- Water on the route
- Mostly asphalt instead of concrete (kinder on the legs, knees, feet)
- Relatively close to home
- Relatively flat (for LB, there's really not much need for hill training, thus we've done NADA
The "water on the route" issue has been the most problematic recently but the HI to SI run seemed to have enough water fountains along the way to sustain us.
Walter and I met Mik at Harbor Island at 7am, about the same time as SDTC's fall "Whatever" training program was meeting there. This training group is nicknamed the "Whatever" group because unlike the RnR group which trains for the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon, or the Half Mad Grup which trains for the AFC 1/2 Marathon, there is not single fall race everyone trains for. Some people in the group are training for the Silver Strand 1/2 in November, some for Vegas in December, some for LA in October. You get the drift...chances are somebody in the group is even training for LB. I decided to not join the fall mostly because I knew that once LB was over, I was going to take it easy for awhile. Also, we (Mik, Elsie, Betty, Walter, me) decided that we would have our own training group for LB.
To be honest, I've been kinda surprised that we haven't run into them before. Most of the places we've run the past few weeks are typical SDTC routes.
I will also say that the last couple of weeks as it's gotten warmer, and as our runs have gotten longer, I have REALLY missed the water/aid station support. Drinking out of a water fountain is not ideal, and I don't like carrying water. Water belts bug me.
I wasn't sure what the relative humidity was yesterday morning at 7am*, but we had plenty of evidence that it was pretty high. Most of the evidence comes from Walter. He sweats. A LOT. So much so that it's been an ongoing topic of conversation for us...what he can wear to mitigate the effects of the torrents of water that stream from his pores during a run.
I sweat a fair amount when I run. Betty really sweats, but neither of us (sorry Betty) comes anywhere close to producing the amount of sweat that Walter can produce. It'd be downright impressive if it weren't so disgusting.
One of Walter's strategies has been to take his shirt off and run shirtless when he feels the sweat really starting to pour, yet before his shirt is already soaked. Three weeks ago, the shirt stayed on about 3 miles. Last week, the shirt stayed on about 2 miles. On Saturday, about 1/2 mile into the run, he took of his shirt. I laughed and said "Already? Why'd you even bother?" Mik, who had already run the first loop and was headed back called out "that didn't last long."
It was a sign of things to come.
Despite the humidity, the first three miles of the run felt pretty good. The SDTC super-fast runners passed us at about 2 miles and said "hi." (I wondered if they wonder where we've been, or if they even notice that we haven't been around...because of course I think everyone wonders about ME). About 3 miles into the run, we saw Irene and her husband at Spanish Landing. They were waiting for the RU group that they're training with this fall. I gave Irene a sweaty hug. I'm sure she appreciated it!
I stopped at one of the last water fountains in the park before we headed onto the surface streets to get to Shelter Island. Walter passed it up.
One of the things that's concerned me about Walter's excessive sweat is that he also doesn't want to drink water along the way. I suspect this comes from some Neanderthal water-polo sports training regiment he endured when he played in high school. You know the one in which young athletes are forced to "tough it out" and not drink water when training in order to "toughen up." (He denies this). I think he should drink more when we run. He doesn't. ((sigh)). I think this is a problem. He doesn't. Pretty much sounds like most of our marriage.
Anyway, as we headed into Shelter island, about 3.5 miles in to our run, Walter said to me, "feel my shorts." I'm pretty sure I said something like, "What?" But being the good wife, I felt his shorts.
They were soaking wet...like out of a pool, bathing suit, soaking wet.
The funny thing is that he bought these running shorts a couple weeks ago. They're the dry-weave, sweat-wicking kind. He bought them to try to help with the sweat issue.
I'm not sure what it felt like to run in those things, but I'm thinking it couldn't have been comfortable. Walter agreed that it wasn't much fun (yes, we agreed about something. Don't be so surprised.)
So sweaty dudes out there...what do you do/wear/plan for when you run? Walter needs some advice and since I've never felt another guys soaking wet running shorts before, I've not yet had the opportunity to ask about it.
We turned toward Shelter Island and I was feeling pretty good, but I think the wet shorts were getting the best of Walter. He decided to find an open liquor store to buy some water and wait for Mik and I to come back from Shelter Island (about 2 miles). I actually thought briefly about running to the place where the track club usually has a water station set up (about a block away) and beg (or just blend), but since I hadn't paid for the fall training program, my sense of right and wrong led me to the next water fountain.
For the most part, running on Shelter Island was a nice diversion. We don't run onto the island very often, but it's really quite pretty and even though it's only a few 100 feet from Harbor Island, the view is much different (more of Point Loma and less of Downtown San Diego). It was pretty.
|Point Loma fog in the distance. The fog was lifting over Shelter Island and I ended up being in the only sunny area that I could see.|
|The view of Downtown San Diego...still socked in by fog.|
I almost cried.
I finally caught up with him and in my typical fashion griped about his walking away from me (we were almost at Harbor Island Drive by the time I caught him. Yes, the guy has water for me, and all I can do is bitch and complain. I'm sweet that way)**
And yes, I did thank him too.
Water revived me somewhat for the rest of the run. My right foot (PF) and calf started cramping about mile 8, so I stopped to stretch once and told Walter to go ahead and keep running (in other words...I'm bitchy right now, and it'd be better if you weren't around to see it). Unlike last week when I was willing to put in some extra distance as I headed back toward our car, I did NOT turn left once on HI to get over 10 miles. I'd hoped to get to 11 or 12 miles this morning, but w/o water and with the humidity, it just wasn't going to happen. Today, I'm OK with it. Yesterday, I was a little bummed.
I have some mixed emotions about the race coming up. I know that I can run a 1/2 marathon, even if on very minimal training and I've certainly done more than the minimum, but I'd be lying if I said this was the MOST prepared I've ever been. Fall races are just tough to prepare for in my world. School starts and there are just too many distractions and responsibilities that seem to get in the way of really, truly, getting prepared.
That being said, we will go to LB, and Mik, Elsie and I will collect our California Dreamin' Series medals having finished the Surf City 1/2 Marathon, the SF 1/2 Marathon, and the LB 1/2 Marathon in one year AND Walter will run his first 1/2 marathon
As I sat on a bench after Saturday's run, I thought about my running life. Five years ago, I had never run farther than a mile in my life (that I know of anyway...I may have in high school or college at some point, but it would have been by accident). Now I've run eleven 1/2 marathons (LB will the the 12th). Lots of 5Ks and 10Ks and a marathon. Running has changed my life. I should never be bummed that I've only run 9.67 miles, but I do think that after LB, I am going to take a little break from the long run training for a bit and let my body heal.
* SD Union-Tribune reports that the relative humidity at 2am was 78% and and 3pm was 54%, so we'll assume that it was somewhere in the 70% range.
** Yes, I can be a terrible spouse, but I did find a way so that he could watch the Charger's Game online AND I just fixed a fabulous lunch for he and his dad DURING both the Chargers and the Padres games today, so I do have some good qualities too