Wednesday, July 22, 2015

0SPF - TrailsRoc - Did I mention I hate the heat?

On Saturday July 18th I ran the 0SPF trail half.  This was my 17th race of the year, mind you it would be more impressive if I raced all of those. I started 2015 with the goal of running a half marathon a month for the year, and I will reach that goal. Most of the runs were training runs. Not necessarily a run where I am trying to break a PR.  These were also mostly first time races for me, and in some cases the first time I had done that distance. The nice thing about this, paired with the fact that I didn't do them all that fast, is, should I try to do them again, I have loads of room for improvement. The negative aspect of this is, it has felt like a busy year for me, and as I have seen myself do before, I worry about losing interest in yet another hobby. One I have told people and swore that I planned to continue for a long time. Into my retirement. Not a hobby, but a lifestyle. 
So how did 0SPF go? Horrible - but it was humid as all getout and hot for upstate NY. According to garmin connect it was 73 at the start with 94% humidity. I know during the 1 mile warmup I did before the run, I was sweating like a pig. Out of 132 finishers I was 76th.  I ran the first 3 miles pretty much on pace, the next 4 were a little slower, but manageable. At the 6.7 mile turnaround I was at 1:25. So my goal of finishing in 2:36 was out of the realm of possibilities unless I wanted to run a negative split back, and that wasn't happening. I would have needed to finish in an hour at the turnaround. An hour.  It took me almost 2 hours. Actually an hour and 53 minutes. I can run a road half in an hour and 53 minutes. Miserable. I had no power, I was hot and kept dumping water over my head at the aid stations. I was having some trouble with nutrition also, and this time it wasn't heartrate as I had thought it was in the past. Very few times did my heartrate get over 153, and that's what I consider my anaerobic threshold. I think it was a mix of training and heat. 
Purposefully, my coach Heather has had me pushing myself to get stronger. This is what I asked for. I also told her that the only race I considered an A race this year is Imogene, and all of this training was in preparation for that. I wanted and needed and still need to work on hillwork, speedwork on hills, and  general strength and conditioning. I had my first over 40 mile week back a few weeks ago, and have been feeling good, but fatigued often. It's a fine line between pushing yourself hard enough for growth while at the same time giving yourself the opportunity to recover. 
The week before the SPF I ran 20 miles easy on Saturday, 8 miles easy on Monday, 9.7 miles Wednesday with up and downhill fartleks of 1,2,3,2,1 minute length with 1 minute recoveries, and a 5 mile easy run Friday which I ended up pushing myself a little (which I always do on short runs) and getting in negative splits on the whole run and an average pace of 8:37. 
I could have come into SPF a little fatigued, but it's only a half, how bad can it be. 
I started at the mid back of the pack, where I like to be and I should be. In the first 0.3 miles you climb 100 feet and then flatten out and run down hill for a bit. At 1.5 miles you start climbing again, and over the next 12 miles you climb up and over around 14 hills of at least 70 feet in elevation. None of them are really huge, they're just repetitive. After the turnaround I did what is known as the Death March.  Head down, looking at the ground, putting one foot in front of the other. I was averaging over 15 minute miles, every mile. Ugh.  
My stomach wasn't doing great either. I wished I had brought some Sport Beans, but I didn't. Heck, I was planning on finishing in 2.5 hours, how much food do you need for that?  Not much really. At one point I tried to force myself to be sick so that I could reset my stomach, but even failed at that and drudged on. 
SO - at 3:18:24 on the clock, I crossed the line. Wiped out, but smiling.
I really don't do well in the heat. Really really don't do well in the heat. 

SO - where do I go with this information? If I can keep my brain out of my ass, I will not sign up for races during the summer season in the future, and either volunteer or hang with Kris and the boys and do house work, and run for fun. If it's a hot day, skip it. I am also considering another change for 2016. In addition to not planning any number of races goals, possibly even setting a maximum number of races, I am considering going naked - no - not naked naked, I am not built for that, I mean data free. Steve Chaffee runs with only a stopwatch, simple. I like that. We'll see.  I am a huge data nerd, so t would be tough. 

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