Sunday, June 22, 2008

Testing the marathon course

With the Deseret Morning News Marathon just a month away, I figured it only made sense to take advantage of the longest stretch of time I have spent at once in zipcode 84105 by getting to know the course.

There is no doubting the overall downhill nature of this course is appealing to me. I mean, look at this for heaven's sake!

However, while there is 3,846 feet of downhill, there is indeed nearly 700 feet of uphill in this puppy. And as the race ends just a block away from my home at ~4,300 feet that means this race starts at 7,500 feet above the good ole ocean. As such, I knew I needed to not take the downhill for granted and needed to see for myself what this race had in store.

I thought about running up into Emigration Canyon and testing some of that huge downhill. But after one of the hardest weeks of training I have ever done, I did not have the energy to run all the way up and then turn around to come back.

Instead, I decided today I would check out the last 10k of the course. As this section starts just a few miles from my house, I could get a good solid 9 miles in and call it a day.

My morning run was delayed by some important phone calls, so by the time I started, the summer sun was bright and full in the sky. However, I will take this desert heat over the warm humidity sweater of Washington, DC weather almost any day.

I soon was summiting the hardest climb of my run and a good halfway through when I realized I had done portions of this same run before on a previous training run. Familiarity is indeed good when you are racing. Of course, I also knew there would not be just downhill and flat in the final 10k. Nothing horrendous awaited me today and subsequently the other racers come July 24th, but I already know the little uphills in this last 10k will indeed test weary legs.

The tree-lined streets of South Temple provided some solace from the warm sun and they should do the same come race morning.

As I wound through the streets of Salt Lake City, getting closer to both the "finish line" as well as my home, I had a feeling that this race will be quite fruitful for me.

Now the only thing between that thought and reality is 26.2 short little miles.

1 comment:

KLM said...

I only looked at the pictures, but I'm sure the rest of the blog was nice too.
I'm excited to see how well you do on that course!