Friday, March 21, 2008

Mountains and Flatlands

I have been slightly hampered in my training so far because I have no idea how fast or far I can run on flat land. You see, I live in the middle of what must have been a prehistoric mountain range, because it is impossible for me to run a block in any direction without feeling like I should have brought ropes and carabiners.

The 5K that is coming up in just over 2 weeks, however, is flat. How flat? As the map below shows, other than a slight 20-foot downhill at the beginning (and corresponding uphill at the end), it is completely flat. (Yeah, yeah, there are a few bumps here and there, but after routinely covering 300 feet of elevation on my training runs, a 10 foot hill over the course of a block is fairly inconsequential.)

Now, it is possible that my constant walk/jogging on hilly terrain will make running on flat land a piece of cake -- I know things get much easier once I hit the flat straightaway on Wisconsin Ave. after 2 miles of uphills! (See: When I'm Not Jogging Up a Mountain, I'm Actually Pretty Good at This.) But I do wish I had more flat running experience, if only to give me the psychological boost I need. Right now, having not really run on flat land from the beginning, I'm not sure how I will do.

So... maybe I should pre-run the course this weekend to get my bearings?


  1. If it fits into your training plan, I think it's a great idea to run the course beforehand. And hats off to you for a steady diet of hill training!!

  2. I agree! Running the course beforehand might give you a lot more confidence on the actual race day, you'll be oriented. But I wouldn't make it a point of stress - if it's convient, do it. If not, no worries.