Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 5: Weekend- Humidity, You Ain't No Friend of Mine!

ENOUGH. I’m over you. 

Way back in June, I contemplated how I was going to handle you.  You were exciting and challenging, and I sought out inspiration from deep inside thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could break you. Although I knew I could never change or control you, I thought I could learn to overcome your inconsistent, despicable, and infuriating ways. I thought you’d make me feel empowered and invigorated. But, I gotta be honest about how I feel: YOU SUCK. I recognize that I will be faced by your inevitable visit for a few months every year pretty much for the rest of my life as long as I continue to live in the greatest city in the world: CLEVELAND!!! However, for now, I’m OVER this and am ready to move on. It’s gotten to the point where you make me sick, LITERALLY, and I don’t want to put up with you anymore.  OHHHHH, and for the record, it’s not me, IT’S YOU. 

ARRRRRRG. This angry lil blog entry concluding Week 5 of my NYC marathon training is directed towards public enemy number one: HUMIDITY. It’s taken over summer here in CLE, and I’ve NEVER been more ready for fall!! I know it’s temporary, and it will make me a better runner pushing through it. But after a while, enough is ENOUGH! (P.S. I’m not really that angry, just a bit of sensationalism to finish the week hahaaaaaaaaa :-) )

Okay, SO my weekend plans were a bit tweaked because I decided against pursuing the 5K P.R.  I was up much later than anticipated Friday night, and woke up at 6am Saturday morning just not vibin’ it. I got up for a bit, analyzed exactly why I wanted to race so badly that day, and decided it wasn’t worth it. I need to have faith in my training and current level of fitness, and not be so fixated on proving this to myself. I’m in a great place right now, and I just need to CHILL and believe in what I've got! Plus, I’ll have another chance to 5K P.R. at the end of September. I decided to sleep in a bit and do my 14 miler as scheduled instead of bumping it around for the 5K. SO, I went back to bed for another 3 hours…

… I probably should have just made it one, because I didn’t end up getting out on the road until 10:40am. By this time, it was in the upper 80s AND SO SO SO HUMID. It was the disgusting, unbearable type of humid, and I knew I was in for a SERIOUS challenge. I decided to make the course fun, which I thought may bring in for some positive distractions from the negative, devious weather conditions I was going to be faced with. I planned to run an up and back 14 miles to the CLE Brown’s Stadium. WOOF WOOF!  The good news is that the “boo-boo” on my ankle was nicely concealed by some great sports Band-aids I got the day before, so it wasn’t an issue. The bad news is, the run pretty much stunk from start to finish. I’m not sure exactly what my problem was, and it’s not fair to entirely blame the humidity, but I just couldn’t power through the way I should have. The first few miles were okay, and I hung around a 7:50min/mi, but I slowly climbed down to an 8:00min/mi around mile 4 and stuck there.  The further I ran, the hotter it got and the more I was overcome by super negative feelings. I was getting frustrated by my effort, which felt like a 7:15min/mi, but was actually barely a 8:00min/mi. But, I kept trucking! Then, once mile 5 came around, I realized I set myself up to run on the WORST PART of the CLE Marathon race course. It’s a long stretch that is BARREN except for cars driving on the highway parallel to it. When I saw I was reaching this, I contemplated turning around. It was so hot, I was mentally lacking in motivation, and knew whatever I ran out I’d also have to run back. But, being the psycho-challenge-obsessesd-moron that I am, I ran it anyway. There are SO many long distance races that have painful stretches like this, and there are no short cuts to the finish. You have to push through! So, I did. However, it was TOUGH. There were literally no people around. I was waiting for tumbleweed to roll through, LOL! Once I got to Burke Lakefront Airport, I was at around mile 7.25 on my Garmin. Brown’s Stadium was at least 2 more miles away, and since I was doing an up and back run, I decided to turn around. With the extreme heat and humidity, and my ‘tude of the day, I didn’t want to over-do it. I needed to stick to the 14 miles I was prescribed. The 7 miles home were the hardest. I was pouring water on myself to keep cool, all the while trying to ration the water I had left. The PAINFUL CLE Marathon stretch was awful, but I did it. Once I got back on MLK, I tried my best to give a 7:30min/mi pace a try for the remaining few miles. I had nothing left, and I couldn’t consistently hold it. That was a VERY frustrating feeling.  Then, once I got to the final .5 miles up Cedar Hill (pretty much a death sentence) I completely ignored my Garmin and just gave whatever effort I had left. When the Garmin beeped WORKOUT FINISHED, I was SO relieved. I finished in 1:54:14, averaging an 8:10min/mi. Okay, so it wasn’t my best long run, but I finished. I faced some difficult mental challenges in addition to the extreme humidity, and I’m glad I was able to push through. I chugged a liter of Gatorade along with tons of cold water, and then headed to the pool for my version of an ice bath, LOL. It feels good to have the cool water on my sore muscles, and really helps reduce the muscle inflammation that usually comes with my long runs.  

This week, I ran 31.67 miles, bringing me to a total of 149.51 miles over the past 5 weeks. This was another great week despite some early week post-5k+long run muscle soreness and pushing through challenging weather conditions, but I still ran strong and completed all of my workouts!

My Week 6 NYC Marathon Training Agenda (based off of Hal Higdon’s Advanced-2 Marathon Training)is:
Monday: 5 X 800
Tuesday: 3 mile easy
Wednesday: 35 tempo
Thursday: 7 mile easy
Friday: 4 mile easy
Saturday: rest
Sunday: Perfect 10-miler

This is a step-back week, and also my first prescribed long-distance race to get a solid glimpse of my training!!! Very exciting! Fingers crossed HUMIDITY STOPS CREEPIN’ AND STAYS AWAY. But, I’ll just have to roll with the punches on this one. It’d be foolish to think it won’t be showing up uninvited Sunday morning.  If it does, I certainly hope they have sprinklers on the course again this year!!

89 days until the NYC Marathon babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!


  1. It would not have mattered what time you went out on Saturday. I went at 7 and was DYING bby the end. I only had 8 miles and ran an 8:09 min/mile pace, had I tgacked on an additional 6 it may have killed me!! But I was dumb and didn't eat or drink before I left and I literally woke up and was out the door 15 minutes later. Sucky run altogether, I have 12 on Saturday and I think it is supposed to cool down this weekend!!! Here's to runs without heat :o) Go FALL!

  2. I love this post- it cracked me up!! I appreciate your insight about running and your clever writing style (being the nerdy English teacher I am, ha ha!)! :)