Last double digit run in the books

This morning Barry and I headed up to the Huckleberry Trail for our final double digit run before the Thunder Road Marathon! It was only 24 degrees at the start of our run, so I wore tights, a quarter zip long sleeve top, gloves, and an ear warmer/head band thing. It did warm up to the high 40’s by the end, though.

Instagram {turkeyrunner}

I wanted to do one last run on the Huckleberry to get in some more rolling hills. Last week there was a sign saying the bridge on the trail was closed for maintenance until 11/8. I failed to look at the sign at the start of today’s run, but later found out it had been changed to closed until 11/15. I found that out for myself when I got 1.25 into my run, where the bridge is. Last week they only had the orange things blocking the bridge, but this week they had woven chain link into the fence on either side so I figured they really didn’t want us on it.

I did three out and backs from the trail head to the closed bridge and back, for the first 7.5 miles. There were a few other runners doing the same thing, so I saw the same 4 people multiple times. It wasn’t too bad, considering I’ve been in worse long run situations like that time I ran 10 miles on a quarter mile loop at a campground.

However, I got bored after three out and backs, which is easy to do when you have other options. So I did a lap around the mall for another mile. During that lap, I saw Barry (who was running separate) and he told me the new part of the trail they were working on would be a good place to run. So I headed across the road from the trail head to check out the new branch. For those of you who are familiar with the Huckleberry, this new section runs behind Wal-Mart and Home Depot and connects the existing Huckleberry to the Christiansburg Rec Center.

The existing part of the trail, behind the movie theater

My left shin felt really good during today’s run. I wasn’t really feeling the run at the start, but by the end of the run I felt like I was just getting into my rhythm. So I guess that’s good for next weekend. One issue I did have today was that my Shot Bloks froze. It made it really hard to eat, and it took me nearly half a mile to eat two of them. If that’s the only hardship I have next weekend, I’ll take it!

Let’s talk about Charlotte for a minute. Since the race is next weekend (!!!) it’s close enough to start stalking the weather forecast. This is how it’s looking right now:

Sixty percent chance of rain!? That’s no good. I’m hoping the percent chance decreases, but if not I need to make a game plan for how I am going to deal with these weather conditions. I didn’t exactly plan to run my race with a hat or jacket on, and I would prefer not to do anything new on race day. I think the only time I’ve ever raced in the rain was the Baltimore Half in 2008, and it was a light misty rain on and off throughout the race.

How do you handle unexpected things that come up during a long run/race? Do you roll with it or does it throw you off?
I tend to be really accepting of whatever the situation throws at me, and just roll with it.

Tips on running a marathon in the rain…. ready, go!

11 Comments

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  1. I would have done the same thing as you and just run back and forth until I got bored! So rain for a marathon sucks. But if it is a mist, it is OK and kind of refreshing. Just have a plastic bag or two at the start and make sure there are dry clothes waiting for you as soon as you finish! And, of course, go for a hot beverage upon finishing. That is the best!
    I would not worry too much, as a lot can change with weather forecasts over the course of a week.

    1. It looks like the chance of rain is already going down some, which is good. Hopefully if it does rain, it won’t be more than a mist. Thanks for the tips!

  2. When I come to visit YOU we’ll have to run on the Huckleberry Trail for sure 🙂
    Congrats on that last double-digit run! I’m glad you rolled with it with the obstacles that came your way. I think that means you’re ready for your race mentally as well as physically.
    I tend to roll with things when I have run less than 15 miles. When I run further, my mental toughness has proven to be less than stellar!

    1. We can definitely run there and on the New River Trail!

    2. Let me know when the party on the Huckleberry Trail is going to be because I want to join you guys!!!

  3. Congrats on finishing your last double digit run! Doesn’t it feel great? I’m looking forward to the last few ez runs this week! Fingers crossed we both get good weather on Saturday! Amy’s garbage bag idea is a good one. I usually do this to stay warm at the start. I love how runners look like a bunch of bums at wintee races!

    1. It feels good! Now it’s a few short runs just to keep my legs moving and then race day, ahhhh! I am feeling that itch to do a little more to “make sure” I’m ready, but I know that I can’t do anything more to prepare at this point, running-wise.

      I love looking around at all the people at the start line for the same reason! Between the trash bags and clothes that are clearly throw away layers, it definitely looks like a large gathering of vagrants.

  4. You sound exactly like me! I start stalking the weather a week out before races and football games! Keep in mind that it’s early, and the forecast could very easily change between now and race day!

    Just a reminder that my marathon PR was in the pouring rain… Of course we know that you are going to get a PR on Saturday no matter what the weather is like! 😉 My advice for racing in the rain is to be very aware of the temperature. Don’t overdress because of the rain and then be too hot for 25 miles. If you wear a jacket, be prepared to tie it around your waist if you get too warm. Don’t make the mistake I made one year with my hands. My hands got too warm in my gloves so I tossed my gloves. Very soon my hands got cold again and I no longer had any gloves to wear!

    I can’t believe the Huckleberry Trail bridge over the train tracks is closed off. What a bummer! If Bill and I run next weekend before the game we’ll have to go out really early, and I hope the bridge is opened back up by then. Otherwise, we’ll be doing the same thing as you. Good to know that the trail is finished heading in the opposite direction!

    Good luck next weekend! Text me after you finish and let me know how you did and how you feel!

  5. YAY for your last long training run! I can’t believe race day is almost HERE. I’m sure it seems like a long time training for you, but as an outsider, I feel like you just started training a couple of weeks ago. I can’t believe you ran 10 miles on a 1/4 mile trail. I think that’s actually worse than a marathon, so you’re set for next weekend.

  6. Ahhhh only a week until you’re a marathon!!! 🙂 I hope the rain goes away but I think Deb’s advice was good!! Good luck!!!

  7. Depending on the temp, try grabbing a light, water-resistant jacket for a test run this week. If it’s raining, such an item can help keep you dry, without adding much weight (and it can easily be tied around your waist if it stops raining/gets warm).

    Don’t forget that a trash bag (with arm holes for stability) makes a great, cheap pre-race raincoat.

    And hold those chews in your hand, or stick them in your waistband or bra to warm up a bit before you try to eat them – they’ll soften right up!

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