Sunday, May 20, 2012

man it was a hot one

Eating my words from yesterday BIG TIME right now.

Everyday you learn something new. Today I learned that when race directors send you several emails the week of the big race warning that conditions are going to be rather hot, it's a good idea to take them somewhat serious.

Seems that my flawless plan to run today's race as naked as possible to ward off overheating backfired on me this morning. Man it was a hot one, like 7 inches from the mid day sun hot. I think even if I were to have ran COMPLETELY naked I would have still been overdressed, and most likely needed a little extra sunblock for the usual places that don't normal see the sun.

I have no idea what the actual temps were today, but they were spicy. Not even those hot yoga classes that I've been taking for several months could have saved me out there. Before the race started I was still hopeful that my body possessed this awesome super-human resistance to racing in extreme temps, even when history has shown me otherwise. As I was sweating like a beast on my warmup, I was still holding on to that glimmer of hope for 13.1 miles on cruise control at 6:30 pace.




That didn't happen.

Mile 1 should have felt comfortable as I clocked a 6:35, but it wasn't. I knew within that first mile that I was going to have to modify my pace a bit for the day, just wasn't sure as to how much at that point. Pulled back to 6:50's for miles 2-6, a pace that normally feels very comfortable for me, and begun to feel fairly warm with my heart rate probably nearing my HR max.



At this point I knew that there was going to be no chance in hell that a sub 1:25 finish was going to come from my legs in these conditions. My stomach felt uneasy, the sun seemed to be baking my skin, and I'd already sweat out every ounce of energy I had in me. I needed a minute to regroup and move to plan B for the day, which I unfortunately hadn't really established at this point.

I gave myself two options:

Option 1
Pull back and take the rest of the miles easy and just make this a training run. Have fun and make it through the distance safely.

or

Option 2
Tough it out and keep trying to pump out sub 7 miles as long as I can an earn myself another half finish in the 1:30's for my bank. 

While I'm sure most people will think I'm crazy, I chose option 1. I came to this race to run a sub 1:25. PERIOD. I did not toe that line to allow myself to fumble my way through high 6 pace in very undesirable race conditions to earn a finish in the 1:30's. There was no gray area here. With a 10 miler in 6 days and a half marathon two weeks after that, it seemed stupid to push my body to earn a time that wouldn't be worth it for me. It wouldn't have been a PR and it would have taken my body too much time to recover from the conditions.

Stupid? Maybe. But I'd rather have two quality races in the next few weeks than one kinda-sorta-okay race. I took the last 7+ miles easy where I walked through the aid stations, stopped on several occasions when my breakfast was threatening to reappear, encouraged other runners as they zoomed past me asking if I was okay, waved to the hubby and shot him some smiles, made some great small talk with the other racers, and even once made a pit stop along side some very friendly ladies with a cooler that let me stuff my mouth and sports bra with some of their ice.

On a hot day nothing feels better then a sports bra full of ice.




I finished in 1:40:53, which is a personal worst for me. That would be a full 72 seconds per mile off of goal pace. 

But the good new was that my knee felt 100% okay, which makes me a very happy gal.

Talking to several racers at the finish, seems like I wasn't the only one who felt as if they were melting out on the course. Several full marathoners opted for the half as temps begun to climb, and overall the finishing times seem a bit slower then they should be for a race of this size. Yes it sucks that my last two race have been major strike-outs, with my late April 5k being a DNF, but hey that happens. Weather can't be controlled and racing isn't really a life and death matter. PR's aren't a guarantee and the quest to hunt them down is what makes them worth it all in the end.

There will always be another chance to shine, another goal to tackle, and another course to conquer.

But I'm still going to get that PR, no doubt about it.

36 comments:

  1. Was great to see you there, and I am so proud of you for finishing strong. This was my toughest run to date, and barely finished! You go girl!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like you made a really smart choice for the day. If you're not going to hit your goal, no sense in wearing yourself down for a less-than-stellar result when you have two other chances within a month for a great race.

