I wasn't planning on racing this weekend, really. I found out there was a local 5K/10K race that was FREE!! And only a few miles from my house. I encouraged my kids and my husband to race it. My husband decided to run in the 10K. My 10 yr old chose the 5K. At the last minute I decided to do the 5K. I had 12 miles scheduled on my training plan for today, so I decided to run the race, and then run 8 miles home. In 80 + degree temps with high humidity. Fun! Not so much.
We arrived at the race 30 min before the start and picked up our numbers. I went for a slow mile warm up, looking for shade along the way. The race was starting at the Dickinson College campus, which is a beautiful setting, with well established neighborhoods next to it. Therefore, many full-leaved trees that provided very welcome shade. The temperature was 80 degrees with 80% humidity.
After the warm-up, the race was about to start. My plan was to run easily hard, at approximately half-marathon pace (8:20 ish) and then run the rest of miles on the way home. The first mile felt good, 8:10, so a little fast. The second mile was 8:26, better pace, starting to feel the heat. The third mile was starting to feel hard, breathing became labored, 8:29. Finished with a "kick" for a total time of 25:40. Overall I was happy with my performance, considering the conditions. I had no plans to attempt a PR, and I didn't feel dead at the end of the race. I caught up with my son, who had ran 23:xx for the 5K, nowhere near his best time. We waited for my husband to finish the 10k, walked back to the car and I prepared for my long run. I had packed my fuel belt, with a gel and some Cherry Limeade Nuun. The route I had planned was a bit hilly, but was shady in some areas which was very helpful. The first 3 miles were okay, I decided to run with only my Oiselle High 10 running bra after the first 30 minutes. First time ever I have run without a shirt. Desperate measures! My Oiselle singlet was soaked with sweat. I took a gel at 4 miles and kept trudging on. The heat was relentless, and my pace was so slow! My husband and kids drove by at the 5 mile mark to check on me. They gave me the option of getting a ride home, but I decided against it. There were two reasons for this: Number one was that I didn't want to sweat all over the leather seats (this is a new car for us, only have had it for 3 months) and Number two is that I knew I would regret quitting early and not getting my miles in. I am running a Ragnar Relay with the Nuun team in a couple of weeks, and this has been my motivation to carry on even when I am feeling tired and lousy. Those 3 legs of the relay are not going to be easy, but I want to be able to complete them well.
I finally made it home, soaked beyond soaked with sweat. I have decided to call this summer "Summer Sweat Fest 2013". I have never ran in such heat. I only hope it will make me a better runner in more comfortable temps.
When I got home I asked my husband if he or my son placed in their age groups, with their very respectable times. To my surprise, they did not!! And to my complete surprise, I found out I placed first in my age group! What?! There must not have been many fast ladies 40-49 today. Totally shocked. And a bit embarrassed. If I'm going to get a medal, it would be nice to do it with something at least close to my PR. Oh well, I'll take it. I am glad that I participated, and that I completed my scheduled long run. I am hoping that I am mentally tougher after that Sweat Fest.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing, and going to see the movie "Monsters University". Very cute movie. I ate a big bag of salty popcorn, sipped on Nuun that I snuck in and managed to stay awake. Success!