Since the weekend, much of the east coast has been slogged in under some miserably hot, humid air. It’s funny how even a slight uptick in the heat and/or humidity – no less both – can make an easy run feel anything but.
Last week was a cutback for me and my group. We had built up for 4 long runs, and the easier week was certainly welcomed by all. Because of the pressure in my tibia, I had taken all last week off. My PT cleared me to run this weekend – if any only if there was no pain. So Saturday morning I woke up at 4:55am, not quite so bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, and took my new shoes out for a spin. The trail was unusually packed for that time of morning, but I suspect that’s because it was almost exactly 3 months until race day! I’m sure lots of people were starting their 12-week training programs, while others were trying to get in the miles before the temps rose too far.
My marathon group, along with the half marathon group and 12 miler group were there, running all sorts of different distances. I had originally intended to do 10 miles, but Jennie said she was only doing 8, which sounded like a brilliant plan.
The new shoes gave me some troubles in the first few miles, causing an old shin splint to flare up for the first time in several years – but there was no bone pain, so I kept going. We were holding a 10:40-ish pace, which would normally be perfectly comfortable, but the humidity was so oppressive I just couldn’t hold that for the duration. I felt so silly asking Jennie if we can slow down at mile 3, but I just knew there was no way that I could maintain that.
When we got to the first water stop at 3.3 miles, I was soaking wet. We stopped in the shade for a few to grab a drink and cool down a bit, then headed on our way. We stopped again at the same spot on the return trip. I had brought a gu with me but decided against using it. I could’ve used the electrolytes in it, but I also wanted to do a bit of a modified depletion run (modified because I did have a small brekkie before the run). It was definitely one of the tougher runs of my life, averaging only 11:04 and having to walk for a few in mile 6, but we got it done.
As hot as Saturday was, my friend Lauren was a total beast and ran the New York City Triathlon on Sunday – a day which was probably even hotter and more humid. It was her first triathlon and she totally rocked it!
My mom’s new 11k training group also started Sunday and she went out there and totally killed it in conditions that left me sitting indoors all day. Woohoo!!
Although the temps were technically lower yesterday, it didn’t feel any less oppressive out there. My group was running a ladder workout at a local high school. Unlike our usual track, though, it actually had a little bit of shade on it (hallelujah!). Of course the night we’re supposed to be running specific paces, I left my Garmin at home. Ugh. But it was okay. The distances were set and I just decided to run by perceived effort, which was probably a better idea anyway given the sweltering conditions. It was hard, no doubt, but we did awesome. I can feel it in my glutes today 🙂
In between each ladder segment we ran 400 m recovery – and in between every ladder step and recovery lap I stopped and drank water. I was a little concerned about the dreaded sloshing, but it was so hot I was practically sweating it out before it hit my stomach…
Luckily last night some storms came through (just after I got into my car!) and cleared out the oppressive humidity – it should be a good week for running! Tonight’s plan is cross training and strength while watching the Tour de France (so sad about Tejay… he was doing so amazingly well), and tomorrow I’m going to take another new pair of shoes (Mizuno Wave Inspire) out for a spin to see if maybe they’ll do the trick.