Most people that I know are already experiencing the heat of summer despite the official start being a few days off. I think I’m finally getting accustomed to exercising in it, though. I’ve at least learned to accept that I’m not breaking any land speed records when the humidity is weighing down on me and not helping evaporate my sweat.
This past Saturday was the 5k race that I’d been mentoring for 10 weeks. I hadn’t found anyone that needed me to run with them for moral support during the race. At the start line, I ran beside one of the people from the group for about the first mile just because. As it turned out, I ran my fastest mile since I started using a Garmin GPS watch. 8:44 was my time. I was convinced that it was possible to get a PR (personal record) on this course despite having sweat pouring from my face and my water bottle somehow staying too frozen to get a drink from. Then, I saw someone along the course that I know to be consistently faster than me. I slowed to a walk to ensure it wasn’t anything requiring immediate attention and that she wasn’t in need of me to run along for encouragement. Once I’d confirmed I wasn’t needed, I dared her to catch me and took off at an average race pace. Despite the walking break for a couple of minutes, I still finished only a minute slower than my PR and was 8th in my age group. So I didn’t PR. That wasn’t really the purpose of this race, anyway. It was always about seeing people from the group cross the finish line and cheering them on when they did. I got to see people surprise themselves by running the whole race and covering the distance for the first time. I also got to see my kids participate in a fun run where they got medals. My husband, Mr. Speedy himself, got 1st place in his age group. It was an overall good race.
Sunday, my husband and I set out to run 9 miles for me to prepare for this weekend’s 15k race that he’s not even running with me. It was quite hot outside. I even wore my hydration belt that has 2 flasks for water on it and filled one with electrolyte drink. I brought along electrolyte tablets and the gooey gel stuff for nutrition replacement. It wasn’t the fastest 9 miles I’ve ever run. I enjoyed it, though. I wore my new compression shorts. Well into the run, I started to feel like I may have been getting rubbed between my legs by the shorts. Later in the day, I’d discover a sizable area of skin irritation and chaffing that has taken almost the entire week and a lot of petroleum to heal. So, next time I’ll remember my anti chafe in that area because the shorts definitely worked in keeping my hips and butt from hurting from muscle fatigue.
Tomorrow morning, I’m going to get up before 5am to get to a friend’s house so we can carpool to a city that is 45 minutes away for the Steamboat Classic race. I have a plan that involves rolling out of bed and getting dressed as quickly as possible while still ensuring I get my anti chafe and anti stink items applied. I really like my sleep, so anything I can get done in the car during the ride, I’m going to put off until then. I have my bag packed with my race gear and an index card with reminders written on it. That isn’t the only thing I’m nervous about, though. This race boasts to be “the toughest 15k in Illinois” thanks to being near a river and therefore having hills from bluffs. I’m confident that I can finish this race. The issue lies more in how much I’ll be fighting my mind to push through and how I’ll feel after.
Monday, I went to a fun run and when I came back, there was a magnet on my car. I didn’t find out until the next day who put it there, but I instantly loved it and put it straight on my garage door where I keep all of my running distance and race magnets. My running friends that I’ve made since I’ve moved here really are great and I am happy that someone thought of me to give me this:
Hope you’re having a great race season! Are you getting used to the weather changes in your area from the season change? Do you prefer summer running over winter or neither?