Saturday, January 18, 2014

Best Speed

As most of my running friends know I eschew GPS running devices. Really, I think they are one of the worst things to happen to running. Folks relying on technology instead of themselves, their training and common sense…always striving for a number that's faster and farther than yesterday and it leads them down the road to injury and burnout. Now, mind you, if it works for you great! It's not for me and I think more folks should run naked. (Technology wise I mean)

I'm just back from running the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge Weekend…every year for nine years now Mary Lou and I skip down to see The Mouse, run a bit (or a lot) and decompress from life in general.

This year was the inaugural Dopey Challenge. Four
days of racing starting with the 5k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, Half marathon on Saturday and Marathon on Sunday.

How do you do that? You can follow a GPS for pacing and speed which ignores the 100% humidity and warm temps and racing in the dark and the gobs of people or you can follow
Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE.

You go at best speed. The best speed you can maintain and not blow up.
It's how I got through my four races. Running by feel, which is quickly becoming a lost art in running and other endurance sports.

The 5k started at 6:15 with my wave going off a bit after that. Now, I can run a 5k in 24 or 25 minutes now, OK for my age, but I knew there would be the devil to pay if I ran too hard. It went well and I finished in 27 running comfortably hard.
Comfortably hard? Yup. A pace where I was working' but not killing myself.

On Friday the 10k started at 5:30. I was in the second wave so we tooled off a few minutes after the first. A great course through Epcot for the Inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k. Lots of fun. Lots of characters  and a race done almost completely in the dark! Disney lights everywhere.
My PR for 10k is 42:20 but I'm not in that kind of shape right now. I'd be happy under and hour. 57 minutes. Again, running at best speed…comfortably hard, an eye to the half and marathon.

Saturday is tough. Not only does the 2am wake up call hurt, but the 100% humidity will cause all kinds of havoc. By Saturday morning the early wake ups are causing problems for some. Throw in the wetness and you have folks suffering with 100% humility. Lots of walking.
My 13.1 went well. Running at my best speed for the day I still made 2:10 which considering the situation was fine with me! ML finishes well although she suffers in the heat. This and all of her previous 7 WDW 1/2 marathon finishes are within 5 minutes of each other. Oh! I also negative split the race, running the second half faster then the first! Runners dig that.

By Sunday the early mornings are really the worst part. I feel good for the marathon…sort of. The odd hours and strange eating times leave my guts a little Grumpy.
To the race on WDW transportation, and to the start about 4:45 to wait for the fireworks. Thankfully Sunday is cooler and breezy with less humidity. While I do have to make a few bathroom stops because of Grumpy Colon (a new Disney character) I feel good and am moving at best speed! I make a few character stops. (I'll post those pics when I get them)  Tons of characters, great support and even greater volunteers make for a real good time! By mile 10 things are calming down in my stomach and I negative split the marathon! I couldn't do that if I tried and planned for it. Not looking for one it happens. Typical.

The Goofy Challenge continues with next year being the 10th year. I am hopeful to maintain my "Perfectly Goofy" status.

Will I be Dopey again? Maybe. Maybe not. It's hard doing four early mornings in a row even though THAT has to be good training for something.