Sunday, February 13, 2005

Holy Running Utility Belt

Utility belt
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
This is my utility belt. I use it on training runs over 20 miles, which is to say that I only use it about 14 times a year. This puppy holds two 22 oz water bottles, has a big pocket in the back in which I carry my phone, has two zippers above the water bottle holders that can carry two Clif-Shots (running candy with caffeine) in each of them, has a pocket in front that holds my ID, credit card, $20 bill, and my house key, AND as I discovered yesterday, has two loops in the front that you can hang things from, such as gloves. It wouldn't surprise me to discover at some point that this thing has a rocket booster button. It's that impressive.

Yesterday's 20 miler was my first 20 miler in almost a year. Last summer's ITB injury kept me from training for a fall marathon. As I hate loops and out and backs, Liz agreed to drive me to a point 20 miles away from our house and drop me off. It's a lonely feeling when you see that car pull away and realize that you have 20 miles to go before you're home.

I started off slow, running at about an 8:45 pace. After about three miles, I was feeling pretty good, so I picked it up and ran 7:30s to the ten mile mark, which I completed in 1:18. I'll have to post a photo slide show sometime because the scenery is breathtaking. Upper Westchester makes me feel like I'm heading to the Weber's cabin for some snowboarding. At ten miles though, the scenery ends as I enter White Plains.

Now White Plains is a nice place. My son was born there. I've had great sashimi in White Plains. My favorite running store, Westchester Road Runner, is in White Plains. But, it's no Armonk, Scarsdale, or Bronxville. Plus, the lights. I hate stopping.

As I left White Plains, at the 14 mile mark, I was still feeling strong and was confident that my second 10 miles would come in around 1:10. The running gods chose otherwise.

At mile 16, my legs locked up. They were done. I could hear them crying, "Stop. Please stop." My right hamstring in particular felt that it was going to snap and roll up like a window shade at any moment. I took this as a sign to slow down. My last four miles were torturous. 9 minute miles, maybe slower. It's all still hazy. I still ran a negative split, but barely at 1:17.

Can't wait to do this again next week.

No comments: