Saturday, April 24, 2010

Texas Round-Up 10k Report

This morning I awoke to run the Texas Round-Up 10k. I had not been planning on running this race until about a week and half ago when I found that my employer offered free entry to it. Well, who can argue with free?!

The last 10k race I ran was last year's Round-Up and my standing PR, 42:36. Now, I have certainly become a stronger runner over the past year, but with the exception of a 12k leg of a marathon relay last September, I have done no speed events, all triathlons and the Austin Marathon. And most of my training has been geared to more of the endurance events, so I really had no idea what to expect. My pipe dream of a goal was to break 40 minutes, but just bettering my PR would be great too.

I got to the race about an hour early to get a good warm-up in, drop off my clothes bag, and just not be rushed. Well, the warm-up was a little harder than I would have liked. I didn't do anything that I don't typically, I just felt more winded than I would have preferred. Oh well. Off to the portajohn, grab a sip of water, and head to the start line. Apparently I was not the only one that thought of this agenda. I got to the starting gates with about 5 minutes to go, this left me well back in the pack. I was about 10 yards behind the 11:30 pace sign; my goal pace was about 6:30. My work of weaving through the masses was set. The gun went off and a little more than a minute later I finally shuffled across the starting line and punched the button on my watch (my free entry fee was not for a timed bib).

Just as expected, it was a mad house and I was trying to running back my way through everyone without bumping or cutting them off. Things had thinned out a little bit by the time I hit the 1 mile marker at 7:08 according to my watch. Not as bad as it could have been but I definitely had a hard race in front of me if I wanted to pull of anything near 40. Luckily I found my stride and was able to hit mile 2 at about 13:30 and the 5k split at 20:45ish.

OK, breaking 40 was now out of the window, but a good race and a PR were easily in sight as I was still feeling pretty good and maintaining my pace. Miles 4 and 5 came and went without much ado, my pace still seemed fine. As I was making my way around the State Cemetery I came up on two guys wearing Rogue shirts. As I gave them the typical, "Go Rogue!" shout one of them shouted back to "Take it home!". That was the motivation I need to pound up the hill and turn towards downtown. Then there was the hill going up to the Capitol that is a killer. But I made it up that and realized that I was sitting at about 37:30. I wasn't sure how far I was from mile 6, but knew I had to be pretty close so I tried to pick it up a little and give it everything I could. Finally we worked our way around the Capitol and I knew I was close so I tried to pick it up another notch and just kick as hard as I could.

And then there was the final turn onto Congress and the straight away to the finish. As I crossed the line and stopped my watch I looked down to see 41:34 frozen on the display. I PRed by a minute! It wasn't the time that I had hoped for, and my time was certainly hampered by getting stuck at the back of the starting line, but still - I PRed!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Departure from running

I just finished reading an article on the new iPad and then a follow up article on the death of the book. A couple of years ago I remember there being a similar series of stories on the death of the CD and the iPod and iTunes. It prompted me to write a post on a now deleted blog and I guess I feel obliged to write again about this.

The post that I did before was about the death of the CD at the hands of iTunes and the mp3. I am a huge fan of albums and CDs. There is something about just putting on an album and letting it play all the way through and just listening to it. Not on shuffle. Not as background noise. But to simply sit down, listen to it, and let it engulf you. And if you play it on a decent stereo, the sound quality (noticably bass) is so much better than that of an mp3. How can we allow the CD and the album to die? There is such an experience to be had that we are losing.

But then I started looking at my CD collection and noticing its sheer size. The amount of CDs, the cases, and the liner notes. All of this...material. And it dawned on me. I need to try and embrace the mp3 not for the convenience factor but rather the environmental impact it can have.

I think the same argument can be made about books and ereaders. There is definitely an experience that is to be had flipping the pages of a book. The smell of a book store or a library. Even the black smudges that get on your fingers from reading a newspaper. But think of all of the trees that have been harvested over the years to bring us this. Are the words any different just because they come on a screen relative to a leaf of paper?

All this being said-I don't know if I will be looking at getting an iPad. Yes it is cool and pretty and can be a fine vessle for all that I mentioned above. But I am not so sure that I want to sail down this river in the exact fashion that Steve Jobs tells me to. Apple makes great products, don't get me wrong on that, but they are not open by any stretch of the imagination. If I want a laptop/netbook replacement I think I am going to want something that can surf the entire web, not just the Flash free portions. And if I want to download pictures onto my tablet, I don't want to have to go back to my computer to sync them on. And if Apple's history is any indication, it will be quite some time before they open their products up to this. I would like some choice as to where I buy my books and songs from. So I think I will hold off on getting a tablet.

It should be noted that I wrote this post on my iPhone. I never said I wasn't a hypocrite. More running posts to come; just felt like writing my thought down. Until next time, run friendly.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fatigue or Illness?

Yesterday morning I woke up after over 8 hours of sleep feeling as if I had hardly slept a wink. As I tried to go through my morning routine I become more exhausted. So I decided to call the office and let them know that I would be running a few hours late-thinking that all I needed was a little rest. Well, I never seemed to get any more energy. So I decided to just take the day off.

My training has not been as consistent as I would like it, but I have been getting more time in the gym in addition to my run and swim workouts. Today I made it into the office but am feeling only moderately more energetic. As I don't have any other symptoms I am hoping that this is just a simple case of fatigue, but am getting a tad worried.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone