Running for Shoes

I waited until after nine o’clock pm last night to go for my run so that it would count for the Shoes Challenge. It was the final run for week seven of One Hour Runner, so I loaded up my hydration belt with water, sports drink and sport beans. The moon was full and accented by a few streaks of clouds; the air was calm and 72°.

I set my iPhone for a 45 minute workout and started down the trail, mouthing the words to “My Neck, My Back” by The Vandals. I cruised along past horse pastures and stalled housing developments, heading for the park. By the time I reached the halfway point I was on the far side of the lake. Small groups of fishermen were clumped in various spots, enjoying the cool evening and probably hoping for a free dinner. I took a handful of sport beans from their pouch and chewed them slowly, washing them down with some water. As I came around the lake, the moon was reflected perfectly in the nearly still water. Someone’s unleashed pit bull ran alongside me for a couple hundred yards, reminding me of passage in Great Races, Incredible Places where a Klondike Relay runner was being paced by an actual grizzly bear. After a quick loop of the island, I reluctantly turned away from the lake and started back towards home. Before I knew it, I was hearing the five minute warning. With one minute remaining, I opened up and sprinted to the invisible finish line, completing my new personal distance record of 4.65 miles in 45 minutes.

When I got home and synced my run I was already in second place, so I obviously wasn’t the only one trying to get a jump start on the challenge. By the time I checked it again this morning, I had dropped below fortieth.

I learned a few things on this run:

  • Night running is pretty awesome now that the evenings have cooled off.
  • Sport beans are even more awesome. I finished that run feeling great and I attribute that to the beans I ate at the halfway point.
  • The hydration belt works best once the main water bottle is at about 75% capacity. It stops bouncing around and rides evenly. I only drank about 50% of the bottle, anyway, so I’ll just fill it to 75% for future long runs.
  • I’ve decided to just round all the remaining run times in OHR to the nearest five minutes.

Tomorrow starts week eight of OHR and Thursday is the Training Kick-Off Party for the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Marathon & Half-Marathon. That will count for day two and I’ll finish the week with a fifty minute run on Saturday.

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