The morning of arrival day to our most recent LPL National conference coincided with the annual “America’s Finest City Half Marathon”, a race from Cabrillo National Monument to Balboa Park in the heart of San Diego. So, we organized a team of about 25, including independent financial advisors like me and home office employees. John Hancock and T. Rowe Price provided the funds for our shirts and a pre-race gathering, as we came from all over the country.

In my last running blog post I mentioned my disappointment with my Boston Marathon finishing time. A genetic pre-disposition to hypertension finally caught up with me, disrupting my training, and now I take a daily blood pressure medication. We’ve settled on an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) type of blood pressure medication which seems to work without slowing my heart rate like the beta blockers the doctor first recommended.

However, we also discovered a hydration issue several months ago (that’s a story I’ll only share privately). As a result, it is essential to maintain my hydration during and immediately following strenuous activity. I’ve begun training and racing with a water flask, something I’ve consciously eschewed for decades. I’ve tried several different flasks, and currently prefer the Nathan Peak Hydration Waist Pack, because it is easy to access, has a separate pocket for my iPhone, and several small bungies giving additional options.

My reluctance in carrying water on a race is that races provide water, water is heavy, and every unnecessary pound slows the runner. But while riding the 5:30 bus to the start, one of my teammates shared a tip. She prefers to run with a flask strapped to her left hand, and uses the water stops to refill it. I tried the refill trick and might experiment with the handheld configuration. I already know where there’s water along all my training routes, and refilling allows for a smaller, lighter flask.

I did better in this race, finishing 11th of 85 in my age group, covering the 13.1 miles in 1:48:10. Using an age-grading calculator, that time puts me back on the cusp of “regional class” according to www.mastersathletics.net.

TRACKING #1-887477