After Saturday’s City Chase adventures, I was in a world of hurt and still exhausted come Sunday morning. I knew it was going to be a struggle to get through a long run, but I also knew that I had to do what I had to do. To make it even more interesting, Sunday turns out to be one of the most humid days we’ve had all year. It was extremely muggy at 6:30AM and crept close to 40C (104F) with the humidex by the end of our run.
The majority of our group was running a shorter distance (fall-back week), but a few of us wanted to tackle our first 20-miler so we set early for the extra. It helped breaking the run into two parts, although we were definitely nervous about what the remainder of the run had in store for us when we found ourselves soaking wet and pretty tired from the first part. After 13K, we made our way back to the starting point where we picked up the rest of the group. This was also a great opportunity for fluid refills – we were going to need it!
I popped a couple of Advils for pain management (City Chase had trashed my legs!) and it worked, for the most part. Throughout the run, I kept wondering which was worse – the uphills which were exhausting or the downhills which were painful. Either way, the bigger concern was the thick air and the feeling that we were overheating. Occasionally we enjoyed a breeze, but when we didn’t, it was downright unbearable. I was truly tempted to just stop and sit down on the side of the road. Most of us seemed to be running out of fluids but others shared and we all looked out for one another. I could not have been happier to have company; it’s the only way I was able to keep moving.
As we neared the end of the run, we had to climb a steep embankment in order to pick up a trail that would take us most of the way to the end. We practically had to get down on our hands and knees in order to get up there. We finally made it, but many of us were feeling woozy so we decided to walk for several minutes until everyone felt well enough to continue.
Eventually, we made our way back. Between the conditions, my weekly mileage (a new PR of 89K/55mi!) and City Chase, this was one of the most difficult long runs I can remember.
After the run, we were all treated to an awesome pool party, BBQ and wine-tasting (at 11AM, love it!) at the home of one of our runners. I went straight in the gorgeous swimming pool in my running gear and stayed in until I smelled the food. It was just what we needed to unwind after an extremely challenging run.
After a much-needed rest day on Monday, I was ready to hit the track this morning. My legs were still feeling pretty tired and beat-up, but I had plans to meet Juliana, so I figured I would warm-up and see what I could do. It was great to have company, especially sneaking onto the “PRIVATE! NO TRESPASSING!” track. After a nice warm-up at the park, we headed over and
stumbled noisily crept quietly around the school buildings, down the steps to the track.
It was still dark, dead quiet and somehow welcoming. J and I were each doing our own thing, but it was nice to have someone there. Another guy showed up to run a lap or two, but didn’t stick around.
The workout: 6 x 800 with 400m (roughly 2:30) recoveries
3:22 – clearly a little too eager
3:31 – that’s better
3:29 – telling myself it’s okay to stop at 4 repeats
3:30 – telling myself I have to do at least 5
3:24 – made it this far, might as well finish up!
3:27 – ahhhh, done!
Average = 3:27 (4:19/KM, 6:57/mi!!)
I’m definitely pleased with how well this went. After dropping J off at her car, I ran a little farther to wrap up 13K (8.1mi) for the day.
Finished just in time for sunrise.