Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Most Popular Loneliest Half-Marathon



I just finished the first Xperiathon race logging 13.1 miles with my iPhone.  Participants in this race start at the same time all over the world.  It was a pleasant run here in Missouri. 


Even though I was alone, waking up at 5am on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I had a good time.  I took a few pictures and even a couple video clips.


For some of the pictures I set my phone down, set a timer, ran up a little bit, then ran back for the phone.  Being a self-supported race I had to carry all my hydration and nutrition, I was the race photographer, race planner and race official.  I even cheered myself on when I needed some motivation.  A long run like this always includes long prayer time.  Me and God, lots to talk about.

About 8 miles into it, I thought it would be cool to capture a thought or two.

Since I was race director, the route went by a few landmarks, Waffle House and my friends Michael and Rhonda’s house.


At about mile 11, I had a hankering to record another video clip.  This time, I can tell the glucose levels are getting low…

Santa met me at mile 12…


I enjoyed the last few ounces of water at my virtual finish line.  No one was there.  Made it home before everyone woke up.  A morning of solitude, prayer and running.



[Most of the readers can stop reading here.  If you want to see depths of running nerd-dom, read on…nerd]

Nerd Level Data Crunching

One or two of you may be interested in the tech behind the scenes…here we go.

I had 2 GPS units going.  A Garmin Forerunner 305 watch and an iPhone 4 running Mapmyrun.

The iPhone was for posting purposes for the race.  The watch maprunwas for lap time management.  I would periodically walk to tweak the pace.  This prevented me from going into the red zone (90% MHR) too soon.  I found this technique to work great when I’m not fully trained for a race.

I mapped the route the night before using

You needed to start the race with 30 minutes, before or after, 12:00 CET (Central European Time).  I started with 3 minutes to spare.

The route elevation profile was generated from GPS data from the Garmin.  I was lucky that the route ended on a down slope.  Worked out well.

Fullscreen capture 11262011 100736 AM.bmp

My favorite part of doing a run like is is watching the heart rate data.  I wear a Garmin monitor while running (and have since the early 90’s).  Below you can see my pace and heart rate during each mile of the run.  I did well pacing at the mid to upper 11’s but somewhere in mile 11 the physiology was not there.  I notice at mile 5 my average heart rate goes up and stays there.  I take this as my anabolic threshold, happening at about 44 minutes.  The other ceiling I call my training ceiling happened this a drop in output (or an increase in pace).  This occurs at mile 11.

Fullscreen capture 11262011 104541 AM.bmp

The problem with data is you can go on and on.  This feels like a good place to stop. 

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