Saturday, July 13, 2013

Belmar 5 miler. Belmar, NJ. 7/13/13

I always like the idea of this race, but I just don't like the start time.  It is so humid along the shore by mid-morning mid-July that I always find myself wishing this race started at 7:30 am instead of 8:30 am.  The last 5 miler I ran was a night race and also quite humid.  I hoped to run a little faster than I did last race.  This race is flat, that one was rolling, so I had a shot.

I got to the race at 7:00 and hoped to run about 5-6 miles before starting (right now I am training through my races so I am not truly showing up race ready), but between parking, packet pick-up, shoe changes, potty breaks, socializing, I ended up with just over 3 miles.  I already knew it was going to be a tough day for me as humidity and I just don't get along.  I know that this is true for most people, but I often feel like it hits me harder than those I generally compete against.  However, running hard in hard conditions for me, even if the time is slow, usually does me a lot of good come fall.

Off we go and I am happy to run with Jim O. and "Guy in Blue" Jamie B. :)  I think of these guys as my race people, the people I look for out there on the course to help me gauge things.  After settling in to a 6:4x pace, I just felt good and wanted to go a little faster.  I hit M1 at 6:37.

I was happy with that.  I felt good and wanted to stay around 6:45's until one mile left.  As long as I was under 6:48's I should be able to beat my last 5 mile time.  M2 6:44.

I felt very much in control at this point, except for the fact that I just did not feel very loose or very peppy.  As I ran through mile 3, I started to feel like I was losing my "umph" ... I wanted to run harder but my body just felt slow and heavy and unresponsive.  I struggled for turn over and felt like I was simply over-heating.  When I was able to douse myself with water, it helped, but only for moments.

My memory from the last time I raced this event was similar.  Between miles 3-4 I recall feeling like I was overheating. Last time I ran it it was much warmer and I remember walking part of mile 4 just to get my heart rate back under control. I remember being quite bummed after that experience.  I always worry about my heart rate in hot weather because I have a minor leak.  Running in the heat always seem to make me very aware of my heat rate.

I slowed down a lot in mile 3, hitting it in about 7:03. I tried to stay positive by focusing on regrouping, using the time to recover so I can find something to dig into later that could bring my pace down.  But as ran through mile 4, I just did not feel any better.  I ran through hoses, grabbed cups to cool me off, but nothing really helped.  I just wanted to be done.  M4 7:05

With the final mile before me, I tried to pick it up, but I had nothing.  I also could not find any good reason to dig in that moment.  This race was just for fun and I felt I was running hard enough for it to be a good workout.  I did not see any women I could catch.  I did not feel I was at risk for being caught.  I just felt Blah, like I was trying to run in a dream where I want to move but I am are stuck.  It did not help me to see the finish line from over .5 miles away.  At one point I recall thinking "Come On... why does it not seem to be getting any closer."

I did my best to stride into the finish strong, but I had already known I was not going to beat my last 5 mile time. I feel like the humidity sapped my mojo and that bummed me out.  M5 6:50

Despite feeling so horrible I only ran about 5 seconds per mile slower than I did last time, so this was not a complete train wreck.   However, I would like to be moving forward not backwards in pacing as I work towards the fall.  Thank goodness I race often, so I can get a do-over soon and get my paces back down into 6:40's or better where I would like to be.

The reality is that even if I race again soon, my paces wont drop until I get stronger and leaner from higher mileage training and the humidity level lowers.  So for now racing is about showing up knowing I will not do a great job and trying to be ok with that by focusing on how this physical and psychological beat down will help me come fall.

Time: 34:21 (6:54)
OA Place: 124 of 2368
Female: 24 of 1162
Age Group: 3rd
Prize: $25 gift card to a local restaurant and $10 cash prize


  1. Yeahhhh.... humidity is a brutal beast. While I like your reflection of your race, you don't give yourself NEAR enough credit. Sub 7 is great, especially in the middle of a higher training week. I'm sure you'll get to where you want to be in no time. Hang tough!

    1. Aw, thank you Rebecca! I just need it to get a little cooler... I dont know how you run where you do. You need to get up north for a marathon after training down there in the heat. You would be even more phenomenal than you already are! :)