So far the forecast for next weekend isn't as bad as this current weekend (90 versus 99 today) but what's a few extra degrees in the end?
My longer distance training has taken a bit of a nose dive in the past 3 weeks. I'm still getting lots of exercise; both cardio and strength training but really low mileage.
As a result, in a matter of 3 weeks my hopes for this 10 mile race have gone from getting as close to a 11:00 m/m pace as I can to, "crap, I hope I can finish under 2.5 hours?"
I really didn't want to run this morning. I didn't set an alarm to wake up super early because it's going to be a long day and I figured the temps wouldn't change a lot between 6 am and 7 am. And they didn't but they sure did between 7 am and 9 am.
|Temps and humidity at beginning of run.|
|And temps at the end - at least humidity went down.|
I gave myself an out however. The plan was to run a 10 mile long run today but I knew that wasn't strictly needed. I decided to go about 8 or 9 miles and see how I was feeling.
The run was hard from the very beginning. It was hard to breathe for one. I have an inhaler that I use before my long runs and was thankful that I used it this morning but even so, the air was just heavy. I stuck to the shade as much as I could, all the while remembering that a good portion of the 10 mile race course is NOT in the shade. That didn't help my mental outlook. I went slower than usual. My watch screwed up and I ended up with a couple of longer walking breaks before I fixed the issue. I was quite content with a pace around 12:10 for the majority of the run.
I got to mile 8 and had about 1.5 miles left (if I went down one path) and I was going to try and keep going but I was definitely out of steam (figuratively). I was also out of water (literally) and knew there was going to be a significant portion of those 1.5 miles in full sun. Then fate smiled down upon me and my husband (who's been out of town) called. I took the call and he offered to call back but I insisted that we keep talking because quite frankly - I was done. So I finished my run at 8.24 miles and then walked while we talked. It was a little more than a mile back but on a shadier, mostly downhill, route. I had more water (with Nuun) in my car which was downed pretty quickly. I will for sure be making liberal uses of the water stations during the race next weekend.
My hope is that it will at least be cloudy and/or rainy next Saturday. Last year they lucked out with pretty decent weather for this race and when I ran it before there were some clouds which helped for a while. In the back of my mind I still hope to get done in under 2 hours but if it feels like today's run it will probably be closer to 2:10. In any case, I'll do it and have the experience and then move back to shorter distances again. Each day is like a confirmation of my right decision not to try and tackle a half marathon again. Because I'm really more about finding joy in my exercise plans than suffering through mileages that I don't want to do at all. It's not about avoiding suffering because there is plenty of agony in some of my exercises but it's agony I feel good about once it's done. Right now I'm not finding that with longer distances. And I'm a fair weather runner - I really only like to be out there when it's about 50-60 degrees with relatively low humidity. So until October rolls around again I expect to still complain a lot. Feel free to skip those blog entries if I start to annoy you.