Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Jennipede" Training and Other Things

This morning was the first "official" training run for the Jenny Crain Make It Happen Tethered Marathon World Record Attempt. We met at Lake Park in the lower East Side of Milwaukee where there was a scheduled marathon build up run sponsored by the Badgerland Striders, a local running club. On the schedule was a 20 mile run, something I wasn't exactly looking forward to having run the Eisenbahn Marathon just last weekend. But we needed to practice running all tethered together.

I woke up to a thunderstorm rolling in but we were fortunate enough to have it pass by only 30 minutes before we were to start. I find the group and introduce myself to a few of the runners huddled together. We only had about half of the team there but we all got on our race belts and carabineers and latch ourselves onto the rope. I situated myself toward the back to the rope which ended up being a good idea. Not only was I near other runners who usually run close to my pace, but we had a blast cracking jokes and telling stories. About 30 of us were on hand for the training run. We will need at least 55 runners to break the World Record.

We took off at a slow pace and took a 1 minute walk break every mile. Our pace was starting at 11:30 and slowing to 12:00. Let me tell you, it is not easy running 2 1/2 to 3 minutes slower than usual pace. I only wonder how hard it was for the fast runners on the team. It was very humid and our shirts were soaked only a couple miles in. We circled around and were back at the starting point at 13 miles for an extended break. The long breaks really suck when we start up again. I was ready to stop at 13 but was a trooper for the day. Toward the last 2 miles, we slowed some more as a few runners were struggling but we all finished.

Along the way we practiced a few things we will need to do on race day. We usually ran next to the runners near us in line but we needed to practice getting into a single file line for when we go over the timing mats (a requirement). We also practices restroom breaks in the port-o-let. Not as easy as one would think. During the race, no one is allowed to disconnect from the line until the race is over so if you need to use a restroom, you will need to go in with extra rope so slack is built into the plan. This is more an issue for the ladies of the team, but could rear it ugly head for us guys too. Some of the ladies on the team just suggested the guys face one way and the ladies the other and just go. I don't think that will fly, but an interesting strategy.

It was fun today. We ran 20.1 miles and took us somewhere over 4 hour and 30 minutes. Almost 30 minutes slower than I ran the full marathon last weekend. I was sore after the run today. Running a different pace does different things to your muscles. It was fun though and will be a blast on race day 4 weeks from now.

Have you been keeping up with the World Track & Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea? I would wish I could keep up with it more but it is quite difficult with the coverage offered. I suppose I could pay for Universal Sports and watch there, but I prefer good old free (or paid cable) TV. I did get to see a few races today and even a few I didn't know the results of before hand, something that makes watching races more exciting.

I did get to watch Jenny Barringer-Simpson win the gold in the 1500. She ran such a smart race and kicked at the exact right time. I did know the result of that ahead of time. But I did not know that Matthew Centrowitz had won the bronze. That was exciting to see from such a young American. Lots of potential for him. Of course it is always fun to watch Usain Bolt.

The US has never hosted the World Track & Field Championships. I hope someday they will. That would be one fun week watching track! Tomorrow is the last day of the Championships, should be on NBC for a little bit and now that they have Ato Boldon and a commentator instead of Carol Lewis, the coverage and comments are much better.

Keep on Running!!!

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