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It is quiet.  The air is still. I hear a soft pounding in my chest and my feet on the asphalt.  My heart reminds me of the task at hand: kee...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anatomy of a Warm Run

Hi All: Bees, Runners, MSers!  Thanks for stopping by.  This entry will deal with heat and running.  Here we go...

Today I had a 10 mile training run with Joe's Group (here's his book on team running). I wanted to break down the run for those who run in heat and maybe have similar issues that I face on warmer days.

I started nice and strong running with teammate Jerry.  We talked about pig farming and how much Eugene has changed over the years (as different subjects, not together).  There's something about pig farming that made me really quicken my pace.  Of course, I was running with Jerry and he tends to be a little faster than I like, even on our infamous "Only 10 Miles" training run.  So, as you can see on the little diagram below, I bid him farewell at mile two, and I walked (see the number 1 on the graphic).  I had planned to take regular walking breaks anyway as the heat climbed.

Nearing three miles, I met up with Michelle on our team.  She offered to walk with me for a bit but I told her I would like to try running instead, that she could motivate me.  I was already feeling the effects of the heat.  We ran for a bit and she told me about her upcoming trip, which gave me something wonderful to think about rather than thinking about the rising temperature.  We walked again for a bit and she was a very good sport about it.  She told me about how well she had done in both Newport and Eugene and I was stoked for her and proud to be on the same team as her and also to hear her results.  Good stuff.  (You can see where we were by finding the number 2 below.)

Then, we stopped with Joe and Tonya at the teams' first water stop.  I told Joe that I would not be coming back that way after my five mile turn around.  It was already too hot so I had planned to cross the river to the other side and stay under the canopy and near the drinking fountains.  This was a decision I would not regret.  (Joe's stop was at number 3 on the graphic.)  So off I went with a brief stop at the bathrooms at Alton Baker Park, where I saw a huge spider in my stall and also doused myself with water (see number 4).

Dousing myself with water has become a survival strategy for hotter runs and I need to stick by bathrooms and drinking fountains to make it happen.  In fact, you can see below that stops 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all at various water fountains along the south side of the river.  I think it is also interesting that my pace seems to quicken after a good dousing.  Just so you know, I scoop the water into my hands and pour it over my legs and arms.  I know that I am not doing much to cool my core, but the relief that it brings my extremities is quite welcome.  Also, I get a nice long drink and that helps to cool my core some.

See the number 11 below?  That is when I decided that I would not have enough distance if I headed back to the finish just then so I lapped the senior center.  Funny, the south side of the building was baking-hot and so I had a short walk there, wishing they also had a drinking fountain.

By then, I felt pretty good about my distance and pace.  I told myself that I had about a mile to go and I could run one mile in just about any conditions, even --God forbid--70 degrees!  So I set out at a solid clip back toward the store.  After I crossed the footbridge at Ferry Street, I met up with teammate Elly and her friend.  I asked where they were with their mileage and they were at 9.3.  According to my watch, I was exactly on: 9.34.  Good job calculating the distance out at the river, I assured myself.  I guess I am really starting to know the distances by heart.  Then I picked it up a little more for the run home (well, Eugene Running Company, which is home on Sunday mornings).

I came in at 9.94 and so I ran a small circle around Joe and team, decided that I could stop short of 10 if I wanted too because I was so close, and I called it quits.

So, that's what you are seeing below.

Remember, if you are looking for cooling on a warm run, dousing with water is very helpful.  I try to avoid my clothes because of comfort issues.  But wet skin offers a cooling that is both welcomed and necessary.  In a different blog, I discuss salt.  I'll try to remember to link back to that soon.

Okay, that's it for now.  Four weeks to the big run!  HOORAY!!  Here we come Oregon Marathon! Joe's team is getting ready for you...