Doing the Double Trouble this last weekend taught me a couple of things. First, there are many different types of running. Running is not always running as wierd as that sounds to say, sometimes it is running??? Wierd. But I think you know what I mean. A gentle up and down on a paved trail is different from street running, which in turn is different from trail running. Of course there is trail running and then there is trail running. Well I go too far. In short, terrain matters.
Second, if you don't have the right equipment you are going to know it. Learning about your equipment is a time consuming endeavor but definately worth the time. I knew that there are scientific differences between running shoes and other types of shoes. Shoes are made to compensate for our own particular type of running, for me I have some mild pronation. My arches are still normal but I do pronate I bit. So my running shoes compensate for this malfunction in form. When I did the Double Trouble I spent a good deal of time dodging rocks, sometimes not too effectively. I twisted ankles and jarred by back from the impact. Why?? I ran in street shoes. Sure my Omni 6's are great for the road and I do not feel the impact post run even after 10 miles, but they were a poor choice for 15 kilometers of broken ground. I paid hard for that mistake. I am lucky to get out in one piece. Today, I picked up a pair of Brooks trail shoes (tougher sole to minimize rock impact with a more stable base to prevent ankle turning, I am happy... yeah!!!). I will attempt to add a trail run in at least once a week. In short, equipment matters.
Finally, the last thing that I learned is that hydration and energy is really key to this whole running thing. (Beyond preparing, logging miles and so on). But during the race keeping your body hydrated throughout is key. You have to be careful not to over do it, I read 14 to 25 oz. per hour. I was not doing that. But you have to hydrate correctly ... water is not always the answer as you can overdo it and throw your self for a loop (possibly die ... very unpleasant thought). So from now on I will be taking my sports drink/ water with me for each run that I believe I will be out for more than 1 hour. In short, hydration matters.
Terrain, equipment and hydration are the three big things I took away from the last race. Here I thought that running would be the simplist thing to do, but the more I do it the more I learn that there is alot to running. We can all do it, but doing it effectively takes work and information. I am still learning.
Keep running... I will be.