Whistling while I work :)
[The song in my head while cruising along in the zone:
Eddie Vedder, Society]
I needed a Long Run while away from home. I was not planning for a great race. Since Dave and I had trained all the way up to 23 miles for our LRs, I didn’t see a problem with running a marathon as a long run. I didn’t expect to PR, but I did plan to make a genuine effort to run as strong as felt I could run the course.
Course: The course is a net downhill course with mostly all of of the descent between M1-M14. Although the second half is not hilly, with the exception of an uphill between M3 and M4, all of the "uphills" that would impact pace were found in the second half. (M14, M21, and M23).
I take a Gel (2) on the walk to the start. Usually I don't take two before the start, but I didn't feel like carrying 3 gels and my inhaler.
|With JP on our way to the Dam|
Mile 3 had a nice decent during which I was finally able to feel the tightness leave my ankle. M3-7:10.
My new found peppiness was quickly put in check by a hill in mile 4 that was about .4 miles long and steeper than I expected to find before mile 14. Net descent does not mean there will be no uphills along the way. The presence of a significant hill that no one seemed to mention made me very very concerned about the hills people did actually tell me about. M4-7:44
As we hit a decline, just before the incline up to the Out-n-Back across the dam, we see the leaders flying back the other way. There are no women in range for me to catch any time soon. M11 - 7:38
|View from the Dam|
There is sign for the half way mark and I notice I hit it in 1:38:50. Not my best first half, but I will take it because I feel good and I have some room to fade to a 3:22 if those hills pummel me. I take a packet of salt... well as much salt as sweaty fingers can get from a paper salt packet.
This is undeniably a signal to me that I am in my zone. I started humming, then actually whistling, then even singing out loud when no one was too close by. The idea that I could whistle or sing in spurts while running helped me stay in check and keep my effort challenging but not too fast. At this point I realized I really liked the taste of the salt from earlier and decide to take my second salt packet. M16-7:18, M17-25.
I already crested one hill with good results. The last one was in the Cemetery... but I thought the last one was at 22? I was hoping maybe that maybe the hills were over.
And then we enter the cemetery. We have a serious descent first, where I passed another woman and then I passed one more as we crested the Cemetery hill. At this point my count was off, there were early start runners to consider, but I hoped I was at least in 5th.
Time: 3:15:44 (7:27 pace)(6 seconds slower per mile than last week's half)
So the final conclusion of this informal anecdotal study of humidity’s impact on performance is as follows: Humidity in the 90% range sucks. Or more specifically as Jimbo keeps informing me, the Wetbulb temperature is really important when setting performance goals. The second half of my marathon was practically run at the same pace as my half last weekend. I ran an entire marathon only 6 seconds per mile slower in temperatures that were slightly cooler but significantly less humid. It seemed impossible to consider running a 3:15 after my 1:36 performance at Newport.... but running and racing is fair. A bad race happens for a lot of reason, but if you are well trained, know your course, pace yourself smart, and get lucky with weather, you will have your chance to shine. Control what you can control... manage the rest. And if weather doesn't cooperate, just keep on racing.