Humidity Sucks.

If you live on the East Coast you know one thing…

The humidity this week has been 150% and awful.  Weren’t we all just complaining about the winter weather and now it’s 1000 degrees with 500% humidity?

At least that is how I’ve seen it lately.  Conditioning to the heat stinks.  Your pace slows down and you feel like you are worker so much harder.  You come back pouring sweat after half a mile and going a minute per mile slower.

No one else?

Well I’ll be the first to admit I was doing really well with my pacing this winter.  Yes it was cold but I didn’t feel like I was breathing through a straw.  I was hitting the perfect pace for 6 out of 7 runs.  I was consistent and I felt awesome.   I credit PRing in my half marathon with my consistent splits.  (I was doing very little speed work).

That, unfortunately, is not how I feel right now.  I am the slog champion!  I feel like I’m breathing through a straw, preying that I don’t get winded.  I’ve stopped timing a good portion of my miles because timing them caused me to compare my miles to fair weather temperatures.  Which is silly and pointless.

Now I come back wheezing, huffing and puffing after swimming through a swampy morning run. 

Not timing my runs seems to be working out well though.  I’m not miserable running, I’m just slower.  Every summer I take the time to tell myself that injury free miles are the most important.  My only goal of the summer is to log miles and log injury free miles.  Training for a marathon cannot happen if I’m injured or worried about each and every mile split of a run.  Plus I have other things to be worried about…

I want to PR in my marathon this fall.  Not only do I want to PR I want to crush the 3:17 I ran at NYC.  I’m not racing a marathon in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity like my training runs right now (at least god I really hope not).

Last year I took this same mentality.  I logged easy base building miles.  I didn’t time a good portion of miles in VA…or if I did they were above 8:30+ pace (almost always).  Even though I was just focusing on staying injury free I ended up PRing in both the 5k and 8k.

Then when I thought my summer was over I moved to Texas and continued for two more months of heat. I remember running my first 20 mile run and when I finished it was 98 degrees.

I saw the twilight zone and slept on the floor for a couple of hours. I drank 6 powerades hoping to find my long lost electrolytes.

But I made it through my six months of summer and toed the line at the NYCM injury free.  I logged several 80 mile weeks and peaked at my first (and only) 100 mile week.  All injury free.  I had one close call but after switching my shoes my knee felt fine again. (my wallet hated the fact I disposed of a 175 pair of Newtons with 50 miles of them but my legs were happy).

I guess what I’m saying is the heat and humidity sucks.  It’s not pleasant and you probably feel like you are breathing through a straw.  Even though you don’t see everyone out and about, others are dealing with the same thing.

Finally if it gets too bad I’ll be the first to admit I’ll go run on the treadmill and catch up on trashy TV.

Being injured or hurt for your goal race sucks more.  I’ll continue to whine about the heat but in reality I’m logging injury free miles.  Despite being slower, I know I’ll feel fabulous when fall rolls around again.

Questions for you:

How hot is it where you live? 

I don’t mind the cold as long as it’s not icy.

Zero Prostate Cancer 10k (40:25)

Tim and I decided to take a minivacation this past weekend.  Since we were getting out of town naturally I decided to google races in San Antonio.  10ks are hard to come by and the moment I saw there was a 10k I decided that was the race I wanted to do.

So with that we got to the race about 45 minutes beforehand.  We seemed to luck out with parking and our parking spot happened to be directly in front of the race start.  We signed up and did about 1 mile warm up.  We both felt like crap and we both sweated through our singlets.

Smile so we don't look like we are miserable.

Smile so we don’t look like we are miserable.

The race was started by a 1 minute countdown on the race clock and once the clock got to zero it started.  It was actually quite frightening to watch as the clock ticked down and that minute felt like one of the longest minutes of my life.

The race course itself was out and back and started on an immediate uphill followed by a very sharp turn and immediate downhill.   I started off in 5th place behind four males.  After half a mile, I secured a spot as second person overall (where I stayed the entire race).  The first mile I clocked at 5:44 and it didn’t feel good but didn’t feel awful either.   (edit: I can’t believe I said a 5:44 mile felt neutral but my breathing and stride did in fact feel good…but only for that mile).

Mile 2 I found myself alone.  I did not see another person (except for one volunteer) the entire mile.  I was starting to zone out and get frustrated with myself and with the lack of people around me.  I tried to push myself but it didn’t seem like it was happening (6:13).

By mile 3 my mood had gone really sour.  I knew if I could just make it halfway through the race, the last half wouldn’t be as bad.  I don’t really have a lot of thoughts about this mile I was just trying to motivate myself to get to the half way point.  Something about getting to the halfway point of any race is so satisfying and the next half of the race goes by mentally quicker (6:39)

The turnaround was a bit confusing.  It was a complete 180 degree turnaround but you had to go over the mat, go around a cone and then go back over the mat.  I was lucky because I was far up and running over the mat twice was not a problem for me but it probably wasn’t the greatest set up.

Mile 3-4 I was on my way back.  Since it was in an open park and there were people running and cycling (not in the race) the path had gotten crowded.  I am all for people exercising except I nearly got hit by a cyclist making a sharp turn.  I wasn’t exactly paying a lot of attention myself since I was in the zone and as he came around a turn, I was rounding the run in the opposite direction.  Oh well, we didn’t collide but it was a close call (mile 4: 6:46).

Mile 5 I was beat.  I was over the race and I could add some more whining but I will save you.  I don’t have a lot to say about this mile but it was spent weaving around other racers.  Since the course was out and back most of the other 10kers were going the other way.  The path was narrow and with about 700 racers it was a bit of a cluster.  I always think to myself, these miles that don’t feel good or are mentally challenging are the miles you will grow as a runner (6:42).

Mile 6 was the best mile because it was the slowest and I got to spend more time running it. I had past the cluster of people so I was alone again.  I couldn’t see anyone in either direction and when we started the final climb to the finish line I was dry heaving.  I had not done a speed workout or race in the last 3 weeks and the time I ran low 6 minute miles was my 8k over a month ago.  Since where I run in Texas is remotely flat and this was not…the elevation was also taking a toll. That being said I was tired and I was dying. (7:01).

Then all of a sudden after thinking I might have seen the light and dry heaving a few times I crossed the finish line and drank 4 waters.


Take aways from this race:

I can’t wait to race in weather that is not 85 degrees and hot humid.  I also can’t wait to do some faster running.  I never expected to PR and I knew this race would hurt.  I’m glad I did it thought and had a lot of fun (after it was over).  I think my training is getting back on track for the marathon.  If I do end up running the 10k this weekend, I hope to able to improve.  I don’t expect a PR but would like to be closer to 40 minutes, if not under it.

Questions for you:

Does the second half of a race, run or workout feel like it goes by quicker for you?

Do you think race courses should be closed?

I’ve raced on the VA Beach boardwalk and I know that wouldn’t be possible.  They close roads for a lot of races.  I’m honestly not sure of my opinion on this subject.  I think it would be safer to close race courses to racers only but at the same time I know that isn’t always possible.

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