Sunday, September 20, 2009

Who put that 5K in the middle of my run?


I'm training for the Cape Cod Marathon that takes place on October 25th. Impressed right? Barely a year under my belt as a runner and I'm already tackling 26.2 miles! Well, the race itself is that long but my participation is limited to two legs out of five and I'll be sharing the course with three teammates. I'll be the starting runner covering 3.05 miles before handing off to a teammate who will be facing 6.15 miles. The next leg is 5.7 miles then the baton comes back to me for six more before I hand off to the last runner who needs to cover 5.3 miles to finish. The course winds around Falmouth and appears to have sections near the water so it could be a visually beautiful race. As a matter fact the website states that "Runners' World called this race one of the ten "Most Scenic" marathons in America." I've got concerns about covering my distances competitively so I officially started my training today.

My plan was to simulate the effect of doing two runs within 2 hours of each other. Based on a nine minute pace I'd have about an hour and forty-five minutes to rest between legs. I went out around 8:30 AM and my plan was run the nearby industrial park because it has a long uphill stretch. From what I saw of the elevations of the course it looks to be hilly and I want to be prepared. I had a surprisingly difficult time during my first race, a four miler, that had a long hill near the beginning of the run. That challenge took a lot out of me and I never want to be caught like that again. I made my way to the Park and as I came around the corner towards the main road I saw a row of orange cones and a bit further on were people setting up what seemed to be a water station. As I got closer I saw signs that the "Angels on the Bay 5K" was happening this morning starting from Sysosset-Woodbury Park. I was tempted to see if I could sign up but there really wasn't time and I wanted to follow the training plan I'd worked out. I was frustrated that with all the time I spend looking for local races this never came to my attention. I think some better marketing would draw a bigger crowd next year.

I ended up covering 3.4 miles for my first "leg" this morning and came home to re-hydrate and have a small breakfast. I went back out at 11:00 hoping to cover at least 5 miles and I felt good at the start save for some sharp pressure on the top of my ankle from my Brooks. I stopped to re-tie that shoe after a quarter mile and reset my Garmin and my MotionX back to 00:00. I ran with the Nike+ chip on my earlier run but I hadn't calibrated it so it thought that I was running 20 minute miles. I decided to leave it home for the second run. Once I restarted I took off in a different direction than this morning and felt very good until I reached the 3 mile mark when I started to fade. Fortunately I was far enough from home that I was forced to extend the run and I ended up covering 4.55 miles (not counting the .25 before my reset) for the second leg. All totaled it was 8.2 miles, not the 9 I'd hoped to cover today. I'm still pleased with the training and I'll build on it over the next month. I feel very good after all that but I'm looking forward to bedtime tonight.

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