Saturday, September 22, 2007

Easy 16 Miles

I don't know about you, but "Easy" and "16 Miles" aren't supposed to go together.

"Easy" is pressing the snooze at 4:50AM when the alarm clock goes off. Or turning the alarm off altogether. Or pulling it out of the wall and tossing it out of the window.

"Easy" is leisurely rolling out of bed at noon with your only plans being to make it to campus in time to tailgate for the LSU/South Carolina football game.

"Easy" is a drive over to Louies for a breakfast Hamburger and hashbrowns.

"Easy" is . . . well, easy. My sixteen miles was not.

Despite that, I had a promising long run today -- the longest I've ever run from a distance and time perspective. Julie and I kicked it off at the Baton Rouge beach around 5:30. She accompanied me for a lap of both lakes (appx 6.5 miles) and I finished up with another lap of both, followed with a lap of the larger lake.

I didn't have a goal pace in mind, but I was running against the clock since I had a busy day. Julie and I wanted to catch her cousin's cross country meet at 9:30. Kyle is a strong runner for LSU's cross country and track team. LSU destroyed the competition and Kyle finished the hilly 8K course in an incredible 28:51 (5:48 pace), placing 19th overall. Kyle is an honor roll student, an Eagle Scout, and obviously a gifted athlete. We are all proud of his accomplishments and look forward to his continued success on and off the course.

My accomplishments at the LSU lakes were several planes below the meet today, but I did manage to conquer some small adversity and "win" my own competition. First of all I concentrated on hydration since I've been running my long runs in a dehydrated state. I didn't get a dry mouth at all. By the time my mouth gets dry, I've already lost between 1.5 and 3 pounds of water through sweat and respiration. "Several research studies since the 1930s have observed that adults and children replace only 34 to 87 percent of the water lost as sweat, by drinking during exercise or labor in hot environments. The resulting dehydration is due to the fact that thirst is not perceived until a 1 to 2 percent body weight loss occurs. Interindividual differences, resulting in great voluntary dehydration in some individuals, have caused them to be named reluctant drinkers." I am a "reluctant" drinker, but today I drank early and often, and still managed to minimize the time spent at water breaks.

The result was obvious to me. I didn't fade at the later miles like I did last week, and in fact my last two miles were the fastest two I ran. I don't have any split or heart rate information because I haven't downloaded my watch yet, but here is what I remember from looking at real-time information during the run.

Mile 1-6 -- appx 8:30-8:40 pace
Mile 7-14 -- appx 8:00 pace
Mile 15-16 -- appx 7:45 pace

Overall pace appx 8:04. (I'll post more accurate time later.)

One other short comment: At about 10.3 miles I exchanged hellos with an older gentleman walking a dog. He told me "good pace", and for whatever reason, that made my run. At that moment I grinned from ear-to-ear, and his comment pushed me for the rest of the run. I won't use the word "easy", but it was certainly "easier" after getting that complement from a stranger. So thank you Mr. Dog Walker, I appreciate the encouragement.

One other note: I saw a friend (twice) toward the end of my run. Kevin's sister, Joanna, was looking strong during her run today. It's always nice to see friends while running.

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