Does standing in line for a porta potty count as ‘time on feet’? I arrived in time to have my picture taken with my work group, but couldn’t find them, and so I got in line for the porta potty at about 6:30. I finally got into one at 6:57. Fortunately, it was a short trip to the start line, and I was in the “7:00 / mile” corral (which was spilling into the parking lot) in time for the gun to go off.
I considered this a “flat and fast” course, although there are some sudden elevation changes, requiring frequent gear changes. This run is mostly along a trail that follows a creek, and the elevation gain/loss is 406 ft. To calculate my expected time for Hospital Hill, I used the following “logic” based on numbers from Tim Noakes in Lore of Running. For round numbers HHH is close to 900′ of gain/loss. 500 ft of gain is 1% for 10 miles. That’s 9 seconds per mile (+20 for 1% up, –11 for 1% down = 9 second loss / mile), or 90 seconds total. That’s a 1:31:30 by my back of the envelope “Noakes” calculation. I could be VERY happy with that. But I’ve started to tell myself… Every 7:00 mile is a blessing… and don’t count your splits before you finish.
I just barely kept this one within a training run. I kept my breathing (when I thought about it) to 3 (in) / 2 (out). It was a perfect day (just about). A little warm at 66 and very exciting to be running with all those people. The crowd support was good. I high-fived a three year old. There were three women obviously out for a “jog” who were just getting passed by the leaders… I told them, “You’re in 8th, 9th, and 10th place! If you push it now…” And we just laughed.
This was a great run for practicing running the tangents (the trail winds and wends its way) and switching gears. The hills were very steep, much steeper (but shorter) than HHH. And then there are the racers, bikes, and walkers you have to dodge. But that really wasn’t too bad.
Now it’s time to TAPER!!! That one is hay in the barn.
I was thinking last night as I was feeling the race prep. I am both afraid and excited about the person I become on the run and in the race. The chemistry experiment of pouring in 300 mg of caffeine, 12 g of Sugar in the Raw, cranking up the music and going… it’s like becoming Mr. Hyde. The person I become is still me, but someone who I can’t imagine in my day to day life.
A race is a little like Christmas. You don’t know what you’re going to get until you wake up and unwrap it. It is just about the best thing since Christmas when I was 7 years old. LOVE it!