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August 23, 2005

Most everyone knows I like to run. I do run various events now and then. However I don't run those to be competitive against other runners. My competition is purely with myself. Most of the time I do try and better my Personal record (PR) for that distance.

Last year I became a little more aggressive in running events. I ran a marathon, 3 half marathons, a 9 mile trail run and a few smaller events. This year so far I have run 2 half marathons, an 8k and a 5k. I have one more half marathon and a 5k on my schedule yet for this year.

Many wonder why a person would abuse themselves by running all those miles. Personally I find running to be relaxing and therapeutic. During most of my runs there is an intelligent conversation taking place. I occasionally solve all the world's problems. Mostly though, I find myself reflecting on my life during my runs. That is why I don't find the runs to be an abuse and find them to be invigorating for the most part.

There are a couple of chat groups that have running as the common thread. We post our running repots there. Here is my report from the Mora Half Marathon that I ran on August 20th.

All in all a very good run for me today. I am very happy with it. I wasn't seeking a PR and I didn't get one. But I wasn't too far off. My plan was to run a smooth and comfortable run. I did exactly that.

Weather was nearly perfect. The temp was about 60 degrees maybe a little higher at the start but not bad. I would have preferred it to be a bit cooler however could have been worse. The sun was out for just over half of the run. A nice cloud bank covered it for the last half. That was a nice surprise and a welcomed one. A bit of a head wind from about mile 3 to mile 7 but not cumbersome. A light refreshing rain fell from mile 10 to about mile 11. No complaints from me about the weather.

The course was a bit different than I had remembered it to be. It was a bit more uphill at the beginning. Pretty much from mile 3 to 7 it was uphill. Then it leveled off until about mile 9 at which point it was then down hill to mile 11. The last 2.1 miles was level for the most part. One good aspect that I hadn't remembered was that there was a very nice gravel shoulder to run on from mile 4 to 7. Overall I would say the course was mild.

The evening before the run I rode my bike around the course to determine where I was going to put my small bottles of Gatorade. Then in the morning I drove to those spots and stashed the Gatorade. During the evening I came up with an idea of putting a wash cloth in a baggie filled with ice and stash that with my Gatorade at mile 9. Now that felt really great when I wiped off the back of my neck and my face. To make it even better, I put the soaked wash cloth over my head and put my hat on over it. Fantastic way to cool down.

In addition to my items stashed along the course there was an ample number of water stops and I my carbo gels at 2.5, 7.5 and 11. To help cool off prior to getting the ice water soaked wash cloth at each of the water stops I took one glass and put that into my hat. I finally put together a good plan for providing fuel for my body.

I wore my Garmin 201 to help me chart my progress as I went along. My splits were 8:47 , 9:13 , 9:18 , 9:16 , 9:47 , 9:34 , 9:50 , 9:50 , 9:26 , 9:21 , 9:37 , 9:54 , and 9:20 . Pretty consistent. As usual I started faster than I like by going with the flow. As I reviewed my splits I was very happy to see some of the latter splits were better than the middle splits.

I was very relaxed and in control for the entire race. Everything seemed to click The carbo gels at the right time, the water stops at the right times and the weather. My body felt very good for the entire run and my time was just over a minute better than I did last year at this event 2:05:11. Quite simply a perfect run.