Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Thoughts

The Week After
My legs were seriously trashed after the half marathon in Minnesota. This might partly be due to the fact I was only able to cool down for a few minutes after the race due to my bloody big toe and general leg fatigue. I limped around like Quasimodo the rest of the day and tried to not get into any post-race tomfoolery in and around the mean streets of Duluth. I continued to hobble around all day Monday and it wasn't until Tuesday morning that I felt comfortable to run again. I shook out for a half hour and called it a day.

I didn't run again until Friday morning. It's been close to 100 degrees (without the heat index) for the last few days so the time off comes at a good time. By 7:30am, it was already incredibly humid; after only a couple miles my red shorts were melting off my hips. I grabbed water at a fountain and tried to stay in the shade. I might as well get use to it. It's only going to get worse.

Lately a lot of people have been asking me about running with a GPS watch. As someone who has been running for 17+ years, I certainly don't need a GPS watch, but it's really been coming in handy. A few of my running "buddies" (whose identities will remain nameless here) have called me terrible, unspeakable, names for using such a device, but I've become a huge fan and have since de-friended them on FaceBook, the ultimate "slap".

However, it's NOT helpful when:

1. running track workouts. For some reason, it's not accurate when circling an oval. Not to mention the watch has a delayed start. Best to use a good ole Timex.
2. running trails...I think. There is much debate here, but often times I *know* I'm running faster than the GPS is indicating I am. Hence, you run further than the GPS says you did. A result of the satellite not being able to register the various ups and down...or so it seems.
It is helpful:

1. when I'm working out on the C&O Canal Towpath while trying to home in on a specific pace. I can pick it up/slow it down accordingly without relying on the towpath mile marker that comes once a mile (some of which aren't all that accurate to begin with)
2. during the early stages of a race (prior to the mile marker) when you're not running at top speed. If you want to run 5:10, but are running 5:00, you have the chance to ease off before getting all the way to the mile.
3. late in the race when you have the ability to glance quickly down towards your wrist to get an accurate projection of how you're doing.

2012 Fall Race Schedule
I've formulated a TENTATIVE race schedule, which is outlined below. Of course, work commitments and fitness will dictate which of these races will actually be doable, but this is a solid 4-month block of races. 

Races I'm serious about are noted in *bold*.

Sat, 9/1 - Kentlands 5k (might drop)
Sun, 9/9 - Parks Half (run as a workout/part of a long run)
*Sun, 9/16 - Navy Half (might drop if not ready to race well)*
Sat, 10/6 - Warner Fall Foliage 5 Miler
*Sun, 10/21 - Army Ten Miler* (if I can get in)*
Sat, 10/27 - Klimvite (6k or 8k - work on cutting down each lap)
*Sun, 11/11 - Vet's Day* (go for a PR)*
*Sat 12/8 - USATF XC Clubs*
**Sun, 1/20 - Phx Marathon**


Karim said...

I run with my iPhone which has the GPS-based Nike+ running app on it, and I'm a pretty big fan (the run tracking system they've built out online keeps getting better and better).

It's annoying to run with the extra weight on my arm, but not enough to stop me from doing it. I've found trail runs to be difficult in terms of satellite coverage (I lost track of about 5 miles this last week due to dropped signal), but tracks seem to get measured with no issue.

Eh. I guess it's a personal preference thing. I'd have no clue how long my routes are if it wasn't for my GPS.

Johnnie Cochran said...

Why are you running in Warner? Maybe I will see you there.

KLIM said...

You should go. It's super hilly though. I've only run it once (back in '05 or so), but I think I have the CR.

Warner (more specifically Bradford/Sutton, which is 10 mins away) is like a second home for me. We had/have family there and use to spend falls there peeping, winters skiing and springs...mudding.

Seriously, you should go. It a fun lil race.

KLIM said...

Karim - I try to run with as little extra weight as possible, but like you said it's all about personal preference.

dirkdeheer said...

Phoenix marathon?!? I'll come and watch and yell at you! More than welcome to stay with us, although we're about 2hrs from PHX of course.