out to the start line. The head coach asked us before if any of us had ever run a 1 mile competitively before and only a handful of us raised our hands. He asked that the faster runners get to the front. I started in the 2nd row because I just wasn't sure how the rest of them would do. The signal went off to start and I headed out in probably 8-10th place and I could tell I was pushing too hard so I backed off and let about 5-7 guys in front of me so I was sitting in probably 15th place after the first lap. I was right because my first 200 was 5:40 pace and I knew I couldn't hold that pace. I settled into a nice rhythm on the remainder of the first lap and hit 1:28 (5:52 pace) and I backed off a touch on lap 2, 3:04 (6:08) pace but I started to gain on some of the folks who had passed me earlier. I was boxed in at one point on lap 3 but I was able to muscle my way through and hit lap 3 in 4:36 (6:08 pace). The final lap I passed all but 5 people and I was step for step with one other guy. I let him come up beside me and on the final 100 meters I turned it on to beat him and came in 5th place with a time of 6:18.

Another 10 secs off my time and I think if I had done manual laps I would have known to kick it up a bit in that final lap because I thought I was on 6:08 pace throughout most of the race. I knew the garmin would be off a bit and I am not very good at manual so that is why I went with the auto lap but next time I think I may try manual. I was super stoked to come in 5th overall and that I was able to pass that guy at the end. Gave me a huge boost mentally. Everyone after the race was shocked that I ran that kind of time based on how our workouts have gone but like I told one of them, it is not how fast you go in the warmup or a workout but it is how fast you go when the gun goes off.

Other than that, just putting in the miles and took it slower than normal later in the week to make sure I didn't push myself to hard after the time trial.

1/2 marathon is in 4 weeks and I am getting excited. I haven't come up with a goal time yet but I think I will talk it over with some of the coaches to try and get a better idea over the next few weeks.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Mark B on Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:08 pm

Nice job, Speedy!
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  ounce on Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:35 pm

"Sandbagging" comes to mind. Razz

Good job.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  T Miller on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:17 am

@ounce wrote:"Sandbagging" comes to mind. Razz

Good job.

Ha, great job Joel.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  ounce on Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:47 am

Don't lose your acclimatization to heat, just yet, Joel. The Houston Half has a bad history of 'humid and warm' conditions on race day.

We get all used to mornings like this morning's temps, but a starting temp of 68, dewpoint of 67, and full sun makes you wonder where the cool temps went. Bring sunglasses, as the sun will be in your face on the way back.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  healdgator on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:55 am

Havent been on here much since I'm not really running at the moment, but saw your blog and wanted to stop by to say good luck, Joel.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:56 pm

Mark - Thanks man, looks like you are pretty speedy yourself setting a new 5k PR oh a whim.

Oz - I knew someone was going to say that, I just thought it was going to be Michael though. Honestly, I feel a little bit like I am "sandbagging" but I just don't have the endurance yet for the long runs to run at the speeds all the "calculators" are telling me I should be running. Most of my long runs with the group have been between 9:40-10:30 pace and my HR has been higher than it should be for a long run. I realize the heat has something to do with that but some of those runs it has been close to my anaerobic threshold. I don't know really what to think at this point but I am hoping the 1/2 in less than 4 weeks will tell me more.

As for the heat acclimatization, the 1 mile time trial was done in 85+ temps with high humidity. Up until the past week or so it hasn't been great weather and I still run in the evenings with the group during the week so I hope to not lose the acclimatization. I am fully aware of the terrible weather that the Houston Half is notorious for, I have run it 2 times and both times the weather has SUCKED, including last year where it was exactly like you stated, 68 with a dewpoint of 67. I don't wear sunglasses but I do wear a hat that helps with the sun in my face.

Tim - Thanks, not as fast as you but I am slowing getting there. Smile

healdgator - Thanks, glad to see you around again. Florida is looking good so far this year and I am so glad you guys beat the Aggies....I wish the Aggies all kinds of pain in the SEC....they deserve every loss they get.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:11 pm

Not much to report in the last week or so except I ran 11.5 miles on the mill this weekend due to my wife having to make an emergency trip up to Dallas to help her sister who just moved there from Canada. I was supposed to do 12 but I am only allowed to leave my kids at the daycare area for 2 hours and most of my 12 mile long runs take right at 2 hrs to do. I even had to speed up a bit to get to 11.5 because my legs just weren't having it during the first half of the run. Oh well, I got in the miles and I felt pretty good afterwards.

