The plan this past Sunday was the same as last Sunday: 2 hours of running. I picked out a route through Gig Harbor that could be either 15 or 16 miles depending on what I did at the end. After averaging 8:30 miles last week in the rain I'd plan to run 15 unless I was a bit faster and feeling good. I packed up for the run which is turning into quite the ritual now that I'm going a little longer:
Clothes (shorts, tights, two shirts, gloves, hat, socks, shoes)
Body Glide in the chafing spots
Ultimate Direction bottle filled with a scoop of HEED
A baggie in one pocket with two scoops of HEED for later
One Hammer Gel
Two S-Caps and $10 in the pouch of the UD bottle.
iPod Nano charged up and loaded with podcasts
Garmin Forerunner charged
After all of that I stand around outside until the Garmin locks onto enough satellites and then I'm on the road. I headed out to Fox Island first and quickly realized two things: A) it was warmer than I thought so the tights, gloves and possibly even the second shirt were overkill. B) It was really windy along the water. I was getting pushed around a little bit running down the road toward the Fox Island Bridge. Going across the bridge was another challenge all together. I actually kept my left hand down close to the thigh-high railing along the sidewalk going over the bridge. The wind was strong enough that I was worried about getting pushed into the railing and / or having my new hat blow off. Luckily neither happened.
I ran up the main road on Fox Island (a big hill) to the top and then turned around at the 5 mile point to find the gas station / convenience store that I couldn't find two weeks ago. Another option for food/water when I'm out running is always good. I didn't need it today as I wasn't drinking too much so my 20 oz bottle was lasting me longer than I thought it would. I came back down the hill and carefully across the bridge. I ran back to the Arletta store to the 10 mile point where I stopped to buy a bottle of water to refill my hand-bottle and re-mix some HEED. I didn't get anything to eat having just eaten the lone Hammer Gel that I'd packed.
I set off down Ray Nash drive, not my favorite road to run as there are some areas with minimal shoulders heading North. I was still feeling pretty good at this point and kept my pace around 8:00/mile. It's not the easy 8 min pace that I had when I was in my late 20s and could just trot around the track spouting 8 min. miles all afternoon. I had to work a bit for these miles. I followed Ray Nash out to Rosedale to yet another small convenience store that I had planned on stopping at. I still had most of my bottle of HEED so I just turned left onto Kopachuck dr. and started up the hill. It's a short hill but still slows you down a good deal. At the top of the hill it's flat for the next mile and then you hit a long grind of a hill up to Kopachuck State Park. You're rewarded with a downhill immediately after and then another uphill/downhill pair to chew on. Flat roads? Haven't seen any.
At this point I was feeling a little fuzzy. I didn't put it together at the time but I probably hadn't been eating enough on the run. I probably put down 180 Cal. in HEED and another 125 in Hammer Gel but I'd run 12.5 miles already. I was fuzzy enough that when I reached the part of the course where I could either head back in a more direct route for 15 or keep going around the long way for 16, I forgot about the short cut and kept running. I looped back to Ray Nash and headed South back to the Arletta Store. I remembered a sign in the store saying that all ice cream was 20% off but I was only a mile or so from home and didn't want to stop. I was watching my pace hover at 8:00/mi. With a good last mile I figured I could hold on to that. I pushed hard on the last two significant hills on Horsehead Bay rd and just gutted it out the last half mile or so to reach the driveway in 2:08:58 for 16.1 miles. Perfect 8:00/mi pace. Just lucky really.
Stats for the run:
Time: 2:08:58 (I'd only be about 10 miles behind Meb in NYC)
I have to say that there's no way that the altitude can me accurate. I just don't buy it at all. I'm looking around online to see if I can find some kind of ratio for getting that back to a realistic number. That said there were still plenty of hills on the route. I was a little beat when I finished but I think that was more due to the lack of food.
My legs weren't feeling too bad after the run so I went for a shorter run at work today (Monday) with my new Brooks Defyance shoes. They feel almost identical to my Adrenaline shoes.
Avs: 8:00 (odd coincidence)
Calories: 0 (just water)
My legs are a bit sore now and hopefully some stretching will help later. I'm not going to be running the next two days so that I can rest up for a 10K that I'm hoping to fit into my schedule on Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning. I heard that Chris was going to do one so I thought I'd give it a shot too. Sometimes I'm a bit competitive I guess. Ego.
One more thought before clicking "publish": I started listening to a podcast called: The Quadrathon podcast. It's a British guy living in LA who's training for and running ultra-marathons. It's pretty interesting as he talks about strategy, drop bags, gear, pacing, etc... He records part of the podcasts while he's running apparently. At one point it struck me that I was listening to a podcast of a guy running. He wasn't speaking for a few minutes, just finishing the last mile of a race. I could hear his footsteps as I was running holding a similar cadence. Running while listening to someone running. I wonder what he was listening to while he was running...
The bits in his podcast about packing his drop bags for a 50 mile race was pretty interesting and something I haven't given much thought to. The one 50 mile race I did had good enough support that drop bags were un-necessary. Some day I'll have that problem though.