Hardest weekend I can remember. Probably the hardest of 2012 for me (which isn’t totally surprising) as it might be the first weekend I got my workouts in. Beyond that, however, was the heat and the sun, which sapped the life out of me both days.
Saturday’s bike ride (which I survived. Glad that happened) was a disaster of dehydration. With no car (for now) I had to ride out to the southwestern burbs. All of the stopping and starting getting outside of Boston sapped my calves and left my low on liquids. At the end of every 50 minute interval it was time to find a gas station and buy more fluids. Got home totally sapped of energy.
Sunday was a 13 miler with 3x2miles at HMP. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but it continued to be incredibly hot and humid. Unlike other hot days (Boston Marathon Sunday, two weeks ago), I brought a water bottle with me. Even so, I was put into difficulty early on and after the first interval never really was able to hit the targets (though I tried). Ended up stopping at a Dunkin 10 miles in, getting some water, and then running home. After all of that, I ended up getting 12.5 miles at a 7:23 pace. Considering last weekend had a 12 miler at a 7:00 pace, I think the fact that I had put in so much work this week is the reason for the difference (though there could easily be other factors involved as well). Hungry and dehydrated was the rule for the night.
Watching the Olympics, two things have caught my attention:
1. Paula Findlay. Holy crap. Alyssa has some interesting thoughts on this. Simon Whitfield said that she shouldn’t have had to apologize, and certainly shouldn’t have had to apologize standing there alone (there’s a lot of history with SQW and TriCanada as Simon’s wins have provided funding). Obviously, there’s a lot of drama going on there. What really struck me was the look on her face as she fought on to finish. It’s quite obvious that she was in a great deal of pain and under a lot of pressure. But she continued on. There’s something beautiful in the pain. There’s something magnificent in putting everything you have into something, even if it doesn’t pan out.
2. An honest pace. I’ve had arguments with a friend about this before. It’s used a lot in the discussions of distance racing (both track and road). An honest pace simply means that for a given race, it’s not about tactics or strategy, but running the fastest race possible. Looking at the men’s 10K and the first heat of the 1500m, the pace wasn’t what you would call honest: it was a slower, tactical pace meant to deliver the the runners with the fastest kick to the finish line first. Same thing goes for the marathon: the runners are feeling each other out, not making any moves to really stretch the field out (which is ridiculous when you think about how fast they are running). I think it’s really something you only see at the elite level, and maybe it’s a matter of nerves: by controlling the pace, nobody is really in danger of going too hard and losing out on all of the glory. I don’t think tactical racing necessarily a bad thing; I just don’t think it translates down to the non-elite/recreational level.
Update: Seems that a dishonest pace is enough to get you kicked out of a race though.