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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week #8 and Gear Review

I didn’t get much sleep last night and I woke up feeling like I was run over by a bus.  I was in no mood for a morning run but I have stuff to do today; I thought to myself: “suck it up, go run and get it over with.”   It was a chilly morning too.  The starting temp was 28f (felt like 25f with the wind chill) and warmed up to about 32f by run’s end…..  Don’t forget the 10-12mph winds ~ somewhat of a “sporty” start to my morning!  I was bundled up in my long compression thermals and sported the Adidas Gore-Tex wind-stopper – a must have!

I took off into my warm-up circuit then made my way out into the neighborhood.  I had to do something different today for my long run (because running the same route is getting old).  So, I turned left (instead of right), exited the neighborhood and headed towards one of my favorite running and biking locations: Creekside Trail.  This trail is a little over 17 miles of 12ft-wide paved asphalt.  There are plenty of parking stations (some with restrooms and water) for those who don’t have immediate or direct access to the trail…..  Check it out here.
Well, I got in some good hill work today.  There is no way that I am going to tackle the Flying Pig half in less than 2 hours without getting in some decent hill training…..  Today’s run took me through some decent climbs; Spinning Rd (there are a couple of good hills just south of the Kroger’s grocery store) and further down the trail (longer, slower inclines).  Let’s get one thing straight: I do not like hills (whether on bike or foot)!  But I need to incorporate it into my routine.  Blah!
There were a lot of runners out on the trail today.  It was nice to think that I wasn’t the only “crazy” person out running in the cold today…..  It’s not too bad if you dress accordingly though.  The wind direction varied at times and the trees helped block out most of the wind.  There are a few wide-open spots on the trail where runners are vulnerable to the winds….. 
Well, I logged 1 mile in the warm-up circuit and was running an “out-and-back” to the trail.  My goal distance today was 9 miles.  I have been adding an extra 1-2 miles on my long run days (Sunday) whenever I feel up for the extracurricular mileage.    Today was no different than any given Sunday so I planned to run out to a distance of 5.5 or 6 miles (on the GPS); thus totaling 10 or 11 miles (math in public).  “Multiply by two, subtract one…..  Yes, that is correct.”    I hit what I call the little wooden bridge by the Beavercreek Courthouse and Police Station (at 6 miles) then turned around and headed home.  Oh, I popped my first Gu Energy gel at the turn (tri-berry flavor, which was very good).
I was feeling really good until I hit a wall between miles #10 and 11 (my approximate location: Spinning Rd hills).  My back was starting to hurt and I felt like a Bobble-head doll…..  It was a weird feeling and I wanted to quit right then and there…..  But something interesting happened: my iPod song shuffled to “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins (which reminded me of the day that we received the phone call for our son’s donor liver).  This was a day that changed our lives (especially our son’s) forever!  The song immediately made me smile and I reminisced on that day!  By the end of the first verse, I noticed that I was running a much faster pace and on my way down the hill….  It was a refreshing moment and I returned to the neighborhood and clicked off the GPS and iPod Nike+ right at 11 miles…..  I am very happy with my run and ready for a warm bath.  Oh, the splits:

#1  8:21
#2  8:35
#3  9:05
#4  9:17 < outbound hill
#5  8:56
#6  8:54
#7  9:20
#8  9:26 < IDK, blah pace
#9  9:02
#10  9:23 < inbound on the hill
#11  9:44 < Stick a fork in me, I'm done!
11 miles @ 1:40:20 (9:05 avg pace)

Take care and have a great week! 

PS: I ran with a new item today, Nathan’s two-bottle running belt (pictured below).  I bought this for my longer training runs (over 10 miles) because I do not like carrying a camelback or hand-held water bottle.  The belt has two 10 ounce bottles, bungee straps for your energy gels and a zipper pouch.   I found this to be one of the most comfortable belts out there.  It comes with a clip-style buckle; a lot of people complained about the Velcro-buckles slipping or loosening during runs.  I had both bottles filled with water, two Gu Energy gels secured in the bungee straps and my cell phone/ID card (in a plastic zip lock) stored in the pouch. 

Nathan Trail Belt (w/2 10oz bottles)
(click image for full size)

The belt NEVER slipped or moved during my run.  It rested perfectly on the lower portion of my back and never felt uncomfortable.  Reaching for the bottles can be a bit tricky.  With a little practice, you can reach for a bottle with your eyes closed!  I did notice the added weight though, but the benefits outweighed the negatives: 1.) I have a place to secure my phone/ID in case of emergency.  2.) I have water during my runs.  3.) It can hold a lot more energy gels than my SpiBelt.  It is definitely worth it if you plan on running long distances (or trail runs, secluded from the rest of the world). 

Happy running and God bless!
"Fight the good fight, finish the race, and always keep faith"
2 Timothy 4:7

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