    I would still kill for a 1:40 ... maybe someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was brutal out there from the get go. I wish there'd been more shade! So great to see you at the start, and glad you took it easier and ran smart. And YAY for your knee behaving!

    I knew just how awful it was when I watched the first marathoner cross in over 3 hours. The first female was over 3:30 I think. No bueno.

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow! you are awesome & smart! i live in hawaii where the humidity/intense sun is sometimes unbearable..always gotta go with your intuition! :) btw...what kind of running shades do you recommend? mahalo & aloha!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Seriously some days you just gotta do what you gotta do and laugh it off. Sounds like a brutal day and in those conditions especially a 1:40 is smokin fast!! Sorry it was so rough!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats to you for pushing through and still coming about with a respectable time! You absolutely made the right decision, no need to wear yourself out if you have more races to follow. I'm debating a 10k next weekend, but it's supposed to be 90 all weekend... running in the heat is the worst!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depending on the start time of your race, you may be okay. I would go into it with loose plans because a 10k is a pretty quick race, so if temps get spicy you may be putting yourself at a high risk for some serious heat stroke. Just be safe!

      Delete
  7. You are my hero. PS - Your personal WORST is still 4 minutes faster that my personal BEST, if that makes you feel any better!! Sometimes you just have to modify as you go. I learned that in the last couple of races I ran. I think I'm ready to hit those PRs in the fall though! Keep up the amazing training, girl. You're going to rock your next two races, no doubt about it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think you made the smartest choice- given the conditions, there's no reason for you to just your butt to not get a PR at a goal race and lengthen recovery when you have so much coming up. You are a smart runner and that is still a phenomenal time:-)
    I'm not even running my goal 1/2 because with all the time I had to take off, I'm in no shape to run that fast and risk more injury- no thanks!
    Each race leaves you smarter:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The heat is killing so many races this year! Hope the weather behaves for your next big race, and I'm glad you played it safe today and walked away with a good attitude

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like you made the right choice! I ran a really hot marathon - my only marathon so far - and it was rough. Great job on making the hard decision and finishing happy!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations on your race today. It sounds like you did just the right thing to keep yourself safe and healthy. I ran the Cleveland Marathon this morning in extremely warm temps as well. By mile 2 I was really overheating and knew what I had to do to keep my body cool and safe: slow way down, drink a lot of fluids, and drench my body in water ever chance I had. I ended up running a 4:39:03, which is a full HOUR slower than my most recent (and PR) marathon, and a major personal worst. Despite this however, I had the most amazing time today and never let myself get down. I knew I was doing the right thing for me and my body, and didn't want to give my family the scare of me pushing too hard and ending up in a med-tent. Way to go for knowing your body, and looking to the future instead of the now, and still coming out with a fabulous time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you finished even when things took a turn for the worst, and made the experience a great one regardless the outcome. There will always be another race, so good for you for racing smartly.

      Delete
  12. i feel your pain, after running the half i did yesterday - but i do have the feelin' that yours was probably hotter!! :) it really is so important to be able to adjust our expectations. weather is going to do what it wants, and we can't just power through any conditions. you'll be that much stronger for your next races after gaining all that heat endurance!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You rock! I think you did the right thing by slowing down and listening to your body...plus, you don't want to mess things up for your races coming up!!!! I, personally, think it's great you still finished in the time you did!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great job despite the nasty heat! I am starting to get nervous for my July marathon with a hotter than normal summer, what was I thinking? Seemed so safe back in March when it was snowing still. You look strong and amazing in all your pictures. That PR is out there!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hot races suck. My freshman year of college I ran a 5k on the track that was slower than my first xc race of the season...however if 1:40 is your personal worst...you rock!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Britt, I am always in awe of how darn muscular and fit you are!! Even though you didn't have your "A" race, you still managed to turn it into a positive experience, I am so proud of you :)

    I am NOT a hot weather runner and I totally understand your desire to save your legs for the next race (which by the way, you will absolutely dominate!!)

