Monday, March 12, 2007

A race and a long run

Quite a full weekend in the world of running. Saturday was the 500 Festival Training Series 10K. Mark and I went to bed by 9:30 so we could get up at 5:45 to drive to Indy. Going to bed that early is definitely a keeper, although we needed to give ourselves a little more time to get to an 8:00 a.m. race.

I was a little disappointed in the race. I went out too fast, and it just wasn't there. A lot of it may have been fatigue from training, because I have been putting in a lot more than I'm used in the past couple of months. I was also annoyed at the multitudes of people wearing headphones, because the race rules specifically stated that headphones were prohibited along the course. Sigh. Anyways, my time was fine (50:56) but I had expected to be closer to 49, since I ran 49:49 about a year ago on subpar training. My goal was 48 to get into Level 3 seeding for the mini, but I just had to send in proof of my half marathon time faster than 2:30 to get into the Preferred Corrals. I'm not really sure how many of those there are, but I'm hoping I'm up near the front. The Indy Mini has 35,000 people in it and I'm not interested in passing too many of them to get myself running up to pace. I have yet another race, another 10K, this weekend, and I'm hoping to redeem myself somewhat. This it the race in which I ran the 49:49 last year. I'm going to concentrate on not going out too fast, try to run in the groove for the middle miles, and then push it hard in the last 2.2. I've decided I need to be better about breaking races up into chunks.

The long run yesterday was less successful. I decided to go ahead get the 18-miler in the books. I planned my route so that I would pass a drinking fountain twice, so I wouldn't have to carry water. Well, the drinking fountain either wasn't working or wasn't turned on. Awesome. Nice. Well, I kept going, but I was becoming seriously dehydrated by mile 12. Finally, I had to stop running, and I never really got going again. I limped home, having covered about 16.5 miles. Once I got some water in me and rested for a while I felt better, and today I feel good as new, not sore in the least. That's heartening. I'm not sure if I'll repeat the 18-miler or move up in two weeks. I'll just have to see how things go in the interim.

So I need to figure out a better solution for hydration during long runs. There are three basic options: 1) Rely on native sources of water, 2) Carry your own, or 3) Stash your own. The first obviously doesn't work. I hate the second, and fuel belts are the devil. So I think I may have to turn to the third. What I may try for the next long run is driving out to the trail, stashing water in one or two places, and then parking at one of the trailheads and just doing the whole thing on the trails. By doing a series of out and backs along the three arms of the trail I could get 18-24 miles easily. It would be slightly monotonous, but being hydrated would be a plus. From the Clear Creek Roundabout, there's one arm of 1.3 miles, one of 2.25, and one of 2.8. Not having to stop (much) for traffic, it would also be easier to control lap times, not to mention simulate the actual marathon, where I hope to not stop running at all.

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