It's about that time of year...it's getting a little warmer, triathlon season is in full swim er....swing, sweat starts dripping off my hat after 4 miles, you can tell I'm coming up behind you from the squishing sound my socks are making and I look like I jumped in a pool after a long run. I'm sure some people thought I may have climbed out of the Potomac on my run last night.
It was my second Saturday Long Run (SLR) for marathon training. Due to a few things I had going on today, it was done Friday night. I'm doing my marathon training with the DC Roadrunners since I did their marathon training program last year and I've been running with them ever since. If you're ever in DC and are looking for a route to run, their website has some great routes that you would probably never find. Hopefully they won't mind me posting this link...DCRR SLR They all start at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn but you can easily hop on one of the routes at any point. Some of the routes are through trails and may be difficult to navigate if you're not familiar. Some of them also go through Arlington. Also feel free to join us Saturdays at 7am if you're in the area and looking for a group to run with. Everyone is friendly and you'll have to introduce yourself if you raise your hand when they ask if anyone is new. It's a good mix of age, gender and paces especially during fall marathon training. Keep in mind you don't have to run the whole route.
Last night was Fort Scott Hill, 11 miles out and back with the turn around point being at the top of a hill that is difficult to walk up. I shortened it to 9.5 miles since I'm trying to balance Tri training and marathon training until the end of July. I started in Crystal City and ran to Iwo Jima while passing by the airport which has a nice park near it, off the GW parkway, where you can watch planes take off and land. It was a nice out and back run...more like an out and back in two different directions. It's been awhile since I've ran almost 10 miles, probably the week after the St. Louis Half Marathon. I wasn't expecting any problems running this far but, I forgot what running in this type of heat and humidity is like.
Normally, I run with Glacier Freeze Gatorade Frost in my camelbak. Last night I ran with blue Powerade and noticed it leaves my mouth a little dry. Anyway, I had about 60 ounces and ran out at the top of the big hill with about a mile left to go. It was all downhill so it wasn't a big deal. It's amazing as to how much fluid I require for long runs in the summer. I've noticed I can go farther before my legs start to hurt with Gatorade vs. water. On a similar note, MapMyRun has an ad from Gatorade telling you how many ounces you need as you increase the mileage on your route. It told me I needed 10 ounces...WAY OFF. If you're not that experienced with running I recommend not listening to this ad.
I did the long run last night so I could drive out to Sandy Point State Park in Maryland for an Open Water Swim Clinic put on by Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy in DC. I've never been to a "real" OWS clinic. This one was very good for practice even though I've done a several OWS before. They divided us up into groups based on the level we felt we were at, talked for about 10 minutes and then put us in the water. I decided to join the advanced group since I feel very comfortable in the water. It's always interesting to hear what people have to say and then what pops into my head. For example...when talking about sighting (in the advanced group) someone said "what's sighting?" Valid question but, don't you think you should know what sighting is when the triathlon is next weekend? I suppose it's not THAT necessary in the DC Tri since the buoys are like small houses and there is one every 100 meters. The current was very strong today and you could easily tell that it was just from looking at the water. It was a little scary even standing on the shore.
Most people wanted to work on sighting and turning. I had no idea how to go around a buoy. Apparently, the correct way is to flip into a backstroke for a few strokes while you're going around the buoy. I never noticed this when watching triathlons on TV. It's actually very easy and very efficient. We also practiced running into the water and "dolphin diving," not my cup of tea. After all that they brought all the groups together to simulate a "mass start", 8 at a time in the case of the DC Tri, and then we swam about an 800 meter course...or so we were told. Really it's about 600 meters when measured on Google Earth, assuming the swimming area buoys are in the same places. Either way it'll give the nervous people confidence if they swam the whole thing.
After that I was supposed to head out for a bike ride but, forgot my helmet. Instead I drove home, got my helmet and headed out for an easy 60 minute ride on a trail nearby. Definitely a good idea since my legs probably couldn't handle the planned 17-18mph pace for 24 miles after the run yesterday.
Right now I'm waiting for a 310XT to arrive in the mail. Tomorrow I'm heading out to volunteer at the finish line for Eagleman 70.3...should be fun.
Good Luck to everyone!