All the rain we had between May and June had me spoiled with cooler temperatures. Then all of a sudden everything dried up and July got hot. Thank goodness we have been doing group social runs at 6:30 on Tuesday evenings. I believe that helped with my heat acclimation for the Too Hot to Handle 15k on Sunday.
This was my third year in a row to run this race. The first two years, I set a PR. This year, I knew it was out of the question. Since I have been building back my strength, I set out to enjoy my July race.
According to my Garmin connect, for the 7:30 start time it was 81 degrees with 70% humidity.
Oh, the things we do because we love to run!
For the first five miles my friend and I ran together chatting just like we do on our Saturday long runs. It was nice to talk about observations throughout the race with someone else, instead of mentally tweeting and blogging through the miles. Without really focusing on speed, by mile five our average pace was 9:01. We both carry a handheld as we run, so it was the aid station just after the turn-around – near mile 5 – before we slowed so I could add some water to my bottle. Just before that, I realized I forgot my additional Nuun tablet to refill my bottle. Not a smart move for a heavy sweater.
As we approached mile 6, I started to get the nauseous “I’m running too hard for the heat” feeling, but I kept steady with my friend. I vowed to cross the 10k timing mat before I took a walk break. I sent her on ahead and for the next 3 plus miles I ran/walked with no rhyme or reason to the ratio. I ran until I felt too hot, then I walked until I felt better. I noticed that I could run faster if I took walk breaks, than if I just ran slower. Somehow, even with the stops at aid stations for cold towels, I kept my average pace for those last miles under 10 minutes a mile. That’s progress.
My finish time was 1:29:08 which put me 13th in my age group (out of 72). Not too shabby for a race with almost 800 finishers. Even though I ran slower this year – by several minutes – I decided not to sweat it (ha!) and be content with where I am.
I ran over 9 miles, with a pain free foot, in the summer heat, without throwing up. That, my friends, is a win.
Plus, I now have this nice medal combo to show for it.
The next race on my calendar is the sprint triathlon on August 9th.