2004-08-29 - Mad Dog Zimmarathon

26+ miles @ 13.8 min/mi

Home to Lake Needwood and back, via Rock Creek Trail! I carry my wife's digital camera and take pictures of the mileposts along the way, for use on a web page eventually or to add eye candy to my RockCreekTrail GPS coordinate collection. At 6am when I set out the temperature is ~73 F and the relative humidity is almost 100%; at noon as I return the thermometer climbs to ~85 F. Ugh!

A CSX freight train blocks the grade crossing a quarter mile from my house and delays me by ~5 minutes --- a fortunate early reminder to slow down. The 11 measured miles outbound along RCT average 13:32 (including time spent taking photos of mileposts and some bizarre orange "tree-ear" fungi growing on stumps); coming back the mean pace is 13:30 (including time spent changing socks and pouring water over my head at the fountains). I also photograph "Sue's Spot" near RCT Mile 11, the memorial garden for Sue Wen Stottmeister. (We should add something for the late Connie Barton there too. See SueWenRun, 29 May 2002.)

I religiously walk up anything that resembles a hill, and do my best to go slowly, but it's tough to control the pace until near the end when my right foot begins hurting and I get a bit tired. Before starting I have a cup of coffee, a Clif bar, and 20 oz. of Gatorade. Along the way I nibble down ~2.5 Clif bars and drink ~50 oz. of water. I also carry another bottle of Gatorade for the first 7 miles and then hide it behind a tree; during the return trip I retrieve it and chug it.

Obvious lessons learned:

Carry plastic bags
The socks I change into at the 16 mile point are soaking wet, from my sweat and from water spilled on them as I douse my skull. I also could have used a bag or two to keep Paulette's camera safe and dry on the homeward journey.
Get a good waist-pouch
My current one, a gift a few years ago from my brother Keith, is wearing out and can't hold much weight without bouncing uncomfortably as I jog. I sympathize with well-endowed lady runners.
Don't drink too hastily
The Gatorade that I inhale during mile 19 sits heavily in my stomach for the next half hour.
Eat salty food
I survive on my "elvish waybread" diet, but probably could have used extra sodium towards the end.

Overall, a successful experiment in long, slow jogging ... in spite of August heat and humidity. I spy huge numbers of cyclists and runners and walkers, one large deer, many squirrels, and one chipmunk.

Silly question: should this route be called the "Zimarathon", "Zimmarathon", or "Zimmermarathon"? (^_^)

(see also RobertFrostTrail (10 Aug 2004), ... )