My training schedule is so kooky right now: up, down, stay. Etc. I know its because I started early and because my base was already at 12 miles, but still. So last week, was 15, this week was 12. Works for me. :O)
When I got the route for Saturdays run, while it isnt one that I love (Rice/Hermann), it does run right by my house. This gave me an idea.
Instead of driving to base (2.5 miles away), I would just start from my house and improvise to get the 12 miles total. (The route from base is either 11.5, 10 or 13.1 depending on your choice after you get to Rice). For me, running from my house to Rice, then Hermann then back around is 8 miles; so I needed to get 4 in before I started. I figured I would time it so that I was at the 1st water stop (which is basically where my place is) when the 4-4:15 groups were coming through (approx 6:25 or so).
So I get up and out the door at about 5:15am or so (79deg 89% humidity) and take off down WA towards Kirby (my 4 mile route through RO). I ran with my little 10 oz handheld. It would be 4 miles before I hit the water stop by my house and well, it was hot. Surprisingly even as gross as it was out, the 4 miles passed quickly, and just as I was coming up H I could see the flashing lights of E's truck off in the distance so I knew she was setting up the water stop. I stopped to say hello then ran back to the casa to drop off the hand held. I dont really remember what time it was, but I figured it was close to 6am. 6am is when the sub 3 hour group takes off from base. Did I really want to sit around and wait 25 minutes?
I had noticed that there were 2 people who had apparently started early from base coming up H as I was talking to E, and when I started back down H after dropping off the hh, I saw them now in front of me, heading towards Rice.
Here is where things started to not go in my favor. My decision to start ahead was not a good one for several reasons.
When I got to Rice, there was no water stop set up. I was too early. Eh, I thought, no biggie, next one is 2 miles away and only a mile away from here is a water fountain. So off I go...I did stop at the water fountain, got some water, albeit hot water, but water nonetheless and I set off towards Hermann. Well guess what? Not only was there no water stop set up (I feared this might be the case anyway), but in addition to that the trail we were supposed to run on around Hermann was closed off due to construction. FML.
This is where I saw one of the guys that had been ahead of me, and we figured out that Coach didnt know this, and because we didnt have the 2nd water stop, we missed the 'announcement' of Dont go to Hermann once the news of the situation made its way back to Coach.
Thankfully it was right near Miller Outdoor and yep, water fountains. Barely. So the dude and I decided to just run along the other 'trail' and go around the Houston Zoo and then end up back on the part of the trail that wasnt roped off. By this time I had seen a couple of the fast dudes, so I assumed they had made the same decision as we had.
I was beginning to struggle (just ran slow and walked a time or two for minimal amount of time and it seemed to help), with no Gatorade for calories and barely any water to speak of, and I was 7 ish miles in. I was soaked clean through before I had finished the first 4 miles through RO. I found 2 more water fountains though so even though the water was warm and it had 0 calories, it was wet and I need the fluids badly.
Once I finally made it out of Hermann, and the long way around Rice I finally made it back to the what was the 2nd water stop on the way out and I had to laugh because it looked like a party. So many people were hovering around it! Most people had gotten word NOT to go to Hermann, so it was crowded as they had been just coming off a loop of Rice. Slackers. :O)
Now comes the good part! Since I had started from home, at this water stop, that told me I was 1.5 miles from ending my 12 miles for the day! Just knowing that once I got to WA that I didnt have 2 more miles to get to base after that...mentally that was a win in my book. Needless to say that last 1.5 miles went more according to normal pace. I knew I could push it a bit and if I dropped on the ground at least I wasnt far from home :O)
Lesson learned. I shouldnt start out too far ahead otherwise you either miss fluids, OR the worst part was not knowing the route had changed last minute. :O)
Next weekend, back up to 14 miles.
At least my BFF's will be back this coming weekend (which also was one of the reasons I went ahead of the pack to begin with)...