The folks at Rogue have a “run from hell”, a 14.5 mile run that starts at RunTex on 1st and Riverside, is flat for 2 miles and then there are 10.5 miles of hills and then the same 2 miles of flat on the way back. The route includes Stratford, Redbud and then a loop through WestLake.
The fall group ’06 Rouge group training for Chicago/NY did this run yesterday. Given the tough nature of the course and the warm and humid weather in Austin it was a accomplishment for the people training for their first marathon and for everybody that’s run one before. This course has to have some of the toughest hills in Austin … and over 10 miles of them!
I’ve done this run a few times and think I’ve got it figured out. One of the things I noticed today when I ran it was how my nutrition habits have changed over the last 2 years training with Rouge. I used to be what we call a “crack” addict (GU at the start and then every 45 minutes … more often during races). Steve (my coach at Rouge) had me wean off the GU after my first marathon training with him. Now I can usually go 2 hours without worrying about it. It is amazing what your body can adapt to, the long easy runs with a good diet during the week have done wonders for my abilty to process energy better where I’m not a slave to glycogen and constantly needing sugar. I still GU like crazy during a race but hey … at that point I’ll take a boost in energy any way I can get it but have really come to appretiate the long runs and easy pace work for getting the body to better process fatty acids and other energy sources.