The next morning we were up and at it again. When we headed out to the car, the conditions actually felt worse than the day before. The humidity felt more oppressive and it definitely felt hotter. And the sun was out! I know – most people love the sun, but for a running race – it’s not your friend.
So – more reconsidering of paces… Initially I thought, based on yesterday’s race, that I could do something like 8:10-8:15s. But the conditions made me reconsider and I figured that anywhere between 8:20-8:30 would be reasonable out of the gate. Everyone was talking about how much to slow your pace down given the conditions, with the sun blazing down on us – it felt so incredibly hot.
Here I am before we start:
If you look carefully – you’ll see I’m wearing my compression socks – that was a mistake. I was regretting wearing those socks halfway through this run. Way too hot.
This course is a pretty hilly course. It starts out gently – but once you get into the neighborhoods – there’s a steep hill to greet you and then there continue to be hills for several miles. It sort of flattens out around mile 7 – but there are a few inclines in the last couple of miles.
I was doing okay and keeping a nice relatively-even pace despite all the hills. At one point, a fellow runner (an older gentleman) was next to me and he strongly urged me to grab two cups of water at the next water-stop (mile 6) and to drink them fully. He also said if they have gatorade to do one of that and one water. He then pointed out that lots of people have already started walking (because of the heat). I’m not sure what prompted him to give me that advice (maybe my gait was looking funny?) – but I took it and it really helped. I felt rejuvenated after that.
Somewhere in the 8th mile – I started thinking about how much earlier Derek would get to the finish line than I would and how much time he would have to wait around. Right as I was thinking that – I saw him ahead of me. I realized he must be suffering for me to catch up. It took me a little bit – but I caught up to him before the 8 mile marker. I thought I would motivate him and get him to finish with me. But, I think he was spent – he told me to keep going.
My plan was to get gatorade and water at mile 8 (the next water stop) and I really needed it, I could feel I was lagging. I pass the 8 mile marker and ask the woman – where’s the water stop? She said – I think it’s around the corner. I round the corner and I see a woman cleaning up a small table – NO WATER!!! She had run out! Can you believe it? There was a jug of water on the pavement and I just grabbed it and took a few swigs – figuring that the lack of sanitariness was less important than getting some water in me. It is just crazy for them to run out of water at mile 8 – especially on a day like this, and especially as they only had water stops at 6 and then 8 – so having to go from mile 6 to mile 9 to wait for water – not safe. And I wasn’t that slow – so there were a lot of runners behind me.
Perhaps not surprisingly – my last two mile splits kind of dropped off a cliff. I really slowed down. It wasn’t really hilly – it was just blazing hot (hardly any shade). But I kept passing people – many people started walking, the heat just defeating them. It was just a race of attrition at this point. I was doing a serious countdown (x number of minutes left, you can hang on for that many minutes…). And I tried to speed up a little at the very end – but it was brutal. I was drenched. I crossed the line in 1:26:55 (net time) slightly longer on their clock, as they just did gross time (8:42s avg). Not the time I wanted, but I ran the whole way, passed lots of people – so I think I handled the pacing and heat better than most, and it was good experience and I’m sure good training for the future.
No after picture – no one should be made to suffer that sight!