Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Okay, so over the weekend, I met the goal that I had originally scheduled for THANKSGIVING 2010! - ran 6.2 miles (10K) on the treadmill.
True, it took me 90 minutes to do it (I used to routinely run a 10K in under 55 minutes, back in the day), but I did it. And I'm really pleased about that.
That's the good news. I have now actually met all of the 2010 running goals I set back in January, when I could barely run for 60 seconds without stopping. And it's still early June! So that is a great success. Especially given my ongoing Achilles problems, which limit my training somewhat.
The bad news is that, based on the 'trials' I have conducted running outdoors in the heat, there is no way I will be able to run the entire 6.2 miles outside in the heat on July 4.
In the past week, I have run outside 3 times, and all three times, the heat did me in at about 3 miles. There is a loop I do in my neighborhood...and while I made the 3 miles okay, there is NO WAY I could do the same distance twice (which is what I'd need to do in the Peachtree) without passing out or getting sick from the heat. No way. Even doing 3 miles, during the last 10 minutes or so, I start to feel sort of 'out of it' and just want to get home and throw cold water on myself as quickly as possible.
If this race was being conducted in the winter months when it would be about 45 degrees instead of 95 degrees, I would be golden. I like running on the roads, and the hills are not an issue (there is a large one in my neighborhood, plus a couple of smaller uphills, and on a 3 mile run I do all three of them 3x each). But the heat is absolutely debilitating to this Alaskan. 15 years in Atlanta...and I still just wither. I feel great during the first half of the run...but during the second half I go downhill quickly...and the last half mile is just barely there and all I can think about is getting home as quickly as possible.
So I do not think I should chance forcing myself to try to run the entire distance of the Peachtree. If I do that, I fear I will end up in the medical tent - NOT because I can't run the distance (since I now already have), but because I can't take the heat and will end up with heat stroke.
I still want to do the race. But I'm not sure if I should just walk it, or do a jog/walk combination of some kind. I don't really know what to do, because I've never actually walked in a race. Should I jog as long as I can, and then just walk? Should I do X number of minutes running and then X number walking? Should I just walk for a while around water stations? Or should I just walk the whole way just for fun and take the pressure and concern about the heat completely off of myself? I don't know what to do.
In any event, I'll continue with my long runs of over 6 miles on the treadmill...and will do these outside once the weather gets cool. And I will do some of my short runs of 3 miles or so outside, even in summer, just for a change of scenery and the feel of the road.
But I guess I will just have to face the fact that I will never be a hot weather runner. Or a hot weather PERSON, for that matter!