Start time: 6/14/03, 7:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 3:1, mostly
Average pace: probably closer to 14:20min/mile
So, last week I ended my journal entry with the comment, “Here’s hoping for a slightly dryer next Saturday!” Well, apparently I don’t know what I have until it’s gone, because this came back around and smacked me pretty good this Saturday.
The leading up to Saturday wasn’t bad; I only ended up doing one of my two maintenance runs (bad Greg!) but I also pushed it back up to my old distance of 3 miles instead of just 2.5 miles, so that was a good thing overall. Most of the week was full of thunderstorms, though, and I was more than a little hesitant about just what kind of weather we would have on Saturday morning. The answer? A bright, sunny, extremely humid day.
Now by this time the last two years, we’d had a lot of experience running in the heat. That wasn’t the case this time, though, since we’ve been either drizzles or torrential downpours each Saturday. The end result was… a little tougher for some of us than others. We only had eight people in our group today, but that quickly dropped down to seven thanks to a group member’s knee problems. We were doing good for the first five miles, though, until several group members wanted to slow down the pace. It was really warm and a combination of the temperature and the humidity was dragging everyone down a bit. We ended up splitting in two, with Madelyn taking two other team members on a slightly slower pace while four of us charged on ahead. We were pushing ahead pretty well until two of the four people in the group decided to use a porta-potty.
Now when I’m having a good running day, stopping for three or four minutes is doable. When I’m having a bad running day, though, it’s near-disastrous. I just couldn’t pick any momentum back up when they were done; since my furthest distance at this pace was only eight miles as well, that wasn’t helping matters. Since Madelyn’s other group had caught us during the potty break, I decided to step back and join them. The last two miles were pretty brutal; very little shade (next week I’m bringing my hat if it’s like this!), and I was feeling a little queasy thanks to breakfast not sitting well. The best part of the experience was sticking my face into a water fountain near the fire station. We all decided that it felt like jumping into a pool.
When we finally finished, I was actually a little relieved to hear that other groups had been having similar problems. It’s always discouraging to find yourself slowing down, even though that’s the smartest thing you can do in bad heat. And by the time I’d gone home and taken a cold shower (that felt remarkably good, honest), I didn’t feel that bad about today’s run. We pushed on as best we could, almost everyone finished the distance, and next week is going to be much better.
Well, I hope!