Feels like: 92deg
Well there ya go. Yet another week of running in the equivalent of a furnace. I have to be honest here. If I was not already completely neck deep in this training for Chicago I would back out. I dont need the news or the weathermen to tell me day in and day out that this is the hottest summer on record for as long as they have been keeping records. Today was day 19 of over 100deg temps (basically running 102-103 each day with feels like of 109-110). And its been 208 days since we have had rain that measured over an inch.
My body is taking a beating each and every long run and mentally its even worse. There were a few times this morning that I seriously thought of packing it in again, but instead of doing that I just allowed myself to walk a bit more than the watch told me to and figured just finish and next week you only have to do 11. And maybe, just maybe in 2 weeks when you have to do 20 it might be a bit cooler.
I started out the lone runner this morning, not a car to be seen when I got to base (seems most of the other Fall marathoners had a cut back week), so off I went, just me and my 20oz of G2. When I got where Coach had set up the early morning water stop, I dropped my bottle off before heading into the park. When I came back around I picked it up and then thought 'I dont really want to carry this thing for 2 miles right now' (best decision I ever made), so I left it there on the table. I got back to base, changed my shoes and socks, ate a couple of shot blocks and headed off on the route. I was pretty far ahead of everyone as it took quite some time before the big boys passed me, probably somewhere in between mile 3 and 4. Thankfully there were some others out and about though, and Houston Fit was going the opposite direction as us and they were out in full force as well.
As usual everything went fine up until the light hit and a couple of times I was having some tightness in the calves and had to stop and stretch a few times. Once I had 4 miles of the route left things went a bit better for some reason, and then when I hit that last water stop I was so so so happy to see my bottle was still there. I emptied it out and filled it back up with some ice/gatorade from the cooler and set off back on my way. I was very thankful to have fluids whenever I wanted during that last stretch.
I had done 7/1's throughout most of the route until I switched to 5/1's around mile 14 or so. Looking at my Garmin, my pace during the run portions was good though so I am happy about that. What is just so taxing is the damn heat and the amount of fluids you lose in that kind of environment. You are so thirsty but yet you cant drink a lot. Or too fast. So most of the time I took one cup, drank it, then took another, and walked and sipped to let it slowly enter into my body instead of it ending up all in my stomach. This helped tremendously and something I highly recommend.
Once I got back to base I still needed a few miles so I took my last gel (took 3 overall), and being back at base is where I struggle to finish when my car is right there. So to get it done, I ran for as long as I could and then walk a bit. Repeat.
I pretty much was out there for about 4 hours today and thats a lot compared to my times last year. I dont know what the difference besides the weather is and I dont know why it would make that big of a difference. I know my diet was a lot better last year, I was still a vegetarian ... The next 2 weeks my plan is to eat as clean as possible and drop a few lbs. I have got to figure out how to not give in to the hunger that I feel on a constant basis right now.
After stopping off at the gas station, filling up on a 36oz fountain Diet Coke (is there anything better than that first sip? I think not), and purchasing 15lbs of ice, I made it home and into the ice bath. I had run the water beforehand as usual so it was already cold and honestly it was awesome today. I was that hot that I didnt even care how cold it was. A successful day I would say.
My goal, regardless of the weather conditions in 2 weeks is to take about 10 minutes off my overall time even though its a mile more that I have to do. I know the extra walking was the reason for that today, but still. It pisses me off. :O)
Bottom line is that while I may think I want to quit, I am not a quitter. There was nothing wrong with me except the fact that I was tired of being hot and tired of being so sweaty I couldnt keep the sweat and salt from my eyes fast enough. I covered 19 miles today and no one can take that away from me.
I know that this weather will eventually have to break, but in the meantime I will not let it break me.
How was your long run today? Any ice bathers out there with me this weekend? Have you ever just wanted to throw in the towel for real and just say to heck with this, I am not doing this damn marathon? I need to know I am not alone here! How do you get through those moments?