Start time: 7/5/03, 6:00am
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 14 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 3:1 (and then 3:2, and then 2:2. Yeesh!)
Average pace: hahahahahahahahaha
Big thanks this week go out to S.L. Viehl, who is my latest sponsor. Thank you so much!
Welcome to Washington DC, home of the world of humidity and heat. That’s perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but it doesn’t feel like much of one. This weekend has been unbearably hot; which made me look forward to being able to start at 6am this Saturday for our 14-mile run.
Except, of course, even at 6am it was still really hot. I have to remind myself that the actual day of the marathon (at the end of October) will be much cooler and more pleasant to run in, because otherwise the thought of doing it would be discouraging at best. We had a small group this week, what with yesterday being Independence Day and all, so just five of us headed out to have a practice run that would be just over half a marathon.
The first six miles went pretty well, but it was right around then that we lost all of our shade and things started heating up in more ways than one. Some of us were dragging more than others, and around the 8.5 mile point, we’d already shifted our running pace down a bit in an effort to keep from going splat. We lost Madelyn about three quarters of a mile later, though, who decided that she was going to catch a group behind us and come in at a slower pace. I’m wondering if I should have done the same, because by the time we hit our second turn around (10 miles in), I was starting to really drag. Nothing was hurting, thank goodness; I was just feeling extraordinarily tired. I kept pushing for two more miles, and then we changed our running ratio again, which kept me going for another mile. With one mile to go, I told my group to just go on and I was going to walk it in.
I’ve heard more stories about “hitting the wall” than I can count, but I don’t think I’d ever actually done so until today. I’ve had a handful of bad running experiences where I felt run-down and needed to slow down a bit, but this was different; this was “I’m going to walk because I can’t run”. So that’s what I did. I stuck my face in a water fountain about half a mile into that last stretch, and it felt absolutely heavenly. Towards the very end of that final mile, I even ran a small stretch just to try and boost my spirits up, because they were pretty low. But all in all, it was a pretty downbeat experience.
In two weeks I’m going to be missing the 16-miler due to being out of town, but hadn’t planned on making it up. Now I’m trying to come up with alternate plans to do so because after such a dreadful 14-miler, the last thing I want to do is have a bad 18-miler as well. Ugh.
Oh well. The last time I had a running session this bad, the next long run went perfectly, so here’s hoping history repeats itself! (And cooler weather, while we’re at it. That would be nice.)