Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On Being Game Fit and Other Musings

After a whirlwind 24-hours in Philly, I came back with a ten-mile jaunt down Broad Street and a couple of beers and some mussels under my belt.
Last week, I ran exactly 1.25 miles after realizing that I was probably overtrained (thank you, Jonathan, for that insight). And after that short run, my calves were unexpectedly sore. I'm the first person to tell friends to trust their training going into a race. But this time, in building fitness and distance, I had essentially mis-trained, and I had no idea whether a one-week layoff would be enough. I did not trust my training.

So, much to my surprise and delight on Sunday, I turned in a game fit time under the 1:40 mark! And until the last mile – and who really feels good in that mile – the run felt pretty good. I credit much of my result on the net downhill course and deciding very early in the race to focus on staying on a painted line on a (mostly) straight roadway/course.

I'm pleased with my time given my current condition and the level of training I (over)did. Other positives: racers received free rides on the subway, the entry fee was a mere $43, there were water stations at practically every mile for those who like to have stomachs that slosh, and the mobile app was pretty effective.

But, the test of whether a race has grown too big for its britches is if the average-paced runner feels she has had a good experience. If logistics and planning go sideways – say, not so hypothetically, runners need to stop running before the finish timing mat because the crowd of runners who finished seconds earlier are still on the mats due to overall crowding in the chute – the middle to back of the pack is where that impact is felt.

So, as a middle of the pack runner, I'm not rushing to enter next year's lottery. The race has reached its resources' carrying capacity, and unless Broad Street has an emotional connection for the runner, there are other smaller races out there.

Like in the fall. When I'm better trained. 

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