Lessons from the Road, 2018:
- Man, I am glad I did a month of conditioning before I hit the road and started my training this year. My knees are in good shape and I’m getting a consistent time on my short and long runs.
- MapMyRun the online site has been very good at helping me plot and plan my runs. MapMyRun the smartphone app needs its GPS calibrated…or something.
- Money woes prevented me from doing a lot of out of town runs and races this year. I would have liked to do the Riley’s Rumble Half and the Larry Noel 15K this year. Oh well, maybe next year.
- That being said, thanks to MMR, I found some really good running around the Patuxent River area (Great Mills/Lexington Park/Three Notch Road/California, MD).
- My FlipBelt can carry a 20 oz. bottle of water if I turn the pocket holes inside towards my belly. This keeps it from falling out while I run.
- Said 20 oz. bottle of water, mixed with Mio Energy, can last me a 20 mile run (4 oz. every four miles). Four packets of Gu at the same intervals keeps the hunger pains at bay while helping maintain my energy levels.
- Weekday short runs: reveille goes at 0430. Stretching from 0445-0455. On the road and running at 0500. Sunday long runs: reveille at 0400 and breakfast from 0400~0420. Stretching to running, same times.
- Full moon or not, streetlights or not: the sooner I start, the sooner I finish. Especially when you’re running against humidity or the threat of rain.
- Thunder and lightning plus streetlamp on the course equals great chance to be struck by lighting. Nothing wrong with postponing or cancelling the run.
- Bodyglide is mandatory when I run more than 6 miles; however, this year I learned I can probably go about 9 without it.
- Back to MMR: always check your maps for water break points and turnaround points and confirm them before you run (Land Navigation 101…which I flunked more than once this year).
- The longer your long run, the more you need to hydrate the day before.
- Hydration plus energy boosts (Nuun or Tailwind) may equal active bowels before and during the run. For me, taking a quick No.1 usually helps stall the No.2 until I can find a proper toilet or until I get home.
- Know where the “public” bathrooms are!
- Your local gas stations would probably appreciate a purchase if/when you decide to use their restrooms. Jus’ sayin’…
- Be aware of your surroundings if you have to “go potty” outside during your runs. Local law enforcement tends to frown on runners “doing their business” in public.
- Running before first light? Day-glo/fluorescent tech shirts and caps should be mandatory for you, especially if running on public roads.
- Some public running trails have regulations against running before dawn/after sunset. Again, be aware of your surroundings (police, muggers, wild animals, etc.) and plan accordingly.
- Be aware of wild animals on the course. A philosophy of “don’t mess with them, and they won’t mess with you” always works. This goes for deer, skunks, and snakes.
- STRETCH!!! Regardless of the milage or time of day. I learned to start stretching my groin muscles after I strained mine during a run. My conditioning saved me a lot of downtime that I could have lost.
- If you plan to do a six month or shorter training schedule, try to put in a couple of extra weeks’ buffer for unscheduled downtime (missed days for injury or life events).
- Fulfill your training schedule if you are physically and mentally able to, but don’t be afraid to listen to your body. If you have been consistent in your workouts and not just “checking the box,” a couple of missed sessions will not kill you. Depending on your experience level, missing ONE long run won’t be a deal breaker.
- COOL DOWN!!! Walk or jog approx. a quarter mile, stretch, a bath with epsom salt for 15~20 minutes or a whirlpool/jacuzzi, and maybe stretch some more. Always cool down after your long runs, and even the short runs if you feel you need to.
- Anti-chafing: two tech shirts (and maybe some Bodyglide) to protect the nipples, and Bodyglide everywhere your body parts run together (mostly the groin and testes/vaginal area).
- Keep track of your pace, but always focus on finishing.
Song of the Day:”Hey Joe”/Jimi Hendrix and “This Wheel’s on Fire”/Bob Dylan. “Hey Joe” is the original Hendrix classic that has been covered for years; my favorite cover is Type O Negative’s “Hey Pete.” “Wheel” is the Dylan original from the Basement Tapes album, straight off the acetate tapes. This song has also been covered a whole bunch, but Julie Driscoll (in my humble opinion) has been the only one to cover it right. She did it twice: once with Brian Auger and the Trinity, and once again with Adrian Edmonson for the theme song to the BBC sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous.” I love the “dark” intent of the originals of both songs.
I’m listening to an hour-long version of AWOLNation’s “Sail” as I type this, by the way…same song repeated over and over.
And…”None of Your Business (Cheryl’s Metal Mix)”/Salt n’ Pepa. This song just popped into my head this morning during my prep for my short circuit workout. I liked the original, but loved the nu-metal remix with the band Crackhead providing the crunchy backup to the woman-power anthem…or something.