Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reflections on Spinx 2010

The event isn't over yet. Physically, I need to take as much care in recovering properly as I had to do in preparing for the race. Mentally, it's time to collect some more goodies from the race, this time in the form of lessons learned.

RECOVERY:
Post-race, I did a little shopping with my mom, which encouraged light walking. I was largely okay... some inflexibiliy, and I think my ankles were a bit tired, but better than I was doing after the CM Half. Perhaps the reason is that I didn't do a cool-down jog after the CM and ended up standing on a wee, narrow ledge for a long time looking for my friends to finish. Being fitter probably also helps, since I was very able to do a strong cool-down jog.

Once home, lots of stretching and rolling.

Ate a turkey sandwich, orange, half a banana post-race. Mixed greens when I got home, plus bread and PB. For dinner, some pork and tofu and sprouts with brown rice. Was hungry at night at a Halloween party where I got to just chill, and had Doritos (an all-natural brand) and salsa.

The next morning, I was more sore... DOMS setting in. I'm of the school that believes that DOMS is caused by the recovery process itself... perhaps the breaking down of the old broken stuff step. Anyway, so I made a milk / whey powder / oatmeal concoction, since protein is best absorbed with some carbs. Then, I chased with my usual fish oil (good for reducing inflammation and good for heart health and brain health and all sorts of things), glucosamine and chondroitin, and half a multivitamin - I do the multi when I have a meal sans veg or fruit.

MENTAL NOTES FOR NEXT TIME:
I had talked about perhaps joining the 3:30 pace group (a 1:45) in my Spinx Half Hype 2, but I had forgotten that the full started 40 minutes before the half, so out of the qustion. However, judging by how I operated during the race, maybe it's better if I don't? Or maybe just keep my eye on them but don't stick right up on them? Because there were people my pace-ish who I kind of fell into a grove with at about mile 2, when I was speeding (although perhaps not really speeding, considering that the pace held pretty well and that that was a downhil). They started pulling away two miles later, and I figured that it was because I was fading and that I was not fit to hang with that pace crowd anyways, so I didn't mind and accepted it as an inevitability. So I just ran my own race and was able to keep eye contact. But at about mile 6, I saw that I was reeling them in. I was glad that I had not expended energy in chasing. Steady effort is the key to PBs. So if I were to join a pace group, if they power up hills when I believe it's better to hold the effort constant, I think I'll let them go. If I happen to be feeling bad, I can take it easy for a bit and let my body get back into its groove. If I'm feeling great and am ready to zoom past... well, perhaps I shouldn't do that, since I have no idea what's in store beyond mile 20 and should conserve whatever I have until then.

My fueling seemed pretty good. I'll probably aim for something every 5-6 miles in the full. And I'll again go Gatorade or water depending on how I feel. Worked at the CM Half and worked at Spinx. Sometimes, you don't want more sweet. You want pure liquid water.

Don't know about using the Kinvaras for the full... it works your ankles and arches more. Maybe if I built up ankle and arch strength, I could. It certainly makes you fast because it's so light. We'll see. I guess I'll try to use them every once and a while in my runs (probably speedwork) to build up my arches and ankles so that I can potentially have the opton of using them.

The Garmin wasn't very useful this time... dead lots of weight. The mileage was a mile off, which makes the "ave pace" indicator by which I determine what overall time I can reach meaningless. Maybe too many turns in this couse. Houston's has many more straights, so it may work better there. And I ended up going by feel during this race so much, and it worked well. By feel and by simply looking at my mile splits. Dunno. I guess I'm familiar with 5k (and perhaps half) effort and can go by feel. Although until yesterday, I had noooooo idea I could do a half so fast... it was holding something only a little slower than 5k pace for 13.1!!! And again, I won't even have run 26.2 before, let alone raced it. TBD.

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