We’re racing on Wednesday!

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Pace and Racing
Tags: , , , ,

With Dawn out of town traveling for work this week, the yard work finished, the nursery painted, laundry done, folded and put away – what’s a guy to do on a Wednesday night?  Sure the Flyers are in the Stanley Cup finals, but I am recording the game on the DVR so I can speed through the intermissions.

So as I was perusing the Run Tex race calendar I stumbled upon the “Sunstroke Summer Stampede”.  Now this time of year something called the “Sunstroke” anything sounds like serious business – but the opportunity to race mid-week less than two miles from my house is something that I simply couldn’t pass up.

The series of races started back on May 12th and will run until July 28th.  Every Wednesday night the series alternates locations between the Town Lake Trail in downtown Austin and the Brushy Creek Trail in Cedar Park.  I am a little late to the party participating in race #5 this year in the seventh year of the series – but perhaps I have stumbled upon something fun to do with my summer months when training for and participating in marathons is really not very realistic for this Texan.

There isn’t a lot that is “easy” about marathon training, but I do like to think I haven’t completely lost my mind.  I look for winter and spring races that will allow me to train hard over the mild Austin winters.  20 mile training runs are not exactly “easy” under any circumstance.  But to pile on 70-80 degree temperatures with 80-90% humidity just doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ll keep my summer long runs in the 8-12 mile range and enjoy the occasional shorter race.

For me the Summer Sunstroke Series may just be what the Doctor ordered.  At $10 per race this also fits my “soon to be new Dad” racing budget – so it is a win all the way around.

With the Holland, TX 5K on tap for Saturday, June 19th this race will serve as a good “tune-up” race to push race pace a bit in the heat and see what we are capable of running 10 days later.  We were able to run 19:43 at Holland one year ago on our way to an age-group win – to better that time one-year later would certainly be a great accomplishment.  We will have to see what kind of weather the race-gods dial up for us that morning and take a shot at it. 

That was a heck of a time last year and a PR that I am pretty proud of.  If a new PR is not in the cards in 2010 so be it, but it won’t be for lack of training or trying.

The Brushy Creek course is one that even though I have not raced it before – I run it virtually 4-5 times every week.  The race will start with a 7/10 of a mile loop down by the lake where quite literally last August the idea for Run for Dom popped into my head on a Sunday training run.

Brushy Creek Trail

The course will then cross the Dam at Brushy Creek and down the hill where I did my hill training for the Boston Marathon.  We will hit the turnaround point of the race directly across from the footpath that takes me back to my house from the trail every morning – just .67 miles from my front door.

We will then head back up the hill to the top, across the dam once more and on to the finish.

The final hill is .60 miles long and rises 5 stories over that distance.  It will come late in the race on a hot evening – which should play to a pretty significant advantage for me on this course that I know so well.

Course Map


I will hold off on any time expectations until I see the weather forecast tomorrow morning.  For me, my pace typically slows 5-7 seconds for every 5 degrees above 65 degrees.  So if we are looking at a race temperature of say 90 degrees, I have to dial-down my expectations of a 6:30/mile to something in the range of 6:55.

Still relatively “speedy” in some circles – but nothing that will get me near my PR.

So Wednesday night is sure to be a lot of fun – I am looking forward to strapping on the Brooks T6 Racers and cutting loose a little bit.  I should be home in time to greet Dawn when she gets back home from the airport.  Check back on Thursday for a race report – and for those of you who have been running the series to this point – be on the lookout on Wednesday night.

Run for Dom is on the tracks – time to kick a little butt.

Click here for Race Results and Series Information:


  1. Brian Cass says:

    Home court advantage! Tear it up and have fun out there tomorrow!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Brian – that is the plan! Going to be interesting racing on a course I could run literally in my sleep by now. Just wish it was going to be about 40 degrees cooler – then we’d be shooting for a PR.

  2. Jodi Higgins says:

    Good luck tomorrow! I am sure you will be great!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Thanks Jodi! Really looking forward to a race this week. Will be a day (evening) of firsts. First mid-week race, first evening race, first time running on my home-course – should be a blast.

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