The only other major workout I had was yesterday where I did 4x800. My coach is a big proponent of running the Yasso 800s so we will work up to 10 during the peak weeks. My goal for the 800s was supposed to be 4:00 since my goal for the marathon is 4 hrs but I settled into a pretty solid pace of 7:10-7:15 and ended up running all 4 of them in 3:42, 3:41, 3:40 and 3:39. I could have gone a lot faster but I didn't want to push it more than I was already. Ironically, the McMillan calculator says I should be able to run a 3:44 in the marathon based on my 1 mile time trial. So weird that I fell right in line with that on the 800s because I was planning on running 4:00 but ended up just settling into that speed. I felt controlled and not pushing it so hard that I would collapse. I am so confused on what to think since my PR in the marathon is 4:59 but I feel like I have a shot at 4:15 but not 3:44. Hmm, this 1/2 marathon can't get here fast enough.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:11 pm

Sorry it has been a while, things are keeping me busy but I had a great past few days of running.

Saturday - 14 miles @ 10:17 pace
I had to run this one on my own again due to my wife once again going out of town. This time to do some antique shopping with a girlfriend of hers in Rockport. Anyways, I had some very solid splits and my HR was right in the right zone. I even went sub-10 on a few miles and I haven't done that on my own in a long time and my HR stayed LOW. 9:53-10:13 and 160-167 for the HR. NICE!!

Monday - 6 miles @ 9:54 pace
The weather was PERFECT for this run, 52-54 degrees, it hasn't been that low since probably March. I was feeling it today too. My legs felt fresh, my body was in rhythm and I was just cruising. I had a similar HR as Saturday but the pace was MUCH faster.

12:53 (5 min warmup)
9:46 (158)
9:34 (162)
9:25 (161)
8:52 (161)
8:55 (166)

I haven't run sub-9 at that low of a HR ever. Man it felt good, except in mile 5 about 5 high school kids made me feel slow as they were just finishing up their run, they were probably running sub-7s. I ran by them after they had stopped and I could tell they had been working....at least that made me feel better.

Tuesday - 2x1 mile w/ 400 jog
I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to handle today after running a bit faster than normal yesterday but my goal was 7:10 or faster. Well, I destroyed that and went 6:58 and 7:01 on both of the mile repeats. Based on my 1 mile time trial a few weeks ago I should be running these anywhere from 6:58-7:12 so I was glad to see I was on the faster side of things. I was disappointed that I didn't go sub-7 on the 2nd one but I forgot to turn off auto-lap and my watch was showing 6:49 for 1 mile and the extra .03 added another 12 secs as I slowed a bit more than I thought at the end. Oh well, still a really solid workout and I can't believe I was able to hold it together that well on the 2nd one after going out faster than I thought I would on the 1st one.

Wednesday - 6 miles @ 11:15 pace
Nice and slow easy recovery run, ran 10:41-10:53 pace and my HR never went above 147 on average. BAM!!

Only 2 1/2 weeks until my 1/2 marathon. I am still trying to narrow down a goal time but I think 1:45-1:49 sounds doable at this point. Based on my time trial I should be able to go 1:41 but I am pretty sure that is not happening at this point.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:56 am

Well I haven't posted again for a while and after running 16 miles a couple of weeks ago things have kind of fallen apart. I have had to miss 2 runs and a lot of my recent runs have been terrible, 10:40s or slower even on perfect weather days. I think part of it is a lack of sleep and a part of it is a nagging injury I can't seem to get rid of now. It seems I did something to my left hip which got everything out of kilter and different parts of my left leg such as my hamstring, groin, knee and even my foot have been acting up since then too. Also, the shoes, Asics Speedstar 5's, I have been wearing for the past year have all of a suddent started giving me a blister on the top of my foot. I think where the tongue is sewn into the shoe is curling in and causing the blisters so I will have to go back to my old Nike Air Pegasus for the race this weekend. I don't trust the Speedstars anymore because all 3 pair seem to be doing it now. It started with just 1 pair but I think over time the way my foot strikes and the more worn in the shoe the worse the issue gets.

Anyways, I am now only 4 days until my 1/2 marathon and I am starting to come down with some allergies...ARGH!!! Combine that with the leg issues and I am not very confident in how this race is going to go. The ironic thing is the weather looks to be about perfect though with temps starting around 45 degrees and should only rise to about mid 50s or so by the end of the race if that much. I am feverishly taking allergy meds to try and control the allergies but they aren't completely working. I am hoping this cold air coming in on Friday knocks all this crud out of here. Right now the lows are in the low 70s with highs around 88-90 degrees. Also, I haven't run since Monday and I don't think I will run anymore this week to allow enough time for my leg to heal....so far so good in that area. I can no longer feel the issues with the hip but I won't know for sure until race day most likely.

