Saturday, March 3, 2012

Keeping up with myself; Lessons learned on a hilly 10 mile course.

Today, after much back and forth in the week leading up to it I finally settled on running the Quakertown Rotary Run for Youth. It is a 10 mile run that Maggi suggested - or as more appropriately HELPED Julius and I decide to run. I'm glad for her help.

I wanted to treat this as a training run. It was the right amount of miles; the race fee was for a good cause and given the weather conditions it was more likely I could run with people if I attended the race. As it turned out the rain pretty much stopped just before we started and the sun came out for my last half mile.

So as a training run I set my goal at anything under 2 hours. About 2/3 of the way through I was convinced I wasn't going to make it. I did not have my watch (I don't race with it) and being a local race there were no timers at the mile markers; only at the end.

This hills on this course made the 8th street hill in Media, the Audobon Loop and the Valley Forge loop look like child's play. We also had some nice long slow downhills and one 11% grade downhill but the ups got me. Good news is that the got my legs more than my cardio. I was also pleased that I didn't let the hills get into my head. I walked more than I would have liked but I still made it in less than 2 hours so all is good.

Maggi and Julius eventually (about halfway) put some distance between us and ultimately were a good half mile ahead of me. If it wasn't for Julius' tallness and Maggi's bright  colors I would have lost sight of them completely. It was after our separation that I heard footstesp behind me. Despite that this was supposed to be just a training run I couldn't help thinking I did not want to be passed or left in the dust by anyone else. This got me to pick up the pace for a bit and I'm happy to say it didn't hurt to do so - for a little bit anyway. I finally backed off again not wanting to risk not having anything left for the final hill. So the feet and the gentleman attached to them pulled up beside me and he said, "I'm having trouble keeping up with you". I replied "I'm having trouble keeping up with myself". We ran and walked side by side for another mile and then he too moved on ahead.

I got a lift at mile 8 because I never saw the number 7 on the road. Each mile was marked in green  chalk on the street in rather large numbers. Not sure how I missed it but it was nice to go from thinking I had 3 miles left to only having 2. :)

So today's lesson is DO MORE HILL WORK. Not that I didn't already know that deep down. I was pleased with my finish and pleased that I felt comfortable most of the time.

My schedule had 11 on it for today. I am happy with the 10 however and it's likely i'll do more than the planned 5 with the trail gang tomorrow so I'll still manage my mileage for the week. 21 down 6 to go.

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