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Sunday, June 12, 2016

In summer!

The real heat has finally come to middle Tennessee. Just in time for my 10 mile race next weekend. Hooray! No, not really...

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.

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