Sunday, September 02, 2007

Theme? Who needs a Theme?

ORN Saturday: 17.2 miles, 3:07:34, R3/W1, 10:54/mile

On a beautifully cool first day of September, I had a good, confidence-building run, my longest single outing since the Portland Marathon nearly a year ago. Interestingly, the run had no single theme that allows any profound or noteworthy text here. Which, in and of itself, is pretty cool. So, just a few notes and one area to seek your advice.

Keeping the plane in the air. Two weeks ago, I mentioned hitting a wall around 12 miles that forced me to walk it in. So I had some concern when the left leg (only) tightened somewhat in the 12 mile range. But this time, it simply got a little tight yet did not lock up. I focused on relaxing the leg but kept going. And it never got any worse. While it did get tight after I showered, an hour mowing the lawn in the afternoon loosened it up. Encouraging.

Pace. In the Galloway method, this was an easy run, defined as 2 minutes/mile slower than my target pace. That means I should have run at 11:41/mile. I forced myself to take it easy and had a very, very manageable 3/1 run/walk ratio. Yet miles all clicked off in the upper 10s. The 10th mile even came in at 10:18. I chose not to fret this; the pace felt very easy. For grins, I pushed the final two-tenths and the Garmin told me it was at a 9:17 pace. I’ll take it.

Extending the usual route. My buddy
Darrell wrote recently about exploring new tracks on his runs. I took in his advice and was rewarded. On one extension, I ran into our local High School football coach, a neat guy who taught biology for all three of our sons. His team won a hard-fought game on Friday night to go 3-0 and he was on his bicycle, heading for Saturday morning practice. We chatted for 5 minutes and it was neat to hear of how his team is coming together, now ranked #8 in the state in their class. Later, I extended another part of the trail to a local lake. I ran into a couple of good ol’ boys who were fishing. “What’s biting, guys?” “Aw, only blue gills.” Certainly not the salmon run that Michelle and Jenny got to see on Saturday but, hey, this is Indiana after all. We take what scenery we can get. It made me smile.

Fightin’ the crowds. A nice Saturday morning, with Purdue back in session, made for a lot of runners out. I got one wonderful reaction as I passed a couple of ladies. “How far are you going with all that water?” they asked me. “Seventeen.” “Oh my goodness!!! Uh, er, well, gee, yeah, we’re doing six!” It made me smile more.

More lunar fascination. Towards the end of the run, the route took me straight west. There was a beautiful quarter moon in the clear blue sky around 10am. Then a plane from the Purdue airport flew just “under” the moon, the morning sun glistening off its wings. It gave me awe.

Hydration Thanks to the good advice I got from many of you after bonking two weeks ago, I took care to hydrate better. I got up early, had a toasted bagel and a bottle of Gatorade. Then I loaded up the fuel belt with 30 oz of Accelerade, which I finished by the end of the run. I’m liking Accelerade. Is it better than Gatorade?? I’m happy with either.

What to eat while running?? Some advice please. I tried Clif Blocks for the first time on this run. The package said “Lemon Lime” but I didn’t see the connection to the taste. The first one I popped in to my mouth I tried to chew but, oh my, was it gloppy and stuck to my teeth. I thought about it and the next one I just tucked in my cheek and let it kind of dissolve slowly. Actually, I felt like a good ol’ boy myself, as if I had quite a chaw of Red Man. Ugh, sorry. Anyway, I’ve used Gu and other gels before, which are OK but I get tired of the expense. I’ve wondered about just taking small packs of peanut butter crackers. What works for you?? I’m grateful for your input.

Boy, if I ramble this long on a run I didn’t think produced anything profound, I’d be afraid to see what would happen if I did see something substantial. Which I did last week, but that will be my next post.



Darrell said...

You had me interested right off the bat with the beautiful cool day. Our A/C can't keep up with the 110 temps. The best part is finishing the 17 with no major issue. That is good.

"Only blue gills" is why I dislike fishing now. Dad used to take us out to the little lakes and ponds in OH. I'm not sure when it lost its charm but it did.

As far as eating on the run, there is a debate whether it is necessary or not. I use gels but spareingly. I try to stock up at expo when the are on sale usually 25% off.

Backofpack said...

I have carried peanut butter crackers in several marathons. They taste great, but can be really dry and hard to swallow in the middle of a race. I've also carried pnut butter sandwiches and pnbutter on whole-grain tortillas. They are all good. Currently, I am breaking up a small granola type bar into bite size pieces and carrying that. All those things are good, but don't give the quick energy boost of a gel. I use chocolate soy milk for that. The food is more to fill an empty stomach after a couple hours of running. Hope some of this helps!

Backofpack said...

(I had some issues typing peanut butter in the last comment. Maybe the glass of wine (or two) I had at the run club potluck tonight?)

Anonymous said...

Great run... 17 miles give you time to think about a lot of different things and just enjoy the time outside. Sometimes the free flow of thoughts makes the time pass quickly and the run very enjoyable. You're doing great!

Mary Gee said...

I often take gu, but it can be gross when it is hot outside. What about jelly beans?

Wes said...

I never could keep my pace under the HM + 2 minute recommended pace either. Eleven minute miles just suited me fine.

The best thing I've ever eaten on a run, believe it or not, is he High Energy Snack Mix recipe off of the Foodnetwork. It's easy to chew. It has fruit and nuts in it, and its easy to digest. The only problem is what do you carry it in. I chose snack size zip lock baggies.

Got some catchin up to do... My first long run this weekend will be 10, I think :-)

Wes said...

well, I meant at or over the +2 minute pace...

David said...

Good work gutting out the 17. I envy anything remotely close to cool as does Darrell.

I loved your encounter with the Purdue girls. That's rich.

Cliff Blok Shots still win with me. Not gooey like Gu. Must drink when eating them. I always cut them in half and carry in a sandwich baggy in my shorts pocket. Easy to carry. I prefer Margarita flavor with the extra salt. Lemon-lime is lousy.

Other stuff? Try raisins. Just make sure you have no other motivations to visit the port-a-let or you will.

Sarah said...

An example that there's something interesting about every run. You just have to observe.

I also think a lot of about other bloggers when I'm running. On my recent 20, I took Accelerade and thought of you. I like how it works and it's fine on my stomach. But there's something about the taste and/or consistency that is a little odd. I was using the powder. I haven't tried the pre-mix.

For food/fuel, I've been using the Jelly Belly sports beans lately and crystallized ginger. But I'm starting to get back into gu's again too. Some kind of easily digestible energy bar works Clif bars. For cheap, I like pretzels or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Definitely try the pbj, cut up in quarters.

IronWaddler said...

Great run Joe. One of my things for a long run is gummy bears or gushers. Alot of sugar and carb fast. I love the taste.