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