Sunday, March 29, 2009
1. The weather was perfect. As I type this post it is 57 degrees in Austin and sunny. The timed race started at 8:45 am and I think the temperature was about 45 degrees. Here is a map of the race course.
2. The starting pen was great. Not to crowded. The bib numbers were color coded by speed. The elite runners were yellow and purple, faster timed runners wore blue, other timed runners wore red, untimed and fun runners wore white. I had a blue bib. I couldn't find anyone I trained with or any other friends, so I just chilled and meditated on the race I wanted to run. I warmed up prior to entering the pen. I train with music but never race with music because I like to hear the rhythm of my feet, the crowd noise and it helps me focus on my body. I like to visualize my race.
3. For those people who have not been to Austin, it is very hilly here. We have places with great views (The Oasis really does have the best sunset in Central Texas) but it makes running here challenging. I live in the northwest hills section of Austin, by the Green Belt on top of a big hill, so I run a lot of hills. That being said, this course is very hilly, sweeping through downtown and west Austin. Check out the elevation map.
4. Mile 1 is up the gradual hill of Congress Avenue, right toward the Capital Dome. The trick for me is not to go out to fast, don't let the adrenaline and the racers pull me faster than I want to go. especially since there is a hill after making the right from Congress to East 11th Street. My legs felt good and I got into my stride. My watch is not really good with splits so I'm not sure what the time is. Since my watch doesn't track mileage, I don't like to look for mile marker signs. It distracts me from focusing on my running.
5. Making the turn onto East 11th was were I saw the 1st casualties of the "too fast 1st mile". The hill on East 11th up to the left turn onto San Jacinto is short but pretty steep. One thing I always suggest is the run the course if you can. My training group ran the course 2 times so I knew the hill was coming and I adjusted.
6. Once on San Jacinto, there is a short, steep downhill. I try to keep my stride consistent and not over step and let gravity pull me from my stride. I like to run easy. I like my heart beat to be averaging in the 160s. My goal in training is to get my mile ideal mile time at the effort that keeps my heart rate in the 160s.
7. From San Jacinto the course turns left and heads west down 15th Street. This is hilly and about 2 miles. To me, this is make and break goal time stretch of the race. I felt good going over the hills past the cross-streets of Lavaca and Guadalupe. The uphill traveling west on 15th street, passing the cross-streets of San Antonio, Nueces and Rio Grande, is gradual then peaks at West Street. When I reached West Street, I looked back at the view of runners. The sea of colors, the flow of people was great. Then I headed downhill and ran toward West Austin
8. I headed up the continuing hill as West 15th Street became Enfield (crossing Windsor, Lorrain, Marshall, Murray, Lynn, Pease, Woodlawn,Hartford and Wethersfield). I realized I was not going to make my goal time of somewhere in the 51 minute range. That would require to me to run an 8:13 to 8:22 mile. I was slower than that. My legs were getting tired because of the hills. I stopped for water only once so far. Since it was not too hot, my hydration was solid.
9. The rest of the race was ok, though I know I was slower than I wanted to be. From Enfield, the course turns left and heads south on Winsted. This is another steady hill that can bite you. I used this stretch to adjust my stride and keep my pace. This is where the power of my legs can in handy. I have strong quads and glutes, so I muscled my way through this part. At the end of Winsted was Mile 4. Left on Veterans, traveling east, running past Austin High School on Stephen F. Austin. This is my least favorite part of the course. Right when you hit a wall, the scenery is kinda drab. I grab water for the second and last time. This was gut check time. Time to push through whatever walls I had for myself.
