10 for Texas - The Woodlands
October 8, 2011
Age Group: 9/144
Weather: 74 Degree/Butt Crack-like Warmth (90% Humidity)
This was the first time I have done this 10 mile race but am familiar with the area as it starts and finishes on Market Street which is the same finish as Ironman Texas.
My friend Bobby came to the house and we drove over to the race which is about about 20 minutes away. We found rock star parking and walked over to the race expo area to find our friends Dave, Jenn, and Ruth Ann. They were hanging out in front of the Starbucks so we decided to go utilize the facilities - good call as the outdoor crappers had some long lines! Dave, Bobby and me got in about a mile warm-up run and then it was time to line up.
We started about 4 rows from the front as to not have to deal with zig-zagging around slower runners. This was also a good call because the gun went off and we made it out extremely clean. The plan was to not stop at any aid station so I carried a 20-oz bottle of EFS Drink in a handheld.
My goal was to hold back a little for the first two miles at around a 7:15 pace - big fail. Mile one a 6:33 split; mile two a 6:38 split. It was at about this point that the area just south of my calf and north of the achilles really tightened up on me - on both legs? And when I say "tighten up" I really mean hurt like hell.
At this point I decided to change my normal mid-foot strike stride to a more of a heal strike by elongating the stride a little and reducing the cadence. This helped alleviate the pain below my calf but required a little of a slow down. It was a little frustrating because my HR was way down and I still had a lot of matches to burn. From miles 3-7 I held a pace of around 7:15 and it was about this time when my arches began to tighten up - on both feet? And when I say "tighten up" I really mean hurt like hell.
With only about two miles to go at this point I just sucked it up and finished the race. My final time was about 3-4 minutes slower than I wanted with a pace of around 7:05/mi.
Why in the heck would I get this type of pain in my legs and arches?
Quite simple actually. New shoes. I made the mistake of racing in the new Brooks Pure Flow shoes with only about 25mi on them. Normally I do most of my training miles in Brooks Launch and they have a 9.5mm heal-to-toe drop. The new Brooks Pure shoes take a more minimalist approach by using a 4mm heal-to-toe drop. This is quite a contrast in drop and I knew better than to rush the transition so fast. Lesson painfully learned as it took me two days of no running for the tightness to subside.
Now this race was over two weeks ago and I have been running in the Pure Flow shoes ever since and absolutely love them. They are a great shoe that I am currently using for the majority of my training but they did take about 50-60 miles until my feet and legs felt completely comfortable.
Thanks for Reading,