Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shamrock'n 2008

Div PlacePlaceTimePace

The Race

I have to start again with a thank you. Thank you to my friends who support me enough to come out and cheer me on. Thank you to my training buddies who help me get to the race and succeed. And thank you to everyone who supports me in continuing with what has become one of my favorite things in life. I'm sorry you weren't here, Amanda, for this second round and season kickoff, but I know you'll be back running with us soon!

The race, in short, was awesome. The course was a bit different, but not horribly noticably so, the logistics seemed a bit cleaner (at least it took less time to park), and my performance was a PR, so I can't complain!

I started the race pacing Harry. He said when we were starting that he had decided to try and keep up with me, and I was happy for it. I usually start at about a 7:45 and end at an 8:15, averaging 8s. With Harry there (and a bit tired, as he was), we started at 8:15s and kept that steady.
Where I'm normally fairly tired through an entire run, and having to think about my breathing and staying strong, I felt chatty, was smiling, and was generally having a great race! Every race I've done in the past has been a very solitary thing (excepting Clarksburg), so to have someone with me for 10, someone to keep my mind off things, and someone to chat with (or to, most of the time), was fun!

From about 6 on, Harry began struggling, and while he made it all the way out to 10 before he broke off, he just couldn't keep up, and I wanted to keep my 8:15s at least. Let me cut to the end on Harry, he finished keeping up that 8:15 pace, and only had to take 20 steps, twice, at a walking pace to catch his breath, so PR to Harry, too! Now me, at that split point, I decided that I needed to burn through all of my extra stored up energy, and took those last three miles at a 7min pace, or so. I brought my 8:15 average down to 7:52 in three miles! I even got to sprint my last .1 miles, and loved every second of it. And now, I still feel fresh and ready to go! This was an awesome way to take a race.

Training Tidbits

I said earlier that I felt great afterwards. I still do. So looking back, I was interested to see what my effort level was. It felt like I kept a good, steady pace, but I always feel like that. So doing some heartrate comparisons... for CIM, I spent 20.4 miles, or 78% of the race in Zone 5. Something maybe okay for my "A" race, but probably a bit excessive for my overall health. This race, the one I'm feeling great in and did my best performance in, I stayed in Zone 4 for 9.3 miles, or 71% of the run. And did my performance slip? I did better on these 13.1 miles than I did on the first 13.1 at CIM, and I'm not in better shape, so I'd have to say that based on this single datapoint, keeping myself in Z4 seems to work pretty darned well for overall performance, and I know it's better for my overall fitness, too!

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