Sunday, September 19, 2010

Running the MDI Course in Segments

Headed up to Mt. Desert Island over the weekend with Kate to run the course in two parts. Overall, it went pretty well. I was very glad to be reminded of how tough this course actually is. Fortunately, both runs went well overall, despite not feeling like I was at my best.

Saturday:
After running a few errands in Bar Harbor with Kate, my friend Peter who lives on the island met up with me and we ran the first five and a half or so miles of the course. This took us right to the Blackwoods Campground entrance where Kate and I were staying.

I wasn't feeling my best energy wise, which made the hills seem a bit tougher. Still a good run though. Got the pace I wanted, but still felt like it was a bit more work than it should have been. Afterwards, cleaned up a bit and waited for Kate to return from her run. We then got dinner at Geddy's in Bar Harbor with her folks and headed back to the campground for s'mores before turning in for the night. The sound of waves crashing against the rocks and the bell of a distant sea buoy lulled us to sleep.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:46/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, partly sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday:
Woke up at 6am and headed to the cliffs at the shore. Made coffee right there using the camp stove and French press:




Afterwards, Peter met up with us and we shuttled his car to the end of the course in Southwest Harbor, then Kate dropped us off back outside the campground where we left off yesterday (she had 18 miles on the carriage trails on tap, and rocked it!). 

We ran, and like yesterday, I felt a bit out of sync. Didn't feel like total crap or anything, just not as energetic as I would have liked. What didn't help at all was the Nathan double water bottle waist belt I was wearing (my handheld bottle is MIA). This thing is awesome for ultras, but at a faster road pace it totally didn't work for me. I learned this the hard way. It bounced around, felt heavy, and was just a pain in the ass. In retrospect, I should have just dumped the water in one of the bottles, but then again, I wasn't sure if I would need it or not. 

But as one of the bottles grew more empty, it got more manageable and I also got a bit more used to it. I began to feel more in sync, but unfortunately, Peter's chronic foot problems (the dreaded PF) began to flare up so we slowed the pace down a notch or two. 

We eventually reached the final six miles, which contain some of the toughest hills. We managed to pick up the pace a little more here, which was good mentally. We reached the phantom finish line and were done. Glad I was able to feel better energy wise as the run went on (which, by the way, I suspect is diet related.. an easy correction). 

Really glad I did this as it was a great reminder of how tough the course really is. As great as my training has been, BQ-ing here is going to be very tough. I like to consider myself an above average hill runner, but still, several challenging sections throughout the course. I'm going to have to run it really smart and stay focused. 

Ran 20.8 miles @ 7:54/mile pace. 
Paved roads.
Very hilly. 
Mid 50s to lower 60s, mostly cloudy. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, sleeveless shirt, Nathan double water bottle belt (overkill). 

3 comments:

Sparkplug said...

Nice work Jamie!

Trevor said...

Thanks for your note about the course. It's a bit intimidating when a hill runner like yourself describes it as being so tough. Considering the race is less than a month away, I'm not sure if I should be excited or scared.

vja said...

Sounds like you're ready!