    ReplyDelete
  17. my head is literally bursting and all over the place with wat i want to say!! 1) u're a freaking BALLER for choosing option one and not crazy...u signed up for that race wanting to go out for blood and u did it. hey, the weather made a PR totally impossible but a COMPETITOR who toes the line knowing they are all in does just that. mentally i think this race really made u stronger and that PR is soooo in ur future, it was the darned sun's fault! 2) u're a freaking fierce chick to line up against, can i get a slice of those abs, please?? 3) so glad that knee is okay too!

    great job, u went after it, screw the time! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Too bad about about the heat - but smart move to hold back. Not a bad "training" run. You will get your PR FORSURE - you've done the training.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You will get that PR. This race does not define you. It was beyond extreme conditions... I think your time considering the circumstances is completely impressive. I bet you go out tomorrow on a training run under good conditions and hit your PR. Looking forward to reading about that sub 1:25 in the very near future.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are incredible!!! I can only imagine what it feels like to feel let down about a race goal ( I've only run 2 short irrelevant races) but you are truly an inspiration to those like me who are newbie runners. You did the right thing by putting your well-being first and it will definitely pay off when you get that PR very very soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Irina. Not every race will host a PR, and you've just got to adjust and learn to be okay with that.

      Delete
  21. I don't think you're crazy at all--i think it was the absolute right move. You have two other chances coming up and there was no sense it killing yourself. I think I'm learning to appreciate the affects of heat even more since Boston--I think your body takes a much bigger hit than we realize.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You totally did the right thing Brit!! I totally get this feeling of realizing that everyone else was right...this was Boston for me. I didn't listen or take the weather warnings seriously but once the race started, I knew I was in trouble. Go get that 1:25 somewhere else!! You've got it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think you did the right thing. That was a smart decision and you have to listen to your body when the temps are like that. You were able to control everything but the weather. I think you handled it well!

    ReplyDelete
  24. It sounds like it was rough out there! So smart to adjust and make the change... The conditions sounded absolutely miserable. Congrats on a smart race despite the temps! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. WOW! Even though you're much faster than me - the Brooklyn Half this weekend felt the exact same for me - I just posted about how I felt like I was running in the desert. It was also my first half.

    Chicago and NY had heat warnings for their races - how cute!

    I as well wanted to take off my clothes and run naked and decided to back off my pace versus killing myself to meet my time goal.

    Congrats! Your smart decision will help you excel with your future races (weather permitting of course).

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sorry the weather didn't cooperate but I think you made the best choice. Good job on the run!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm glad your knee felt good and that you made it through the race!

    ReplyDelete
  28. That weather was INSANE! I am so glad your knee felt better. Sounds like you played it super smart!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Like the pic at the starting line, all bid-ness. I respect your decision to opt for option 1, not a crazy decision at all. You are on another level than most runners.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You are truly an inspiration for the decisions you made out on the course! There will be other races, but you only have one body and need to take care of it. Im so happy your knee is better. My fingers are crossed for great racing weather this weekend. Im thinking of coming out to spectate :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Congratulations! I know what it’s like to race in oven-like temps. You feel like a cookie. A delicious cookie. I mean it’s one thing to run in the heat…it’s another to try to hit (and hold) those fast paces when your body is trying not to cook. But you did it. You finished it. This race gets tucked under your belt as ‘one you couldn’t control’. I was way freaking glad to hear about your knee though. Throughout the whole post I was reading about the heat and your stomach and I was like “but what about your knee?!?!?! What about your knee?!?!” That’s good freaking news.

    p.s. I love that you race in your Beyonce shades.

    Again…congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am so happy you made it through this alive! What a day! I was only out on my bike and runing errands and I told Steven that I felt like I was standing next to an open oven door. It was way too freaking hot. Congrats on pushing through and making smart choices. I am so happy your knee held out. I hope Chicago on 6/9 sees better temps!!!

    P.S. I miss talking to you :) Hee hee.

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a bummer about the race weather , Britt. But you were really smart to go ahead and take it as a training run. It's a head start on your heat acclimation for summer. You have a MUCH better half in you. That sub 1:25 is waiting :)

    ReplyDelete