Sunday, October 23, 2011

10 For Texas Race Report

Jeff Irvin
10 for Texas - The Woodlands
October 8, 2011
Time: 1:11:08
Overall: 56/1909
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.  

The Race:

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,



  1. What I wanna know is this... is that the shirt logo? I freakin want a shirt with an armadillo on it!

    Good job on the run... especially given the crippling tightness from foolishly wearing new shoes ;-)

    You are super cool, Jeff!

  2. Ouch! That sounded like it hurt. But man, you rocked it! Nice work!

  3. Brings back memories.. I did one of these back in the 80s. Dont know why I didn't do more other than the fact that I'm a one a year race guy, typically, and it was the Houston Marathon (go figure?).

    One thing though, I never finished in the top 60.

    Great job you skinny ass dude!!!

  4. That is a big difference in heel drop differentials. The most I could ever handle was 3mm changes at a time.

  5. Whew... you are finally running in the Pure Flow. At least you've gotten off the Hoka Moon Shoes a bit ;) haha

    Doesn't it sort of suck to be top 60, but still be 9th in your AG? Tough age groups suck!

    Congrats on the great race!

  6. Interesting. I would have shit some bricks if both of them tightened up on me. Dang man.

    Nice audible and adjustments to deal with it.

    Am on the fence on the pure flow :) I wanted to get them badly but afraid with all my issues.

    Nice time regardless! If you hit your goal time what a/g place would you have been?

  7. Nice job on switching up the form to try and get rid of the pain

    Congrats on the race

    No Pure Connects for me, they are too narrow after I tried them on

  8. Congrats on the race and I am sorry that your legs were hurting. That is no fun but you still rocked it!

  9. This huge amount of volume is paying off huge dividends! 6:33 out of the gate? Man! Can't wait too see how you do at IMMT when we run in non "butt crack warm weather." Sucks about the shoes. Glad they are working now. Thanks for teaching us all a lesson!

  10. Such a great time in spite of the issues. And you know I love hearing you adopt less shoe. Hokas be gone!

  11. Beastly job on the race. I'm glad your feet are starting to adjust!

  12. Rather than the shoes I would blame the Butt Crack-like Warmth, just so I could write it several times. Are you sure it wasn't the Butt Crack-like Warmth?

  13. cant believe you have that humidity in October

    even with the issues...nice speed and great race! even better you recovered quickly and plowed on thru the month ---BIG

    wondering if I should now change game plan for 13.1 on Sat on shoes I have logged just 3 (treadmill) miles on.....hmmmmm


  14. You are freaking FAST dude. Holy hell. Even hurting you are a rock star. Way to SIU.

    This post also reminded me, I need new shoes.

  15. I couldn't help but laugh at the first two miles. Plan was 7:15 and you are running near 6:30s......that is like a world of difference.

    Way to stick through the pain and I'm glad that it was something that went away after only two days and was not more 'permanent'

    By the way you are just flying these days with those paces. Moon shoes are working for you.

  16. Dude, you are like greased lightning!!! I like those shoes. I am impressed with the low heel drop. Their site says that they are for slight pronation. Do you know the neutral model of those shoes?

    Btw, at some point before the Honolulu Marathon, put up a photo of Annie in the clothes she will be wearing for the marathon. That will give me the best shot at spotting her.

  17. Awesome run!

    Amazing that you were able to survive it at that fast pace despite having shoe issues. Yea, 25 miles of use seems like not enough time to transition to a low heel drop shoe. I'm hoping to buy a low heel drop shoe like Newtons sometime, I might have to try out the Brooks Pure as well.

  18. Butt Crack-like Warmth


    Way to push through all that cramping. I'm so sorry the shoes weren't the best choice.

  19. Well, lesson learned, but I second Mandy, you're a speedster!

  20. Answer is simple dude. And you know it. Want that 4-5 minutes back? Run barefoot more. Maybe this joke is getting old.

  21. Hate when that happens!

    Good luck with the new shoes, and anyway, I still think you kicked ass.