Saturday, August 8, 2009

Great talk, dirty socks

In preparation for the Babylon Dirty Sock 10K race later this summer I ran the course with a friend from the Runner's World Loop community, DaveADK (picture below), who lives close to the location of the race. Dave is an interesting guy with a really interesting background. He's been running about 18 months and knows the Dirty Sock course very well.

Before we started, Dave explained the way the race was organized, where registration is held, the location of the starting line (and finish) and also where to park. Having run a few races I appreciated knowing all that beforehand. We walked about a quarter of a mile into the park which served as a light warm up. Dave thought we should begin the training run at the stating point of the race so we proceeded to that area and took off at a moderate pace. The trails were mostly packed dirt, often wide enough across for three or four runners. There were many people out running, walking and biking, the temperature was comfortable and the tree cover prevented the sun from baking down. We encountered sections of sandy trail, some singletrack paths and a few that were paved. There were elevation changes but nothing too pronounced. I was grateful for that because the 6+ mile distance would have been a far greater challenge for me if it had the roller coaster terrain I encounter at Stillwell Preserve.

The time went by quickly, Dave is good runner and he graciously ceded to my pace that was probably 20-30 seconds/mile slower than he would normally run. He pointed out some important things about the course that will be good to know on race day. My runs with Adventure Girl have prepared me to chat while running and I did well considering the distance. At one point, when running underneath one of the highway trestles, we encountered a flutist and joked that the improvisational jazz background made it seem like we were characters in an independent film. We were about 1/4 mile near the end and Dave said this is the time to pour it on as practice for the race. Unfortunately my groin pull that always surfaces around the 4 or 5 mile mark prevented me from pressing my luck.

When we got to the end, Dave's Garmin 305 showed that we covered a little more 6 miles. My Garmin 50 was way off, perhaps because I recently replaced the battery. I'll calibrate it tomorrow when I run. The big disappointment was with my iPhone and MotionX GPS. Around the 3 mile mark I noticed the application was confused and had lost the signal. I'm not sure what actually happened after that but I ended up accidentally resetting the unit and losing the run history. As much as I'd hoped the iPhone would be a convenient alternative to a Garmin 405 I'm realizing that I still need the GPS watch. So back to the fund - $160 to go.

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