Yesterday I decided to go test the Freezer Five course. For good measure, I tacked on a few miles, totaling 8.15 miles. You can see the route here.
If you followed the link, you'll notice that I've signed up for Dailymile. This site is great! While I enjoy the social aspects & support of Sparkpeople, it just isn't designed well for runners/athletes to track their workouts. Dailymile has a simple, intuitive interface, and seems like a really great way to track my runs and meet other runners. Check it out if you are looking for another tool to track your workouts.
With my route mapped, and my gear on, I drove over to the starting point for the race. As part of my ongoing winter gear experimentation, here's what I went out with yesterday.
Head: Seirus comboclava
Torso: Techwick short sleeve shirt, cotton thermal shirt, EMS wind blocking layer, Northface wind-breaker jacket.
Hands: Liner gloves, thicker cotton gloves
Legs: Compression underwear, hind tights, champion stretch gym pants
Shoes: New Balance 850 Stability
My main goals for the run were:
* Run the Freezer Five course
* Really focus on running slow and finishing strong
* Test out cat-crap again
* Test run different layers
* Test comboclava fit again
With a slow pace in mind, I started out on the course. The beginning part of the run goes under highway 190 and just past the Sterling airport. The course is mostly flat, with some gentle hills here and there. At the point where the race would turn around and head back to the start, I continued on for about another 2 miles. This two miles proved to be mostly uphill. Every time I felt like I was starting to get a good groove and I felt my pace quicken, I made every effort to slow back down while fiddling with the comboclava and my glasses.
As you may have guessed, this week's experimentation with cat crap didn't go flawlessly, but did work a bit better than last week. I was fog free for about the first 2-3 miles. Eventually it didn't matter, as the loose-fitting comboclava was driving me mad, so I ended up pulling it down over my mouth for most of the run.
After my turn around spot, I was coming back downhill to the halfway point of the race course. About 6 miles in, I noticed my achilles was really rubbing (right foot). This could be excessive hills, or an excessive up tick in mileage. Or, as I hope, I just need new shoes. These old dogs have logged a few miles this year, the majority of which were me with a lot of extra baggage attached. Time for a new, lighter shoe.
At about mile 7, I decided to open up for a half mile or so to see how I really felt. I'm happy to say that I felt really strong. I had packed a Gu but didn't feel like I ever needed it. Just some half-frozen water and I was feeling fine. I finished up the course knowing that I had plenty left in the tank. Did a few sprints in the parking lot to stay warm during my cool down.
The layering worked great. I wasn't too cold, or over-heated. I feel like that combination will be a good approach come race day (Jan 1).
This morning I did a few miles on the treadmill to loosen up and get warmed up. I may need to go out and shovel soon. Some kind of cross-training!
Until next time: run, run, run.