- Don't be stupid; test out all equipment prior to the run. Even though I'd recently used my Camelbak, I didn't test it out the morning of the race, choosing to simply fill the bladder up with water and be on my way. It wasn't until about 15 mins. prior to the start that I tried to take a sip only to find some sort of blockage in the hose or bladder connection point. Luckily with the conditions we had that day & the frequency of aid stations, I didn't need it but I did have to schlep the pack for the first loop b/c of the late timing.
- It's ok to run fast(er) on trails when you can, take advantage of flats and downhills and cruise! I played this race mega-conservative, the distance and terrain at that distance were total unknowns to me and I wanted to maximize the fun while minimizing any opportunity of a crash n' burn. I had plenty left to give and could have run a bit more aggressively on both loops.
- I'm still not OK running in the heat esp when not acclimated. This past Sunday's run in STL was a shocker to say the least, summer crept in FAST and I was reminded how much the heat & humidity affects me. Although I know I'll have more time to acclimate in the natural progression of spring into summer, I want to be well prepared for those nasty, doggy days when I'm deep in training for Grand Rapids. I took an extra precaution and picked up a sleeker, smaller Camelbak while in STL, to use this summer in lieu of my hand-held on longer runs. Will be drinking more and more often.
- This is no grand revelation, but running trails makes you stronger. You engage your core for stabilization and there are always plenty of rolling ups and downs to challenge and spice up any run. I intend to keep trails in the mix while building my base for GR and for a LR here and there, when keeping the pace easy.
Here is last week's OK attempt to get my base going towards Grand Rapids; I should have planned better for Saturday's run & got out immediately upon waking up. But ended up hitting the STL marathon expo & then visiting with my aunt who is recovering from back surgery.
M: 7.45 mi ez (9:14)
T: 6 mi ez (8:43), finished with 6x strides
W: 11 mi ez (9:12) a.m. / 90 mins yoga p.m.
F: 6 mi w/2 @tempo (8:07) *although the tempo miles were a bit too slow and then maybe a bit too fast, the entire run was at an avg of 8:07 so I'm not too upset
S: unintended rest, visiting family
S: 9.6 mi ez (9:16) as STL Marathon Relay
Total: 40.05 mi