I will try and post more later this week if I get a chance but had this race been a few weeks ago I would have been a lot more optimistic about my chances at a good race, now not so much.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Mark B on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:46 pm

Hey, Speedy! You're turning in some impressively fast times on these runs lately. That's very cool!

It also might have something to do with your recent bout of aches, pains and blisters. You may be altering your stride a bit as you pick up the pace, and feeling the effects later. You might want to try to stretch a little more after the runs (and, of course, not overdo the fast stuff) and see if that helps.

Here's hoping everything settles down for the half marathon! Think relaxed and light as you run it, and it might help.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:20 pm

@Mark B wrote:Hey, Speedy! You're turning in some impressively fast times on these runs lately. That's very cool!

It also might have something to do with your recent bout of aches, pains and blisters. You may be altering your stride a bit as you pick up the pace, and feeling the effects later. You might want to try to stretch a little more after the runs (and, of course, not overdo the fast stuff) and see if that helps.

Here's hoping everything settles down for the half marathon! Think relaxed and light as you run it, and it might help.

I agree, the blisters pretty much have to do with the way my foot is striking but not because of the faster pace but I think because of the altering of my stride after injuring my leg a few weeks ago. I have been stretching more after runs which has helped and the 2 runs I skipped recently were both track workouts. I am trying to listen to my body before things get so bad I can't race. I believe I listened early enough on the injury that I should be ok on that front.

The part I am more worried about is my allergies. A cold front is coming this evening and I think it should push all this pollen/ragweed out of here. I just hope it is in time for me to feel better by Sunday.

I plan on staying relaxed during the race, I have had my best races when I just relax and "run" and not worry about everything else. I seem to be struggling with the worrying before this race.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:45 pm

Have you tried Claritin or Zytrec for the allergies? I was having trouble here back in September with ragweed and such and the Claritin cleared me up, but did not make me drowsy at all.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:33 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Have you tried Claritin or Zytrec for the allergies? I was having trouble here back in September with ragweed and such and the Claritin cleared me up, but did not make me drowsy at all.

I take Claritin D and it helps but it doesn't clear me out all the way when the ragweed is this high. It helps most of the time but whenever they say EXTREME on the ragweed I just have to grin and bear it until it dies down. I have come to find out this past year that ragweed is my arch nemesis when it comes to allergies. I can deal with most other pollens but ragweed gets me every time. Plus, a lot of my friends are saying they are dealing with the same thing right now in Houston so I know it isn't just me. If I can keep it out of my chest I should be fine. Also, I am just nervous like everyone else right before a race.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Joel H on Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:47 pm

WOOOOHOOOO....cold front came through and I feel like a new man. The ragweed is gone, the pounding headache is gone, the pressure in my ears is gone and I can breathe normally again. Thank goodness! Now I can start worrying about my leg again, which seems to almost be a non-issue at this point. I felt it a tiny bit yesterday but so far I haven't felt any hint of it today.

The forecast now says 40-42 at the start and 47-50 with a NORTH wind at the finish....BAM!! Perfect racing weather for me. We haven't had that type of weather since probably February. I love this kind of weather!! Now I need to find some throw away clothes because even I get chilly before a race in that kind of weather. I am pretty sure I haven't said that before a race since Disney World 2010.

Current pacing strategy is to go out with a few of the guys from my running group at 9:00 pace and drop it down to around 8:25-8:45 after the first 2 miles or so. Not sure if I will be able to hold on to that kind of pace for 13.1 miles but based on my recent training runs I think I can handle the slower end of that range pretty well. I am getting excited.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:09 pm

If I can (I'm running a half on Sunday - I know, I know, NY is next Sunday, but we all know that is a race), then you can as your training is far and away ahead of mine. Trust that training, Joel. You can do it.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  Mark B on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:17 pm

@Joel H wrote:... I can breathe normally again. Thank goodness! Now I can start worrying about my leg again...

Dang, Joel! That didn't long to pivot from one catastrophe to the next. Wink

Good luck out there. Looking forward to hearing about a fantastic race.
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Re: Day After the End of the World

Post  ounce on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:46 pm

Good luck, Joel. Weather won't be a blame, but we haven't seen weather this cool since March, so warm up well.
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