Sunday, July 24, 2016

Race Report: 8-Hour Dream Endurance Race

ORN:   13.3 miles, 3:12:07, 14:30/mile, Run Walk 1/1 (mostly)

One of the best parts of running, to me, is what I learn. About myself, about situations, about planning, about executing a plan, about wisdom. Such was the case today.

I entered an 8-Hour Endurance Race in Indy, from noon to 8pm on July 23. At the start, the temp was about 93F, with 90% humidity, full sun and hardly any breeze. The course was a 5K loop, with a combo of streets, college campus and trails, (a portion single track, other crushed gravel). I started with a 2/1 run/walk plan but, after 90 minutes, dialed that back to a 1/1. By 2 1/2 hours, the 1/1 was too much...I was having trouble running for much more than 30 seconds at a time. The sun was oppressive and, even though I was drinking about 30oz of water and Nuun every 5K, it simply wasn't enough to feel hydrated.

Failing to make enough adjustments to make the run useful in such heat, I reflected on my running goal for the BQ. I then asked "How is this helping the goal?" I had hoped it would be useful on the endurance portion and the mental toughness portion. However, it seemed even that was not being effective towards the higher goal. I then realized if I simply packed it in, I could immediately begin ramping up the mileage to the next BQ effort on Sept 10. I would not need to "recover" from this race, as I had thought I would have to, had I gone all 8 hours. Strangely, the appeal of getting back into serious race training had a lot of appeal.
So, I concluded I'd just call it quits and did at 3 hours, 12 minutes. I had only covered 12.7 miles according to my Garmin, not even a HM in that time. When I got in my car, the temp read 97F. Yeah, good to keep the powder dry and live to fight another day. I felt fine at the end, feel fine now, but likely would not have, had I forced myself to continue in that heat.

The organizers provided showers for us at the student fitness center at Butler University, which was wonderful. I cleaned up, talked with a few folks, made it home for dinner with my wife and now we're going to watch a movie. Much better than what I thought the evening would hold.

Official stats modified things just a bit, as they gave me credit for 13.3 miles in 3:12:07.  I was tied with three others (two of whom I knew!) for next to last place in distance.  And I was fine with it.

Encouragingly, the next morning I got out early and had a solid 9 mile run.  Back on the horse, training for a BQ effort.

So, that's the race report. "Run the best race conditions allow" is my motto and that word was helpful today. Conditions allowed little, so we move on, grateful for the chance to be healthy and run. Thanks for reading!

Pre-race with local runners Kate and Julie.  Their shirt slogans were closer to truth than comfortable!

At a positive moment, early on....