Drop Dead Dread
Dread is the operative word here. I had a 19 mile run scheduled for today. I was absolutely DREADING it. Why? The possible heat, maybe. Feeling tired from 2 hard workouts the prior 2 days, maybe. Closing in on my highest mileage month ever during one of the hottest months in years, maybe. Still fighting the tail end of that sinus cold, maybe. I could go on. Here’s a snapshot of today’s workout:
Distance: 19 miles
Time: 2:46:00 (8:44/mile)
The run itself wasn’t bad, but I still had to fight it a bit. I was targeting 8:45/mile. I started this morning at the tail end of some mild rain showers. Since conditions were cooler than what they have been, the first half the run went fairly well. I was running around 8:30/mile and on some of the bigger hills my legs didn’t collapse. I’ve gotta chance.
Around mile 10, I did start feeling a bit tired, but it wasn’t really impacting my pace. Also, the rain was stopped and there was maybe a hint the sun was somewhere up there. This point is where mentally you start to think of excuses to not finish. Of course, being 9 miles from home helps you quickly ignore those negative thoughts. I’ve gotta chance…maybe.
Mile 14 was the first time the clouds were mostly broken up and the sun started pounding. I was 1.5 miles from my last water stop. With the sun beating down and temperatures quickly rising, I really needed that water. Not only is all the negative chatter growing, but your clothes are drenched with rain and sweat adding a thick layer of discomfort to the mix. Okay…just let me get to at least 17 miles (1 more than last weekend).
Out of the water stop, some trees provide periodic shade and the clouds start coming back in. My pace now is firmly around that 8:45/mile target. So, not is great as it had been, but still acceptable. I get to the top of the last big hill at mile 17. I just have 2 miles and two decent hills to finish. In reality, if I can make it 1.5 miles, the last 1/2 mile is downhill. Take me home, please!
Miles 18 & 19 dragged on, but whatever. I held on and got it done.
In the end, between personal and family sickness, warm training conditions and an already high mileage month have led me going through one of those periods where I’m not in the best frame of mind. I’m hoping over the next 2 weeks with my mileage being a little lower will get me through this “dread phase”. I need the batteries recharged to be ready to do the Peak.
PS- The hills I speak are tiny compared to what I’ll encounter running up Pike’s Peak. Hence, more treadmill work between now and race day.
3 miles of recovery in the AM
a hot steamy men’s league soccer match in the PM