Thursday, November 29, 2012

Is Flat Really Faster?

Of course I know the answer to that. It is yes. Right? This is certainly true with cycling and swimming. You just cannot make up the time you spent going up hills on the bike with an equal downhill. And rough water swims -- well, obviously. 

This weekend's half marathon is super flat. Like they must have carved a flat road on purpose for it. Part of it is run on a levee, so yeah, I guess man created the flatness. The website says that the total elevation gain is what I do in my first mile out of my neighborhood. And then also in the second mile. And the third, even though it is half downhill. I am so used to running on false flats up long slow hills for the first few miles of my runs that I am not sure I know how to run on a truly flat road anymore. But the best part is that I'm warmed up and can cruise back home at the end. How much of having a downhill finish is mental? And can I even keep a steady pace on flats anymore? Do my legs work like they used to?

I don't run the other direction from my house due to the boringness. It's pretty, but there's only so long you can stare at the exact same beautiful scenery and feel like you're not going anywhere. It's like a treadmill in front of a window. Like for miles and miles. And this is all you can see.

The rumor is that this flat levee section is dirt, and therefore could feel like uphill both ways. Hopefully since it is run along the ironically named Rio "Grande" there will be some scenery other than dirt. I'm hoping for the best. Of course I haven't actually registered for it yet, and I kind of started "tapering" (not that I had a training plan going) super early due to Thanksgiving travel. Being around many cold germs for the holiday has me overanalyzing my scratchy throat and every sneeze.  But if vitamin C consumption in the form of orange juice has any diminishing effect on it, I'll be good. 

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