10. Mile 5, 6 and the .2 were hard yet gratifying. Most of mile 5 was on Cesar Chavez heading east. The course runs parallel with the Townlake Hike and Bike Trail, so this is familiar territory. I drive this road almost every day and again, it is sneaky hilly. My quads wanted some mercy, so I dug deep with my arms to push my legs, like pistons. I was breathing heavy. I was trying to figure out where to start my sprint. The course made the right onto the South First Street bridge and I was still bidding my time. right before the right turn on Riverside, I started to haul ass. I sprint in a controlled burst. I get my legs and arms pumping in rhythm. The screams and cheers of people are totally cool and really got me jacked. I couldn't tell what my time was officially but it was around 55:00 which is about a 8:50 mile. At least I hope so. Overall, this was a good race for me. It is my 1st race since I finished my MBA last May.
My training was good. I really have to work to get into shape because I am about 10lbs heavier than my marathon weight. When I started training, I was about 20lbs heavier. My ideal running weight, at least I think, is about 155lbs. I am going to continue to train and I plan to do a half marathon in the fall. I want to hit my goal weight by my birthday, June 30. My recoveries we good. I really concentrated on eating the right food at the right time. I also make it a monthly expense now to get massages. That helps tremendously. My shoes are lighter, (Mizuno Wave Elixer III) and I know I don't like wearing regular running shorts for racing. I like racing tights. I know I want to upgrade my watch to record pace and I want to do some more lifting so I can get stronger.
Overall I am pleased with my effort today and I am pumped to maintain this activity. I will get back to swimming and I want to do a triathlon soon. Between music and sports, I need to rob a bank to finance all this stuff.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Drummer Uriel Jones died on Tuesday March 24 at 74. He was one of three go to drummers in the Motown heyday (Benny Benjamin and Richard (Pistol) Allen were the other 2). Along with the immortal James Jamerson, he was the backbone to many hits. From Wikipedia,
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - both versions, by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell in 1967 and the 1970 remake by by Diana Ross, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, "Cloud Nine" by the Temptations (in which he was augmented by "Spider" Webb), Jr. Walker's "Home Cookin'," "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder.
I had the honor to be at the premiere of Standing in the Shadows of Motown here in Austin at the Paramount Theatre. Uriel was there along with other Funk Brothers. They played with local Austin musicians after the movie played and had a question/answer session. I had them sign my original Standing in the Shadows book, which was a straight up bass book focusing on the style of James Jamerson.
The world is a little less groovy today...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It's the knowing, sly eye play with Donovan, Ray and Jon. The longing for the deep groove I have shown them in the rehearsals. It's not their current bass player is terrible ( other than when massacres the classic bassline to Let's Get It On). It just I listen and understand the band's needs. I just "get" them.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Magaret Cho: I don't get her. I think her humor is just vulgar without any depth or relevance to anything meaningful. She is like Sarah Silverman, a potty mouth lady that thinks talking about sex in graphic terms is humor.
Indigo Girls: Quite a surprise. They were good.
Ladyhawke: I know she was getting a lot of buzz this year and her performance proved the buzz might be understated. She was great.
Thunderheist: They were ok. She was trying. I always feel it is hard for a DJ based group to follow full band becuase of the sonic differences. A good full band beats a DJ everyday.
Natalie Portman's Shaved Head: Overrated. I read about this band in an article about the origin of band names. I knew from reading the article this band care more about the band name than the craft of creating great songs or becoming good performers. They are young so hopefully they will get better.
Solange: Great. This woman has got the moves, the show, the tunes and the attitude. She has the charisma her sister lacks.
Natalie Portman's Shaved Head:
Sunday, March 22, 2009
My friend Belinda got me in as her plus one so I thank her for that. We didn't stay for the whole thing so I missed out on Kanye West. My crush on Solange was continued as she brought the house down for the second night in a row. We left after her set. I must give special props to the DJ Aaron LaCrate. The brother brought it on the wheels of steel...
Again, in my younger days I would have partied all-night. Perhaps with a little help, if you hear what I'm saying.
His blog post about the Austin party is here. Here are some pics. I'll post my pics of soon and my reviews of the performances up soon.
On The Wall For All-
Me the Swinger-
The Most Interesting Men in the World-
Perez is Hot-