Wow… Race #80… a milestone of sorts, or at least a number divisible by 10. This was my second time around the hills and valleys of the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge 10k. The hills are brutal pretty much anywhere in the Asheville area, but it kind of makes the hills down in the Piedmont a lot easier to run when we get back home. In last year’s race (Race #26) my time was 49:47 and I walked a total of 10 times using the Galloway method. I’ve learned a little since then and am in better shape than I was a year ago so I expected to run a little faster this year. The Galloway method has been replaced by heart rate monitoring, so now instead of checking my pace throughout the race I try to run at about 92% of my Maximum Heart Rate. Nothing terribly scientific about the 92%, but after experimenting for a few months that just seems to be where my body feels most comfortable. Something I’ve noticed in my last couple of races is that I’m gravitating towards a little higher heart rate. In today’s race I averaged a heart rate of 168 throughout the race (about 93% of my max) but for mile 6 I averaged a heart rate of 174, which is 96% of my max. It’s still an experiment in progress.
I’m a little rushed this weekend and I’ve got the feeling that there are some eyes glazing over as I quote my heart rate stats, so I’ll cut it short and spare everybody the grief.
Oh, one more thing: I did manage to slice off about 4 minutes from last year’s time, finishing the race this year in 45:57, first place in my age group. That’s not really close to a Personal Record for me, but with all the hills I was just happy to finish the race in an upright position.