Rehovot. The mother of all runs.
This Friday we ran Rehovot again. The great thing about Rehovot is that you can start from different places, depending on the distance you want to run.
Though my initial assessment of the Rehovot run was incomplete, as I now have the fuller picture after having run it 4 times now. Initially I said how much I liked the Rehovot run because it is such a flat run, so you can really get into a good rhythm, with only a couple of hilly sections.
Now that I have run this run a few times, I know that statement was wrong, if not just incomplete. There are plenty of hills. It just depends where you start from. My first two Rehovot runs, I started the runs after the main hills, with only a couple of small ones in my route. This Friday I did the full run, and now I know my initial assessment was wrong.
Friday I ran to Rehovot, startiong from the beginning of the full route, totalling 34km. The schedule really called for 36km. The group was starting at Aviv, with a loop around Narkiss for 2km, making the run 36km. My high until now was 31km, so I was worried 36 minght be too much. Being that I did not want to take the chance of collapsing in the middle of Rehovot and not being able to continue, I decided to start from Aviv without the extra loop. I figured if I was feeling good at the end of the run, I could add some extra kilometrage in Rehovot at the end of the run.
The only problem with that is once you get to the end, you never want to keep going. It is a mental thing. By the end I felt like I could probably do a couple more km, I just had no motivation to. By then 34 was enough.
The run started off tough. It was extremely windy on Highway 38, which was the first 6 km. For some reason, the wind always seems to be against the runner rather than to his back! Then was 2km of uphill from Tzomet Shimshon to the top of President's Forest. After that the run got smoother. But because we started the run later than the previous times, we ended up doing much of the run in the sun and heat.
It was an unseasonably warm and sunny day. That made it very dry. One runner even slightly dehydrated (he is ok and was able to complete the run). That made the run very tough.
We were told not to run full out, but to take it slow, and run 10-15 seconds slower than the last time we ran Rehovot. Just because this week is the half-marathon, and the full is only less than 5 weeks away.
So I ran slow, but because of th eheat I don't think we needed those instructions anyway. By the time I got to Mazkeret Batya, I was feeling like a sun-dried tomato. I wore my fuel belt, despite last time saying I would not. i decided to give it another try. I still don't like it, but it gives me the ability to run without stopping for liquids. So I am torn. Anyways, it was so hot and dry, I probably did not drink enough. I was feeling parched and dried out.
I kept going and the Rehovot part was tougher this time than last time. Because it was later, there were more cars on the road (in Rehovot), and more people on the streets out doing their Friday shopping.
I finished 34km and collapsed on the front lawn of the Weizzman Institute, enjoying the grass to stretch out my legs. Final numbers were 34km at an average pace of 6:01/km. That was only 3 seconds slower (per km) than the last time, but 3km farther.