Monday, December 3, 2012

Weather Update, 5 days out

We're now just five days away from Rocket City, and the weather forecast has taken a fairly dramatic change. The forecast high has gone from 53 to 68, and the predicted low is now just 1 degree less than the predicted high two days ago!

The chance of rain has also gone down significantly, from 60 percent to 30 percent.

Presumably as we get closer to race day the forecast is getting more accurate, so I need to start thinking about racing in temperatures that are 10+ degrees warmer than what I'd prefer.

Remember, this graph represents the predictions for December 8 put out on a given date, not the weather on that date.

On the plus side, we've now reached the point where the National Weather Service has predicted hourly temperatures, so we can make some guesses as to how this prediction will pan out in terms of actual temperatures during the race:

The red line represents the temperature and the green line is the dew point. At the 8 am start, the NWS is predicting a temperature of around 53, rising to 61 around the time I'll be finishing -- with any luck that will be about 11:10 a.m.

61 is a lot better than 68. It's still a little warmer than my ideal temperature, which is probably around 45-50 degrees, but there's no point in drastically altering my race strategy yet. I'll keep my obsessive runner's eye focused on the race day weather all week.

In other news, yesterday's long run revealed yet another thing to worry about as the race approaches. As I got ready for the run, I noticed that the battery on my GPS was dead, despite the fact that I had placed it in the charging cradle the night before. Garmin claims that the cradle for the 910XT is secure, but I've experienced this problem several times. If the unit is not seated properly in the cradle not only will the watch not charge, it will drain the battery. Argh!

My plan for the race is to simply not charge the unit the night before. It's got a 20-hour battery life, so if I have it charged before I leave for Huntsville and leave it turned off until race morning, I should have plenty of juice for the race.

Otherwise, tapering has been going well. I'm decreasing the mileage on my daily runs, but trying to include at least a couple miles each day at race pace of 7:15 per mile. This is helping me dial in to the pace I'll be running on race day. Details of this morning's workout are below.

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