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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Can't Stand The Heat

I mean the basketball team, of course.

We spent last evening at Upper Decks watching the Mavs put up a pretty good fight against the supervillain Miami Heat. Then we came home to watch them blow it in the fourth quarter. This really has very little to do with my running life, except that it gives me a fun little parallel.

I hate the Miami Heat almost as much as the Texas heat.

Really, it's not that bad when you're up early enough, but even at 6:00 in the morning, the temperature is up in the mid-seventies and there's a perpetual state of humidity in the air. Upon returning to the apartment, I have to wring about a pound of sweat out of my shirts before I hang them up to dry out on the patio. This is not a pretty sight.

And it happens even when I'm not pushing that hard. Today, I made a point of holding myself back a bit for my first four miles. Over the next few weeks, I'm concentrating on finishing all my workouts, running as continuously as possible, and not getting injured. The last thing I want is to try and push an easy 5 mile run only to trip and break something weeks before the race that I'm spending hundreds of dollars to attend. This mid-week eight miler (the last one of this season) was a good chance to make myself run steadily for the entire thing.

When I got to my halfway point (which is a water fountain on Town Lake Trail), I stopped for a very quick drink, and then continued on almost immediately. I pushed myself a little harder on this second half, my theory being that as I get more tired on race day, it will take more energy to go the same speed. By the time I was at the five-mile mark, I had dropped into a pretty strong pace. With 2.5 miles to go, I figured out that I was about 40 seconds ahead of 8:00 mile pace for the day. This was all the motivation I needed for the last few miles. I kept my head up as I felt the sun rising on my back, managed to keep running through both of my troublesome stoplights, and by the time I finished, I had gained another minute on that pace, meaning my last two miles were my fastest at approximately 7:30 apiece.

It seemed an appropriate way for me to celebrate National Running Day, though it seems like I'm the only person in Austin who is celebrating at all. I've been watching Twitter and Google searching, and it doesn't seem like anyone connected with any running groups (or stores) is actually doing anything today, which is a little sad. Here we are, with a holiday celebrating one of my favorite hobbies, and I've got nowhere to party.

I blame LeBron.

Wednesday's Run:
75 Degrees / Cloudy
8.11 Miles
1 Hour, 2 Minutes, 17 Seconds

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