Saturday, February 27, 2010

A 9:00 AM start for the XTERRA hits my sweet spot

I went out for my run a little later than normal today because I had some early morning errands that I needed to get done. The effect of deviating from my normal routine can go two different ways. I've run better than average when starting later, rather than first thing in the morning. Most of the races I've run have started hours after the time that I'd normally do a weekend run. I've beaten my normal training pace during every one of those those events.  I've also performed poorly when running later in the day: after work or during my lunch hour. My best performances seem to happen during runs between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. I wish Garmin Connect had more options for analyzing historical metrics so I could easily compare my average pace across various start times. There are a few ways to do this but both are cumbersome. I'll leave that to another time.

I went out at 9:30 this morning with Friday's snow still fresh on the sides of the street. I wore my light duty Adidas trail shoes to help maintain traction. These shoes are very comfortable and they double as my weekend casual shoes but they don't provide the energy return that I get from the Brooks Adrenalines, especially my new GTS 10's. Although I'd been out earlier in the morning I'd misjudged the cold and my ears were very uncomfortable for the first third of my 3.7 mile run. The first half of the run was more of a serene plod than a hard training run. I was taking in the scene of recently fallen snow blanketing the neighborhood and was enjoying the experience fully until it occurred to me that I will be racing next weekend and I needed to train. I picked up my pace for the second half, averaging between 8:50 and 9:00 per mile. Overall I averaged around 9:30 for the full run.

Tomorrow I'll go for a little more distance and then move into taper mode prior to the March 7th event. I'm wondering what Stillwell Woods will look like after this week's snow. With another possible storm coming on Wednesday it could get tricky on race day. It doesn't really matter though. As long as they still hold the race I'll be there. It will be a new experience racing in the snow and the conditions will be the same for all the other runners. I'm fascinated to see what happens.

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